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Illusion Crags

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Arm Forces T 
Con Jurors T 
Corner's Inquest T 
David Copperhead T 
Deez Guys T 
False Perception T 
First Lady of Magic T 
French Bulges T 
Magician's Hat T 
Mirage T 
Morph Out T 
Sensual T 
Slight of Hand T 
Who Deany T 

Illusion Crags Rock Climbing 

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Location: 36.00402, -115.46299 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 5,630
Administrators: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John Hegyes on Sep 23, 2005
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Illusion Crags. Photo by Blitzo.

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


Several classic single pitch trad routes can be found here at Illusion Crags. The routes on the left side face almost south and the routes continue around to the main cliff that faces east. The routes on the left generally have walkoffs, and on the main face the routes usually feature rappel anchors - these are long pitches and two ropes may be required to rap. Most of the first ascents out here were by Joe Herbst and friends.

Getting There 

There are two approaches to Illusion Crags. First is to approach as per Windy Canyon via the cutoff from Black Velvet Canyon Road. This may be preferable.

The shorter approach is also a dirt road - this may be a little more rough on your car but still generally manageable with 2WD. About a mile west of the BVC road turnoff from the highway, there is another turnoff on the right. Head off the highway to the north and follow the dirt road as it parallels the highway, heading west, into a stream bed. This stream bed features loose gravel and it's easy to get stuck in. After about a quarter mile from the highway, at a cairn, head north out of the stream bed then bear left when opportunities are presented. Stop at the small parking area that is closest to the Crags.

Once parked, head west, down into the wash and up across open desert to the cliff. There is a well marked trail if you can find it..

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.5 miles from here

14 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Illusion Crags

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Illusion Crags:
Morph Out   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 75'   
Arm Forces   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   
Slight of Hand   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
False Perception   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Illusion Crags

Featured Route For Illusion Crags
Rock Climbing Photo: Arm Forces

Arm Forces 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  Nevada : Red Rock : ... : Illusion Crags
This route is located on the far left side of the Illusion Crags, about 15 feet right of French Bulges in a prominent right facing corner that features three roofs. The route starts on a small belay ledge at a yucca, just below some bushes. Ascend the corner, working some cracks on the left side and then pull the roofs. Very fun. There is a two bolt anchor above the third roof, with some slings you can rappel off the route - a 60 meter rope reaches to about ten feet above the base of the climb, ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Nevada

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By John Hegyes
From: Las Vegas, NV
Nov 12, 2005
The guidebooks are a little confusing regarding this area. Swain and Brock contradict each other on the location and ordering of routes (especially Spell Me). So far, I've found Swain to be more accurate.
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Apr 1, 2007
I agree with John here. There are several routes in the older Swain guide not listed in the newer Brock guidebook. We had difficulty locating many of the routes based on the book descriptions.
By Cunning Linguist
Feb 6, 2012
Warm weather crag. French Bulges etc get a.m. sun, but the rest of the crag's way shady. For a full day hot times are the only times you want to be up here.
By Larry Graham
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 22, 2015
Spent the day at Illusion Crags. We tried taking the longer, more northern roads off of the Black Velvet road, which was fine until a VERY steep and rough down and up section which was almost certainly not going to work for our 2 wheel drive. So we turned back and tried the access from 160. There must have been some improvements to this access since the posting of this area here in MP because if you simply drive 0.9 miles on further from the Black Velvet turnoff to a gate on the right, (just before a sign that says "passing lane ahead") you have less than a mile of better dirt roads than the Black Velvet road to get to the parking spot!! After you turn off and go through the gate you will be basically paralleling 160 for about 0.3 miles. Then a sharp turn back to the right for a little over a tenth of a mile reaches a junction of several paths. Take the leftmost of these (going straight for the crags) and in another 0.3 miles you are at the parking. Probably 5 minutes. Quick, simple, and easy for any 2 wheel drive. If you are heading for Windy Peak you would then continue on for another 5 minutes or less for that parking area.

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