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Areas in Tres Piedras

Aspen Alley 5 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Beastie Alley 7 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Far Rock 4 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Independence Gully 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Lookout Shelf 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Middle Rock 4 / 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Mosaic Rock 27 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 33
North Rock 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
South Rock 11 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Tres Piedras Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
West Rock 7 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Elevation: 8,408 ft
GPS: 36.661, -105.983 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 76,115 total · 555/month
Shared By: Mark Mathis on Jul 12, 2007 with updates from Levi Wilner and 1 other
Admins: Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
Getting weather forecast...
Access Issue: Some rocks in this area are on private property. Property owner requests signed waiver. Details

Description

Tres Piedras offers a selection of traditional routes on quality granite slabs, cracks, and steep faces. Spanish for "Three Rocks" Tres Piedras (obviously) consists of six major rock formations.

In addition to the taller routes, the bouldering is excellent here and it is not uncommon to see as many crashpads as ropes.

Guidebooks
The 2 guidebooks ('Taos Rock' and 'Rock Climbing: New Mexico') are both excellent and virtually identical as far as the route descriptions and photos. 'Taos Rock' (unlike RC:NM) also documents some of the bouldering.
An aging incomplete guide by Bill Johnson, John Joline, Cayce Weber and Lee Sheftel from the 70s is posted on the LA Mountaineers website here

First Ascentionist Bruce Holthouse on his Clean Green Dream Image courtesy of andrewburr.com. All rights reserved.
Bruce Holthouse climbing Clean Green Dream on the the 30th anniversary of the FA.

Getting There

The small village of Tres Piedras is at the junction of US 285 and US 64. From the intersection, go west on US 64 for 0.7 miles (past the ranger station) to an unmarked dirt road on the right. Look for the big green water tower on the ground. Go through the barbwire fence gate (and close it behind you). Follow this for 0.5 miles to the parking area (left at the "T", left at the "Y").

U.S. Forest Service Information

Guide Service - Mountain Skills climbingschoolusa.com/index…

101 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Tres Piedras

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 40
Dirty Diagonal
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 40
Chicken Heads
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 44
Chicken Shit
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 26
Yikes Dikes
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 53
Mama Jugs
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 56
Serpentine Crack
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 41
Clean Green Dream
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 34
Alien
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 29
Gila Monster
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 19
Unknown (Right of Mama Jugs)
Trad, Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 13
Better Red Than Dead
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 10
Cowboy Bob's Chickenhead Delight
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
 26
Serpent Face
Trad
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 7
Holthouse to Hell
Trad 2 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 16
Techweenie
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Dirty Diagonal Mosaic Rock
 40
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
Chicken Heads Mosaic Rock
 40
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Chicken Shit Mosaic Rock
 44
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Yikes Dikes S Rock
 26
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Mama Jugs Mosaic Rock
 53
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad 2 pitches
Serpentine Crack Mosaic Rock
 56
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Clean Green Dream Mosaic Rock
 41
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Alien W Rock
 34
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Gila Monster Aspen Alley
 29
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Unknown (Right of Mama Jugs) Mosaic Rock
 19
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Sport
Better Red Than Dead Mosaic Rock
 13
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad
Cowboy Bob's Chickenhead De… Middle Rock
 10
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Serpent Face Mosaic Rock
 26
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13 Trad
Holthouse to Hell Mosaic Rock
 7
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 2 pitches
Techweenie Mosaic Rock
 16
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Tres Piedras »

Weather Averages

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Chris Wenker
Santa Fe
Chris Wenker   Santa Fe
Historical Query: In the old-school guide that is linked here, does anyone know what the capitalized letters in the route descriptions stood for?
Such as:
BLACK LICHEN (5.6 I, 1 pitch, B.P. )
CRACK N' FRICTION (5.5, I, 1 pitch, E. )
QUEEN CRACK (5.8, II, 1 pitch , E.D. )

What do the "B.P." "E." and "E.D." stand for? These are the only three acronyms that are used, appearing repeatedly throughout the document. Are they descriptions of the protection? Maybe, because "E.D." appears to correlate with climbs that were not free leads. Jun 2, 2008
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
Chris Wenker wrote:does anyone know what the capitalized letters in the route descriptions stood for? What do the "B.P." "E." and "E.D." stand for?
Chris, you may have already gotten this information but for the edification of others, I just recently posed this question to long-time local climber Norbert E. and his response was:
Norbert E. wrote:But I think I remember that they refer to the protection on the route. B.P. is Bomb Proof, E. I don't remember, and E.D. is Extremely Dangerous. I think you will see that these designations are appropriate for the climbs listed.
Apr 28, 2009
Chris Wenker
Santa Fe
Chris Wenker   Santa Fe
Thanks for that info Jason.
Dennis Jackson's books mention that a "classic unbound, self-published guidebook by Cayce Weber and Ed Jaramillo has been circulating since 1981."

But the .pdf that's on the LAM site is apparently not that guide. I've been told by a guidebook author that the .pdf is an even earlier version that was put together by Bill Johnson, John Joline, Cayce Weber and Lee Sheftel. (How old does that make it?).
So, it'd be cool to actually see Weber and Jaramillo's 1981 guide too.

I'm still hoping someday to figure out the locations of some of those older climbs that aren't in the modern guidebooks (like where Puddin' really goes, or where Summer Dreams should be (I think it differs from Jackson's description), and comparing Bats in the Belfry versus Crowbait, etc). Apr 30, 2009
Just spent three awesome days in TP! Great climbing and some great locals. Thanks for the beta, and the little pick me up. Can't wait to come back! May 7, 2009
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
Despite the reputation this area has unfortunately gained over the years: On most climbs at TP, and nearly all of those 5.10 or under, the fixed gear and bolts are in great condition and trustworthy. First time visitors, and climbers staying on 5.10 or easier climbs, should not be discouraged from coming here, and should not worry about bolts.

I had a long list inventorying fixed hardware at TP here, but most of the popular climbs have been upgraded and I haven't kept it up-to-date, so I'm removing it. Jul 20, 2009
William Penner
The 505
William Penner   The 505
I agree with George--90% of the best routes at TP have good to excellent natural and fixed gear. The remaining 10% with gear in possibly poor condition are mostly harder routes or less interesting obscurities. Jul 20, 2009
Jan Studebaker
Jemez Springs, NM
Jan Studebaker   Jemez Springs, NM
The Los Alamos Mountaineers now have a guide to Tres Piedras that combines several sources together to create an easy to follow climbing guide to the area. MountainProject route descriptions are referenced for all routes. Many thanks go to all who helped with the individual descriptions!

Click here to view this guide. Apr 27, 2010
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
Very nice work, Jan. Thanks.

And speaking of the LA Mountaineers, I believe the annual LAM climbing school graduation is being held at TP this Saturday, 5/1/2010. If you seek solitude at TP, it's best to avoid the area this Saturday. Apr 27, 2010
worm  
no need for the rope,bouldering there is awsome, beer crashpad and colorado green is all you need,warm no people and tons of virgin lines love it. Mar 31, 2012
Does anyone know if there are any moderate routes accessible from the top for some rope soloing? Aug 1, 2013
Owen S.
Los Alamos
Owen S.   Los Alamos
yep, aspen alley Aug 1, 2013
Thanks Owen! Do you know specifically which of the route anchors are accessible from the top? Aug 2, 2013
Owen S.
Los Alamos
Owen S.   Los Alamos
all of them I think. Ive definitely set up/taken down anchors on Unknown 5.10a, Analog Analogy 5.11b/Digital Dilemma 5.11c (same anchor) & zorro 10a. Im fairly sure gila monster is the same. the "unknown" 10a is actually a cool climb and you can do a few variations on toprope. Actually the bolted line isnt the easiest line - on TR you can climb this face at ~5.9. Aug 2, 2013
evan h
Denver, CO
evan h   Denver, CO
There is a new restaurant/cafe/grocery store/B&B at Tres Piedras called Chili Line Depot. On the way back to CO this morning, we stopped in for a quick breakfast burrito. We met one of the owners, Debbie, and she expressed a lot of excitement about serving the climbing community in the future. She was amazingly friendly and showed us around the bedrooms for rent, which also included a pool table/lounge area. The breakfast burritos were excellent (didn't try any other food). I think the bedroom might be a great option for colder temps when camping is out of the question. Either way, I told her I'd give a shout out on MP, so stop in and say hi! Their number is 575-758-1701.

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_… Sep 1, 2014
I found a blue lightweight puffy jacket at the base of dirty diagonal. If this is yours let me know and I will get it back to you. May 1, 2016
meems  
Teddy, sent pm to you about the found puffy., but no response, so: I believe I know owner, says he left/lost it at Mosaic a few weeks back. blue Golite. plz let me know if you think it matches. May 3, 2016
Laura.Burkhardt
Alamosa
Laura.Burkhardt   Alamosa
HI! My name is Laura. I recently moved to Alamosa and am seeking climbing partners for Tres Peidras and other areas. Let me know if you'd like to get out! burkhardt.laura@gmail.com 720-355-8484. Thanks!!! Aug 13, 2016
Cait Vitale
Pocatello, ID
Cait Vitale   Pocatello, ID
Headed down to New Mexico this next week and hoping to climb in the Taos area- How are snow conditions there? I assume to basalt areas are good, but would love to climb some granite. Thanks! Mar 17, 2018
Due to Peregrine nesting, the Forest Service is requesting that climbers keep their distance from the nest. The nest is located near the Alien; Therefore, West rock and the West side of Middle Rock is closed to climbing. Jun 21, 2018
Found some prescription glasses at the base of Mama Jugs on the Mosaic rock. Sep 19, 2018 · Lost & Found
MP TP-goers: would love some input on the status of encounters with locals and the condition of the area. Forest Service is trying to collect some anecdotes on conflicts and misuse in order to better serve this area for everyone. What are your experiences with user made trails? Garbage? Human waste? Conversations with locals? Please feel free to comment here, or even better, if you're in the area, the FS is hosting a West Zone climbing meeting October 11th, 5pm in Ojo Caliente at Mesa Vista High School auditorium. Thank you! Oct 4, 2018 · Temporary Report
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
Colleen, here’s my take, I’ve been climbing at Tres Piedras a few times per year for the last 15 years and always have a great time; it's a wonderful place and I think is overall in a pretty good condition.
-The trails are adequate.
-Human waste, dog waste, and trash does not seem to be an issue for the numbers of people visiting here.
-I’ve not had any issues or conflicts with locals.
-As stated in the “Access Issue” above, part of Tres Piedras is on private property, although the specific boundaries are unclear when you’re out there. The current landowner allows climbers on the portion on his property, it would be nice to continue to not worry about conflicts if a few people misbehave or if the property changes hands. My feeling is that only a very small percentage of climbers are completing the waiver as he requested a decade ago. I’m not sure if he still cares. If it’s still important, a waiver and box for them at the kiosk would encourage more climbers to fill these in.
Thanks for looking to improve our Carson NF climbing areas!
-In some seasons, there have been long-term / homeless / transient camping set-ups in the nearby area. The people have never bothered me, but I could see this causing a potential issue that would affect climbing here (like the FS or landowner looking to close the approach road or something). Oct 4, 2018 · Temporary Report

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