Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

Tres Piedras

New Mexico > Taos Area
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…

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Tres Piedras sunrise. September 2018.
[Hide Photo] Tres Piedras sunrise. September 2018.
First Ascentionist Bruce Holthouse on his Clean Green Dream<br>
<br>
Image courtesy of andrewburr.com.  All rights reserved.
[Hide Photo] First Ascentionist Bruce Holthouse on his Clean Green Dream Image courtesy of andrewburr.com. All rights reserved.
USGS Topo Map for area.  Hard to say if this independent map confirms the description of boundaries.  This is the same as the map available at the ranger station.  According to this, the boundary is closer to the base of Mosaic Rock.  Regardless, private and public property is to be respected.
[Hide Photo] USGS Topo Map for area. Hard to say if this independent map confirms the description of boundaries. This is the same as the map available at the ranger station. According to this, the boundary i…
Here's the gate in the parking area. There are 2 trails, 1 on private land and 1 on public. The private land trail takes you directly to the base of Mosaic Rock in only .1 miles
[Hide Photo] Here's the gate in the parking area. There are 2 trails, 1 on private land and 1 on public. The private land trail takes you directly to the base of Mosaic Rock in only .1 miles
Mosaic Rock & The Moon Rise
[Hide Photo] Mosaic Rock & The Moon Rise
Tres Piedras ~2007
[Hide Photo] Tres Piedras ~2007
The Land Owner requests this waiver to be signed and mailed if climbing on private property. Click (twice) to open this image in browser to enlarge and print. PDF Available for download as [[PDF]]http://lamountaineers.org/Tres_Piedras/Tres_Piedras_Route_Guide.html
[Hide Photo] The Land Owner requests this waiver to be signed and mailed if climbing on private property. Click (twice) to open this image in browser to enlarge and print. PDF Available for download as PDF
Map:"The property line runs from approximately the current east corner by the access gate  in a straight line over the top of South Rock to the top middle of the Chicken Heads/Mosaic Wall mount, and from there west down the mount slope to the meadow just south of the Alley climbs. Some of the most popular routes are completely on private property. There are survey markers on the top of South rock (the mysterious aluminum stake stuck in the rock) and on top of the Mosaic rock (most of the time buried in water in a pot hole.) The red line shows approximate boundry." as quoted from Jan Studebaker
[Hide Photo] Map:"The property line runs from approximately the current east corner by the access gate in a straight line over the top of South Rock to the top middle of the Chicken Heads/Mosaic Wall mount, an…
San Antonio Mountain as viewed from the northwest slabs of North Rock on a stormy spring day.
[Hide Photo] San Antonio Mountain as viewed from the northwest slabs of North Rock on a stormy spring day.
The entrance
[Hide Photo] The entrance
Another view from the parking area.
[Hide Photo] Another view from the parking area.
View of South Rock from the parking area.
[Hide Photo] View of South Rock from the parking area.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Chris Wenker
Santa Fe
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment]
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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] Does anyone know if there are any moderate routes accessible from the top for some rope soloing? Aug 1, 2013
Owen S.
LA
[Hide Comment] yep, aspen alley Aug 1, 2013
[Hide Comment] Thanks Owen! Do you know specifically which of the route anchors are accessible from the top? Aug 2, 2013
Owen S.
LA
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
[Hide Comment] 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
122Mariya
Arroyo Seco, NM
[Hide Comment] Peregrine falcons are nesting on the big ledge right below the shared anchors of South Face Middle and Right. I came down from lookout shelf towards the parking lot and as soon as I rounded the corner I got screeched and swooped at a few times by the very angry pair. Please don't climb the routes on this wall until after August 31st. In the past the Forest Service has kept this as a voluntary closure of specific walls instead of a hard closure of the entire area so let's keep it that way by not disturbing the falcons. Apr 10, 2019