Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.
Elevation: 6,386 ft 1,946 m
GPS: 35.68569, -106.65638
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 177,074 total · 920/month
Shared By: Brian Quiter on Aug 3, 2008 · Updates
Admins: Jason Halladay, Mike Hoskins, Anna Brown

Description Suggest change

Ponderosa is acclaimed as the best bouldering in New Mexico. Climbing ranges from thin face problems to steep overhung burl-fests with both lowball and highball climbing. The rock is volcanic tuff, but quite different from the popular tuff area, the Happys in California. Ponderosa doesn't have the thick and solid patina layer that the Happys does. Where there is thick patina here, it is probably choss. But where the patina is thin, it is awesome and very grainy, making for excellent pocketed face climbs. Conversely, the climbing on the underside of the boulders is quite similar to the Happys.

There appear to be classics here of all difficulties. I can't really vouch for the harder climbs, but Marc Beverly's "Jemez Rock" book covers the area well, and vouches for the quality of climbing. That said, his book also has many omissions and I noticed a couple errors.

That Beverly's book has omissions isn't really a bad thing... there are a LOT of boulders with obvious problems he doesn't document, but know they are there!

The setting is pleasant once you get away from the road - I encountered abandoned used diapers in the parking area (yuck) but the boulders are surrounded by Pinons and generally nice scenery on a gentle hillside.

It appears that people have camped under boulders, I'm not sure whether this is permitted, but there is certainly camping nearby. Just up the road is a national forest campground. Suds are available in Ponderosa, and there are more services on Hwy 4.

Getting There Suggest change

From any direction, the easiest way to get to Ponderosa is via Highway 4, then go east in northern Jemez Pueblo on Highway 290 aka Forest Road 10 towards the town of Ponderosa. After you pass the only bar in Ponderosa, it is 2.6 miles to the parking area. After you pass an irrigation pond, look for the turn to the left. This is parking for the lower area. I can't tell you how to get to the upper area because I haven't been.

From the north, it is easier to turn left off of Highway 4 near the mailboxes between mile markers 33 and 34. There's also a sign saying to turn left here for Ponderosa. From here, you follow Forest Road 10 for ~15 miles, hoping you stay on FR 10 and not some other road. I went this way, but I can't tell you the exact mileage because at one point, the signs indicating you're still on 10 become rare and the road gets worse (and I turned around to see if any other roads were better - they weren't). But if you follow the straight-looking way at any intersection, you'll get there. After ~13 miles, you come upon the aforementioned national forest campground, then right before the pond, turn a soft right into the parking area.

From the gate at the end of the parking area, follow the 'road' westward towards the north end of the pond. From here, most boulders are further west, climbing a gentle ridge via a good trail, however the Cube is more northward (and visible) up the wash.

The GPS location is somewhere in the middle of the climbing.

185 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Ponderosa Bouldering Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Ponderosa Bouldering

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V2 5+
 36
Ticket Hag
Boulder
V3 6A
 59
Spitoon AKA: The Scoop
Boulder
V3 6A
 36
Picture Perfect
Boulder
V4 6B
 15
Cowboy Up, AKA: The Tall Arete
Boulder
V4 6B
 24
Fannie Mae
Boulder
V5- 6C
 24
Dot Dot Space, AKA: V5 ArĂȘte
Boulder
V5 6C
 15
Mongo
Boulder
V6 7A
 13
The Joker
Boulder
V6 7A
 10
Jesus Built My Stockcar
Boulder
V7 7A+
 26
King for a Day
Boulder
V7 7A+
 13
Powerstroke
Boulder
V7+ 7A+
 5
Status Quo
Boulder
V7-8 7B
 14
Scoop
Boulder
V9 7C
 10
The Valsalva Maneuver AKA: Left…
Boulder
V10+ 7C+
 7
Mario Andretti
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Ticket Hag Pond > King for a Day Boulder
 36
V2 5+ Boulder
Spitoon AKA: The Scoop Pond > Scoop Boulder
 59
V3 6A Boulder
Picture Perfect Pond > Picture Perfect Boulder
 36
V3 6A Boulder
Cowboy Up, AKA: The Tall Arete Pond > Scoop Boulder
 15
V4 6B Boulder
Fannie Mae Pond > Fannie Mae
 24
V4 6B Boulder
Dot Dot Space, AKA: V5 ArĂȘte Pond > King for a Day Boulder
 24
V5- 6C Boulder
Mongo Pond > Picture Perfect Boulder
 15
V5 6C Boulder
The Joker Pond > King for a Day Boulder
 13
V6 7A Boulder
Jesus Built My Stockcar Pond > NASCAR Boulder
 10
V6 7A Boulder
King for a Day Pond > King for a Day Boulder
 26
V7 7A+ Boulder
Powerstroke Pond > NASCAR Boulder
 13
V7 7A+ Boulder
Status Quo Pond > Fannie Mae
 5
V7+ 7A+ Boulder
Scoop Satellite > Pinball Simulator Area
 14
V7-8 7B Boulder
The Valsalva Maneuver AKA:… Satellite > Pinball Simulator Area
 10
V9 7C Boulder
Mario Andretti Pond > NASCAR Boulder
 7
V10+ 7C+ Boulder
More Classic Climbs in Ponderosa Bouldering »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos

loading