Elevation: 6,800 ft
GPS: 36.342, -105.739 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 53,138 total · 307/month
Shared By: Mike Howard on Dec 15, 2006
Admins: Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
Access Issue: Access Issue for Areas in BLM Taos Field Office Lands Details
Access Issue: COVID-19 New Mexico Requirements - Updated Nov. 16, 2020 Details

Bat Cave, Afterburner and beyond

Steep face to overhanging cave climbing on tall Rio Grande Corridor basalt. Classic high-desert setting overlooking the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Rio Pueblo southwest of Taos. East-facing with great early morning sun. Cool in the late afternoon during the summer months. This is the half-mile-long cliff band left of the Bat Cave. Approach on climbers' trail about 15 min from the car. The walls from north to south include: Bat Cave, Time Bandits, Gold Rush, Afterburner, Monster, New Era and Wayne Manor. Look for ratings at base of each climb sharpied on small stones.

Expect secluded climbing with beautiful views to the Rio Grande Gorge and the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.

Long sport routes (up to 100 feet) on mostly good basalt. Bring gear for established cracks. Some routes are mixed and most are bolts only. About 40 routes so far with a number of them in the 5.12 range.

World class whitewater, fly fishing and mountain biking surround the area. The stunning camping sites available along the class II float of the Orilla Verde State Park a few miles below this wall make this a multisport destination.

Helmets recommended. Not easily top-roped.

Getting There

From south: Turn west at Pilar on NM 570 toward Carson. After several riverside miles, cross the Taos Junction Bridge over the Rio Grande onto NM 567 and climb out of the gorge on a gravel 2-wheel-drive road. Park at the La Vista Verde trailhead halfway up to the rim.

From north: Take NM 64 West across Rio Grande Gorge Bridge to West Rim Road South. Turn left onto pavement at junction with road to Carson (NM567) and then descend east into Rio Grande Gorge on gravel road (toward Pilar). Continue down to small parking area at La Vista Verde (North side of road).

To find climbers' trail, cross over wash on road heading uphill. Immediately after wash look for cairns on the other side of the road and pick up trail through boulders on the northwest side of the wash. This climbs steeply up to the Bat Cave, Afterburner and other walls.

Guidebook: Taos Rock: Climbs and Boulders of Northern New Mexico. Author:Jay Foley Publisher: Sharp End Publishing, 2005
Best resource for the established climbs in this area.

Guide Service - Mountain Skills climbingschoolusa.com/index…

54 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Vista Verde Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 8
Gavilan
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 21
Raya Negra
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 22
Holeistic Healing
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 14
Subaru Nation
Sport
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
 7
Tacoma Man
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 8
Rifle-esque (Chaturanga)
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 11
Crystal Therapy
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 8
Afterburner
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 13
Big Howie
Sport
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 3
Flying Squirrel
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 4
Path to Enlightenment
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 7
Fang Shui
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 3
Letting Go
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Gavilan 3. Gold Rush Wall
 8
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Raya Negra 3. Gold Rush Wall
 21
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Holeistic Healing 1. Bat Cave
 22
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Subaru Nation 1. Bat Cave
 14
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Tacoma Man 1. Bat Cave
 7
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport
Rifle-esque (Chaturanga) 1. Bat Cave
 8
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Crystal Therapy 1. Bat Cave
 11
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Afterburner 4. Afterburner Face
 8
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Big Howie 4. Afterburner Face
 13
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Flying Squirrel 6. Wayne Manor
 3
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Path to Enlightenment 1. Bat Cave
 4
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Fang Shui 1. Bat Cave
 7
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Letting Go 1. Bat Cave
 3
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Vista Verde Crag »

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