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Elevation: 8,361 ft
GPS: 35.23089, -106.40104
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 181,687 total · 825/month
Shared By: Anthony Stout on Jan 24, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Jason Halladay, Mike Hoskins, Anna Brown

Description Suggest change

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.

ANCHOR INFORMATION
The NM Mountain Club's Climb Section completed a project to update anchors at Palomas Peak with Climbtech lowering hardware in October 2023 and all routes now have lowering hardware installed. The hardware was provided by the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA). A donation to the ASCA helps fund future anchor upgrades.

Please don't toprope through the lowering hardware. Both gates of the lowering hooks are oriented facing forward and do not offer protection for toproping. Instead, build your own anchor with personal gear and have only the last person lower off the fixed lowering hardware. 

ORIENTING YOURSELF AT PALOMAS PEAK

Palomas Peak - Overview Map

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

Getting There Suggest change

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 right onto a dirt road leading to Placitas (NM 165); after about 2 miles, stop at the 3 concrete barriers on the right side of the road. (If you get to Las Huertas picnic ground or the Sandia Man Cave, you have gone way too far down.) Drive time is 30-40 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 that requires a higher clearance vehicles), but it is faster to take NM 14 south to the junction with the Sandia Crest Road and proceed as above.

PARKING LOT COORDINATES:
35.22641, -106.40940

Parking is limited: 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; rangers will ticket car that impinges upon the roadway. PLEASE CARPOOL and PARK WELL!

To access the trail, walk through the concrete barriers at the parking area. Follow the trail for approximately .7 miles to an intersection clearly marked with Forest Service signs. At this intersection, take a hard LEFT and start hiking up the hill. Hike up the hill for approximately .25 miles until you arrive to the start of the cliff and a signed Forest Service second intersection. Proceed straight along the cliff band for the climbing area. 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.

125 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
 46
Escaping the Tiger
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 72
Lonesome Dove
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 37
Tiger by the Tail
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 32
Pizza Stone
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 34
Spanky Says NO
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 10
Boogadaboogadaboogada!
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 70
Green Eggs and Ham
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 30
Rode Hard
Sport
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
 6
Extra Cheese
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 7
In The Limelight
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 7
Fine Line
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
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 5
Giant Squid
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 5
Turbo Trad
Trad, Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Escaping the Tiger (09) The Far Side II
 46
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Lonesome Dove (09) The Far Side II
 72
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Tiger by the Tail (09) The Far Side II
 37
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Pizza Stone (09) The Far Side II
 32
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Spanky Says NO (07) Randy's Wall
 34
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Boogadaboogadaboogada! (08) The Far Side I
 10
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Green Eggs and Ham (06) The Dihedral Wall
 70
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Rode Hard (05) The Transition Zone
 30
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Extra Cheese (09) The Far Side II
 6
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport
In The Limelight (07) Randy's Wall
 7
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Fine Line (09) The Far Side II
 7
5.12a 7a+ 25 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
Giant Squid (08) The Far Side I
 5
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Turbo Trad (02) The Slab Wall
 5
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Trad, Sport
More Classic Climbs in Palomas Peak »

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