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The Stonewall is a long outcrop of the Dakota Sandstone that runs about 50 miles along the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains through southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Like other Dakota climbing areas, the quality of the rock can change from bulletproof to kitty litter within a short distance but enjoyable, crowd-free climbing can be found on the more solid sections. The best crags at the Stonewall unfortunately lie on private land but some good 40-60 foot routes and fun bouldering can be found on public ground above North and Monument Lakes, a short distance north of the hamlet of Stonewall. The North and Monument Lake crags are definitely not destination quality, but worth a visit if you are passing trough the relative void of established routes between Penitente/Shelf Road and the Taos/Los Alamos region. Camping can be had at the quiet Purgatorie Campground, 4 miles up the dirt road from the North Lake parking, or at Monument Lake for more crowded but convenient sites. A bar at the Monument Lake Lodge is open in the summer.
North Lake is about 8 miles north of the town of Stonewall on CO Highway 12. The crags are located west of the highway, overlooking the lake, and are approached from the west via a dirt road and a 10-20 minute walk. Monument Lake is located approximately 5 miles north of Stonewall on Highway 12. The rock is east of the lake (a city of Trinidad park) and is most easily reached from a parking lot on the north end of the lake. Follow various trails up the hill east of the lake to the bouldering and a few short routes. Keep in mind that only the west side of the rock at Monument Lake is on public land. All east faces in this area are closed.
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Featured Route For The Stonewall
Elephant Ears 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b CO : Spanish Peaks : ... : North Lake South
The line on the right side of the Ripplemark Wall that heads straight up steep but moderate rock on fun but spooky flakes and edges. Most of the dubious holds are probably gone but the belayer should be on the lookout and/or wear a helmet. At last visit the anchor only consisted of two hangers, one slightly suspect; rappel or down climb off the back....[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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