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Areas in La Cueva Canyon, Lower

Flake n' Bake 4 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 5
Gemstone East 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 5
Gemstone West 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 9
Elevation: 6,532 ft
GPS: 35.205, -106.487 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 21,148 total · 152/month
Shared By: Anthony Stout on Mar 20, 2007
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
Getting weather forecast...
Access Issue: Seasonal raptor closure for some areas in the Sandias Details

Description

Just beyond the foothills, this area is somewhat unlike the steep walls of the upper Sandia Mountains. Starting in Albuquerque, a beautiful hike next to a stream takes you to some quality low angle slab and crack climbing.

Getting There

Get on Tramway and head north for a while. Find the Juan Tabo Picnic Area exit (Forest Road 333) and turn right after the second cattle guard (FR 333B). Follow this road to the La Cueva picnic area. Take the LaCueva trail (#83) east for about 1/4 mile to a point where the trail forks. The south (right) fork leads into the canyon. GPS coordinates are to the parking area.

19 Total Climbs

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Location: La Cueva Canyon, Lower Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at La Cueva Canyon, Lower

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 64
Flake n' Bake
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 9
Opal
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 10
Surf Naked
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 28
Revenge of the Elderly
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 5
Broken Ladders
Trad, Alpine
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 32
Gemstone
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 3
Lena's Cousin
Trad, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 7
Shoots & Ladders
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 12
Emerald City
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 6
Seamingly Hard
Trad, Alpine
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Flake n' Bake Flake n' Bake
 64
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Opal Gemstone East
 9
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
Surf Naked Gemstone East
 10
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
Revenge of the Elderly Gemstone East
 28
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Broken Ladders Gemstone West
 5
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine
Gemstone Gemstone West
 32
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Lena's Cousin Flake n' Bake
 3
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine
Shoots & Ladders Gemstone West
 7
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Emerald City Gemstone East
 12
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Seamingly Hard Gemstone West
 6
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine
More Classic Climbs in La Cueva Canyon, Lower »

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Photos

Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
Interesting to see different names in different references.

Hill:
  • Gemstone East and West Areas
Schein:
  • Lower La Cueva Canyon East and West Slabs
Loucks:
  • Emerald Highway Area and Gemstone Area
Jun 15, 2008
Bill M
Fort Collins, CO
Bill M   Fort Collins, CO
hillmap.com/m/ag1zfmhpbGxtY… more or less. May 21, 2012
Howard Snell
Belen, New Mexico
Howard Snell   Belen, New Mexico
Road to Lower La Cueva Canyon Trail Head was gated & locked this morning (10/27/12). We parked at the Tram parking lot and took the Tram - La Luz cross over trail to get into Lower La Cueva Canyon. Adds 35 or so minutes to approach but LLC was deserted.

I've looked through the Sandia Ranger District website for information, but I can't find any details so I'm not sure how long the trail head will be closed. If you're planning on climbing in Lower La Cueva Canyon you might call the Sandia FS (505.281.3304 & check on the closure. If you don't want to use the Tram access you could try the housing area to the N. It looked like there might be access through there, but I wasn't sure about the private property issues. Oct 28, 2012
Howard Snell
Belen, New Mexico
Howard Snell   Belen, New Mexico
Update: Vehicular Access to Lower La Cueva Canyon Trail Head Closed Until May 2013.

I just called the Sandia Ranger District to check on the status of the apparent closure of the road leading to the Lower La Cueva Canyon Trail Head. It appears that the road will remain closed until May of 2013. The primary closure is the picnic area (current budgets don't allow appropriate maintenance). The person I spoke with, Mary, said that it is OK to park at the gate and walk in to the Lower La Cueva Canyon Trail, and it is OK to walk in on the La Luz / Tram crossover trail from open parking areas at the La Luz Trail Head or the Tram parking area. Parking at the Tram lot can require payment (although not always), but Mary suggested that a Recreational Pass for the Sandias should allow you to park at the Forest Service Information Area where the crossover trail heads North.

If you're planning on climbing in Lower La Cueva Canyon parking at the Tram adds 1.45 miles to your approach. Walking up the La Cueva Picnicground road from the locked gate adds 1.35 miles. Oct 31, 2012

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