Elevation: 5,432 ft
GPS: 31.861, -106.499 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 6,129 total · 264/month
Shared By: Crimper E6 on Oct 19, 2017 with improvements by Kevin Enriquez
Admins: Hank Caylor, Matt Richardson, LeeAB Brinckerhoff

Description

Thunderbird holds the majority of the rock climbing on the west side of the Franklin Mountains. This area is known for its loose rock and general choss although many gems are hidden throughout the crag. Routes exist from easy 5.3 sport routes to challenging multi-pitch 5.10 crack climbs like the Thundercrack, making it a great location for both traditional and sport climbers. 

Despite the country club and neighborhood below, Thunderbird is a great place to go after work or just for a few hours and feel the tranquil beauty of the Franklin Mountains. Generally, the climbing area is divided into two sections, South Faces and East Faces. The South Faces crag contains most of the trad routes and an additional upper layer for multi-pitches like the classic Waterfall Route. The East Faces contain a variety of sport routes all containing chained anchors and clean belay spots. Much of the chossy rock is located in the South Faces.  

Getting There

Located on the west side of El Paso. The newly developed Thunderbird Trail Head parking lot (free) is located across from the Coronado Country Club along Thunderbird Rd. Due to public access issues, it is recommended to park at the trailhead and take the designated Thunderbird Trail to access the climbing area. The approach is roughly a 20-30 minute hike along an established trail towards a water tower, before heading up towards the distinct red colored rocks. The trail becomes narrower but still rather distinct. Follow this trail until you run into an arroyo that is marked with cairns. If you find yourself lost, just follow the boulder field up the arroyo until you see the bolts and chains of the first routes along the South Faces. 

GPS for parking lot: 31.851702, -106.509889

21 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Thunderbird

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 3
Colles route
Sport
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 3
Waterfall route
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 3
The Big Boss
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 3
the Green Hornet
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 4
Way of the Dragon
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Colles route
 3
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Sport
Waterfall route
 3
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
The Big Boss
 3
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
the Green Hornet
 3
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Way of the Dragon
 4
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Thunderbird »

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