Elevation: 5,713 ft
GPS: 32.234, -104.754 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 105,531 total · 697/month
Shared By: Olf Ensive on Feb 15, 2007 with improvements by Matthew Padua
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Access Issue: Climbing is currently allowed in Last Chance Canyon. Continued access is everyones responsibility. Details

Description

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. 

Getting There

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.

The GPS coordinates are to the parking area.

100 Total Climbs

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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
 28
Frosted Flakes
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 27
Riot
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 40
Gustnado
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 27
Fiddler on the Roof
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 16
Pilsner
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 35
Swept Away
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 19
Eternal Sunshine
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 19
Mad Cow
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 8
Rabid Dave
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 10
Flying Cows
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 13
Rawhide
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 9
Couch Potato
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b PG13
 10
Total Eclipse
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 10
It Put's the Buff On
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 5
Infernal Justice
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Frosted Flakes Breakfast Wall
 28
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Riot Violince Wall
 27
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Gustnado Tornado Alley
 40
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Fiddler on the Roof Violince Wall
 27
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Pilsner Beer Garden
 16
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Swept Away Tornado Alley
 35
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Eternal Sunshine Solstice Cave
 19
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Mad Cow Mad Cow Wall
 19
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Rabid Dave Mad Cow Wall
 8
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Flying Cows Tornado Alley
 10
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Rawhide Mad Cow Wall
 13
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Couch Potato Hueco Cave
 9
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Total Eclipse Solstice Cave
 10
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b PG13 Sport
It Put's the Buff On Solstice Cave
 10
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Infernal Justice Solstice Cave
 5
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Last Chance Canyon »

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