Elevation: 7,400 ft
GPS: 36.389, -106.235 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 24,827 total · 467/month
Shared By: Jason Halladay on Jul 27, 2014
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Description

The Little River Wall (LRW) is a tall, 100' foot wall situated right next to the El Rito River four miles northwest of El Rito, NM at an elevation of roughly 7,500'. The rock is conglomerate rock similar in nature to the other established sport climbing El Rito crag north of the town of El Rito. The conglomerate rock at the Little River Wall has some really good sections as well and many sections of lesser quality. Nonetheless, it has cleaned up nicely for long, enjoyable moderate sport climbs (60 meter rope mandatory!) That said, climbing development of the area only began in spring 2013 and, while most routes have seen numerous ascents, rock fall is still a strong possibility and it's imperative that belayers wear helmets and be attentive.
Most all routes have anchors equipped with lowering carabiners on the chains. Please don't steal these. Simply drop your rope in them to lower safely and conveniently. Feel free to contribute lowering biners to the chains of routes that don't already have them, or if the lowering biners are worn out, as many biners may be aluminum and could use an upgrade to steel.
No toilet paper fairy


A Note About New Areas and New Routes

If you're used to climbing at older, well-established areas you might be surprised with how much rock can fall off new routes. New areas and routes take a long time to clean up. While most first ascensionists, ourselves included, do as much as they can to remove loose rocks from new routes, they can't get every possible loose rock. Ultimately it's your responsibility to climb carefully, evaluate suspect holds and be prepared for rockfall. It's not a matter of IF you will pull something off, it's a matter of how much and how big. Seriously, be careful! We spent hours upon hours hanging in our harnesses, until our legs went numb, cleaning the routes in an effort to make them safe. But we can't get it all. New routes in new areas will be loose/dirty/scary despite the best cleaning efforts.

The Layout

There are five established areas at the LRW--The Main Wall, the Cobble Cave, Slope City (a.k.a. Pink Wall), the smaller Sideshow Attraction Wall and the region between Slope City (a.k.a. Pink Wall) and the Sideshow Attraction wall called Vaudeville. All walls face west so they’re shady until around noon or 1:00pm. The cave is shady most all day. The walls and surrounding area are in the El Rito Ranger District of the Carson National Forest.
The setting of the LRW is what really makes the area a wonderful area to visit. The wall is tall with the El Rito River running right next to the base of the southern tip of the Main Wall. A huge, flat grassy meadow dotted with cottonwood trees at the base of the wall makes for an idyllic setting to lounge and lunch during a day of climbing. And with a flat, five minute hiking approach one can bring all the comforts they desire. Kids and dogs can play in the gently flowing river while others climb. It definitely is a special place.

All routes in the area were established beginning in spring 2013. The original guide document is still available online (last updated August 2015), if interested.

Getting There

From the town of El Rito, NM, drive northwest on the paved highway 110 for 3.8 miles where the road turns to a dirt road. Continue on the now dirt road highway 110 for less than a quarter mile to a meadow with dispersed campsites on the right side of the road and a orange/white “Be Extra Careful with Fire” and “...for a healthy environment keep your forests green” sign. Look for this sign. Park here or continue another 25 yards to a small parking area on the left (west) side of the road. You will not be able to see the wall from the road as trees obscure the view! If you drive past the parking areas and arrive at the developed El Rito Campground, you’ve gone too far and need to turn back. See this map for accessing the Little River Wall and for an overview of the area.
From either of the parking areas, hike north along a small acequia towards the river. The short, flat approach trail is sometimes cairned and follows an old, faint road for a short bit before reaching the river. Cross the river and you’re there. The wall will be obvious. In spring you may want sandals for the wet river crossing. However, upstream just a bit from the wall is a large downed Cottonwood tree over the river that makes for a convenient bridge. In summer and fall, the river is low enough to be crossed on large rocks in the river.

Camping

The area is in the Carson National Forest. A few free, dispersed campsites can be found at the parking area meadow. Alternatively the established El Rito Campground;actid=29 is a quarter mile further along highway 110 past the LRW parking area. The campground has 11 sites, two pit toilets but no water (you can filter water from the El Rito River, however.) The campground is open from April to November and there is no fee for camping. The campground does get busy and noisy, though.
Additional dispersed camp sites are located along the dirt road up beyond the official campground. 

Pack Out Your Used Toilet Paper (Leave No Trace ethics)

It is imperative climbers pack out their used toilet paper and trash. The steep, loose slopes behind the main wall make it more difficult to find a place to use the bathroom resulting in some very popular "poop spots." Unfortunately. there is a large amount of used toilet paper floating around these popular spots. This is gross and disrespectful to the area and other climbers. Do your part--put your used toilet paper (and poop for bonus points) in a baggie and take it home for disposal. Also, always pack out what trash you brought in. Bonus karma points for picking up trash left by disrespectful others.

No toilet paper fairy

34 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Little River Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 5
Captain Underpants
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 9
Zero Gravity Plinko
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 26
Joy-Poppin' with Bubble Gummers
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 43
Imitation Strawberry
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 19
Baby Disco Show
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 34
Bit By The Bit
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 22
Everybody Jae Chang Tonight
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 29
Busted By Dewey
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 12
Hawg-Dawg's Mind-Boggling Explos…
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 30
Pull the Mirrors Off Your Cadill…
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 7
Slope-oke
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 12
Broken Desire
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 6
Kick Me in the Jimmy
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 5
Slopey Joe (aka King Cobble)
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 4
Broken Desire 43
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Captain Underpants Vaudeville
 5
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport
Zero Gravity Plinko Vaudeville
 9
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Joy-Poppin' with Bubble Gum… Main Wall
 26
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Imitation Strawberry Main Wall
 43
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Baby Disco Show Main Wall
 19
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Bit By The Bit Main Wall
 34
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Everybody Jae Chang Tonight Main Wall
 22
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Busted By Dewey Main Wall
 29
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Hawg-Dawg's Mind-Boggling E… Main Wall
 12
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Pull the Mirrors Off Your C… Main Wall
 30
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Slope-oke Slope City (a.k.a. Pi…
 7
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Broken Desire Cobble Cave
 12
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Kick Me in the Jimmy Cobble Cave
 6
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Slopey Joe (aka King Cobble) Slope City (a.k.a. Pi…
 5
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Broken Desire 43 Cobble Cave
 4
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Little River Wall »

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Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
As you will probably find out, our suggested ratings here are certainly just ballpark guesses and most likely soft.
As the routes clean up and chalk up, I fully expect the routes to feel easier. Routes tend to feel a bit harder when they're brand new, one is a bit cautious about pulling hard and the best holds aren't chalked up. Aug 4, 2014
Chet Butterworth
Chattanooga
Chet Butterworth   Chattanooga
Tip of the hat to the developers of this fine climbing area. LRW is perhaps the most pleasant sport climbing area I've visited; beautiful cliff, lush meadow, and cool river. It all makes for a nice high mileage clipping day after pulling hard at ERS or plugging gear at ERT. We knocked off (tapped, really) some loose rock but the belayer wore a helmet as advised. Don't miss this area, even if you climb harder than the established grades. All for fun and fun for all! Jun 6, 2015
still pretty loose. even some of the jugs and clipping holds. cave routes seems like was cleaned more but we didnt climb there. great routes and a beautiful setting. Sep 9, 2015
Ed Santiago
Los Alamos, NM
Ed Santiago   Los Alamos, NM
Heads-up: the crossing log has been washed out. River is flowing strong, so there's not really a safe way to cross right now (2017-05-14). May 14, 2017
Owen S.
Los Alamos
Owen S.   Los Alamos
Regarding the log, just keep hiking up the river and you will find another one that you can use to cross. Not as convenient as the old one but it works! May 29, 2017
Owen S.
Los Alamos
Owen S.   Los Alamos
This crag is cleaning up really well, almost as solid as the routes at El Rito now. How things change! Only encountered a couple of questionable cobbles after climbing all weekend. May 29, 2017
Aimee Rose
Bend, or
Aimee Rose   Bend, or
This place is super fun and the main wall routes have cleaned up a lot. I didn't break anything on any of them. The Slope City wall, on the other hand, is a bit chossy, but the 12c is well worth doing. Also, saw a baby rattler just outside the cobble cave, so be careful! Aug 29, 2018