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Witches' Canyon

Colorado > San Luis Valley


Just Southwest of Penitente Canyon lies Witches' Canyon, named for a rock outcropping that looks like a giant eye. The cliffs tend to be short, but excellent routes abound. A few routes sit near the mouth of the canyon, but most are located just beyond the end of the road.

Getting There

Credit to Bob D'Antonio's guide to the San Luis Valley, 1994.

At the Penitente turnoff, zero you odometer and head South on the main road. At 0.6+ miles look for a road heading due West with a sign marked Witches' Canyon. Like the other areas down there...hard to miss now-a-days.

Per Mike Cherneski: they gated off the old road.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] You won't like this have to walk a little to get to some routes. Less traffic so your fingers will get torn up. West facing so really hot in the sun. Stay in Penitente! I'll be in Witches. May 7, 2003
Kevin Currigan
[Hide Comment] It may have been due to extenuating circumstances but I doubt it; we got spanked over here. It's worth the trip over though just to see it and check out some really serious routes. Be on your game or beware... Oct 31, 2003
[Hide Comment] Another good Durango weekend getaway, FLC climbing club likes this place, cause it is fun!

Mar 13, 2004
[Hide Comment] I like Witches even if most of the routes are shorter. It is quiet and while there are fewer routes, there are a lot of fun ones in the 5.9-5.10 range. Beware if you see Brian Mullins as the FAer. He seems to have a knack for putting bolts in poor places on good lines. Almost everyone I've climbed with over here agrees. This is too bad since he seems to have gotten on a lot of good lines before Bob D and others who know how to put up a route got here.

Also, there are a number of routes that are not in the guide. These are generally of VERY poor quality or ridiculously easy. Also, don't be surprised to find missing hardware- visually recon the route before climbing. May 25, 2008
Mike Cherneski
[Hide Comment] I thought I should mention that a while back they gated off the old road. The old road was cut back a lot and now most of the "roadside" routes are now technically "trail side". May 17, 2013