The "Wild Wild West" is a remote area of western Colorado near Naturita. With no nearby population centers, climbing in this area is wide open. Most of the rock is sandstone, with everything from short crags to pinnacles to long sandstone cracks.
The best source of information on this area is Charlie Fowler's guidebook, The Wild Wild West.
Approach from the south through the Telluride area on CO 145 northwest to Naturita and then continue west on CO 90.
From Grand Junction head south on CO 141 through Unaweep Canyon.
From the the Moab / Indian Creek area, head south on UT 191 to UT 46 east which becomes CO 90.
Wow! This is a sweet pitch! Climb the clean, right-facing dihedral. It is mostly thin hands, but it has a little wide section in the middle to keep things interesting. This route would have a line in it if it was located in Indian Creek! There is a second pitch according to the book that we did not climb....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Detailed information for all of the bouldering in the Naturita and West End areas can be found in 'A Guide To Bouldering In The Telluride & West End Areas' by Christian Prellwitz. This book can be purchased at climbing shops and book stores throughout Southwest Colorado.
I recently went to the West End climbing areas and found them very hard to find due to endless network of rough and poorly marked dirt roads. Most of the areas had huge approaches up very unstable talus fields that most often lead to mediocre climbing. The bouldering was only so so. I yanked on a lot of old and deteriorated bolts and anchors and many of them moved out up to a 1/2 inch. Scary place. Next time I'm out there I'm going to Potash Road where I can belay off my bumper or the Creek where I can mooch cams and climb top-ropes.
Yeah, the west end is all long approaches for chossy climbing, stay away ; ) True, some of the bolts are less than bomber, though.... Also, I think that The Wild Wild West guidebook is out of print. Edit: Guidebook.
Has any one heard of the "lost world" craigs in this area? Off of EE22?? climbed there a couple of years ago with dudes who knew the area and I cant find them again. One of the neatest areas I've seen in CO (out of the mtns) with or without climbing.... Lots of bolts... maybe it has another name?
Yeah, you might still be able to get a copy of the Wild West guidebook in one of the area stores. Damon was saving the remaining copies for Between The Covers. There are probably a few others floating around elsewhere out there at other random regional stores.
As to your question, Jay, the Lost World Crag is located off of Road EE22. Here are the directions:
From the intersection of Highway 90 and EE22, drive 1.7 miles and turn right onto an unmarked dirt road. This road is quite rough in sections and a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle is advised. Take the dirt road, staying to the right where it splits. A 1/2 mile off of EE22, the road splits again. Keep straight to reach the boulders on a rough, washed out road. Park at the main campground, right next to a large boulder, or walk to this point if you decide the road is too rough.
Lots of bolted routes there, but the rock is lower quality than Atomic Energy and some of the other areas. Charlie liked to call it petrified kitty litter. The bolts probably haven't been checked in a while, so be safe. The same goes for all off the bolts out at these areas. Bolting in this soft and highly variable sandstone is difficult, and with so few visitors, bolts rarely get checked and replaced.
Anyhow, glad people are enjoying the areas. There's some fun to be had amongst all the choss. :)
The Administrators might note that Damon Johnston is a co-author of the Wild Wild West guidebook.
Kroll is right. An area slightly west and below the Naturita Crags is called Little Red Rocks. It is maybe 2 miles west of EE22 and best approached from the highway below in the main Paradox Valley. Go past EE22 about a half mile, 2nd gate, and head north through a wash then west along the base of the escarpment to a large, colorful drainage north of some large ponds.
This approach is different from that described in the guide, which approaches more directly from the south but is now washed out. Four wheel required. Little Red Rocks is visible as white and reddish-orange cliffs just west of the drainage. These become visible from the highway. Hike and scramble WNW up a faint trail about 30-45 minutes. Higher up there is a small spire to the east of the trail that can easily be approached by traversing a bench. It has a cool pictograph gallery.
Little Red Rocks and particularly the Porcelaine Wall has very high-quality face climbing, all one-pitch sport bolted (and a little less sporty than the Naturita crags) with several cracks. The sandstone rock on this wall is bullet hard and reminiscent of Red Rocks, much better quality than the Crags (which are small conglomerate and sometimes chossy). South-facing and warm, with some limited tree shade at the base, climbable into November and from late January in the right sun/wind conditions. Just before the parking area, you pass a fenced off area with hiker gate with huge boulders full of pictographs and petroglyphs. There are more such treasures hidden in these hills.
The Carpenter Ridge area west of the Dolores has fine Wingate crack climbs, longer but less dense than Indian Creek. Some routes like Cowboy Up on the Paradise Wall rival anything in Indian Creek and the ambience is reminiscent of Indian Creek in the late '70s-'80s. The approaches are longer, but the camping is free and never crowded, and the views are incredible.
Some new areas are being developed near the west end of the Valley with fine Wingate cracks and even some hard patina face climbs.