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Areas in Sitting Bull Falls

Big Horn Wall 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Rose Bud Wall 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7

Description [Edit]

Few crowds and prevelant shade. This area can be super cold in the Winter. Watch for the killer bee hive between the Brit Route and Fire Water. 5$ per car day use fee.

Getting There [Edit]

From Carlsbad, 8 miles out of town to the west on 285, take 137 South for about 25-30 miles. Follow the sign to the Sitting Bull Falls area and park. Follow the paved path about 150 yards and take a major right on an unpaved path up to the top of the falls for about 300 yards, up even with the falls, look for small trails to the right over to the climbing area.

ADMIN EDIT:The turn off of 137 for Sitting Bull is not as far as the signs indicate, the turn off is just before MM31 and after MM32 if coming from HWY 285.

Sitting Bull Start Park Conditions

17 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sitting Bull Falls

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 19
Wounded Knee
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 16
Firewater
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 9
Sweat Lodge
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 12
Smoke Signals
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 21
Ghost Dancers
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 19
Counting Coup
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 11
It is not Necessary for Eagles to be…
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 12
Tribal War
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 6
Broken Arrows
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 4
Custer's Last Stand
Sport
5.13d 8b 31 X 32 E8 7a
 3
Kootenai Cruiser
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Wounded Knee Rose Bud Wall
 19
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Firewater Rose Bud Wall
 16
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Sweat Lodge Rose Bud Wall
 9
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Smoke Signals Big Horn Wall
 12
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Ghost Dancers Big Horn Wall
 21
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Counting Coup Big Horn Wall
 19
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
It is not Necessary for Eag… Big Horn Wall
 11
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Tribal War Big Horn Wall
 12
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Broken Arrows Big Horn Wall
 6
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Custer's Last Stand Big Horn Wall
 4
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
Kootenai Cruiser Big Horn Wall
 3
5.13d 8b 31 X 32 E8 7a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Sitting Bull Falls »

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Photos

Anthony Stout
Albuquerque, NM
Anthony Stout   Albuquerque, NM  
Could someone please comment on the closures specified in the new photos added above. I have not yet climbed at Sitting Bull so am not familiar with the area. The date of the order says 2002 so this could not be new. I am assuming this does not mean that the standard areas people are currently climbing at are "closed". Either that or it is not enforced since I hear about folks climbing at Sitting bull all the time. Mar 31, 2010
Shirtless Mike
Denver, CO
Shirtless Mike   Denver, CO  
The current cliffs that are developed for climbing are not within the closure area. The closed area and bolting ban only affects the surrounding undeveloped cliffs. I've been there twice this season and the rangers were friendly and enthusiastic towards climbers. Mar 31, 2010
Sorry to report that the "Last Chance" fire burned over the Sitting Bull Falls area. So the FS has closed the area until apx 6/12 for regrowth to prevent erosion from hikers and to rebuild burned down structures. My apologies as I'm a firefighter in the Pecos district though I was out of district stopping TX fires durring the incident. Jul 6, 2011
We are thinking about a trip to Sitting Bull and Last Chance. Are both areas open after the fire? Also wondering what the best season is, if you need a high clearance vehicle to access the cliffs, and where the closest place to stay is. Any beta would be most appreciated. Sep 24, 2012
Jonathan Siegrist
his truck
Jonathan Siegrist   his truck
This is an AWESOME little crag. Go there Dec 4, 2012
Are the bees still here? Its been 8 years. I'd like to think they are gone by now. Aug 8, 2013
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
unless the fire chased them off I think they are still there, at least as of 2 years ago they were. Aug 8, 2013
I went here this weekend, there was 1 bee but left us alone. I climbed firewater no bees! Aug 13, 2013
Craig Childre
Lubbock, Texas
Craig Childre   Lubbock, Texas
The main hive of bees is gone. Fire either destroyed the hive or forced the queen to relocate. So have a go at the Brit route! Sep 24, 2013
Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
Is Sitting Bull Falls still closed? The forest service website seems to indicate that.... Feb 25, 2015
Shirtless Mike
Denver, CO
Shirtless Mike   Denver, CO  
Yes, I believe it is still closed. Probably not a bad idea to call to verify if you are thinking about a trip. Feb 26, 2015
Craig Childre
Lubbock, Texas
Craig Childre   Lubbock, Texas
Correct, Still closed. Feb 27, 2015
meghan c.
el paso, tx
meghan c.   el paso, tx
Woo Ho! This place looks great. Anyone know if the falls are usually running in the summer? Jul 6, 2015
Craig Childre
Lubbock, Texas
Craig Childre   Lubbock, Texas
I've never seen them not running. This place is awesome in the summer. Shade all day, a great place to get a quick cool dip in. Just know, the place is stout! Solid grades. I was sending 10d up in Last Chance before I could send anything here. Jul 7, 2015
mario stanley
Dallas, Texas
mario stanley   Dallas, Texas
Hey Climbers,
I have been searching for a few months for the missing part of my climbing rack. I believe I may have left it at Sitting Bull falls parking lot and I was wondering if anyone found it? Or does anyone know the camp host contact info so I can call them and ask. It would be a assortment of climbing gear cams, nuts, draws and carabiners on a floral gear shoulder sling made by Metolius. Jan 23, 2016
Owen S.
Los Alamos
Owen S.   Los Alamos
Ed found that the penultimate hold on Kootenai Cruiser now contains an active beehive, see photo. He found that he could finish the route on the project anchor without getting too close to the bees. Heads up!

Sep 26, 2016

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