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Elevation: 7,885 ft 2,403 m
GPS: 37.6947, -106.348
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Shared By: John McNamee on Feb 26, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Introduction Suggest change

Spanning almost 8,000 square miles, the San Luis Valley is the world's largest alpine valley. The average altitude is 7,500 feet, so it can be very warm in the summer and very cold at night in the winter. With the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and the Rio Grande to the west.

The San Luis Valley sits atop the Rio Grande Rift, a split in the crust of the Earth where the sides are pulling away from each other. If the Valley floor were excavated, bedrock would be down about 30,000 feet, making the bottom of the Valley close to 4 miles below sea level. Over millenia, the mountains surrounding the Valley have eroded away, filling in the hole with rock, sand and earth. Quite a few streams flow into the Valley, only to sink into the ground before they go very far.

Getting There Suggest change

This is part of the reorg of the Colorado site.

From the Denver Metro area, you can go US 285 West all the way into the valley. You can also take I-70 to CO 91 through Breckinridge to US 24 South to US 285.

From Grand Junction, you can take US 50 East to US 285 near Poncha Springs, then go south on US 285.

From Durango, you can take US 160 East to US 285 North.

Resources

Suggest change
Camping is availabe at Penintente Canyon; however, it now costs a bit and has standard BLM regulations. Water is provided down the road from the climbing / camping area (another recent development - follow the signs), and the nearest 'goods' can be found at the 'La Garita Cash Store'.

There are a variety of small, charming B&B type accomodations throughout the valley, in Poncha Springs, La Garita, Del Norte. There are a smattering of motels/hotels in the area as well.

Alamosa is the largest town in the valley for supplies, etc.

494 Total Climbs

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Location: San Luis Valley Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at San Luis Valley

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 315
Tanks for the Hueco
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 251
Black is Beautiful
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 118
Breakdown Dead Ahead
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 35
True Penitence
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 385
Not My Cross To Bear
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 114
Shear Strength
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 188
Los Hermanos de la Weenie Way
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 36
Self-flagellation
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 41
Jabba the Hutt
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 104
Forbidden Fruit
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 69
Dazed and Confuzed
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 60
Sister of Mercy
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 103
Bullet the Blue Sky
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 13
Colors Of Emotion
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 28
The Virgin
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Tanks for the Hueco Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 315
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Black is Beautiful Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
 251
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Breakdown Dead Ahead Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 118
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
True Penitence Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 35
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Not My Cross To Bear Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 385
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Shear Strength Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 114
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Los Hermanos de la Weenie Way Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 188
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Self-flagellation Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
 36
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Jabba the Hutt Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 41
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Forbidden Fruit Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
 104
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Dazed and Confuzed Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 69
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Sister of Mercy Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 60
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Bullet the Blue Sky Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 103
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Colors Of Emotion Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
 13
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
The Virgin Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 28
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
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