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Elevation: 7,216 ft
GPS: 34.67096, -106.37102
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Shared By: Badana Banantula on May 30, 2007 · Updates
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Description Suggest change

New Canyon is a small, little-known, limestone climbing area tucked away near the town of Manzano. Generally, the climbs are vertical to slighty less than vertical and are short, 40 to 50 feet high. The style of climbing is typically incut crimps and pockets and involves powerful moves. Most of the climbs involve one or two boulder problems with good rests between. New Canyon is climbable year round, but sweltering hot during the summer and cold on anything but the warmest winter days. In the summer, climbing early in the morning, before the sun hits the wall around noon, can be comfortable.

New Canyon has about 40 bolted sport routes with another 20 trad or top-rope routes. It was discovered (as far as climbing goes...) by Kirk Miller and his wife after they moved to a house near Chilili. When they first investigated there was only cow poop. The rock beckoned though, even though it was a bit on the small side. Kirk cleaned and topped extensively all over the canyon before showing it off to Randal Jet, Spike, and two kids from the High School, Matt Samet (now the editor of Climbing Magazine), Johnny Myrick (developed several routes in NM). 

The early years of climbing at New Canyon got off to a rough start. Many of the sport routes were chopped or had the hardware stolen shortly after being established. In addition, several routes did not have anchors and required rappelling from a tree or downclimbing. Recently, in 2016 and 2017, anchors were placed where needed and all of the outdated "leaper" and "teardrop" hangers were replaced. Also, most of the chopped routes have been re-bolted and include top anchors. Currently, all of the sport routes at New Canyon have modern-style anchors with chains and some have lowering steel biners. If you haven't been to New Canyon in a while, it's definitely vastly improved and worth another visit.

Walls from directly above the parking area and going left are:

Mighty Wall

Power Wall

Roof Wall

Damage Wall

Bulge Wall

Radical Wall

Flowing Cave Area

Lunch-Time Wall

NOTE: Please use either the South access trail, close to the parking area, or the middle access trail (with steps made of rock and boards, about 30 paces upstream) to prevent erosion.

Map of all of the New Canyon Areas

Getting There Suggest change

Directions to New Canyon

The gate which is 0.2 miles before you reach the climbing area is often locked in the winter months. If the gate is locked, park away from the gate on the side of the road and walk in. Do not block the gate.

Updated directions from Karl Kiser

Turn west at the church in Manzano and stay right on this paved road. Be sure to stay right at the yellow house and continue on the maintained dirt road. The USFS sign is two plus miles beyond the yellow house. The cliffs are indeed 50 yards up and right of the sign.

If you can't find Manzano it is easy to Google directions to it.

Additional directions from Garçon Rouge
There are very obvious signs in Manzano for New Canyon. Turn right by the church (where the sign says to go), then follow the well kept dirt road a few miles (3 or so) and park literally right next to the Cibola National Forest sign in a little pull out on the right. The Mighty Wall is pretty much directly over the pull out on the right side of the creek bed and you can just follow the wall all the way down.


Updated GPS coordinates:
34.670458499999995, -106.3708305 - takes you straight to the Cibola National Forest sign & parking area


Suggest change
See "New Canyon Rock Climbing" Dennis Zallen 2004
This guide can be found at REI or Stone Age.

Also mentioned in the now out of print "Sport Climbing in New Mexico South" Matt Samet

47 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at New Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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