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Areas in Sugarite State Park

Little Horse Mesa 46 / 2 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 47
Elevation: 8,000 ft
GPS: 36.98, -104.394 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 18,244 total · 156/month
Shared By: Karl K on Jun 18, 2008
Admins: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Pronounced Sugar-reet. A 40-50' basalt cliff with a variety of fun vertical cracks & face climbs. Climbs have all been led, but toproping is possible on virtually all climbs: anchors (often bolts) are easily set up (you may need a longer stretch of webbing/rope for some of the climbs). The altitude (around 8,000') means that climbing can be nice even in the summer; however, the cliff faces SE, so it may get too warm even here.
Rock quality on the established climbs is usually very good.

Online guide information, excerpted from D. Jackson's Rock Climbing New Mexico book, can be found at…

Getting There

Sugarite is NE of the town of Raton, NM. Raton is about 20 miles south of the Colorado border on Interstate 25. To get to the cliff: take exit 452 onto Highway 72. Follow 72 east and take a mild left onto 526 (signs point the way to Sugarite). As you travel up this road and enter the park, you will either need to pay the day-use fee ($5 in 2008) at the kiosk, or continue up to your campground (you pay either the day-use fee or the camping fee [$10], not both). About 2.5 miles past the visitor center (has free showers!) is a dirt road leading left to Soda Pocket Campground. The campground is just under 2 miles up the road (and is the logical place to stay if climbing), but the parking for the climbing is just after a corral (~1.3 miles from the turn). The main trail, "Little Horse Mesa" trail leaves from the right side of the road near a sign that says "No horses or mules beyond this point".
Approach the cliff-top from this trail: (it heads up the valley for a half mile or so, splits to the right (this is signed well), hump up the steep, but short hill and then walk the half mile back to the top of the cliff. You will know you are close when you see a dry lake bed on your left.
There is another trail that leads to the bottom of the cliff; it starts by taking the main trail to the right from the parking area for 3-400 yards. If you can spot the cairns, follow the faint trail through brambles and talus to the base. ( I would recommend the clifftop trail on your first visit, then leave via the other trail so you know where it goes....)

47 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sugarite State Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Pete's Downclimb
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Up Your Arete
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Salt Mother
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Crack Head
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Right on Raton
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Great Roof Left
Trad, TR
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Endless Summer
Trad, TR
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Jam Your Blues Away
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Sangre Verde
Sport, TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Taos Lightning
Trad, TR
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
S&M Crack
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Pete's Downclimb Little Horse Mesa 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Up Your Arete Little Horse Mesa 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Salt Mother Little Horse Mesa 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Crack Head Little Horse Mesa 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Right on Raton Little Horse Mesa 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Great Roof Left Little Horse Mesa 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Endless Summer Little Horse Mesa 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13 Trad, TR
Jam Your Blues Away Little Horse Mesa 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, TR
Sangre Verde Little Horse Mesa 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, TR
Taos Lightning Little Horse Mesa 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, TR
S&M Crack Little Horse Mesa 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
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Kyle D
Las Vegas, NV
Kyle D   Las Vegas, NV
Visited this crag for the first time today. Just a couple of things to note: If you have to hike the road for Soda Pocket Campground because the gate is closed for the off-season (Dec-March) keep in mind that even though it is only 1.3 miles, it is uphill the entire way. Add snow to the mix and its a fairly substantial approach. Other than that, the climbing is pretty decent. Signage on the trails are well marked. I found the climbs pretty easily and was able to TR solo a few laps before work. Once the road is open I'll be climbing here pretty often. Dec 2, 2015
Rich Kelly
Rich Kelly   Boulder
The trail to the base leaves you left of the leftmost climb. Go right and you will soon be able to spot the bolts on Sangre Verde from which you can orient yourself. We came down the trail listed in the Falcon guide book (mid-cliff area), but it appears to no longer be used. Nov 5, 2015
William Penner
The 505
William Penner   The 505
It does not say it in the guidebook, but be very careful because of bears in the thick trees on the approach to cliff. You are almost guaranteed to see a few and I have repeatedly come within 10 to 20 feet of moms and cubs in this area; each time was quite a surprise. Usually they are cool and wander off.

Don't leave food in the pack and use caution when camping nearby, although I don't think the local bears are Yosemite-caliber thieves yet and able to break into cars.

W Feb 25, 2010

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