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Caballo Lake

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Bat Cave Area 

Caballo Lake Rock Climbing 

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Location: 32.92904, -107.2356 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 18,101
Administrators: DisturbingThePeace, Aaron Hobson, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Jason Halladay, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: LeeAB on Aug 26, 2009
This Afternoon

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View from the Bat Cave


A very wild and as yet undeveloped area with tons of rock, how much of it is climbable and reasonably accessable is up for debate. The main aspect of the cliff line is west facing and bakes in the afternoon sun, though as the cliff contours along the hillside there are more north and south facing aspects as well. The rock is limestone and varies from great to pretty bad onion skin.

This is a pretty rough area and requires 4x4 and clearance to make it all the way to the highest parking. There are no services with in about 45 minutes so plan accordingly. Cliffs range from about 100 feet to close to 300 or taller.

Many years ago Bryan Pletta, Dave Baltz and Doug Teague did some exploring and put up a handful of mixed routes at a small cliff in the Bat Cave area but could not get others motivated to go down and continue development. The area sat for many years without any further development untill the winter of 2008/2009 when Timmy Fairfield, John Kear, Marc Beverly and Lance Hadfield among others started to add routes. Bryan also returned and added bolts to his mixed routes to make them sport climbs.

Getting There 

Driving to the Bat Cave area requires a high clearance vehicle to get within reasonable hiking distance. From the interstate exit, the first 3.5 miles is on pavement and good dirt roads. The final 2 miles is very rocky but passable with "Subaru/Rav4" SUV clearance. The final 1/2 mile is the worst and there is a good parking/camping option at this "T" intersection.

From I-25 take Exit 59 (Arrey Derry/ Caballo Percha State Parks) exit.

If coming from the north, turn right (southwest) at the exit onto highway 187 and drive for 2.7 mi.
Take a left onto W. Wagoneer Rd. and drive for 1.1 mi.
Take a left onto Sugar Sand/Tumbleweed Rd. for 0.7 mi.
Veer right onto dirt for 0.2 mi.
Take a left at "T", drive under highway in single lane tunnel for 2.6 miles to fork at the dam.
From the dam, continue for about 3.5 miles to the rough "4x4" road(sometimes a rock carin here.) Turn right onto this rocky track and go about .7 miles to a rutted hill--this section requires "Subaru" clearance but isn't too bad.
Bear left on the fork at .9 miles, continue to the final fork at 1.5 miles and go right. This is a good "low clearance" camp option. Continue past a few ruts to the final hill (another parking option) and go up this to the final "T" at 1.9 miles. This is the best parking spot instead of the end of the road since several cars can park here. Walk or drive east up to the high camp. The road ends just beyond the high camp and is the access to Gotham City. The main trail to all the other crags begins from the north end of the "High Camp". Hiking to the high camp and using this less steep trail is more sustainable than the steep trail which starts at the end of the other road beyond that final parking "T".

There are two good parking/camping areas where the hiking trail starts.
For the first (lower) one take the left and continue to the end.
For the second (higher) one continue .25 mi to the end. There are two flat spots and several areas for a rough campsite.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.0 miles from here

72 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',47],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Caballo Lake

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Caballo Lake:
Harley Quinn Devotion   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Bat Cave Area : Villain Wall
Two Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 90'   Bat Cave Area : Villain Wall
I'll Be Your Poison Ivy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Bat Cave Area : Villain Wall
Blue Falcon   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 40'   Bat Cave Area : Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall)
Metallic Gray   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 3 pitches, 190'   Bat Cave Area : Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall)
Scorpion Queen   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Bat Cave Area : Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall)
Lucius   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Bat Cave Area : New Beginnings Wall
Mega Man   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   Bat Cave Area : Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall)
Mystique   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Bat Cave Area : Villain Wall
Bane   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Bat Cave Area : New Beginnings Wall
Dynamic Duo   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 60'   Bat Cave Area : Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall)
The Bat   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 95'   Bat Cave Area : Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall)
Silver Surfer   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 97'   Bat Cave Area : Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall)
Super Hero   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 2 pitches   Bat Cave Area : Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall)
Trojan Horse   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 110'   Bat Cave Area : Trojan Wall (Right of Bat C...
Fa-Lufa (aka Tufa Lufa)   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Sport, 55'   Bat Cave Area : Tufa Wall
Midget Proof   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Bat Cave Area : Bat Cave
New Beginning   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Bat Cave Area : New Beginnings Wall
Nate Dog   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 55'   Bat Cave Area : Bat Cave
Old Man and the Sea (ka)   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 90'   Bat Cave Area : Bat Cave
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Caballo Lake

Featured Route For Caballo Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Penguin Walk Topo

Penguin Walk 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  NM : Truth or Consequences Area : ... : Villain Wall
1st PITCH (80') -Start at the Dirt Day crack. Step up and clip a bolt a few feet right of the crack/seam then trend further right to a shallow hueco and some thin 5.11a/10d moves after the 3rd bolt. Continue following the bolt line past more small holds. The moves generally get easier as you move higher but the climbing is always fun and on great stone. Reach the chains at a small ledge/stance after about 10 bolts, there is a tree about 15' to the left. (10 bolts?)2nd PITCH (70...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of Caballo Lake Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd half of drive after passing the Caballo Dam fo...
2nd half of drive after passing the Caballo Dam fo...
Rock Climbing Photo: A clear & cold night above Caballo Lake
A clear & cold night above Caballo Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Driving Route from the Interstate Exit 59
Driving Route from the Interstate Exit 59
Rock Climbing Photo: A good camp site 1/4 mile before the the last fork...
A good camp site 1/4 mile before the the last fork...
Rock Climbing Photo: Desi moving through the crux on The Bat
Desi moving through the crux on The Bat
Rock Climbing Photo: Caballo Boulder Field, acres of limestone up to 40...
Caballo Boulder Field, acres of limestone up to 40...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset over Caballo Lake taken from Super Hero Wal...
Sunset over Caballo Lake taken from Super Hero Wal...

Comments on Caballo Lake Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 6, 2015
By Aaron Hobson
From: Clinton, TN
Aug 29, 2009
It's really good to see this area being posted. I've made a few trips up here this year and plan on many more as it's a reasonable drive from Las Cruces. I managed to get my little 2wd Geo tracker up to the parking area, although it was a bit iffy. This will be a good winter climbing area.
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Oct 20, 2009
Is there any decent camping around this area or is it sketchy (a comment on one of the other pages under this area suggests carrying a gun!)? It would be quite the drive from up north so going down to spend a couple days would be ideal. Thanks.
By lance hadfield
From: tijeras
Dec 25, 2009
Sarah and I camped several times and so did Ian and I. I think the best place to camp is down at the fork before the road gets steep. There is room for several cars and tents it is flat and we left a tent up for the weekend and it was left untouched. This place is going to be great for New Mexico but will take a lot of effort and little climbing for a few seasons. So come ready to work and you should stay off projects because many of these routes are not cleaned yet. We are attempting to get to the top of walls so others can set routes quicker. I will write grades on the ones I clean and try or climb so others know they are safe.
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By Josh Hamling
Apr 12, 2010
Thanks for the great route development! All routes I climbed were very safely bolted and had great anchors. It's refreshing in this area to have thoughtful development happening. I have some gear I would be happy to donate to the cause.
By Beefy
Dec 30, 2010
Re: directions...the green truck is gone, so take the obvious turn on the left before the road becomes impassable
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Feb 21, 2011
We had a great weekend here climbing mostly at the Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall) area. All the hard work is much appreciated. Putting up all the routes from the ground must be quite difficult, time consuming and potentially scary so thank you.
It's a great desert setting and I'm sure we'll return. Good stuff.
By Craig Childre
From: Lubbock, Texas
May 7, 2012
Cool spot, looks like we might need to sample this spot sooner than later!
By Robert Cort
Jun 23, 2012
FYI, the "getting there" instructions assume you are coming from the north. If coming from the south on I-25, make a left from the top of the exit ramp off of I-25. (and the green truck is still gone ;-)
By Mike Rowley
From: Boise, Idaho
May 3, 2013
I am working in T or C for a month or two and would REALLY be stoked to check this area out. Is there anyone out there who would be willing to go with me??? I promise I know how to belay, and lead haha. If anyone can swing this, please let me know! I have a house in T or C we can stay in if its too windy to camp.
By erik rieger
From: Ridgway, CO
Mar 4, 2015
Desert limestone, great setting. Awesome. Felt like an area with a ton of potential.
By Emily Jencso
From: T or C
Jul 6, 2015
New to the in T or C for a job. Any other climbers out there? Or if anyone is coming to town to visit hit me up.