Elevation: 6,888 ft
GPS: 36.393, -106.196 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 308,790 total · 1,745/month
Shared By: Jason Halladay on Jan 20, 2006 with 2 Suggestions
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
Access Issue: COVID-19 New Mexico State Requirements Details

Description

Chock full of conglomerate fun, there are three primary climbing sections around the town of El Rito, NM. The El Rito Sport Area, the El Rito Traditional Area and Little River Wall a bit west of the town of El Rito. The climbing at all the areas is really fun with lots of great pockets and cobbles to pull on.

The sport area contains well protected, cobblestone sport climbing with routes up to 5.13. If you have ever been to Maple Canyon in Utah, this place is very similar, but not quite as steep, and the area is not nearly as large.

The "trad" area has less steep, moderate, two-pitch routes up to 200' tall and is a great area for the beginning traditional climber to learn his or her skills.

The Little River Wall offers mostly moderate routes up to 90' tall on a large fin of rock in a wonderful setting right next to the El Rito (a small river.)

The Drunk Wall is a seldom visited, small shady conglomerate area with only four routes. There is a little bit of potential for more rotues for the adventurous.

An extensive online guidebook is also available for this for the sport and trad areas.

No toilet paper fairy

Resources

- Online guide: El Rito Sport Climbing PDF - Updated November 2014

- "Taos Rock Climbs & Boulders of Northern New Mexico" by Jay Foley, Sharp End Books, 2005.

- "Rock Climbing: New Mexico" by Dennis Jackson, Falcon.

Getting There

The sport and trad El Rito climbing areas are just a few miles north of the small community of El Rito. The Little River Wall is a few miles west of the town of El Rito.

To get to the El Rito sport and trad climbing areas travel north on FR 44 from El Rito. At the intersection for road 248 stay to the right (the sign for 248 was in the middle of the fork and unclear which road was 248 and which was FR 44). Continue on FR44, you will pass spur road 44A on the left. Park here for the sport area.

To reach the trad area, go about .6 miles further on FR44 and you will come to an unmarked road on the left. This is the road to the trad area. Take this left and drive about a mile until you get to the gate mentioned in the guide book and park on the right (obvious parking area). High clearance is necessary, or walk the road where it starts to get bad (it will take less than 30 minutes). A cairned trail leads east toward the trad cliff.

For directions to the Little River Wall, see the main Little River Wall area page.

Pack Out Your Used Toilet Paper (Leave No Trace ethics)

It is imperative climbers pack out their used toilet paper. The sport climbing area is very concentrated. The steep, loose slopes make it more difficult to find a place to use the bathroom resulting in some very popular "poop spots." Unfortunately. there is a large amount of used toilet paper floating around these popular spots. This is gross and disrespectful to the area and other climbers. Do your part--put your used toilet paper (and poop for bonus points) in a baggie and take it home for disposal. Also, always pack out what trash you brought in. Bonus karma points for picking up trash left by disrespectful others.

No toilet paper fairy

188 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at El Rito

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 57
Packrat Dihedral
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 85
Walt's Wall Waltz
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 138
Super Arete
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 151
Scurvy Dog
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 113
Clast Action
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 72
Slacker Ken
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 104
Boltaneer
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 98
Blackballed
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 105
Balls to the Wall
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 71
Blackbeard
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 162
Cobble Wobble
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 59
Jug-or-Naut
Sport
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
 131
Bolting Barbie
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 55
Stroke Me
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 93
Crack Attack
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Packrat Dihedral El Rito Traditional Area
 57
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
Walt's Wall Waltz El Rito Sport Area > Walt's Wall (aka The…
 85
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Super Arete El Rito Sport Area > Super Slab
 138
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Scurvy Dog El Rito Sport Area > Pirate's Wall
 151
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Clast Action El Rito Sport Area > Super Slab
 113
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Slacker Ken El Rito Sport Area > Rad Wall
 72
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Boltaneer El Rito Sport Area > Super Slab
 104
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Blackballed El Rito Sport Area > Gnar Wall & Route Canal
 98
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Balls to the Wall El Rito Sport Area > Gnar Wall & Route Canal
 105
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Blackbeard El Rito Sport Area > Pirate's Wall
 71
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Cobble Wobble El Rito Sport Area > Big Pine Wall
 162
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Jug-or-Naut El Rito Sport Area > Balcony
 59
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Bolting Barbie El Rito Sport Area > Rad Wall
 131
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport
Stroke Me El Rito Sport Area > Rad Wall
 55
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Crack Attack El Rito Sport Area > Rad Wall
 93
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
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