Elevation: 6,000 ft
GPS: 36.698, -105.708 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 15,266 total · 110/month
Shared By: Mike Howard on Nov 10, 2007
Admins: Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Access Issue: Caution: Poison-Ivy Details


The main cliff is known as the "Candy Store" and has the best basalt crack climbing in the region. Trad climbing splitter cracks and corners on perfect rock. Look for anchors at the top of each 30 m pitch for easy lowering and top-roping after you lead them.

Adventure Sport-Trad: This is no roadside sport area. Be prepared and equipped to scramble/bushwhack/wade/boulder hop/route find and get less done than expected. Head lamps are used more often than one would guess. Please use established trails (may be faint but often cairned). The hike out (~600 ft) can be the hardest part of your outing.

Getting to the Candy Store

Get the Taos Rock book for the best description. The Wild Rivers Recreational Area north of Questa, NM has excellent camping, spectacular views and great access to the trad climbing at Questa Dome as well as the riverside cliffs of this crag. There are also a few sport climbs up in the Red River Area.

From Taos, follow NM 68 north 7 miles. Take NM 522 approximately 20 miles to Questa. Travel 3 miles past the stoplight in Questa to NM 378. Turn left onto NM 378 and follow the signs about 12 miles west to Wild Rivers Recreation Area. The Candy Store is accessed from the Bear Crossing trail. Descend this steep trail for about 10 minutes. At the river, travel north on the East side, for about 10 minutes.(watch for poison ivy!) The cliff is located on the west side of the river and crossing can be problematic.


Arial view.

Here are some options:Depending on the river level (about 225 CFS) you can rock hop on the rocks just North of the cliff.If it is warm bring an innertube (or anything that can hold a pack above water) and it is easy to swim across. In low water it may also be able to wade across the sand bars directly opposite of the crag. The crossing is easiest in late summer or fall when the river is less than 300 cfs.

River Flow Information: River Flow Levels -- River flow levels are unpredictable, so climbers should monitor the USGS website, or contact BLM, for current information (USGS 08263500 RIO GRANDE NEAR CERRO, NM.)
USGS Water Resource Division - New Mexico District water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/?…
BLM (888)882-6188 (Recorded Message)

Day-use parking and camping fees are required for parking in BLM’s Wild Rivers and Orilla Verde Recreation Areas.

Boaters Info: blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recre…

Services, Gas, Beer, Food (Taquitos at the Wildcat's Den 2457 Highway 522 (575) 586-1119, mmmm) in Questa

Guide Service - Mountain Skills climbingschoolusa.com/index…

18 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Wild and Scenic

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Herb's Lounge
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Kid in a Candy Store
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Herb's Lounge Candy Store
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Kid in a Candy Store Candy Store
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
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This whole wall looked stellar...too bad I couldn't get there! The best place to cross the river looked to be just slightly up stream from the wall and I could easily hop across there but keeping the pack dry would have been hard. In my attempt to prove to my partner that a dry crossing was possible I took an inadvertent dip! You should have seen the smug look on his face. May 20, 2011