Elevation: 8,613 ft
GPS: 35.235, -106.406 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 89,664 total · 537/month
Shared By: Anthony Stout on Jan 24, 2006 with improvements by Anna Brown
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
Access Issue: June 15, 2018 - Sandia Mountains closed due to Cibola National Forest Stage III fire restrictions Details

Description

Palomas Peak (8,250ft) is a minor peak in the Sandia massif. As in the Sandia Mountains proper, the top layer of Palomas is limestone, forming in this case two separate cliff bands; the higher cliff band (at around 8,000ft) is the developed Palomas crag, although the lower cliff band is seeing some limited development (the online guide only covers the upper cliff band; the lower band has few routes, is exposed to rockfall from activity on the higher band, and features rock of much lower quality.) The limestone is of good quality, with very sharp, highly textured surface; taping up for cracks is mandatory and frequent resoling necessary. Be prepared for a lot of smearing and edging and for small holds. The crag has two Flavors: one area at the south end is very steep and features hard (12s and 13s) overhanging climbs, while the rest is a mix of natural-pro cracks and bolted, nearly vertical slabs; the latter are the most characteristic feature of Palomas. The cliff band varies from 30ft to 70ft, with most climbs in the 50-60ft range. All sports climbs (and several crack climbs) are equipped with lowering anchors (mostly two bolts and chains, but also welded coldshuts or rap hangers). (Pasted directly from online guidebook.)

Getting There

From Albuquerque, take I-40 east, exit at Tijeras (Exit 175) and head north on NM 14 through Cedar Crest; after about 6 miles, turn left onto the Sandia Crest road (NM 536); soon after passing the ski area base (about 9 miles after leaving NM 14), turn off right (at Balsam Glade picnic area) onto dirt road leading to Placitas; after about 2 miles, stop at left turn with 3 concrete barriers west of the burn area. (If you get to Las Huertas picnic ground or the Sandia Man Cave, you have gone too far down.) Drive time is 40-50 mins. From Santa Fe, you can take I-25 to Placitas, exit to NM 165 and drive 14 miles to the parking area (the last 5 miles on dirt), but it is faster to take NM 14 south to the junction with the Sandia Crest road and proceed as above.

GOOGLE DRIVING DIRECTIONS FROM I-25 (Placitas):
https://goo.gl/maps/M7e11vP6Udt6VaLt8

GOOGLE DRIVING DIRECTION FROM 1-40 (Tijeras):
https://goo.gl/maps/fLwPCfAHpjWGU8tw5

Parking is limited and often a severe problem on week-ends: there is room for 8-9 cars at the 3 concrete barriers if you park perpendicular to the barriers; about 40m down the road from the turn, there is room (sideways) for 4 more cars on the uphill side; note that rangers will ticket any car that impinges upon the roadway. PLEASE CARPOOL and PARK WELL!

Take the trail right by the barriers (note: walk UP the hill a little way beyond the barriers, and the trail is very large and prominant!); follow it across the burn area and through the forest, on a mostly level course, to a dry creek bed; at the creek bed turn sharp left onto an ascending trail that takes you to the corner of a LARGE clearing. The first turn on the left (sometimes barred), just before entering the clearing, puts you on the trail to the lower cliff band. The second turn on the left, just after entering the clearing and thus only 10 yards beyond the first turn, puts you on the trail to the upper cliff band (if you begin going through a huge open area, you are going too far. You can see the cliffs up and to the left when you see the trails veering off to the left). Allow about half an hour for the hike up with a full pack. Please stay on the trail: the native flora is easily damaged. From December till March, expect hazardous driving conditions on the dirt road (often only accessible from the Placitas side), possibly deep snow on the trail (bring mountaineering boots or snowshoes), and cold temperatures, although the rock dries up quickly and stays warm in the sun. (Copied directly from online guidebook).

APPROACH TRAIL GPX FILE:
http://www.mediagirl.com/misc/palomas-cliffs-trail-mountainproject-link.gpx

The Walls of Palomas

The Palomas climbing area is composed of 10 different walls listed from right (southeast end, first area you hit as you come upon the climbing area along the trail) to the left (northwest).

(01) The Entrance
(02) The Slab Wall
(03) The Franks
(04) Showdown Wall
(05) The Transition Zone
(06) The Dihedral Wall
(07) Randy's Wall
(08) The Far Side I
(09) The Far Side II
(10) Red Light District

99 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Palomas Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 31
Motion Activated
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 30
Pussy Whipped
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 48
Lonesome Dove
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 23
Don't Miss Out
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 28
Tiger by the Tail
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 19
Pizza Stone
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 16
Spanky Says NO
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 47
Green Eggs and Ham
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 22
Patchwork
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 14
Quickdraw McGraw
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 18
Rode Hard
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 7
Gunslinger
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 6
Nature of the Beast
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 9
Sidewinder
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 4
Turbo Trad
Trad, Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Motion Activated (07) Randy's Wall
 31
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Pussy Whipped (09) The Far Side II
 30
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Lonesome Dove (09) The Far Side II
 48
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Don't Miss Out (09) The Far Side II
 23
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Tiger by the Tail (09) The Far Side II
 28
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Pizza Stone (09) The Far Side II
 19
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Spanky Says NO (07) Randy's Wall
 16
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Green Eggs and Ham (06) The Dihedral Wall
 47
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Patchwork (09) The Far Side II
 22
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Quickdraw McGraw (06) The Dihedral Wall
 14
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Rode Hard (05) The Transition Zone
 18
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Gunslinger (04) Showdown Wall
 7
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Nature of the Beast (01) The Entrance
 6
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Sidewinder (01) The Entrance
 9
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Turbo Trad (02) The Slab Wall
 4
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Trad, Sport
More Classic Climbs in Palomas Peak »

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