Where to climb early Sept Arizona/N. Mexico


Original Post
Gold Plated Rocket Pony · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 93

Headed down to Carlsbad for a family trip in September and will have 4 or 5 days to climb after. Looking for suggestions of where to go climbing in the area (willing to drive 6 or more hours if needed). Clipping bolts, single pitch trad or long multi-pitch trad are all equally good (aka no pebble wrestling cause we suck at that). Typically climb in the 5.10 to 12+ range. In my mind September = hot and Arizona/N. Mexico = hot but guessing there are good options for shade/elevation. Easy car camping is also a big plus.

Thanks for the help

jgfox · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5

Mt Lemmon has enough sport and hard trad for your range at the high elevations.  You can try Cochise if you like waking up at 2 am.

Kemper Brightman · · Tucson · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 1,913

yeah, I was going to recommend Lemmon as well. Certainly ticks all the boxes you mentioned. Let me know if you want recommendations for specific cliffs, good eats, etc. 

shotgunnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2009 · Points: 5

Flagstaff will be nice enough then. Check out the Peaks area

Owen Summerscales · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,098

Sitting Bull Falls. 1hr 15 mins away from Carlsbad. North facing, great in Sept. The 5.10s there are really good, and the 5.12s are mind blowing, among the best of the grade in the state. Have fun.

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Also Last Chance and shady side of The Tunnel are good options. Lemmon is a haul from Carlsbad. 

Mr. Nick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 0

you also have granite mountain if you want some of the best climbing. 

Kemper Brightman · · Tucson · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 1,913
Owen Summerscales wrote:

Sitting Bull Falls. 1hr 15 mins away from Carlsbad. North facing, great in Sept. The 5.10s there are really good, and the 5.12s are mind blowing, among the best of the grade in the state. Have fun.

This place looks amazing. New Mexico really seems to be one of the most under-the-radar climbing destinations in the west.

Owen Summerscales · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,098
Kemper Brightman wrote:

This place looks amazing. New Mexico really seems to be one of the most under-the-radar climbing destinations in the west.

Yeah, it's because no one lives here. If there was a big city within a day trip from Last Chance/Sitting Bull, this area would be world famous, I have no doubt.

walmongr · · Gilbert AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 85

I have climbed in chochise in sept.. in the shade in the morning... still usually hot!!! Anything around flagstaff/ oak creek canyon will be good.. theirs a article in this months R&I about Taos 500+ routes from bolts to multi pitch looks very cool!!! 

Luke Bertelsen · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Feb 2005 · Points: 2,801

World Famous...???  It's good, but...... 

Last Chance Canyon is really good.  No crowds either.  Depending on rain there will be cliffs you cannot access.

Good luck!

Gold Plated Rocket Pony · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 93

Thanks for all the recommendations!

Mark Dalen · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 935

Shoot over to the Organs for Tooth Fairy ... or N Face Sugarloaf for a real marathon day ...

George Perkins · · The Dungeon, NM · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 3,130

Enchanted Tower is probably the best destination sport climbing in NM for 5.10-5.12+, though a bit out of the way from Boulder-Carlsbad.  Great car camping at the crag, need high clearance to get in.

The Sandias are probably the best multi-pitch trad climbing in NM for 5.10-5.12+ and will be in season.  Unfortunately, there's not a good camping solution nearby.  The Organs are the other primary multi-pitch area, but other than the Tooth (which is one of the best climbs in NM) you won't find much in the range of difficulty you're looking for.  Depending how burly you are, you might lose motivation for the approaches at these areas after a couple of days.

For cragging, sport and trad, you can do pretty well visiting a few different areas near Santa Fe and Taos (El Rito, Tres Piedras, Diablo, Capulin, Las Conchas, and others), with camping available at many of them.

Sitting Bull and Last Chance are closest to Carlsbad and should be shaded.

Also consider Hueco, even if you don't boulder. The 1-3 pitch climbs are really good, and never crowded. Shaded in the morning, probably turns too hot in the afternoon.

Most should be great in mid-September.

Gold Plated Rocket Pony · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 93

Enchanted Tower looks good but guessing by the comments a Subaru wagon isn't gonna cut it to get in. I'll check out the others you mentioned, thanks!

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

All of the above mentioned are great. I love New Mexico. Consider Piedra Canyon in CO as well. Fits your criteria and could be on your way home. Free camping everywhere. Hot Springs in town are a bonus.

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

A Subaru will easily make it into the tower. The road is loose and steep, but really not that bad. I even saw a Yaris there (not recommended :-)). 

Dj telle · · Tucson, Arizona · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 550

Abra on Rockfellow dome is a classic route/ gets lots of shade

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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