Elevation: 4,668 ft
GPS: 32.224, -106.598 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 37,940 total · 237/month
Shared By: Aaron Hobson on Feb 28, 2006
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Access Issue: Placement of bolts/fixed anchors is prohibited in Wilderness Study Areas Details


In the shadow of Hueco Tanks lies this lesser known and lesser quality area. Pena Blanca is a sprawling rock playground on the southern foot of the Organ mountains. There are scores of established boulder problems and potential for more. Much of the rock is of poor quality which keeps the area relatively free from the crowds seen at Hueco.

A few climbing resources exist but nothing has been published. Visit huecotanks.com/BCDetail.htm for more descriptions of the area. Also check out another developing e-guide at vcrux.com/penablanca.aspx (see comment by Lowell below).

There are a handful of short sport and trad routes, as well as top-rope problems that merit a visit. But what Pena Blanca has most of is bouldering, and it is through bouldering that this area will get known.

The area is currently designated as Wilderness Study Area by the BLM which restricts off-roading activities. Petroglyphs are found here and if you find some refrain from climbing near them.

Getting There

When driving between Las Cruces and El Paso on I-10, Pena Blanca is clearly visible to the east. Take the Mesquite exit and head east. The paved road takes you buy a landfill and liquid waste site, then turns to a dirt road. When you are approximately due south of the rocks there are rough roads that lead to the different climbing spots. A 4WD vehicle is required to reach some of the parking areas.


There is a collection of rough maps with names/difficulties of routes and problems at Pena Blanca. Contact Aaron Hobson (or see the above link and browse)to get them sent to you. They are by no means complete, and only give the user an idea of the large amount of climbing that occurs here.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Pena Blanca

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN
Once again I am having naming issues. I have some documents that someone put together about route names and which formation they are on (see the above link). However, I don't have specific information as to what the routes look like, where they are located etc... The problem I am faced with then is trying to match the names I have with the actual routes.

If you see that a route is named wrong SAY SOMETHING. Hopefully this site can be used to bring some of this information together. Feb 28, 2006
need to know where all bolt locations are at please just abeginner climb and just want to do it as safe as possible Jun 7, 2010
El Paso, Texas USA
Lowell   El Paso, Texas USA
Every crag lies in the shadow of Hueco Tanks. Hueco is a diamond and Pena Blanca is a jewel that surrounds it. If there was no Hueco. Pena Blanca would be in the limelight as a local crag. This is the second best place to boulder in this area and the 1st and only place to enjoy pure grain free - outback & wild bouldering like it should be. No gates, times, Rangers or hype. Just you and the mountain.

Here's some cool articles and videos about the place:
Eugene Staley
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Eugene Staley   Albuquerque, New Mexico
I was out here this today, Easter, and when I was leaving I got pulled over by some cops looking for a group of people who had been reported shooting at each other. There were three cars over by the volcano, but I just want to let everyone know there is also legal recreational firearm use out here so be careful. Apr 8, 2012
El Paso, Texas USA
Lowell   El Paso, Texas USA
Also watch for vehicle break-in's. It hasn't happened for several years, but don't leave climbing gear or anything valuable in your vehicle. Always park where you can keep an eye on it. If you ever see something going down. Get the license plates and contact 911.






youtu.be/_3moDep41Zc May 29, 2013
Is there any way to get a copy of the guidebook in town? I'll be there in 3 days and would LOVE some serious beta! Thx dude! Dec 9, 2014
El Paso, Texas USA
Lowell   El Paso, Texas USA
Hueco Tanks Climbing Shop 6011 Hueco Tanks Rd. www.vcrux.com
If you're in Las Cruces the Coas Book store has the guides. Mar 13, 2016
El Paso, Texas USA
Lowell   El Paso, Texas USA
Recently called the Sherif on a group of people burning a fire in the crag under climbs. Waited to make sure they got busted. Could of been climbers? Fire pits are under several climbs. I will continue to call the law and bust these worthless God forsaken scum bags everytime. Besides this area having a burn ban. You'd have to be a total looser to do such a thing. Please help by calling the law if you see a fire burning in the crag under rock outcrops. Report the license plates. If you happen to see a firering, destroy it. It's people like this that get areas closed down. Spread the word. Mar 25, 2016
Ian Harris
Las Cruces NM
Ian Harris   Las Cruces NM
A friend just told me that there were people shooting assault rifles at Smith Boulders the other day (June 11, 2016). He wasn't able to find out license plates or anything. The people didn't seem to know or care that other people are out there. I also think it's illegal to shoot on Wilderness Study Areas. Be careful out there everyone make sure to report these things. Jun 12, 2016