Elevation: 6,258 ft
GPS: 35.794, -106.216 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 14,349 total · 107/month
Shared By: George Perkins on Feb 1, 2008 with updates from Pascal Grosset
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Potrillo cliffs is the primo beginner toproping/trad area in White Rock, and was the first major basalt cliff "discovered" for climbing in White Rock. The cliff has two faces: one facing south, and one facing west, so you can find sun or shade as you like.

It's a great place for the beginning trad leader, as the cliff is short, hosts many 5.6-5.9 routes, and the pro is great. The cliff is a little shorter than most at White Rock (45'), but for the more experienced there are few harder climbs.

Some climbs may have bolted anchors, but be prepared to build anchors by tying off the trees or with trad gear (which is recommended).

A detailed guide is found here, with photos showing the routes.
The route numbers on this page coincide with those in that online guide.

Getting There

Take NM state road 4 just south of White Rock, turn onto Monterey South. Stay on Monterey South, turn right on Potrillo Rd. Then turn right on Estante Rd. Follow Estante around a left turn and park when you see a fire hydrant on the right side, near the address of 428 Estante Road. Please do not block the hydrant or the mailboxes. Take the trail between mailbox 428 and the fire hydrant and follow this trail to a large gate and a sign. 75' after the gate, head left on a trail to the cliff top. To get to the base, scramble down the east side of the cliffs- this last part is 3rd class (May be challenging for some dogs or little kids without help). Should take about 10 minutes.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Potrillo Cliffs

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

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Logan Eckhardt
Logan Eckhardt   Albuquerque
I agree that anchors at some of these other areas would be helpful and would help to spread out many of the people who tend to not carry long webbing or static lines or who don't have a rack of gear to set up anchors. A problem at many areas in White Rock are that the trees are dying due to drought and bark beetle invasion. Feb 1, 2008
Chris Wenker
Santa Fe
Chris Wenker   Santa Fe
Note on the LAM pdf file that is linked here:
The narrative directions to get to this crag are generally correct, but the the map illustrated as Figure 1 in the online guide is incorrect. The actual Potrillo cliff lies ca. 400 meters south of the location plotted on that map. It appears that whoever created the map based it on an actual topo map or aerial image, because there is in fact a low mesa with a cliff at the indicated location, but it is not the same cliff as the Potrillo crag. Feb 13, 2008
October 27, 2012: Today at Potrillo Cliffs we found a couple of slings with locking biners hanging on the hangers of one of the west-side routes. If you can identify them and provide me contact information, I will return them to you.

Brett Kettering Oct 27, 2012
No response to my inquiry here or on LAM website. I've repurposed the gear.

Brett Nov 5, 2012
Orlando-- i sent you a private message, I do believe you found my prana chalkbag? ;) May 1, 2014
Was at Potrillo last week with some friends and we got rained out/had to bail and mistakenly left an anchor. Missing a #2 Cam and two #1's 7mm cordelette and two lockers. Really interested in getting it back if anyone has found it. Sep 28, 2015