Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Miner's Crag

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ah-Ah Arete S 
Amalgamation T 
Angle of Repose T 
Barney Rubble S 
Black Diamond T 
Blood Diamond T 
Butterscotch Corner T 
Butterscotch TR TR 
Chest of Drawers  T 
Claimjumper? S 
Clean Slate T 
Contributing to the Delinquency of a Miner T 
Core Sample  S 
Crack of Five T 
Deep Purple T 
Diamond in the Rough S 
Diamond Toprope TR 
Dirty Low Down T 
Fools Gold T 
Gold Flake Arete S 
Gold Pan S 
Hippie Crack T 
Hippie Joe's Face S 
Jawbone T 
Lode S 
Major Miner S 
Miner Delay T 
Miner League S 
Miner Threat S 
Miner's Crack T 
Miner's Lung S 
Mother S 
Mr. Slate S 
Project (J&Joel) T 
Project/Toprope TR 
Reclamation T 
Strike It Rich! S 
Tailings Pile T 
Tin Cup T 
Unknown (26) T 
Use Your Words S 
Vein T 

Miner's Crag Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,000'
Location: 36.5995, -105.6918 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 7,103
Administrators: Mike Howard, Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jfoley on Oct 5, 2008
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Look who was spotted Deep Water Soloing upstream i...


Secluded Sport and Trad crack climbing on the West Side of the Rio Grande Gorge North of John Dunn Bridge. This is a "funky" area, some people have raved about the climbing here, while others have walked away without climbing. The cliff is scary looking with many fractures and sits above a rough dusty base.The climbing is well featured with lots of flat edges,crimps and cracks on mostly vertical to slightly overhanging basalt. The routes tend to be close together and short. Although a few sport routes are now 30 meters. The sport routes are well equipped and climb steep faces and aretes on solid rock. The trad routes follow cracks in faces and corners. Although there is typically ample pro the cracks can be jagged and be hollow or have some small loose rocks in the cracks. Expect tricky gear placements!

Getting There 

From the John Dunn Bridge Area described in the guide book Taos Rock or The Arroyo Hondo/Seco area follow road past John's wall up switch backs to the west rim above John Dunn Bridge. Turn right (North) on well maintained Montoso road (towards houses). Continue on this road for 1.6 miles. stay right at fork past last house onto two track (high clearance/4WD if wet). Continue 2.5 miles stay on main track then right at fork and park at Miner's trail head. Note: Don't get caught in a rainstorm here. If you do it may be wise to wait until road dries before trying to drive out. Check out ariel view above for Google maps.

From Town of Taos or locations such as Tres Piedras it may be better to approach this crag from NM highway 64 west of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, a bit further but faster driving: Turn North at mile marker 236 onto Montoso rd (dirt toward Chiflo Mountain (currently signed only on the East side). Pass over cattle guard and continue on this road for 3.7 miles. Now turn left (North) and follow directions above from Montoso Rd.

From parking: Do not go down the main trail head, sometimes signed, Miner's Trail.
Walk back Southeast on two track road (closed to vehicles?). Look for faint cairned climber's trail on your left when "road" goes down small hill at first rock outcrops (about 1/4 mile).

Then follow cairns down steep trail into Rio Grande Gorge (about 10 minutes) and eventually traverse right through loose "shale trail" at base of cliff for about 5 more minutes. Beware this trail has a few loose exposed sections. The cliff sits about midway between the rim and the river. About 20 minutes from car park.

Click on "Aerial photo/map" link above for approximate locale.

Great Camping, Mountain Biking, Hiking abound. The Class II whitewater run from Miner's trail to John Dunn Bridge (Middle Box) is a nice casual paddle with one real rapid at "Horsethief Shorty".

Guide Service - Mountain Skills

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.0 miles from here

42 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',18],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',9],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Miner's Crag
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt Samet starts up Diamond In The Rough. FoleyPh...

Diamond in the Rough 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c  NM : Taos Area : Miner's Crag
The first half of this route climbs up mediocre 5.11 edges. Some hollow rock in the middle gives up a rest and gets you to the headwall. The headwall section has big pumpy moves with some big holds on steep bullet rock. Pumpy dynamic and FUN! For full grade value traverse left to second anchor slightly higher and left....[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of Miner's Crag Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Steve Laycock leading Gold Flake Arete 5.11.  Phot...
Steve Laycock leading Gold Flake Arete 5.11. Phot...
Rock Climbing Photo: Thor Husted on Hippie Crack 5.10-
Thor Husted on Hippie Crack 5.10-
Rock Climbing Photo: FA Blood Diamond
FA Blood Diamond
Rock Climbing Photo: redtail hawk
redtail hawk
Rock Climbing Photo: Jay Foley first ascent "Strike it Rich" ...
Jay Foley first ascent "Strike it Rich" ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jay sewing up another FA.
Jay sewing up another FA.
Rock Climbing Photo: Miner's Crag as seen from The river. Ah-Ah  is the...
BETA PHOTO: Miner's Crag as seen from The river. Ah-Ah is the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Miners. FoleyPhoto
Miners. FoleyPhoto
Rock Climbing Photo: Right/Upstream Miner's Wall
BETA PHOTO: Right/Upstream Miner's Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: jay after the f/a of major miner
jay after the f/a of major miner
Rock Climbing Photo: Thor Husted climbing Reclamation for the first asc...
Thor Husted climbing Reclamation for the first asc...
Rock Climbing Photo: minor threat
minor threat

Comments on Miner's Crag Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Mar 18, 2009
Awesome, Jay, thanks for doing that! Sure makes it easier for those of us heading there for the first time to more easily identify what's what.
By tim naylor
Mar 19, 2009
Sweet Jay. 40+ routes. whoed ah thunk.. Nice job everyone. I think this place is fun.
By Jfoley
Jan 14, 2010
Thanks guys!! Glad somebody actually made it out to this obscure location. The routes have cleaned up well and despite the initial appearance some of the rock is quite solid hard basalt,(bring extra bits if equipping). Kevin & I climbed Tim's new 30 meter route Mother Lode,and (despite a bit of loose rock in the easy middle section)loved it! I think if someone was willing to put in the work there could be some killer hard routes through some of the upper tiers.
By Robots and Dinosaurs
From: boulder, co
May 11, 2014
Such a cool crag! It is a bit out there and the walk back to the car is steep but worth it. We saw two Peregrine falcons, a vulture, and one or two hawks. The rock is a little flakey or loose so I'd recommend helmets when belaying and climbing but the location is beautiful and the climbs are all really fun. Be prepared to get off trail going to the crag and bring a camera because it is awesome.
By Aaron Miller
From: Santa Fe, NM
Oct 26, 2015
This is an interesting crag, lots of cool and varied routes. The rock is flaky in spots but generally good. Would clean up well with more traffic, but dont expect that any time soon.

Just so everyone knows, 2015 has been a fairly wet year with some big rain events. We climbed about 5 routes here in October and they were all covered in a fine silt from probably a big pour-over or two. We had to brush holds as we climbed as they were slick as snot. Once brushed and blown free of dust, they were as good as new. Dont know how long this will last. Seems like its been a while since the last visitation here, the trail was overgrown with grasses and fourwing saltbush, I would bring clippers the next time I go so you can see the trail. Perhaps Winter brings the local crowds?

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!