La Cueva as seen from the road, with the Organ Mou...
This group of rock formations is the some of the closest climbing for the Las Cruces climber. The majority of climbs here are trad climbs but a handful of sport routes can be found. Rock quality is often quite poor, as are some of the old fixed anchors.
Cueva Rock is a historical site and climbers should be respectful of this fact. A hermit once lived in a cave under this formation, and should you visit this cave, your eyes will be drawn to the piton-infested crack system that soars above the cave. This route is off-limits to climbing due to its proximity to the historic cave and to the tourist traffic that goes under the route. Climbing is not allowed in or around this area.
There is a $5/day parking fee, or you can get a year's pass for $25.
From Las Cruces, go east on University Avenue which turns into Dripping Springs Road. Follow this road into the recreation area and turn left into La Cueva Picnic area. Summer hours are from 8 am to 7 pm, winter hours from 8 am to 5 pm. You are expected to actually exit the gate by these times. Details are available on BLM website.
This top-rope climb is located on the shady north side of Cueva, near the eastern end of the formation. It climbs up a broad black water-streak.The 2-bolt anchor is located on a broad ledge which can be reached by climbing up one of the crack systems just to the right, or by scrambling up the low-angle slab further to the east to gain the ledge system. The climb consists of thin face climbing on crimpers and tiny finger pockets. The crux is located 15ft off the ground, but the entire climb is pr...[more]Browse More Classics in NM
By Aaron Hobson Administrator From: Las Cruces, NM Jan 19, 2006
I'm posting information about La Cueva in the hopes of gathering more information about this area. The climbing record in the Las Cruces area seems to be rather difficult to come by. I have been climbing at La Cueva without knowing any information about any beta. I have dubbed routes with my own names for simplification. Otherwise, every route would be called, "Route #4 north face" or something like that.
If you have any issues with my posts, feel free to set me straight.
By Aaron Hobson Administrator From: Las Cruces, NM May 24, 2006
I've reorganized La Cueva into sunny and shady sides. This should also allow for expansion of the bouldering potential, and the eastern satelite formations.
Made the trip to Las Cruces from Tucson, AZ over the weekend. Loved the climb we did on Sugarloaf (The North Face route) and saw LOTS of long routes I'll be back to climb. However, we went to the shady side of La Cueva for some cragging on Sunday and was thoroughly disappointed. The rock quality was very poor and placing gear in this choss was less than confidence inspiring.. Also, most of the bolts that were there were chopped at some point, including upper anchors. Not recommended.
Next time try Rough and Ready Hills for a good sport crag experience. Southern Comfort Wall in the Organs has a lot of good trad routes and will offer a "crag-like" experience... except for the 1 to 1.5 hour approach.
I just realized there is actually a posting area for La Cueva on Mountain Project. That's cool. I love this area. I have climbed on La Cueva for over 30 years, and its the one of the places in Las Cruces you can head out to in 20 minutes, get a hour or two of climbing in, and get home after work. I get out there 2 to 4 times a month. So...if anyone wants any beta on this place at all contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd be happy to fill anyone in on La Cueva! On the front (south side) the major routes from left (West) to right (East) go like this: 1) 5.5 slab no pro 70ft 2)the bulge 5.7 70 ft. 3)Black streak 80ft 5.10d 4) Seam little pro to a crack 5.6 100ft X rating. 5) 5.8 bolt route very nice 100ft 8 bolts 6)A rizing traverse left 5.7 160 ft. 3 bolt/gear 7) large dihedral 5.11 7 bolts 80ft greasy. Not much out past the dihedral established - there is a nice 200 foot route waiting to be put up, up the large seam toward the middle west side of the face. I have toproped if off the top - about 5.8. It would take 8 bolts and to put this up from the ground. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE CAVE AREA AT THE WEST END OF THE SOUTH FACE! there is an acheologic site there and it is strickly off limit for climbers. We need to respect that, and maintain our good high-access relationship with park officials. There used to be an aid route there. I cleaned it up for the park officials, and climbers have left it alone. There are plenty of other neat things on La Cueva.
If anyone responds to this - i will post pictures with all the routes and list all the routes (about 12, on the north side). THe north side has cleaner rock. Also, there is a fun "Mountaineer route" along the top that offers many spots of 5.6 to 5.8 climbing with long class 4 runs inbetween. It is 600 ft. long with a dramatic hanging rappel of 180' at the end. It is a great "first day out" for your kids or friends wanting a beginners climbing experience. Keep in mind you can easily lower beginners, uncomfortable with rappeling from that anchor. Lastly, there are several old pitons and gear on La Cueva - some of these are ring angles from the 30s; when German Scientists visiting White Sands first climbed here. Please please leave these in place for furture generations. They are really cool.