Rough and Ready Hills Rock Climbing
Golden hour at the Rough n Ready Hills
The closest sport climbing area to Las Cruces is found on these inconspicuous volcanic hills about 45 minutes west of Las Cruces. Over 40 routes, mostly but not all sport, can be found here ranging from 5.7 to 5.12. The wall faces east, which makes it suitable for warm weather climbing as it gets shade for most the afternoon. Add to this the fact that it is sheltered from the predominately western winds and you have the makings of Las Cruces' most popular local crag.
The rock is a volcanic tuff and while brittle it provides many pockets as well as a wide variety of other holds. Bees have been less of a problem than in the past but are still around in the spring and early summer. They will be attracted to water if left out (say for a dog), but will otherwise leave you alone.
Coming in from the north, you will first encounter the North End routes
, then Jungle Gym Area
, Reddi-Wip Area
, and finally the Original Area
. The crag is under development, so there might be bolt lines other than those posted on Mountain Project, some finished, some not. In a few cases even finished routes which are fully bolted at the bottom may require trad gear higher up where the climbing moderates. Many of the more technical routes are set up for stick clipping the first, or in few cases the second, bolt.
From Las Cruces, take I-10 west. Exit at the Las Cruces airport but immediately get onto the frontage road on the north side of the highway and follow it west until the entrance to Corallitos Ranch is found (County road 09). Follow this paved road for about 11.5 miles, passing the Corralitos ranch. You will pass by an old observatory at a gap in the hills. Just beyond this the road has a series of dips and two large gravel piles can be seen off to the right. Leave the paved road and get onto a dirt track heading to the gravel piles. The dirt track passes the gravel and later dead-ends at a small parking area which is on the west side of some low hills. Park here and follow a trail east towards a gap in the hills. Once you reach the saddle. the cliffs will be visible to your right (south). This is the north end of the Rough and Ready Hills. Allow 10-20 minutes for the approach hike.
The 2006 edition of Rock Climbing New Mexico, by Dennis Jackson included a short description of this crag. Beta can also sometimes be found at the NMSU climbing wall.
Listing of Routes
Starting from North, as that is the end first encountered, only bolt lines listed (sport or mixed routes). The area is under development, so there are other lines. Sorry about that. If you know of some that need adding or other corrections, please contact me (Marta Reece
). North End Routes Windy Gap Overlook
a soft 5.9, mixed (trad gear needed) Golden Brangus
5.10c, on the arete, shares anchors with the following two routes. Anchors can be reached by traversing from Don't Have a Cow Under the Bull
5.9, goes to the right under the roof, then up Dances with Brangi
5.10a, shares first bolt with Under the Bull
, then goes up over the left end of the roof to the same chains Don't Have a Cow
5.7, everyone's favorite warmup, with (unfortunately) a single chain anchor. The corner to the right is an easy top rope Deer Leg
5.8, long enough a 60m rope will barely handle the rappel. Watch for loose rocks (especially if if you are somewhat off route) Southern Fried
5.10d, some distance to the south from the rest with an overhanging finish Jungle Gym Area The Spire
5.10a/b, warning: this route is not bolted to the anchors. Bring trad gear.
(An unlisted line of bolts here) Alchemy
5.11a, a two-pitch sport climb Spider Monkey
5.11a Unruly Macaque
5.11c, close to the following two routes Well-disciplined Monkey
5.11 c/d, shares first three bolts with Unruly Macaque Riding Rough on Helen Reddy
5.10d, shares anchors with Well-disciplined Monkey Reddi-Wip Area Blood, Sweat and Steers
5.9, slabby appearance, crux height dependent, close to following two routes, can be top roped using Try Trad Excrement Adventure
5.12a PG-13, mixed, line may not be seen at first as it follows a crack and is done on gear low down Brangus by the Horns
5.11b PG-13, to make a 5.10 route, you can start on Excrement Adventure
and finish here Reddi-Wip
5.10b, classic, harder without stemming off the opposite wall, height dependent, anchors can be reached via easy but dirty chimney Fingerbang
5.10b, mixed (trad gear needed), shares anchors with Reddi-Wip Rough Rider
5.11a Original Area Born Ready
5.10a, a short distance before the rest of the routes The Paw
5.11, easy for a ways with a difficult finish, can be a 5.10 if done with gear in the crack to the left, top rope by traversing from First Move PTSDed
5.12b, overhang in the middle of the nook, can be top roped by traversing from First Move First Move
5.8, slick at the crux when too much chalk gets on it Second Move
5.9+, on the arete, shares chains with First Move
, best top roped Halitosis Monkey
5.10 b/c, short, overhanging route, can be top roped by getting to the chains from First Move Unnamed Arete
5.11d, classic which deserves to be named, sandbagged some with now fewer holds
Weather station 15.3 miles from here
36 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Rough and Ready Hills
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Rough and Ready Hills
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Rough and Ready Hills:
Featured Route For Rough and Ready Hills
Unnamed Arete 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a NM
: Las Cruces Area Climbing
: ... : Original Area
This is a spectacular, continuously overhanging pitch. It has no good rests and not one easy move. The rock is sharp and a bit crumbly in places, which is the only thing that keeps me from giving it 4 stars. It starts off with very steep, bouldery moves, then continues with less steep but more technical climbing up the arete. The climbing eases slightly once you reach the giant flake, but if you're like me, your arms are screaming by this point so things still feel quite hard. Lay-back for glory...[more] Browse More Classics in NM
Scott Jones, one of the areas main route developer...
By Dan Carter
From: Las Cruces, NM
Jun 6, 2016
There are currently some falcons nesting on the upper cliffs near some new routes. Please avoid these routes and any other routes near nests for the next few weeks to give the birds some space.
By Aaron Hobson
From: Clinton, TN
Mar 18, 2009
After living in Las Cruces for 3 years, I finally broke down and posted some route information for our local sport crag. I know this crag gets frequented by the NMSU crowd and I think I was waiting for someone else to introduce the area to MP.com. New routes are being added out here which aren't in any of the published guides and it would be great to get some of that information on this site.
By Ian and Meredith Rummel
Feb 4, 2012
We're only in Las Cruces for a couple months, just got here three days ago. We just drove out to R&R yesterday for the first time. We hit up Soledad Canyon and the "Weeping Walls" out in front of the visitor's center at Dripping Springs... but R&R has been our favorite so far, even without any pro other than balance, boots and sunglasses.
We hiked up the main trail past the gravel pits and then bouldered around the base and behind/above most of the sport routes - some sweet options out there! We were looking for places to top rope from and didn't see any ideal situations. If anyone has some guidebook type advice on routes that you've tried and enjoyed, please post on here so we (and others in the area) can check them out. Thanks!
By Karl Kiser
Jan 22, 2014
Thanks to Scott Jones et. al. for a nice addition to Las Cruces climbing.