Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.
Elevation: 5,706 ft
GPS: 32.2336, -104.7537
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 206,461 total · 988/month
Shared By: Olf Ensive on Feb 15, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Jason Halladay, Mike Hoskins, Anna Brown

Description Suggest change

Last Chance Canyon is home to some of the best sport climbing in New Mexico. The limestone in the canyon is of variable quality, but the bulk of the existing routes are on top-shelf stone that would rival that of famous European crags. There are two distinct styles of climbs: technical, near vertical faces on thin edges and excellent pockets, and steep jug-hauls up enormous sweeping roofs of layered shelfs. The canyon currently hosts ~120 bolted routes, ranging in difficulty from 5.4 to 5.13+. There is potential for many more excellent lines, but a bolting ban has been imposed by Lincoln National Forest (see access note for more information).

There are around 15 distinct crags in the canyon, facing all directions. In the winter, sun-seekers can climb at the Violince Wall, Tornado Alley, or the Breakfast Wall in the morning. Crags that get afternoon sun are The Sunporch, Santa Fe Wall, Tombstone Wall, The Beer Garden, and Tsunami Wall. In the warmer months head straight to the Mad Cow Wall, and Hueco Cave, two of the canyon's best cliffs.

Free camping is available on Lincoln National Forest adjacent to the parking area. A few trees offer shelter a few yards east of the parking lot. The altitude at the campground & parking lot is ~6,000 feet, so it will be significantly cooler than the temps in Carlsbad. The canyon bed is about 1,000 feet lower. In times of heavy rains, some crag bases will be submerged, and the access road can get extremely muddy.

If you're at LCC for an extended period of time, the Pilot Travel Center at the southern end of Carlsbad has two shower rooms. Showers are $12 and include a towel.

Please be respectful and pack your toilet paper out. Please refrain from utilizing protected areas and caves as bathrooms.
No toilet paper fairy

Getting There Suggest change

From US 285, ~8 miles N of Carlsbad, head West on Highway 137 to Queen(~38 miles). On the far end of Queen, just after Mile Marker 18, turn right onto Forest Road 525 (signed). There are numerous spur roads, just follow the main track. You will encounter 2 cattle guards and two gates. After ~3 miles, make a hard left onto 525A (signed), and continue 1 more mile to the parking lot overlooking the canyon, passing an old shack.

The camping area is on the right side of the road, 100 yds before the parking lot.

Pack Out Your Used Toilet Paper (Leave No Trace ethics)

Suggest change
It is imperative climbers pack out their used toilet paper. The sport climbing area is very concentrated. The steep, loose slopes make it more difficult to find a place to use the bathroom resulting in some very popular "poop spots." Unfortunately. there is a large amount of used toilet paper floating around these popular spots. This is gross and disrespectful to the area and other climbers. Do your part--put your used toilet paper (and poop for bonus points) in a baggie and take it home for disposal. Also, always pack out what trash you brought in.
No toilet paper fairy

101 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Last Chance Canyon Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Last Chance Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 44
Frosted Flakes
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 63
Gustnado
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 46
Fiddler on the Roof
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 23
Pilsner
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 50
Swept Away
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 33
Eternal Sunshine
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 33
Mad Cow
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 15
Rabid Dave
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 19
Flying Cows
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 17
Rawhide
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 13
Couch Potato
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b PG13
 16
Total Eclipse
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 7
Canadian Beef
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 12
It Puts the Buff On
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 7
Infernal Justice
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Frosted Flakes Breakfast Wall
 44
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Gustnado Tornado Alley
 63
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Fiddler on the Roof Violince Wall
 46
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Pilsner Beer Garden
 23
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Swept Away Tornado Alley
 50
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Eternal Sunshine Solstice Cave
 33
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Mad Cow Mad Cow Wall
 33
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Rabid Dave Mad Cow Wall
 15
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Flying Cows Tornado Alley
 19
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Rawhide Mad Cow Wall
 17
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Couch Potato Hueco Cave
 13
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Total Eclipse Solstice Cave
 16
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b PG13 Sport
Canadian Beef Hueco Cave
 7
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
It Puts the Buff On Solstice Cave
 12
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Infernal Justice Solstice Cave
 7
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Last Chance Canyon »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos

loading