Basically the same story as Penitente proper, but more remote and perhaps more beautiful. The hike over is fairly short (10 minutes?) and has great views. A perfect spot to escape any crowds that might be forming in the more well known areas.
Addendum: Eds. this area has been moved out from under Penitente Canyon to San Luis Valley, since it can be considered distinct.
Enter into Penitente Canyon & follow the main trail. Towards the end of the canyon, keep your eyes peeled for a trail on the right (on a small slab) marked by a wooden sign 'Rock Garden'. For the most part the trail is obvious. At the areas where it fades out keep your eyes peeled for cairns. The trail is a bit twisty, but a bit of patience will drop you into the middle of the Rock Garden area. Personally, I was drawn straight to 'Ligneous Embracer'.
35 Total Routes
['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',14],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Rock Garden
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Rock Garden:
The Terror 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 45'
Featured Route For Rock Garden
Ligneous Embracer 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a CO
: San Luis Valley
: Rock Garden
As far as locating the route, the best I can suggest is approaching from Penitente and looking straight ahead as you enter Rock Garden proper. As a 5.9 leader, my eyes went straight to the route - a steep slab & rather long route for the area.The start can be made a bit easier by staying in the left hand groove / crack in order to clip the first (and second?) bolt(s). Trust your feet & keep moving up. This is very fun and fairly sustained. It is a great reason to hike into the Rock Garden & ...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
News and Events For Rock Garden
Latest Regional Forum Messages
|By Edward Jenner|
Jan 11, 2002
The nearest and only climping shop in the San Luis Valley 12 miles from PENITENTE CANYON area is CASA DE MADERA SPORTS 660 Grande Ave. Del Norte, Co 81132. 719 657 2723 We provide many other services including locations of other top quallity areas that are little known both rock and ice. We also have updates on some new rotes.
|By Mike Anderson|
From: Dayton, OH
May 16, 2005
Does anyone know if it is OK to park in the pullout at the entrance to Rock Garden? It seems like one of the guidebook warns against it, but is that still the situation? There is a very well worn trail that indicates people have been parking there.
It's surprising more people don't climb here.
|By Chris Cavallaro|
May 16, 2005
I always park in the pullout. Just don't make a lot of noise etc.
|By Jesse Morehouse|
Sep 21, 2008
Casa De Madera isn't really a climbing shop anymore. Parking at the entrance is not a problem but is fairly limited.
|By M. Moore|
From: Albuqeurque, NM
Oct 6, 2008
I highly recommend the bouldering in the area. The highest concentration of problems I found are straight west of the entrance pulloff. If you walk up the hill towards the rock to the right and follow the road (don't go into the canyon itself), you will start to find north-facing boulders. There is everything from V0 to V10+, great area...check it out!
Oct 24, 2008
I was wondering if anyone has any information about the rock garden being closed between October 15 and November 15. In the guidebook it says that the ranch entrance is closed during this time, but given that the canyon seems to be privately owned I would hate to get run off after making the trip from Salida.
Oct 25, 2008
The closure is mentioned in the "environmental and ethical issues" section of the guide. It seems that the closure is not for the canyon per se, but for the parking area by the Spearman Ranch. However, I just wanted to get a little clarification before venturing that way.
Thanks for the input.
|By William Mondragon|
From: My car
Nov 1, 2012
Not all the routes here are fantastic, and definitely don't assume every route has an anchor (Pumping Pockets)... but there are a some amazing routes in The Garden, a few of my favorites actually.