Blanco Basin Crags Rock Climbing
Red: Call of the Mountain Lion. Yellow: Poo Climb...
This is a great crag tucked away in a beautiful valley. The rock is high quality, but as of yet, we are unsure what kind. It seems like a form of granite. One of the nicest things is that the climbs are nice and shaded and make for a great location during the summer months. You will likely not run into other climbers here. This crag is in the middle of development, so please note the changes on this site...if it isn't a route on here it may not be a finished route. A few projects are currently being developed, and some are over my head in difficulty. So, if anyone comes out and sends a route, please let me know.
There are several different crags to be developed here. The Lower Tier has three cliffbands. The right cliffband has pretty much been developed. The middle cliffband is around 150ft at the tallest, and has several anchors in place and is currently being worked on. The left cliffband is smaller, with a lot of blank faces, but has some potential for a few routes.
The motherload is the upper tier. To access it, hike up the gully between the right and middle cliffbands. Trend to the right to avoid the downed timber and boulders. Hopefully there will be a trail up there sometime this summer. Its a steep hike, about 20 minutes from the lower tier. The cliffband is the one visible from the middle of the valley and from the Oil Cr riverbed. It is AMAZING rock and looks to have the potential to hold a good 40-50 routes. Most of them would be in the 10 and up range and are mostly around 100-150 feet high.
Many people have had a hard time finding the Blanco River Trail, so here it goes...take Hwy 84 south from Pagosa for 8.2 miles. Turn east (left) onto Blanco Basin Road (County Rd 326) and follow for 12.2 miles. Around 12.2 miles, the road will make a sharp 90 degree turn to the right. Follow the road for another couple hundred feet and you will cross a bridge. After the bridge, there will be a dirt road going off to the left with a sign saying "Hare Ranch". Take this road for 1/2 mile and park near the gate (do not block it). This is the start to the Blanco River Trail. If you take County Rd 326 past the turnoff for the Blanco River Trail for 1/2 mile, you will be in the middle of the valley and can turn around and see the rock features. The thing that will stand out the most is the 600-ish foot, 1/2 mile long cliff band. This had many scrambling and mid-fifth class climbing on it. To the right of the large cliffband will be a deep ravine. On the other side of the ravine, you can see the upper tier cliffband. The lower tier is just below the upper tier but cannot be seen.
Blanco River Trail: Go through the access gate and walk along the ranch property for a few hundred yards, staying to the left and looking for a sign saying Blanco River Trail. Once on the actual trail, you will follow it for approximately one mile. During this time, you will cross through another cattle gate and see other trails coming up from the right. Stay left at each junction (I believe these are trails to the private landowners in the valley). After approximately a mile, you will join a dirt road coming up from the valley. Follow it for a couple hundred feet and look for the Blanco River Trail to continue off to the left. Keep following the Blanco River Trail for another few hundred feet, and you will intersect an obvious riverbed (this is Oil Creek). Look up the riverbed and you will see the upper tier (picture of this included on this page). Follow the riverbed for 1/4 mile and look for a large cairn on the right. Once at the cairn, go right, into the trees for a couple hundred feet and you'll be at the crag (hidden in the trees even from the riverbed).
There are three separate cliffbands. The right cliffband has been developed as much as I think it can be. the middle has much more potential, with 150 foot routes. Currently there are several anchors, but the cracks need to be cleaned up.
The UTM coordinates for the crag are...Easting 344200, Northing 4125400...roughly.
Weather station 15.3 miles from here
8 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Blanco Basin Crags
Red: Lichen It. Yellow: Drunken Bolting. Blue: Cal...
Looking at the upper tier from the riverbed (Oil C...
By Brian W.
From: Prescott, Arizona
Jun 20, 2014
Went to check it out today but didn't climb. All things considered, we walked a total of 4.5 miles roundtrip. We looked hard and didn't see the cairn referenced in the directions but still found the crag after doing some bushwhacking.
Walls look nice. As of now (July 20, 2014), price tags are still on the hangers, which look like they've never been used.
By Scott Carter
From: Chattanooga, TN
Jun 25, 2016
Great little crag with lots of potential on the upper tier! Thanks for the effort on the bolting, guys, some fun lines for sure. Couldn't find the cairn either, but if you continue up the creek and turn off into the woods just as you begin to see the left cliff band about 100 ft off, it puts you right at the wall with Call of the Mountain Lion, etc.