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Routes in Illusion Crags

Arm Forces T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Con Jurors T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Corner's Inquest T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
David Copperhead T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Deez Guys T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
False Perception T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
First Lady of Magic T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
French Bulges T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Magician's Hat T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Mirage T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Morph Out T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Sensual T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Slight of Hand T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Who Deany T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Elevation: 4,949 ft
GPS: 36.004, -115.463 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 6,110 total, 41/month
Shared By: John Hegyes on Sep 23, 2005
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen


Several classic single pitch trad routes can be found here at Illusion Crags. The routes on the left side face almost south and the routes continue around to the main cliff that faces east. The routes on the left generally have walkoffs, and on the main face the routes usually feature rappel anchors - these are long pitches and two ropes may be required to rap. Most of the first ascents out here were by Joe Herbst and friends.
RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Details

Getting There

There are two approaches to Illusion Crags. First is to approach as per Windy Canyon via the cutoff from Black Velvet Canyon Road. This may not be preferable due to a short, rugged section of dirt road.

The shorter approach is also a dirt road - this may be a little more rough on your car but still generally manageable with 2WD. About a mile west of the BVC road turnoff from the highway, there is another turnoff on the right. Head off the highway to the north and follow the dirt road as it parallels the highway, heading west, into a stream bed. This stream bed features loose gravel and it's easy to get stuck in. After about a quarter mile from the highway, at a cairn, head north out of the stream bed then bear left when opportunities are presented. Stop at the small parking area that is closest to the Crags.

Once parked, head west, down into the wash and up across open desert to the cliff. There is a well marked trail if you can find it..

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Classic Climbing Routes at Illusion Crags

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Morph Out
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Arm Forces
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Slight of Hand
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
False Perception
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Morph Out 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Arm Forces 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Slight of Hand 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
False Perception 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13 Trad
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Larry Graham
Boulder, CO
Larry Graham   Boulder, CO
Spent the day at Illusion Crags. We tried taking the longer, more northern roads off of the Black Velvet road, which was fine until a VERY steep and rough down and up section which was almost certainly not going to work for our 2 wheel drive. So we turned back and tried the access from 160. There must have been some improvements to this access since the posting of this area here in MP because if you simply drive 0.9 miles on further from the Black Velvet turnoff to a gate on the right, (just before a sign that says "passing lane ahead") you have less than a mile of better dirt roads than the Black Velvet road to get to the parking spot!! After you turn off and go through the gate you will be basically paralleling 160 for about 0.3 miles. Then a sharp turn back to the right for a little over a tenth of a mile reaches a junction of several paths. Take the leftmost of these (going straight for the crags) and in another 0.3 miles you are at the parking. Probably 5 minutes. Quick, simple, and easy for any 2 wheel drive. If you are heading for Windy Peak you would then continue on for another 5 minutes or less for that parking area. Apr 22, 2015
Warm weather crag. French Bulges etc get a.m. sun, but the rest of the crag's way shady. For a full day hot times are the only times you want to be up here. Feb 6, 2012
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
I agree with John here. There are several routes in the older Swain guide not listed in the newer Brock guidebook. We had difficulty locating many of the routes based on the book descriptions. Apr 1, 2007
John Hegyes
Las Vegas, NV
John Hegyes   Las Vegas, NV
The guidebooks are a little confusing regarding this area. Swain and Brock contradict each other on the location and ordering of routes (especially Spell Me). So far, I've found Swain to be more accurate. Nov 12, 2005

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