Mountain Project Logo

Areas in Dona Ana Mountains

Arrowhead 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Batman Rock 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Bear Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Checkerboard Wall 16 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Columns North, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Columns South, The 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 2
Pizza Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 34 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 34
Short Crack Wall, The 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Sugar Bowl 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Vedauwoo Dome 7 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8

Description

The Dona Ana mountains offer ample climbing for any climber passing through Las Cruces. Although not as eye-catching as their magnificent neighbors , the Organs, they have been a favorite climbing area among locals for many years. From bouldering to long traditional routes, the climbing here is varied and spread out over a large area owned by the BLM and NMSU. The rock tends to be granitic, and similar to that found in the Organs. While the Dona Ana Mts lack the grandeur of the Organs, they have relatively short approaches and even some "drive-up" climbing, which gives them an advantage over most of the climbing in the Organs.

The main attraction is the Checkerboard wall, a beautiful 500ft cliff offering several moderate-easy lines. Other popular spots are the Bear Boulders and Pizza Boulders, which offer drive-up climbing in a secluded desert surrounding. NMSU recently acquired much of the land in the Dona Ana range and has closed some areas to climbing, including the Columns and the North boulder Field. Please respect these clusures and we may have a chance to negotiate access.

The Dona Ana Mts are bounded by the Jornada Experimental Range on the north/east, and Las Cruces on the south/west. It is harsh desert environment and should be treated as such (birng plenty of water and minimize your impact). Camping is permitted on BLM land, and there is a great network of biking trails.

Getting There

The main access point is Jornada rd. To reach this rd take Hwy 70 east from las Cruces. Exit at Mesa Grande Rd and follow signs for the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park. This will take you to Bantaam Memorial Drive heading west for a few blocks. Turn right onto Jornada rd at a Shortys gas station. Jornada rd becomes a wide gravel rd within a few miles and will drive you by the east side of the mountain range. Several dirt rds lead to the various climbing areas.

Resources

Rosul-Dunning Guide. This PDF guide has a good topo for the Checkerboard wall, as well as a map to the different climbing areas in the Dona Anas. Contact me (Aaron Hobson) if you would like a copy.

There is a guide to the some boulder problems that can be found at the NMSU climbing wall.

74 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Dona Ana Mountains Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Dona Ana Mountains

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Dona Ana Mountains »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos

r.e. abqdrew: I think the access through the gate that you found locked is either for a) access to pizza boulders, b) the walk over to the top of the checkerboard (backside access), c), access to the columns, or d) all of the above. That gate has been locked for some time now. There are ways to get to those locations, but for access to checkerboard, your 3.1mi road or Bill L.'s photo is your best bet. Apr 1, 2013
codrew
Wheat Ridge, CO
codrew   Wheat Ridge, CO
The access road described in all of the guidebooks I found is now locked, this is the dirt road off Jornada that is just before the stone pillars - East West Road. Instead take the dirt road on the left at 3.1 miles past the school on Jornada, this will take you straight out to the checkerboard wall. Mar 27, 2013
Ian Harris
Las Cruces NM
Ian Harris   Las Cruces NM


Are these The Columns? Feb 24, 2013
Eugene Staley
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Eugene Staley   Albuquerque, New Mexico
The guide book is now only available through purchase online. I'm not sure if that is intentional or not but it is relevant information to anyone who is trying to get the guidebook to the pizzas. Sep 13, 2012
Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN  
Pizzas should still be fine for access, although I think CDNP put up a gate making it harder to easily access them. May 6, 2012
Lowell
El Paso, Texas USA
Lowell   El Paso, Texas USA
Here's 2 free guidebook downloads by Charles Cundiff.
Guidebook Download Link CLICK HERE Oct 11, 2009

More About Dona Ana Mountains

Printer-Friendly Guide
What's New

All Photos Within Dona Ana Mountains (128)

Most Popular · Newest