Elevation: 6,800 ft
GPS: 36.342, -105.739 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 28,535 total · 194/month
Shared By: Mike Howard on Dec 15, 2006
Admins: Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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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.
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i didn't really want to change the name of the area, i just thought about it as an option for names of cliff sections before we had any. Jul 18, 2010
Mike Howard    
Hey Tim, We just grabbed that name from the sign for the area at the parking lot. We didn't want to scoop any older names and I like the Gotham theme. Total respect from me to rename the area, or any of the crags, back to that original one. Cheers, Mike Jul 18, 2010
we ended up using vista verde too. its much more fitting. Jul 18, 2010
Bob Graham
Portland, OR
Bob Graham   Portland, OR
Climbed today at the Vista Verde crags with a friend and we had a total blast, what fun climbing. Thanks to everyone who put in all the hard work to develop these climbs! Crackula and Crankenstein were a couple of our favorites. May 30, 2011
Bob Graham
Portland, OR
Bob Graham   Portland, OR
put 2 biners on the anchor chains of Gold Rush last night for speed and ease, please leave in place. Jun 3, 2011
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
There are a few additional climbs on a small cliff adjacent to the road about 100 yards to the south of the Vista Verde trailhead (the normal Bat Cave parking). They look to be easy/moderate. Anyone have more info on these? Jun 1, 2014