Wandering to AZ, climbing on the way?


Original Post
mountainhick · Nov 11, 2015 · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 60
We'll be on the road soon, headed from the Denver area probably for Tucson/Cochise. Instead of blasting down the interstates for 800-900 miles, we'd like to take some time and wander a little on the way. I am really unfamiliar with the climbing from Santa fe to ABQ to southern NM. Anything worth visiting this time of year? We'll be camping, so solar aspect is helpful, and after time off due to illness, I am looking at mostly 5.10 range climbing.

I poked around the MP database a little, looks like northern NM might be a bit chilly, but I am sure there must be some nice solar traps.

Thanks!

DesertRat · Nov 11, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 168
Why not head West along the 70, then cut down through Moab, Indian Creek, Flagstaff, Sedona, Phoenix etc? There are a bunch of other area along the way as well.

mountainhick · Nov 11, 2015 · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 60
Thanks, good consideration there. We did pretty much that route last year. Thinking about a different route to see different country.

Indian Creek is always my #1 desert pick, I could spend weeks there myself, but will be traveling with my wife and she doesn't hang with the crack climbing. We really need more face climbing to spend time climbing together.

Paul Irby · Nov 11, 2015 · moab, ut · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 15
There's nice basalt cragging around Los Alamos. You can chase the sun and it's not crowded. Also, Bandelier Nat'l Monument is worth checking out.

Scott M. McNamara · Nov 11, 2015 · Tucson, Arizona · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 35

mountainhick · Nov 11, 2015 · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 60
Car camping (Sprinter van) for granite mt? MP guide says nada.

mountainhick · Nov 11, 2015 · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 60
Paul Irby wrote:There's nice basalt cragging around Los Alamos. You can chase the sun and it's not crowded. Also, Bandelier Nat'l Monument is worth checking out.
Capulin canyon looks pretty cool (for me, not so much for Mrs mountainhick)

So White rock?

emmet · Nov 11, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 0
White Rock on a sunny side.
Box Canyon near Socorro (the bouldering video on the Socorro page shows Major Wall in the background).

Paul Irby · Nov 11, 2015 · moab, ut · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 15
Yes, the White Rock crags were what I was thinking of. Plenty of bolted faces at the Overlook. Granite Mt. Is fantastic but it's also got lots of cracks and camping is tricky.

mountainhick · Nov 11, 2015 · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 60
Mrs mountainhick aka mountainchick is OK for easy crack climbing up to 5.8, and I am happy to do some moderates with her, but she's not OK climbing where cracks are generally 5.10 and up.

seano · Nov 11, 2015 · Northern, NM · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 5
I second White Rock. It's only single-pitch, but the south-facing black basalt is about the warmest thing you'll find in northern NM. Depending on exactly when you come through, the Shield on Sandia might be warm enough with a late start, and it has a bunch of long routes.

Also, getting from Albuquerque to Tucson via Globe, AZ is nicer than the interstate, and takes you right by the Superstitions. I think they're mostly hiking/scrambling (Weavers Needle is 5.0 or something), but the scenery is wild and there's plenty of free camping near the Peralta trailhead.

Greg Opland · Nov 11, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 85
mountainhick wrote:Car camping (Sprinter van) for granite mt? MP guide says nada.
Edit: I updated the GM page to specifically say it's all paved in there and any vehicle will do, as well as some info on the camping at the Yavapai CG. I'm curious...WHERE did you see anything on the GM page that says you couldn't drive something like a Sprinter? I'd like to fix it if its in there...

Yup, Sprinter just fine. All paved all the way to the CG and the trailhead parking. Can get a site at Yavapai Campground, right there in Granite Basin. Don't know why someone above said camping is "tricky", unless you're trying to avoid camping fees. Watch the weather for Prescott to see what the conditions are like.

Also (full disclosure), there's a 2.25 mile hike to get up to the crag. First ~1.75 is hiway trail, mostly uphill. Then you hit the climbers trail, which involves a little boulder hopping, but not that bad. Also uphill. You get all the work done on the way in, so all downhill on the way out.

PM me if you want any beta or route recommendations.

mountainhick · Nov 11, 2015 · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 60
You apparently read into the statement that I meant it said no go for Sprinters. That's not what I was saying.

It said nada about camping at Granite Mt. That is all.

Thanks for the update.

BTW, we rarely choose to camp in "campgrounds" preferring dispersed/primitive camping. That is where the 2wd Sprinter becomes a challenge.

Jake T · Nov 11, 2015 · Prescott AZ · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 0
Mountainhick,

You might consider Isolation Canyon outside of Pine in Arizona. A good route would be to cut across central NM into Az via The 60 to Show Low, then onto the 260 and through Heber and pine. Its some really pretty country up there. The 260 would continue through pine and strawberry where you'll find Isolation canyon. From there you head into camp verde and the 17, depending on the weather at the time, its an easy cruise to Prescott, Flag, Sedona, or Phoenix. I you decide on Prescott I would recommend the drive through Jerome.

Granite mountain is great but it may not be what your looking for. most of the trad routes are crack climbs and the few bolted lines are pretty old school, as in kinda scary.

If you end up in Precott give me a pm, I know a few free primitive campsites (not campgrounds) in the hills around Prescott.

good luck

Greg Opland · Nov 11, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 85
mountainhick wrote:You apparently read into the statement that I meant it said no go for Sprinters. That's not what I was saying. It said nada about camping at Granite Mt. That is all. Thanks for the update. BTW, we rarely choose to camp in "campgrounds" preferring dispersed/primitive camping. That is where the 2wd Sprinter becomes a challenge.
I did indeed read it that way. My bad.

Dispersed camping possible around Prescott, but hard to beat the convenience of the campground right there. And it's not a sites-all-crammed-together type of CG, so better than most.

And Granite Mountain is well worth a visit.

Ball · Nov 12, 2015 · Oakridge, OR · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 45
Jake T wrote:Mountainhick, You might consider Isolation Canyon outside of Pine in Arizona
Isn't it a little chilly for isolation?

Same with Granite Mountain. It'll be snowing there by Monday.

Jason Halladay · Nov 13, 2015 · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Oct 2005 · Points: 9,740
Some northern NM areas that'll be good assuming sunny and highs in the 40s/50s:
Utopian Vistas - Taos area. Basalt Rio Grande Gorge sport and trad. Morning sun. Sprinter van camping down the road in the gorge along the river.

El Rito Sport Area - Southwest of Taos area. Fun conglomerate sports climbing. Chase the sun on Super Slab in the morning and other walls later in the day. Sprinter van camping at trailhead.

Little River Wall - More conglomerate climbing in beautiful setting with long 5.9/5.10 sport routes. West-facing, gets afternoon sun. Sprinter van camping at trailhead.

Diablo Canyon - Santa Fe area basalt sport and trad. Winter Wall and Solar Cave sunny most of the day. Campsites at the parking area.

White Rock - Los Alamos/White Rock area. More Rio Grand Gorge basalt sport and trad climbing. Mostly morning sun but some areas like Big Enchilada and Potrillo have south-facing rock. Sprinter van camping not as convenient as you have to drive to Los Alamos and camp along Camp May Road or elsewhere in national forest. Not bad though.

Las Conchas, Area 37, Upper East Fork (UEF) - Los Alamos area. High elevation sport climbing in the Jemez Mountains that's surprisingly accessible and nice in winter due to a number of southerly facing walls. Sprinter van camping available on national forest roads in the vicinity.

Nathan Self · Nov 13, 2015 · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 20
You may consider City of Rocks State Park, NM. There are campsites around the outer edge of the boulder field. I've stopped there many times. There's not a lot of info regarding problems--that I know of, so enter the maze and find a rock you think you can climb.

Between Silver City and Deming.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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