Elevation: 9,200 ft
GPS: 36.795, -105.535 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 20,314 total · 145/month
Shared By: George Perkins on Jun 17, 2007
Admins: Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Access Issue: Wilderness Area Details


Questa Dome proper is the centerpiece of multi-pitch climbing in the Taos area, with ~5 pitch routes on beautiful white granite. The climbs here range from 5.10-5.12, and have quality crack/slab climbing in the same style as parts of the S. Platte and the Organs. Questa Dome has a deserved reputation for runout/scary slabs, but it is so much more varied than just that! Most climbs follow cracks or seams for much of their length with slab/thin-face sections linking these features. Most climbs in the center of the Dome tackle the intimidating roof that looms at the 350' level. And above the roof- well you'll just have to find out what's up there! Questa also has a (perhaps out-of-date) reputation for old bolts- some climbs have been updated, some haven't- check route descriptions.

Season: May through October, typically. The cliff gets a lot of sun, and can be hot on summer days, or warm enough in spring or fall if it's not windy.

Descent: Top out the dome, scramble up the ridge a little ways, and walk-off to the east, down a faint trail and contour back to the base of the dome. If you have to bail from any of these, you'll need 2 ropes or will need to leave gear and build intermediate stations.

A guidebook or at least a topo is recommended. 'Taos Rock' and 'Rock Climbing: New Mexico' are both excellent guides to the area, and both include the best climbs. 'Taos Rock' includes 2 or 3 more routes that aren't in RC:NM. There are some lines/variations that are not in any guidebook.

Getting There

From Taos: Take NM 522 north past the village of Questa. 6 miles past Questa take a right at a sign to El Rito. Go just under a mile to where the road turns (at a house) to dirt. Veer right and then climb up the steep road for just under a mile farther. High clearance is helpful (or add about 0.5 miles of walking on the road). At the T-junction, go right, and continue for 0.2 miles to a small parking lot and trailhead on the left.

The trailhead is an ok place to camp.

The trail climbs through the pine forest and soon meets a beautiful creek. In early season, the trail may be flooded by the creek in some places, but should not be a problem. As the trail gets steeper, the dome is obvious on the left. Stay on the trail until about level with the base, then traverse left to the base of the rock. This will take 45 minutes or so.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Questa Dome

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Questa Dome »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Owen S.
Los Alamos
Owen S.   Los Alamos
There are some easier routes that have been put up on questa, see:


The Ancient Ones 5.10a *** See attached Ancient ones topo with written description.

The Ledge Area
Approach: From the base of the Ancient Ones, hike up and right skirting the Dome for about 200ft. Then hike west past several trees to reach a ledge just east of the second pitch of the Ancient Ones.

Icelandic Pony 5.10c R ** Start 20ft right of the Ancient Ones’ second pitch and climb up angling cracks to a bulge at left facing croner. Climb over bulge (crux) and continue up corner to a pine tree. Descend by traversing to the Second belay of the Ancient Ones and rap. Note: This route was put up ground up onsight by Scott Resnick and he plans to add a few bolts after the bulge to rid the R rating. FA: Scott Resnick, Dan Greenwald.

Far End Crack 5.7 ** Climb up slab to crack with a large chock stone and contiue up a beautiful hand crack to a two bolt anchor. FA: Dan Greenwald, Scott Resnick. Jan 16, 2013
john strand
southern colo
john strand   southern colo
Is hand drilling legal again ??? Feb 19, 2013
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
The "wilderness area" designation section above is kind of incorrect for Questa Dome. Questa is part of National Forest Wilderness, not BLM wilderness. Still not allowed to use a power drill though. I didn't add that part to this page, and can't figure out how to edit/delete it. Apr 2, 2018