Penitente Canyon Rock Climbing
|GPS:||37.843, -106.285 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Shared By:||Rog on Nov 6, 2001|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
Getting weather forecast...
DescriptionPenitente Canyon is a beautiful, small canyon on BLM lands located in the San Luis Valley - south central Colorado. The area is primarily a sport climbing destination with a few trad lines. The bouldering opportunities here are (I think) mostly undeveloped but almost limitless.
As per D'Antonio's guidebook (Falcon - Rock Climbing the San Luis Valley), the rock is a volcanic tuft. This translates into bullet proof rock with great friction. Many climbs utilize small crimps and edges, while others scale hueco - ridden walls. The trad lines follow rough cracks - bring plenty of tape.
From my experience, all bolted lines are well done, with good hardware and placements providing well protected routes. The majority of routes are .10 & above, with very few moderates. With the excellent bolted protection, however, this is a nice place to push the grades.
Camping is on site, costs a nominal amount (the guidebook says it is free - this has changed!), and has standard BLM regulations. Per Jesse Morehouse: as of 2012, the site fee for single site is now $11 and the group rate is $20 with 3 group sites now. Water is provided down the road from the climbing / camping area (another recent development - follow the signs), and the nearest 'goods' can be found at the 'La Garita Cash Store'.
Please note that there are several distinct climbing areas other than Penitente Canyon, including the Rock Garden, Witches Canyon, and others. Some of these are on or near private property, so be sure to watch for & obey the signs.
Trying not to ramble, but this place just rocks!!! Fun, fun, and a bit more fun.
Eds. Note, BLM Law Enforcement Ranger hand out $50 citations to people who had occupied a campsite without filling out the form and submitting the money. Even at night!
Closed October 12th-15th, 2017 Details
Camping and access to canyon closed due to 12 Hours of Penitence mountain bike race.
Getting ThereFrom Denver, W on US 285. Keep going... When you're 12 miles N of Del Norte, take a right on 'G'. Follow for 7 miles. Stop at the La Garita Cash Store & spend a couple bucks. Say hi. Get back in the car, keep going West. After the pavement ends (roughly 1 mile after the Cash Store), keep to the left on Cty 38. At the 1 mile mark, as the road turns left (South), take a right. Follow the signs.
Classic Climbing Routes at Penitente Canyon
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season