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Areas in Rainbow Canyon

Midway Area 10 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Rainbow Canyon - misc 7 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Road Area 6 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Sandy Cove Area 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Elevation: 4,000 ft
GPS: 37.375, -114.55 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 22,211 total · 159/month
Shared By: Francis Baker (fran) on Aug 14, 2006
Admins: Justin Johnsen

Description

An obvious wall of clean basalt lies 17 miles south of Caliente on SR 317. The cliffs are just off the road. The road is graded dirt and can get washed out. The climbing is both sport and trad. There are beautiful corners and clean, blank face climbs with bolts. The rock is similar to Crawdad Canyon, UT and/or Paradise Forks, AZ. This is a remote area with no facilities. Climbing can be had year round although winters can be cold and summer gets hot! Watch the weather as the road can get washed out anytime of year.

"About 65% of the routes were put by me (Michelle Locatelli) and Richard Harrison, 30% by Gary Fike, and the remaining 5% by others, including Bob Finlay and John Middendorf, two of the area 'pioneers.' Much assistance was given by Gary's wife Tanya and Richard's daughter Lisa. All the routes are named and each has a great story to go with its first ascent. We put much sweat and money into the project, hoping to create a peaceful area for locals. So we resisted putting out a guide book. The area was also a sensitive riparian corridor before the big flood and we thought it best to keep it low key. We have had problems with plagiarism (some just trying to make a buck), false info and taking of credit where it wasn't due by some visitors to the cliffs. So at long last we have decided to put together a correct guide for Rainbow. The area is very special; a great mixture of cracks and chimneys, superb technical face climbing and awesome aretes. Please enjoy the routes, keep the place clean and spend some money in nearby Caliente while you're there."

Getting There

Find your way to Caliente, NV and head south on SR 317 for 17 miles. There is also a dirt road heading NE off of 93 (Kane Springs Rd.) that will take you to Elgin and SR 317; from there a short drive N will get you to the cliff. I recommend at least a 4x2 with some ground clearance. The latter route is shorter but can take just as long and there are no services (bring a gas can). The GPS location is a guess based on the map.

"Kershaw-Ryan campground is a couple of minutes from the climbing crags in Caliente. It sees very little traffic. The elevation is 4395 feet which makes for tolerable summer temps, especially in the morning, and evenings. This campground/state park was opened to camping in March 2009. It has modern bathrooms (flush toilets), water, showers, a wading pool, kids play area, and a volleyball net. Not a bad place to stay if you're checking out the climbing in the area, or just passing through- especially good for kids/climbing families." - Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?

44 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Rainbow Canyon

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Weather Averages

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Grant Mercer
Henderson, Nevada
Grant Mercer   Henderson, Nevada
Website seems down for guidebook, anyone know where I can look at buying one? May 19, 2016
Eric-D
Las Vegas, nv
Eric-D   Las Vegas, nv
For anyone interested the correct coordinates for the crag are 37.37433, -114.55032. It is almost exactly 17 miles south of Kershaw-Ryan and 19 miles south of Caliente. The Kane Springs road is recently graded and nice. May 16, 2016
I must say I was surprised to find a mini guide to Rainbow Canyon. Strange names for some mighty familiar routes. About 65% of the routes were put by me and Richard Harrison, 30% by Gary Fike, and the remaining 5% by others, including Bob Finlay and John Middendorf, two of the area "pioneers". Much assistance was given by Gary's wife Tanya and Richard's daughter Lisa.

All the routes are named and each has a great story to go with its first ascent. We put much sweat and money into the project, hoping to create a peaceful area for locals. So we resisted putting out a guide book. The area was also a sensitive riparian corridor before the big flood and we thought it best to keep it low key. We have had problems with plagiarism (some just trying to make a buck), false info and taking of credit where it wasn't due by some visitors to the cliffs. So at long last we have decided to put together a correct guide for Rainbow. The area is very special; a great mixture of cracks and chimneys, superb technical face climbing and awesome aretes. Please enjoy the routes, keep the place clean and spend some money in nearby Caliente while you're there. Apr 16, 2007
Hi!

I'm in town till mid-Nov building mtb trails and bike park for city of Caliente!

How do I link up with some locals to climb? Have rope and sport gear just looking for a partner to check out some local stuff!

Thanks!
Adam Oct 14, 2017
Xavier Wasiak
Las Vegas, NV
Xavier Wasiak   Las Vegas, NV
Also, Michelle's guidebook is a treat in that it has some great original drawings of the crags by Michelle. Pretty cool. Looking forward to your new book! Jan 8, 2015
New website for purchase of R.C. guidebooks. Try (dead link) . I am putting together a second edition that will include many of the other remote areas we established, but for now I still have some copies of the original. Jan 7, 2015
Checked this place out 3 Jan 2015 and the road was clear the entire way. Camped at Kershaw-Ryan campground. Temps at night and early morning were as low as 17 deg F. Got to the crag around 1000 and the sun warmed to about 40. Great climbs and roadside!

You could easily camp right on the side of the road next to these climbs or across the street next to the creek. Jan 4, 2015
Norman Roundy
Colorado Springs, CO
Norman Roundy   Colorado Springs, CO
This area is wonderful. The routes are stiff, well protected, and interesting. Of the ten or so times I've come here I have never seen another person climbing and the occasional train or jet fighter only add to the fun. To make it more interesting check out the local native art work and keep an eye out for peacocks. Dec 10, 2014
We really enjoyed this wall. Some super high quality lines! Better suited for the intermediate to advanced climber. East facing. Grades are on save a couple sandbags, perhaps because a 1980's 11.a feels like 2013 12.a. An acquaintance said he climbed here in the 80's. The trains are a treat. Road is quite good now. Thanks Michelle et al. Nov 11, 2013
Neat new area-crack and face climbin' right together, who'd a thunk! Routes feel very mixed, interesting. Good pro- still some minor loose rock here and there, but nothing a few more ascents won't fix- belay with a helmet and you won't even have to pay attention at all! Apr 12, 2011
sqwirll
Las Vegas
sqwirll   Las Vegas
The dirt road is in really good shape right now. Any passenger car will have no problems.

Also, Michelle's guidebook is sweet. The hand drawn pictures are amazing. Sep 6, 2010
deniseb  
Hi Michelle,

Is your guide book sold anywhere locally? We would like to see rainbow canyon over thanksgiving weekend but I'm worried that if I order it online today, it wont come in time.

Thanks!
Denise Nov 23, 2009
The guidebook is finished and available for purchase. If you're interested in one, please e-mail via this site or go to (dead link). May 1, 2009
Jon O'Brien
Nevada
Jon O'Brien   Nevada
This place looks awesome! Is that guidebook available?! I'll pay top dollar! I've got some unborn children to offer up if money's not your fancy, LOL... Apr 24, 2009
Michelle, I'll take one. : ) G Mar 22, 2009
Brig J.  
Week's over, pay up. Waaaaaaant that book, just name the price. Hope you have beta on all the trad stuff.

On one hand, I'm sorry to see this piece of paradise go public, it's been a well kept little secret. On the other hand those that developed it deserve recognition and the rest of us want BETA! Thanks Michelle for busting ass for the few that do now climb here. Mar 21, 2009
The Rainbow Canyon guidebook is completed and ready to print. I should have copies available in a week. Since it is a first edition, I am running just a limited amount.I'm hoping for useful feed back(rating consensus,missing info) so I can refine the next edition.If you are interested in buying one, let me know and we can set that up. Mar 11, 2009
The new guidebook is nearly complete and should be available in Sept.08. I will most likely sell it via the internet. There are 110 routes at Rainbow ! Jul 22, 2008
Thanks Michelle and everyone else that found this spot.

Stellar crag Sep 3, 2007
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
A nice area with some spectacular cracks. Lots of bolted anchors are nice. There are also a ton of sport routes mainly in the hard 10 and up range.

If anyone knows the correct names and grades of these routes, I would like to know. Nov 9, 2006
Fran, thanks for posting this area! Freakin awesome! Jonny and I drove out there yesterday, and checked it out. Some of the paved road (by the routes) has been damaged (washed out) by floods; was still okay to drive on though. Loved the dirt road through the beautiful desert, and Caliente had a cool little market to get provisions. Nov 1, 2006

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