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Black Velvet Canyon

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Black Velvet Canyon Bouldering 
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Black Velvet Canyon  


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Location: 36.0358, -115.4662 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,420,268
Administrators: Larry DeAngelo, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: M.Morley on Feb 16, 2004
Forecast:
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Clear
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Sunrise over Red Rocks taken from the drive-in app...

Description 

Black Velvet Canyon could well be called the crown jewel of Red Rocks. The black, varnished rock is of the highest quality and its walls host a high concentration of excellent and longer trade routes. With walls over 2,000 feet high, the canyon receives little sunlight and as such can be quite a bit cooler than other areas. Area classics include Epinephrine (V 5.9, 12-18 pitches), Prince of Darkness (5.10c), Frogland (5.8), Triassic Sands (5.10c), Dream of Wild Turkeys (5.10a), Yellow Brick Road (5.10a), Refried Brains (5.9) and many others that I haven't yet climbed. As expected, the classics tend to be crowded (especially Frogland, Prince of Darkness, and Epinephrine). It is recommended to have an alternative in mind should there be a queue for your desired route.

Many routes require two ropes to rappel.

Camping is NOT permitted at the trailhead (parking area) and violators will be ticketed. Legal camping can be found 2 miles east of the Visitor Center on Hwy 159 for $10 per night per site.

IMPORTANT: Waste bags are provided by the Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council in order to reduce human waste issues at the crags and boulders. Please feel free to take one, use as directed, and dispose of in any trash receptacle. Please do not leave them lying around, and do not throw them in the toilets at the parking areas. The project was funded primarily by the American Alpine Club's Cornerstone Conservation Grant, with additional funding from the Access Fund and Mountain Gear. Please do your part to be a good steward of this amazing climbing area.

Getting There 

Unlike much of the Red Rocks area, Black Velvet Canyon is NOT accessed via the Scenic Loop Road. Instead, from the Red Rock Canyon Campground (a.k.a. "13 Mile Campground"), drive southeast on Hwy 159. At the intersection with Hwy 160 (gas station w/ good beer selection), turn right (west) for approximately 4.5 miles towards Pahrump. Be on the lookout for a pullout and road on the right-hand (north) side. There is a paved parking lot here (called the "Latenight Trailhead" by the mountain bike set) with rest rooms. Follow the dirt road north from the parking area. After a mile or two the road makes a left turn (west) at a usually closed gate and ends at a parking area near the mouth of the canyon. Although fairly bumpy, 2WD vehicles **should** be okay on this road. Park and follow the well-defined trail from here. Count on a half hour to 1 hour for approach.


Climbing Season



Weather station 3.4 miles from here

96 Total Routes

['4 Stars',22],['3 Stars',40],['2 Stars',19],['1 Star',14],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',3],['5.7',8],['5.8',8],['5.9',13],['5.10',38],['5.11',18],['5.12',7],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Black Velvet Canyon:
Frogland   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 6 pitches, 700'   Whiskey Peak
Cadillac Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   The Rad Cliff
Epinephrine   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 13 pitches, 1600'   Black Velvet Wall
Sour Mash   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 6 pitches, 600'   Black Velvet Wall
Wholesome Fullback   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 210'   Whiskey Peak
Dream of Wild Turkeys   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 7 pitches, 700'   Black Velvet Wall
Rock Warrior   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Trad, 6 pitches   Black Velvet Wall
Our Father   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Whiskey Peak
Triassic Sands   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 6 pitches, 700'   Whiskey Peak
Prince of Darkness   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 6 pitches, 700'   Black Velvet Wall
Fiddler on the Roof   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 7 pitches, 500'   Black Velvet Wall
Smooth as Silk   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 340'   Black Velvet Wall
The Schwa   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 190'   The Schwa Area
The Delicate Sound of Thunder   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Whiskey Peak
Ixtlan   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 200'   Whiskey Peak
Cutting Edge   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 125'   Black Velvet Wall
Texas Hold 'Em   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 9 pitches, 1100'   Black Velvet Wall
The Velvet Tongue   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Trad, 6 pitches, 600'   Black Velvet Wall
Texas Tower Direct   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Trad, 6 pitches, 500'   Black Velvet Wall
Desert Gold   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   The Monument
Browse More Classics in Black Velvet Canyon

Featured Route For Black Velvet Canyon
Nate Erickson emerging from the off-width on pitch 3 of Ixtlan. 05/28/11.

Ixtlan 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  NV : Red Rock : ... : Whiskey Peak
Ixtlan (aka Ixtalan, Journey to Ixtlan) is a unique climb that every person who has ever walked into Black Velvet has ogled. It tops out on Whiskey Peak, but almost everybody (including me) stops at the top of the three short initial pitches, each memorable.P1) climb thin steep face past several fat bolts to a stance, then traverse right to a station. short pitch. 70'? 5.11c. no trad gear necessary.P2) up the flake system. really fun climbing for another short pitch. 90'? easy 5.10. pro is finic...[more]   Browse More Classics in NV

Photos of Black Velvet Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Black Velvet Canyon
Black Velvet Canyon
Anthony fiddles above the crux moves on the 4th pitch.
Anthony fiddles above the crux moves on the 4th pi...
Even when the lights are too low and funky to see the walls at Red Rocks, cool sights abound. We have no idea what confused the growth of this agave. Photo by Tony Bubb 12/02.
Even when the lights are too low and funky to see ...
An early morning moon over Black Velvet Canyon.
An early morning moon over Black Velvet Canyon.
Utah Penstemon-Black Velvet Canyon.. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Utah Penstemon-Black Velvet Canyon..
Photo by Blit...
Sunrise in Black Velvet Canyon.
Sunrise in Black Velvet Canyon.
A busy day chasing the shade in Black Velvet Canyon. The party to the left is on Prince of Darkness and the party to the right is on Dream of Wild Turkeys/The Yellow Brick Road, with another party starting up the first pitch to the shared belay(not visible).
A busy day chasing the shade in Black Velvet Canyo...
A local checking out what all the noise is about
A local checking out what all the noise is about
Desert Mariposa-Black Velvet Canyon. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Desert Mariposa-Black Velvet Canyon.
Photo by Blit...
Black Velvet Canyon. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Black Velvet Canyon.
Photo by Blitzo.
The good, the bad, and the ugly after 6 days of climbing in RR
The good, the bad, and the ugly after 6 days of cl...
Black Velvet Overview
BETA PHOTO: Black Velvet Overview
Black Velvet Elder
Black Velvet Elder
Climbers on Sour Mash, I believe. Photo taken Oct 14, 2009.
Climbers on Sour Mash, I believe. Photo taken Oct ...
The early morning coil.  Everyone who has climbed in this canyon knows the excitement of this moment...  Big climb coming up!! <br /> <br />Photo by Chuck McQuade
The early morning coil. Everyone who has climbed ...
Black Velvet from the nearest telephone.
BETA PHOTO: Black Velvet from the nearest telephone.
Sween sunrise from the trailhead to Black Velvet.
Sween sunrise from the trailhead to Black Velvet.
Waste Bag Dispenser on the BVC trail 1-9-12 thanks to the American Alpine Club and the Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council.  Please dispose of your waste properly!
Waste Bag Dispenser on the BVC trail 1-9-12 thanks...
On the approach trail to Black Velvet.
On the approach trail to Black Velvet.
Early start for Epinephrine
Early start for Epinephrine

Comments on Black Velvet Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By TBD
Mar 22, 2004
There are 2 dirt roads in close proximity. If you reach mile marker 16, you have gone to far, it's the previous dirt road.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Sep 3, 2005
Well, someone finally got around to paving the Black Velvet turnoff. When you get out there on 160, just look for the nicely paved right hand turn that turns into a dirt road after about 150 feet....
By rgold
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Apr 15, 2009
The turn-off and the dirt road in can be seen quite clearly in Google Earth, which is even capable of rendering a few cliff details (worth a look if you will be descending Black Velvet Peak and also Windy Peak, for example).

The turn-off is at (36 deg 00 min 35.5 sec) North, (115 deg 25 min 55.55 sec) West.
By JohnE
Apr 30, 2009
The last time I was visiting Black Velvet canyon, the entrance was still being re-paved. Is the roadwork now complete and is the original access to BV canyon now open? Last Spring I had to take a 4WD detour to get back there...thanks in advance. JE
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 30, 2009
The roadwork is finished, all is back to normal ... back to the usual program of seeing how far your rental car can get.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
Nov 3, 2009
The dirt road is fine. We did it in 20 miuntes in a tiny economy rental car in October 2009. Just go slow.