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Carpenter Ridge - Paradise Wall

Colorado > Naturita & Paradox Va…


This is a long cliff comprised of the same Wingate sandstone encountered at Indian Creek. Although not as well fractured, the cliff is 350' tall and provides some good multi-pitch routes.

Getting There

From Bedrock, drive north a short distance and turn right on 950 road. When this Ts out, go left (X). The road turns right and becomes 900 road. When the road turns left again (V), turn right onto a poor dirt road. Bear left at a junction. Drive until your vehicle refuses to deal with the increasingly rugged terrain. A high clearance vehicle gets you a little closer but not that much. Camping is available along this road.

The road eventually turns into a climber's trail, well cairned, leading to the cliffs. The approach is obvious and involves about 800' of elevation gain.

Routes from Left to Right

5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Barney Rubble
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
The Cheeseheads
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Stellar Haystack
Trad 2 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Barney Rubble
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
The Cheeseheads
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
Stellar Haystack
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 2 pitches

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Here is a finger crack up there, 5.11-.
[Hide Photo] Here is a finger crack up there, 5.11-.
La Sal mountains from Carpenter Ridge.
[Hide Photo] La Sal mountains from Carpenter Ridge.
Left side of the Paradise Wall (Enigma area).
[Hide Photo] Left side of the Paradise Wall (Enigma area).
Paradox Valley south of Paradise Wall - looking toward the Dolores River.
[Hide Photo] Paradox Valley south of Paradise Wall - looking toward the Dolores River.
Paradise Wall on Carpenter Ridge.
[Hide Photo] Paradise Wall on Carpenter Ridge.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Sergio P
Idaho Springs, CO
[Hide Comment] I knew it was a matter of time before this gem became more popular.

Camping: there are a few campsites along the road and where it ends. They are all primitive and using leave no trace camping ethics is advised.

Approach: a solid 45 minute vertical hike is required to reach the base of the wall. Have fun trekking all those cams up there.

Bird nesting: All I know is that last spring my rope gun and I were about to begin the second pitch of "Cheeseheads" (5.12-)on Paradise Wall when Mother Nature changed our plans. The whole first pitch we kept hearing some bird screaming. We weren’t sure were it was coming from until after transferring the rack I looked up and saw a huge eagle looking down at me from a ledge about 80 above. It then jumped off and did a flyby of our heads. We decided to rap instead of disturbing a possible nest and possibly having my eyes gashed out from a pissed off bird. We never saw a nest or baby bird. However, the behavior of that eagle causes me to believe that there is a possibility of nesting in the area. Thus, be aware of possible rapture nesting in the area and use good environmental judgment when climbing there. Maybe save climbing here for the fall or only do the single pitch stuff. Personally, I feel if we as a climbing community govern ourselves with respect to the natural environment we won’t have to deal with bureaucratic suits directing us.

Access: I have no idea where private and public landlines are set. However, there seems to be a lot of ranches in the area, so please respect the locals.

Food and drink: Make sure to check out the Bedrock gas station for a cold beverage and chips. This place is nothing like your stereotypical urban gas outlet. Mar 20, 2007
[Hide Comment] Wow, is this a huge approach and the quality of the rock leaves something to be desired...not to mention the gnarly road to get in there? Some pretty cool climbs, but it is probably not worth the brutal grind (1000' vert) up the slippery ball-bearings. Next time I'll keep driving to Indian Creek, where you can find hundreds of 5 star climbs close to the road. Nov 24, 2008
[Hide Comment] I just got back from a trip to this area. The setting is stunningly beautiful albeit extremely primitive and remote. The rock quality is on par with IC, but the cracks generally aren't as clean or as tightly grouped together. There are far more routes here than are listed in the current guidebooks! We ended up just eyeballing many mystery cracks and onsighting everything.
To get ther,e you first must find a faint old unmarked double-track road that heads straight to the wall and follow it until your (high clearance) 4X4 can't go any further. I saw no cairns or any obvious trail and ended up bushwhacking straight up to the cliff heading to the right of the huge arch. We spotted about 12-15 high quality routes and only a faint trail traversing along the base. Many routes seemed to go multiple pitches. This place also has really "fresh" feel complete with loose rock and sharp edges everywhere! Hiking 45 minutes UP with an IC-sized rack is no fun, but the area is super cool. There is a ton of new route development to be done here, too.
Going all the way to the Creek next trip! Sep 15, 2009
Evan S
Denver, Co
[Hide Comment] There's a 40 acre parcel of land at the base of this cliff band for sale for $125,000. I'm young and poor, but someone with a little cash to burn could make the buy of the century if they get on it. Nov 12, 2009
[Hide Comment] I have to agree with Randy. This place sucks. Save your energy and head out to Wall Street in Moab. Oct 9, 2010
[Hide Comment] I recently went to Carpenter Ridge and some of the smaller crags in the area. Not only does it take forever to get there, but the network of endless and poorly marked dirt roads beats the crap out of your vehicle and adds more time till the beginning of huge approaches up some of the worst talus fields I've ever been on, only to lead to mediocre climbing. Next time I'm in the area, I'm going to just keep going to Potash where I can belay off my bumper or the Creek where I can borrow cams or climb top-rope like everyone else. Jan 3, 2011
[Hide Comment] Wow, the approach to this place is so hard, and the climbing is hard and sandy. Better to keep driving and go to Supercrack buttress. If you actually managed to get up the hard steep (and quite frankly dangerous) approach, you would have to spend so much time descending, you wouldn't have time to make a decent dinner of quinoa and get a full night of sleep. Nov 28, 2014
Nic Harnish
Durango, CO
[Hide Comment] Yes, move along, nothing to see here.... Mar 10, 2016
EDJ Johnson
Eldorado Springs, Colorado
[Hide Comment] All silliness aside, if you like solitude, adventure, hard climbs, and a shorter drive than the Utah desert, this place is for you. I'm not worried about it ever really changing, thankfully. It's perfect! Nov 4, 2019