|GPS:||37.851, -106.291 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Orphaned on Nov 7, 2001 · Updates|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
The parking lot off Hwy 41G used to be the established point of access to the main canyon, but it is now closed. On 5/31/2020, an access issue arose due to the lot being overcrowded with ~7 vehicles. Saguache County Sheriff was called by the landowners, and the climbers were asked to leave the canyon. Climbers should park at the Penitente Main Canyon and hike in, or park at the established BLM parking lot 1 mile West on 41G and hike the road.
The SLV Climbers Alliance, with support from the Access Fund, is navigating this access issue. Contact slvclimb.org for questions or status reports, or join the Facebook Group "San Luis Valley Climbers Alliance" for the latest updates.
Basically the same story as Penitente proper, but more remote and perhaps more beautiful. The hike over is fairly short (10 minutes?) and has great views. A perfect spot to escape any crowds that might be forming in the more well known areas.
Addendum: Eds. this area has been moved out from under Penitente Canyon to San Luis Valley, since it can be considered distinct.
Access / Approach Trail:
Rock Garden is accessed from the Penitente Main Canyon.
Park at the Penitente Canyon parking lots, hike through the main canyon, up the rim, and drop into the Rock Garden. It's about a 0.8-mile hike, and can take 15-25 minutes, depending.
• Hike to the end of the main canyon (past the slab routes/Jewel of the Mild) to where the trail forks.
• Take a left at the fork and hike ~800ft until you reach a yellow sign "Trail Confidence Marker - 5." At this sign, bust right onto the rock/slab.
• From here, the trail is mostly slab surfing with cairns here and there to work your way up to the rim. You'll hike a portion of the Blue Sky MTB Loop.
• After about ~0.3miles of slab and trail, turn Right at the two brown trail signs at a fork reading "RG" and some arrows.
• Descend into the Rock Garden canyon. Trail spits you out at a slab warm-up, Ligneous Embracer.
Classic Climbing Routes at Rock Garden
Days w Precip