Elevation: 7,500 ft
GPS: 37.431, -107.194 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 62,356 total · 469/month
Shared By: markguycan on Jun 18, 2008 with improvements by Spencer William and 1 other
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
34°F 1°C
44°F - 30°F 7°C - -1°C
56°F - 33°F 13°C - 1°C
61°F - 35°F 16°C - 2°C
64°F - 38°F 18°C - 3°C
Memorial Day
55°F - 34°F 13°C - 1°C
55°F - 34°F 13°C - 1°C


This is a great location above the Piedra River. So far, only a handful of routes. This place has tons of potential though (hoping to motivate the locals) 1 nice steep lieback crack (5.10), 2 (5.10-11) face sport climbs, 5.9 corner system, and bolted arete (5.10). Eds. apparently, this description is about the East Side.

Sorry I don't know any names or FAs. Rap in about 100 feet to anchors on the face. The lower face is pretty chossy- ought to be cleaned up and linked with routes above for 140 foot routes.

Be very wary of poison ivy in the summer in the lower Piedra area near the creek.

Per Spencer William: bring a stick clip!


Eds. this area was moved to Pagosa Springs. Thanks!

74 Total Climbs

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Location: Piedra River Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Piedra River

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V5+ 6C+
Huggy Bear
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Lightning Crashes
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Taster's Choice
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
First Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
F***in' Greenies
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Mild Hops
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Van Gogh's
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Hopstacle Course
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Black Magic Spell
Trad, Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Smokin' Stems
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Refuse To Suffer
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Southern Cross
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Wild Hops
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Raising Awareness
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Huggy Bear Piedra River - Lower…
V5+ 6C+ Boulder
Nescafe Piedra River - Lower…
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Lightning Crashes Piedra River - Lower…
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Taster's Choice Piedra River - Lower…
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
First Wall Piedra River - Lower…
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
F***in' Greenies Piedra River - Lower…
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Mild Hops Piedra River - Lower…
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Van Gogh's Piedra River - Lower…
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Hopstacle Course Piedra River - Lower…
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Black Magic Spell Piedra River - Lower…
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, Sport
Smokin' Stems Piedra River - Lower…
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Refuse To Suffer Piedra River - Lower…
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
Southern Cross Piedra River - Lower…
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Wild Hops Piedra River - Lower…
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Raising Awareness Piedra River - Lower…
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Piedra River »

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manuel rangel
manuel rangel   Arizona
If you drive down to the river/bridge, a trail takes you downstream where the upper walls are exposed, the solid portion, and there are a few sport and trad routes on the west side of the canyon. Jul 16, 2008
Craig Childre
Lubbock, Texas
Craig Childre   Lubbock, Texas
I think the map designation for the turn is named Dead Man's curve. Awesome fishing too if you're an angler. Jun 24, 2010
The bridge is 14 miles from the Piedra Road/County Rd.600-CO Hwy 160 junction. Dec 1, 2010
On virtually all routes in the canyon, you will find a long stickclip handy. Dec 29, 2010
Does anyone know where I may find a guidebook to this location? Aug 24, 2011
issac overright
Farmington NM
issac overright   Farmington NM
Does anyone know if this area will be climb able by next weekend (i.e. free of snow)? Mar 27, 2012
Looking for partners. I am living in old town Pagosa. Hit me up! Love to climb anything. Jul 20, 2013
@Rockhill - Looking for partners? - My wife and I will be in the area from August 23-27. We will be climbing for at least one if not two days do not know which days yet. Send me a message if you will be around or anyone else who wants to climb. Aug 19, 2013
Can any of these routes in any areas around Pagosa Spring be TR'd; read, walk around top and throw rope down. Specifically the moderates.

Any information much appreciated. Oct 10, 2013
After climbing here since the early 2000s, I have to say this area has seen some great development in the past few years. Some very quality routes have been put in with great hardware, and the poison ivy is no longer the issue it once was. Pretty much all routes are accessible to both lead and top rope climbers. The handful of developers who have done this deserve props for sure! Oct 30, 2013
Every unpainted hanger in the canyon is coming down. Paint 'em or lose 'em, your choice. Contact me if yours end up missing. Show up with some primer and paint, and you can have them back. I'll even watch you paint 'em. Jun 4, 2014
To S. Price:
I'm all about preservation of our natural surroundings as well as climbing/putting up climbs with ethical consideration every time. Why don't you take the high road here, and if you are going to rap in to remove every unpainted hanger, bring some paint with you and paint them. Contribute something positive, and the climbs remain climbable. Jun 13, 2014
flagstaff, AZ
markguycan   flagstaff, AZ
I agree with Jackel, please be a proactive climber rather than a reactive environmentalist. Jun 16, 2014
Santa Fe, NM
Haj   Santa Fe, NM
Just wondering if the bolts are still in place at this time? I am considering climbing here next weekend. Thanks! Jul 15, 2014
They are still up. Not fair of me to take all away for the summer visitors.
This fall they will come down. If those that put them up unpainted in the first place would have been proactive, there would be no reason to be reactive. Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Frederick
Lusaka, ZM
Kevin Frederick   Lusaka, ZM
Nice rock here. Most of the routes are not bolted for leading at your limit, IMHO. Jul 25, 2014
Kevin Frederick
Lusaka, ZM
Kevin Frederick   Lusaka, ZM
S.Price, re: removing hangers.

I would be sad to see you strip hangers not only for my own selfish interests (though I'm only here once a year, in summer, so thank you for not stripping them yet!) but also because such actions just create antagonism and division within the climbing community.

Questions: have there been complaints from land managers, hikers, etc? IMHO I think the chalk is a bigger eyesore. How many hangers are you targeting?

Just an idea: since you obviously feel very strongly about it (strongly enough to spend time and energy stripping hangers), what about establishing a fund to pay for your efforts to camouflage them instead? I would be happy to contribute. Perhaps the Access Fund could help materially or organizationally as well. Jul 25, 2014
Tempe, AZ
rageynate   Tempe, AZ
I was planning on going there this Tue. and Wed., but the last thing I want to do is get halfway up a climb and find stripped bolts, have you cut them yet? If not, I'll bring some paint and paint any I climb. Any preference on paint color/make? Jul 27, 2014
Hangers will be in place until this fall.
Unless you are properly equipped to paint hangers on the wall without making a mess of it, I would prefer you paint none of them. If you must, tan and flat black will be your color choices.

Kevin, yes there have been complaints from land managers and hikers. Every unpainted hanger is targeted. I am not really concerned with causing a rift in our local climbing community. Those that equipped these routes knew what was expected of them and dropped the ball. Still in their court until this fall. Jul 28, 2014
Kevin Frederick
Lusaka, ZM
Kevin Frederick   Lusaka, ZM
Re: S. Price --

Again, curious -- how many unpainted hangers are there? 5? 50? 100?

Anyway, you sound quite determined to strip the hangers, and reading between the lines it sounds like there's already a "rift" in the local climbing community. Too bad. I would have liked to help contribute in a positive manner; since I don't have the time resources to do so I would have been happy to contribute monetarily. It's a shame to see the same old tired battles among climbers, rather than working together so that the effects of a few insensitive sorts are lost among overall positive efforts.

Is it more important to penalize the miscreants, with the greater climbing community as collateral damage, or, as a previous commenter suggested, take the high road, with help from others, and fix the problems? The risk of the former choice is that you end up as destructive as those who put the shiny bolts there in the first place.

This is the whole reason the Access Fund was created. Notice that even in this little forum there's already been another offer of help (thanks, @rageynate)! Aug 6, 2014
Actually, Kevin, I have had a change of heart. Let 'em fuck it up if they want.
I will be focusing my energy on a new area instead. Aug 7, 2014
Would any of these places be good for top roping? Jun 22, 2015
A. Bandos
Broomfield, CO
A. Bandos   Broomfield, CO
Whoa, beautiful place to climb. The featured sandstone with in-cut crimps and edges is fun to climb on.

There may be a few that could be top roped. The first wall you encounter might be a contender. Not sure how easy this would be. There are a lot of moderate climbs, but most seem to be very solid for the grade. Jun 29, 2015
Trevor Thrift
Denver, Co
Trevor Thrift   Denver, Co
Heading here Thursday, looking forward to exploring the area. Have suggested an update to the location as I have determined the TH's GPS location. Thanks to those who have put in the time and effort in making this area possible. May 17, 2016
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
What is the season for this area? Will it be pleasant (or accessible) in late March? Thx. Mar 16, 2017
With the weather so warm, it should be good to go. Probably muddy on the way in, and some climbs may be wet. Mar 17, 2017
chris murphy
Centennial Co
chris murphy   Centennial Co
It's nice to see this area is getting some attention. I grew up climbing on most of these lines in the late '90s, although I don't remember bolts on much of anything. I'm not sure whos putting up the new lines, but keep up the good work. Apr 27, 2017
Nathaniel Dray
Boulder, CO
Nathaniel Dray   Boulder, CO
What is the most recent situation re: bolts? Have bolts been chopped or are sport routes still fully equipped? Thanks! May 22, 2018
Bolts are in place. May 23, 2018
Nicholas Ryan Valoff
Durango, CO
Nicholas Ryan Valoff   Durango, CO
I love this area for the moderate leads on amazing quality sandstone (at least for the San Juans). A number of the easier climbs at the canyon entrance have routes that topropes can easily be put up on. This is unfortunate for those looking to lead easier, well-protected routes because some of the climbs must be toproped by the follower in order to clean it properly. Some of the best climbs in this sector have bolts on the lip of the canyon as opposed to the face which makes rappelling off of the route an ugly situation; rappelling on some of these anchors is like threading your rope across dull knife blades, and the rope drag is awful. Quicklinks could be of use here, but I've given some thought to adding additional anchors below the lip on a couple routes to ease this process. In the meantime, for routes with anchors on the rim, I would recommend following on toprope to clean the draws, topping out the climb, and then walking off. Jul 12, 2018
I say go for it. Improvements to anchors are encouraged. Jul 13, 2018
Nolan Robertson
Durango, CO
Nolan Robertson   Durango, CO
Anyone know the conditions now? I want to come visit the canyon for some climbing and camping! Apr 9, 2019 · Temporary Report