Access Issue: Placement of bolts/fixed anchors is prohibited in Wilderness Study Areas Details


This group of rock formations is the some of the closest climbing for the Las Cruces climber. The majority of climbs here are trad climbs but a handful of sport routes can be found. Rock quality is often quite poor, as are some of the old fixed anchors.

Cueva Rock is a historical site and climbers should be respectful of this fact. A hermit once lived in a cave under this formation, and should you visit this cave, your eyes will be drawn to the piton-infested crack system that soars above the cave. This route is off-limits to climbing due to its proximity to the historic cave and to the tourist traffic that goes under the route. Climbing is not allowed in or around this area.

There is a $5/day parking fee, or you can get a year's pass for $25.

Getting There

From Las Cruces, go east on University Avenue which turns into Dripping Springs Road. Follow this road into the recreation area and turn left into La Cueva Picnic area. Summer hours are from 8 am to 7 pm, winter hours from 8 am to 5 pm. You are expected to actually exit the gate by these times. Details are available on BLM website.

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Classic Climbing Routes at La Cueva

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN
I'm posting information about La Cueva in the hopes of gathering more information about this area. The climbing record in the Las Cruces area seems to be rather difficult to come by. I have been climbing at La Cueva without knowing any information about any beta. I have dubbed routes with my own names for simplification. Otherwise, every route would be called, "Route #4 north face" or something like that.

If you have any issues with my posts, feel free to set me straight. Jan 19, 2006
Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN
I've reorganized La Cueva into sunny and shady sides. This should also allow for expansion of the bouldering potential, and the eastern satelite formations. May 24, 2006
Las Cruces
cuclimbing   Las Cruces
Some of the other formations east of La Cueva have a few routes. I've seen a few old pitons and bolts there. I'll try to get some pics and routes up soon. Mar 25, 2008
Cuevas has seen a lot of climbing over the years, probably at least since the late 1960s. I expect several of the newer bolted lines were older TRs.

The harder cracks were done on aid and many were freed later. Some of the strange old bolts in the area were used for rescue and belay practice. I will try to determine some of the older names. Apr 2, 2008
Las Cruces
cuclimbing   Las Cruces
Hey Everyone. Made a photosynth of the Sunny Side of La Cueva. check it out. There's a very detailed crack above the hermits cave if you click there, also some close ups on anchors. Enjoy!!… Mar 7, 2010
Made the trip to Las Cruces from Tucson, AZ over the weekend. Loved the climb we did on Sugarloaf (The North Face route) and saw LOTS of long routes I'll be back to climb. However, we went to the shady side of La Cueva for some cragging on Sunday and was thoroughly disappointed. The rock quality was very poor and placing gear in this choss was less than confidence inspiring.. Also, most of the bolts that were there were chopped at some point, including upper anchors. Not recommended. Sep 24, 2012
Ian Harris
Las Cruces NM
Ian Harris   Las Cruces NM
Next time try Rough and Ready Hills for a good sport crag experience. Southern Comfort Wall in the Organs has a lot of good trad routes and will offer a "crag-like" experience... except for the 1 to 1.5 hour approach. Sep 27, 2012
Really Chossy rock on the La Cueva formation... One of the rocks blew after I placed my cam. Be very careful! Also, did not find any bolts. Maybe we missed them somehow. Dec 27, 2014