Elevation: 6,386 ft
GPS: 35.515, -108.871 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 38,422 total · 243/month
Shared By: Anthony Stout on Jan 20, 2006 with updates from David Miller
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Access Issue: Mentmore Adopt-a-Crag Cleanup, August 18/19, 2018 Details


A fair to good (I'm describing both the quality of the sandstone and the routes here) sandstone crag with numerous single-pitch, well protected sport routes (from about 15-20 meters in length) ranging from 5.8 to 5.12a. Climbing here is year-round, and even on winter days warmth can be had when climbing in the sun. During the rainy season (July/August), you may want to check when the last storm occurred before making the trip from anywhere but local. When this sandstone becomes wet it is quite fragile. This means climbing when the rock has recently been wet can result in destroying the climbs. Local climbers ask that you wait about 48 hours following a heavy rainstorm before climbing.

Because of its distance from highly populated areas, when climbing here you will typically only find locals. In Gallup the local climbers can be counted on one hand (well, depending on the season, sometimes you need two hands), so don’t expect crowds!

Scott Halliday has created a great guidebook and has graciously allowed us to post it here.

Getting There

- Travel west on Route 66 (Hwy 118) .5 mile from Interstate 40 exit 16 in Gallup.
- Turn right (north) onto County Road 1 for about one mile, the road makes a sharp turn to the left (west) and becomes Mentmore Road.
- Take Mentmore Road about 1.5 miles up and over the hill. At the bottom of the hill the road turns sharply to the right. At this turn go straight through the open gate to the Mentmore Rock Climbing Area Parking Lot.


A common question about climbing at Mentmore is: Where do I stay?

One option is one of the numerous cheap hotels in Gallup (but be careful if you do this, there are some sketchy looking ones as well).

Some have also stayed right there at the crag. It's not the greatest environment but I have never heard of anyone being harassed. Don't be too surprised though, if someone comes in to an illegally dumped pile of trash. Gunfire in the background is also quite common as locals use nearby areas for target practice.

The best option for camping is, as written in one of the comments below, to stay in the McGaffey forest just east of Gallup. From Mentmore, get back onto I-40 and head east. Drive back through Gallup and then about 10 minutes east of Gallup take the McGaffey exit. Turn south and continue driving past Fort Wingate. When you get into the forest there are plenty of roads to turn off onto that provide great primitive camping in a beautiful ponderosa forest. Forest roads are closed during winter months. The Quaking Aspen and McGaffey campgrounds are also available as you go south along NM-400 into McGaffey.

Mountain Biking

If you just happened to bring a mountain bike, there is really great mountain biking in the forest around McGaffey. The High Desert Trail system just east of Mentmore also offers some great mountain biking!

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I recently traveled from Colorado to Arizona and stopped at Mentmore to climb. I found the area fun with a variety of routes. Two remarks. Local climbers should get together and host a "clean up" day at the new area. I felt like I was in a rural ghetto with all of the trash. The bullet holes in the rock made me think twice about climbing for fear of becoming a target. Secondly, I found the ratings to be off a tad for what I am used to. 8s seemed 7 ish, the 11c/d felt hard ten, etc. allen Oct 2, 2006
Anthony Stout
Albuquerque, NM
Anthony Stout   Albuquerque, NM  
"Local climbers should get together and host a "clean up" day at the new area. I felt like I was in a rural ghetto with all of the trash. The bullet holes in the rock made me think twice about climbing for fear of becoming a target."

It's Gallup, and that is all I can say about that. The local climbers have done MANY, many clean-ups, nearly yearly. The area used to be a dump, and the city paid to have truck loads of stuff removed. When I lived there we also removed truckloads of stuff. It's futile, junk is removed, junk returns. There have been two gates stolen from the road that leads into the "new" side. It's a frustrating battle for local climbers, of which there are too few to keep up with those who believe the area is still a dump (the same people who believe that every other piece of land is a dump as well).

Funny you mention the grades of the routes as being soft. Not sure which routes you did but Compared to many other New Mexico areas (Datil, El Rito, Diablo, etc), and even compared to Jacks Canyon (which can be very inconsistent to quite soft), I would say the grades are more stiff. Never heard anyone note the grades as soft, but I have not really climbed much in Colorado either. Mar 19, 2007
I can appreciate the diligence of past climbers cleaning the area only to have it trashed again, and i sympathize. My meaning was that I thought this was a cool looking ( save the trash), fun area with easy access. A great place to streach the muscles and get my climbing fix while motoring across the vast expanse of N. M. . And you are correct, it is Gallup, but all the same I was there alone with my wife waiting for the gun fight to begin.

Lets see, I climbed, on top rope Sink or swim 11c/d and Not suitable for pregnant women,11a. I was able to get every move on both climbs with some resting on the rope between moves. I usually cannot get all of the moves on an 11c/d in several days of climbing and 11a's take more than two to three tries for me. So I felt these grades from what I am used to should have been lla for the c/d route and hard 5.10 for the 11a. I lead a 5.8, Purchase agreement that seemed 7ish too And the 5.9 just left seemed easier than the 9's Im used to in Vedewoo Wy and Colorado.

All that being said, I like that they seemed easier to me, made me feel like a better climber.

Finally, who ever added the topo pic's......Very Nice addition to this site.
Allen Apr 12, 2007
Tyler Bowser
Red River
Tyler Bowser   Red River
My wife and I climbed here a few months ago on our way to Cali. We thought the climbing was quite fun and the ratings pretty accurate to Jacks. The trash is quite an issue. Like a big turd on the bench in the parking area. uugh!!! I have to admit we were a bit afraid of someone breaking into our vehicle while we were climbing.

This place is truly a great area to stop and get a bit of climbing in. Well bolted with lots of moderates and an easy 200 yard approach.

Tyler and April Aug 16, 2007
Robin like the bird
Philomath, or
Robin like the bird   Philomath, or
Well I went to this place about three weeks ago and it turned out not to be as exciting as i thought it was going to be. Looks like a good place for a local crag, but i think that the area need to be respected a little bit more. I was definitely disappointed to see the rocks and area so heavily did respected. Also this is a long shot, but if any one happened to find a knife in the parking lot I lost one on my road trip and I think that i might have dropped it around there. Oct 13, 2008
Mentmore, phenominal! I always come down from farmington to climb at mentmore. It's true that Mentmore is not the cleanest crag ever, but thats only at the new side, the original side is great. It's not often you see other people here, so you can yell and thrutch all you want. If you do happen to see other climbers, the locals are great, people at Mentmore are there cause they like climbing so it makes for a great atmosphere. The climbing at Mentmore is pretty versatile, and the grades are all over the place, sick crimps, to off width crack. The best thing about Mentmore is its easy access for top roping, makes it a great places to bring the newbies and teach TR anchors. A lot of the climbs are made hard by one or two moves so don't let the grades detour you too much. It's no boulder canyon, but if your passing by or within a few hours its totally worth it. Nov 13, 2008
Scott Halliday
Gallup, NM
Scott Halliday   Gallup, NM
Robin like the bird - Sorry that the Mentmore area was not quite what you expected it to be and yes, it is adequate for a local crag. I find myself getting complacent with it from time to time and then it hits me - these are some really fun climbs for a local crag that used to be a dump and is trashed by non-climbers on a semi regular basis. Not every climbing area can be grade "A" Joshua Tree but for a few of us who put effort into this climbing area I feel that it is a great area.

Typically, as rough as it appears there have not been any car vandalism or break-ins. You can typically see your car from all the climbing areas. I have never heard of anyone being caught in a gun fight (there used to be a unofficial shooting range at the new side) until it became a city park (unimproved city park)- so firearms are not legal so I wouldn't expect to see them there.

As I was told by the Access Fund, it will never be a destination climbing area BUT it is a good place to stop and get a day or two of climbing in.

I am glad to read mostly positive reviews on the area. Local climbers have done and continue to do a lot of cleanup at the crag (disheartening sometimes). Churches, schools and youth groups all pitch in to keep the crag looking as good as it does.

The area really isn't as rough as people may think - although I have climbed while a group of 4 have been partying and having sex below the wall - they were harmless. It was hard to concentrate with all the excitement but they would take a break and watch the climbing for a while.

What can I say about ratings, Tony is a way better climber than I and he thinks that I under graded some climbs. It is all subjective. Some days it flows and you climb in the zone, some days are heavy gravity days and nothing works. It is the same with all areas, get over it - use the grades as a guide for what is harder or easier - relative to other climbs - not as a way to judge your own abilities. I have climbed way easier 11b's than I rate mine and I have climbed way harder 5.9's than what we have at Mentmore.

We hope to have a spring climbing fest at the crag this year and hope that people will come from all over to help clean the crag and meet the locals (if there are any left - I still hear of new climbers and never see them). I wonder if I ever go climbing any more.

Anyway, that is some ranting from a local. I hope I see you all at the crag in the future. Dec 27, 2008
Scott Halliday
Gallup, NM
Scott Halliday   Gallup, NM
e-mail me for an electronic version of the Mentmore guidebook that you can print. It is in book form and if you print it correctly - looks like a book. haroldhal@hotmail.com Dec 28, 2008
Albuquerque, NM
Damon   Albuquerque, NM
I was wondering about the area in regards to camping and dogs.

Can we bring dogs? If so, do they need to be leashed at all times?

Is it a pretty casual walk from the area to the routes?

Would you recommend car camping there? If not, where? Jun 9, 2009
Albuquerque, NM
Damon   Albuquerque, NM
In answer to my previous post:

Dogs are totally cool. There were some horses and a train track by the Old Side, so if the dogs run you might want to keep them leashed.

It's a really casual walk to the Old Side. Some of the New Side stuff was less than ADA accessible, but no serious bushwacking.

Car camping would have sucked anywhere around Mentmore, which seems to double as a used appliance and TV drop-off zone for the greater Gallup area. We headed into the Cibola wilderness by taking the "McGaffee" exit of I-40 east of Gallup; there is a network of firewood collecting roads just past Ft Wingate that provides some coverage and a spectacular view. Bring water.

In all, this was a good place with good routes and rock. Jun 15, 2009
Are there any regular climbers left in Gallup? I just moved into town for the summer and I'm in dire need of a climbing partner! May 18, 2010
I found a Petzl Microcender at the Mentmore original area. My email is Jamesp88@gmail.com let me know if it's yours. Jul 29, 2010
Some of my best friends and I established a ton of boulder problems here at mentmore and MANY other places around gallup. There is a TON of bouldering in the area. Somewhat of a mecca..

Anyone needs some beta just shoot me a pm... Mar 17, 2011
Derek Lawrence   Bailey
I had a fun time here this week on a business trip. Climbed with a couple cool locals (thanks Craig and Brian). Couple comments

re the anchors
Whats with the anchors at this place? The fact that you cant just lower off and move to another climb (without leaving something) is an inconvenience. But of the 4 climbs i got on here; 2 had anchor bolts placed that forced a cross-loaded biner over a bump/edge when the slings where set for lowering (or tr). One of those had been noted as having rap anchors so maybe a quicklink/chain was there originally but why isnt that standard practice here? Its not like its a pristine area? Do they dissappear?
Re the ratings
Ratings here will prob always change due to the soft nature of the rock. None of the routes i did here felt soft for the grade, certainly not "Not Suitable for pregnant women". Allen i have to call BS with you down rating routes you top-roped with rests... lead the routes clean to rate them May 6, 2011
chris fowler
Fort Defiance, Arizona
chris fowler   Fort Defiance, Arizona
hello everybody, I'm pretty new to the area and I am looking for some climbing partners. I have all the gear for sport climbing but sadly I don't have any cams :( I would like to go trad climbing one of these days. I am comfortable climbing 5.10 but I might need to do some 5.7 routes to build up my finger strength again. it's been about 6 months since my last climb :) hit me up if you want to go climbing and have a good one. Aug 28, 2011
Ken Jones
Grants, NM
Ken Jones   Grants, NM
You can easily bypass the bridge by walking a short distance upstream (to the right)of the bridge and crossing the arroyo. It is mostly dry now so the mud isn't bad. Sucks when it is muddy. Oct 1, 2011
Ken Jones
Grants, NM
Ken Jones   Grants, NM
Went in and cleared the weeds from the bridge bypass trail. Hopefully the stickers won't be so bad now. I will try and improve the trail some more next weekend. Oct 2, 2011
issac overright
Farmington NM
issac overright   Farmington NM
Hey everyone I just wanted to know if there would be any objections to me putting some bolts up a line on the Benny Silva wall, between rapture and big blobs. Depending on the rock quality naturly. I TRed it this weekend and thought it would make a nice addition to the wall. So let me know if there are any objections thanks. Feb 29, 2012
issac overright
Farmington NM
issac overright   Farmington NM
Hey everyone, I'm part of the SJC college rock climbing team, we wanted to let you everyone know we are planing a huge clean up weekend for mentmore this coming October.Not sure on the exact dates yet but we are expecting it to be BIG and would really like the people who use this area and the local community to be a big part of the cleanup crew. So we're Getting the word out early that this is in the works and I will keep everyone up to date with any development on this page. If anyone knows of any local businesses that would like to be part of our quest for a cleaner/safer mentmore please let me know :) thanks all Feb 29, 2012
Issac, I wanted to give you some information about the line you are talking about bolting. It would make a good route and would be on par with the other routes on the wall, especially razors from heaven. There are some loose flakes however, and that may complicate things. Also, another regular, and one of my best climbin buds has also been working the line, and, from what I understand, intends to dedicate the lead to his brother who past about a year ago. If your still interested, I can tell him to review this thread and you can discuss it. Perhaps it would make a good joint venture. Message me, or post here. And I will try to make it to your cleanup, but I may be busy with school out of town. Thanks. Mar 1, 2012
issac overright
Farmington NM
issac overright   Farmington NM
Isaac, thanks for the heads up on the line I was not aware of any one else working it. But I would gladly leave it for your friend as I would hope to receive the same courtesy if I was in his shoes. That being said if he wants any help cleaning and or bolting I would be happy to help and gladly give him the FA on it.
Also that would be awesome if you could make it to the clean up but if not we are hoping to make it an annual thing so there will always be next year. Mar 2, 2012

Nice hangers. I can appreciate that. Thanks. Not sure why those bolts have been naked for so long, except for maybe the heinous cruxes. Who put em up? For those that don't know they are on the farthest right part of health wall, around the low slung roof. Apr 14, 2012
Isaac, I bolted those routes many years ago and later removed the hangers when Mentmore was gated off and closed to climbing. Two years ago I learned that Mentmore had reopened as a Gallup municipal facility, and resolved to replace the hangers. I apologize to all for taking so long to do it.

Apr 15, 2012
Hello, I'm new to the gallup area, and I'm pretty sure I left a brand new NM Falcon Guide at Mentmore a couple days ago (6/30). I was there again today and didn't see it laying around. If anyone has any info on its whereabouts please let me know.

Thanks, Will Jul 3, 2012
Nate Young
Nate Young   Phoenix
I think this place deserves a bit more credit then people give it, mainly for it's location and sheer number of climbs that can be had in a single day. We were there for roughly 2 hours and were able to climb (sport, trad and TR) 4 climbs, with rest times and ample water breaks. Is the rock perfect? Absolutely not, it's very loose in some areas and the sandstone starts to rub off in the pockets, but that's sandstone for you. Many of the cracks protect very well, so if your a fan of trad climbing I would give it a shot and see how you like it. This area, the original and new, has been marked and kept up by some very dedicated volunteer climbers. My hats are off to them.

If your traveling the I-40 past Gallup New Mexico and have 2 hours to spare and your gear in your trunk, stop by this spot, you won't be dissapointed. Jul 24, 2012
Chas Robles
Burque, NM
Chas Robles   Burque, NM
Yeah, this place is rad! A cool day or weekend crag. So there's some trash but it's a really cool spot with some great cracks and awesome looking sport. It's a cool place to hike around too. Some great washes to the northwest with lots of possibilities for some FA boulder routes. May 15, 2013
Gallup, NM
mbakerwh   Gallup, NM
There's a FANTASTIC Indian food restaurant on the way to/from Mentmore off I40. It's called Bombay Grill and is in a truck stop. Here's a link for some reviews--I highly recommend heading there after a day at the crag.

yelp.com/biz/bombay-grill-g… Mar 2, 2014
Hello! I am new to the Gallup area and just moved from PA. I want to check out Mentmore and other local climbing spots, but my equipment is limited to shoes chalk, atc, beener, and a harness. (Was not able to fit everything else in my car). If anyone is planning on visiting the local crags in the near future and don't mind me sharing a rope and clips, I would very much appreciate it! Apr 18, 2015
Reno, NV
Rusty   Reno, NV
Found a camp draw with a bd biner attached to it laying on the ground today near the open area and balcony. We'll be in the area for another day so let us know if its yours. Also, a shy female beagle mix was following us around but was uncollared. Does anyone have any idea who she may belong to? She is a sweetheart. Apr 30, 2015
Went out to work at the Manuelito Navajo Children's Home outside of Gallup. I've done this for 3 years and this summer I decided to take my gear with me because the rocks were calling to me. I went out 3 different times this past week with teens from my youth group. The rock quality is decent and the climbs are a lot of fun. Bolts abound in this area. I will say that compared to the Wichita Wildlife Refuge the ratings are about one grade softer. I had 75% of my teens finish 5.8s at Mentmore when they can't even complete a 5.6 or 5.7 in the Refuge. However, the refuge is notorious for having very stiff ratings so Mentmore maybe closer to the actual rating and I'm just not used to it. And the Refuge requires a very different style of climbing since most is not in steep terrain. I did get to climb two separate climbs for myself, May Cause Health Problems and Not Suitable for Pregnant Women. I didn't have someone experienced to belay so I couldn't get the lead and had someone loosely belay me on toprope. I finished both clean and only felt like I was going to lose it once on the 5.11. I've been working on 5.11a's in the Refuge on top rope solo and I have been falling an average of 10 times per route. Hence the reason I felt like the ratings are a little soft. (I even had a teen who has only climbed outdoors twice get 3/4 of the way up the 5.11). Only reason I bring up the ratings is don't be afraid of a 5.10 or 5.11. The climbs are awesome with great ledges, lips,cracks, and the occasional jug. And the local climbers have done a lot to keep the area clean and clear. Highly recommend stopping by if you are in the area and have time.

I almost forgot to add that during the summer large portions of the original side is in the shade. So don't let the hot afternoon sun keep you from going out.
Jun 20, 2016
Alec Orenstein
Gallup, NM
Alec Orenstein   Gallup, NM
My wife and I just moved to Gallup and went to check out Mentmore yesterday. All in all, it's a really great local crag, and we can't wait to climb here more often! In particular, BIG thanks to the local developers--the bolts were all super solid and new looking, and the bolt placement is really thoughtful. If I had one "complaint," it'd be the lack of chains at the top of a lot of the routes. Is that intentional, or would it be OK if I added chains to make lowering off/cleaning more convenient?

Also, we're looking to meet anyone who climbs in the area and get involved in the scene. Let me know if you'd like to climb with us and/or show us around!

Alec Sep 29, 2016
Hey there, I'm coming to live in Gallup for a month and am excited to get out there and rock climb on weekends and after work. I haven't been able to find a climbing outfitter/guide in the area online. Can someone recommend something? I have climbed 5.8-5.10 level and have shoes but need to rent all other equipment and still definitely need a guide :) Thanks in advance! Oct 2, 2016
Megan Harper
Gallup, NM
Megan Harper   Gallup, NM
Hey everyone! I just moved to Gallup from Denver for work and was looking to find people to climb with. I sport climb 5.7-5.10a and can lead climbing 5.8 comfortably. Would love to hear from any other climbers here, otherwise I might have to resort to stalking the crag :P Haha Feb 15, 2017
Jordy King
Durango, CO
Jordy King   Durango, CO
Does anybody have any recommendations about camping near the wall? Dec 12, 2017
Alec Orenstein
Gallup, NM
Alec Orenstein   Gallup, NM
Jordy--the best camping around is probably at the campgrounds in "McGaffey." Take Exit 33 off I40 (past the east side of town) and drive south on Hwy 400 until you reach the campgrounds, about 8 miles. Beautiful camping, lots of dispersed camping and a full service campground (that might be closed this time of year?). You could probably camp at the wall without much problem, but it might not be pleasant, and you might get woken up by some target shooters. Dec 18, 2017
Timothy Carlson
Flagstaff, AZ
Timothy Carlson   Flagstaff, AZ
Hey Climbers!

I wrote a blog post about a recent trip that I took to Mentmore. Something about the area inspired me to write about it. Check it out!

hikethepla.net/mentmore-gal… Mar 27, 2018
Alec Orenstein
Gallup, NM
Alec Orenstein   Gallup, NM
Great write-up Tim! You capture the place quite well. There are probably close to a dozen good routes at Mentmore, so come back soon! I highly recommend the 5.11s to the right of Flakes, and the stuff in The Corridor. Apr 16, 2018
I'm visiting Gallup until the end of June for work and would love to connect with any local climbers to get out for end of the workday sessions at Mentmore or day/weekend trips in the surrounding area. I brought all my gear (trad/sport) for a trip I'm doing on the back end and I'm always up for getting outside. Happy to chat/share more for any vetting process -Mark May 28, 2018