Elevation: 8,132 ft
GPS: 36.416, -106.198 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 28,184 total · 172/month
Shared By: Anthony Stout on Jan 20, 2006 with improvements by Bill Lawry
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Description

Continuing up the road from the sport climbing area, is a ~100m high monolithic cliff that provides a good setting for traditional (gear-protected) climbing. Its attributes include: lack of crowding, good access, interesting and solid rock, generally good protection, and that very rare commodity: high quality climbs at moderate difficulty levels. This is the perfect spot for a beginning climber to learn multi-pitch technique, with plenty of exposure to motivate mastering the art of placing protection. These are the "El Rito Trad" cliffs. (text copied from Gary Clark's online guide: lamountaineers.org/Elrito/t… )

See Gary Clark's online PDF guide for route details and an excellent topo.

Getting There

At the NE end of El Rito, Highway 554 makes a 90 degree turn, turning SW or SE depending on your direction of travel. Forest Service 44 (FR44) continues off the pavement to the NE at this point. Zero your odometer and head up FR44.

Mile 1.2: Ignore the left turn onto FR248. Stay right.

Mile 3.7: Keep going straight on FR44, ignoring the left turn onto FR44A. At this junction is a parking area and some primitive camping near the trail head for the El Rito Sport Area. Keep going straight on FR44.

Mile 4.3: Drop down to the left road - FR44B, which is significantly less substantial and probably unmarked. After this, you will likely appreciate having high clearance and maybe four-wheel drive. Even so, with dry conditions and care, front-wheel drive vehicles with some clearance can typically drive FR44B.

In wet conditions or without a high-clearance vehicle, park as soon as practical on FR44B and hike the remaining ~1 mile of the road.

Mile 5.2: Do not pass a gate indicating private property. Instead, head right and up into a hilly "parking lot" ~20 yards before the gate. Ignore any initial fire ring and look for the fire ring on the more distant end the parking area. From that fire ring, the trad wall is roughly a quarter mile up a pretty good trail towards the SE.

19 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at El Rito Traditional Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 13
Cave Woman
Trad
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 13
Gnarly
Trad 2 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
 10
Refritos
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 53
Packrat Dihedral
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 39
The Big "E"
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 6
Swollen
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 4
Senile Superhero
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 9
Juniper Overhang
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 10
Bring Me a Bucket
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Cave Woman
 13
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad
Gnarly
 13
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
Refritos
 10
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R Trad
Packrat Dihedral
 53
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
The Big "E"
 39
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Swollen
 6
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad
Senile Superhero
 4
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Juniper Overhang
 9
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Bring Me a Bucket
 10
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Sport 2 pitches
More Classic Climbs in El Rito Traditional Area »

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