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La Cueva

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La Cueva Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 5,582'
Location: 32.3351, -106.5942 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 13,857
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aaron Hobson on Jan 19, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Lee Davis' Cuevas guide 2

Placement of bolts/fixed anchors is prohibited in Wilderness Study Areas MORE INFO >>>


This group of rock formations is the some of the closest climbing for the Las Cruces climber. The majority of climbs here are trad climbs but a handful of sport routes can be found. Rock quality is often quite poor, as are some of the old fixed anchors.

Cueva Rock is a historical site and climbers should be respectful of this fact. A hermit once lived in a cave under this formation, and should you visit this cave, your eyes will be drawn to the piton-infested crack system that soars above the cave. This route is off-limits to climbing due to its proximity to the historic cave and to the tourist traffic that goes under the route. Climbing is not allowed in or around this area.

There is a $5/day parking fee, or you can get a year's pass for $25.

Getting There 

From Las Cruces, go east on University Avenue which turns into Dripping Springs Road. Follow this road into the recreation area and turn left into La Cueva Picnic area. Summer hours are from 8 am to 7 pm, winter hours from 8 am to 5 pm. You are expected to actually exit the gate by these times. Details are available on BLM website.

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.2 miles from here

35 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',17],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in La Cueva

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for La Cueva:
The Bulge   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 60'   Sunny Side
Bolted Chimney   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 75'   Shady Side
Back-Scratcher   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 60'   Shady Side
Black Streak   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 90'   Sunny Side
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in La Cueva

Featured Route For La Cueva
Rock Climbing Photo: Monoculture alcove showing Torpedo,  Uncle Wriggly...

Monoculture 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  New Mexico : Organ Mountains : ... : Shady Side
This top-rope climb is located on the shady north side of Cueva, near the eastern end of the formation. It climbs up a broad black water-streak.The 2-bolt anchor is located on a broad ledge which can be reached by climbing up one of the crack systems just to the right, or by scrambling up the low-angle slab further to the east to gain the ledge system. The climb consists of thin face climbing on crimpers and tiny finger pockets. The crux is located 15ft off the ground, but the entire climb is pr...[more]   Browse More Classics in New Mexico

Photos of La Cueva Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Lee Davis' Cuevas guide 1
BETA PHOTO: Lee Davis' Cuevas guide 1
Rock Climbing Photo: Southwestern Mountaineers Rescue Practice--Cuevas ...
Southwestern Mountaineers Rescue Practice--Cuevas ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Southwestern Mountaineers Rescue Practice--Cuevas ...
Southwestern Mountaineers Rescue Practice--Cuevas ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cool Rock formation east of la cueva. Looks like s...
BETA PHOTO: Cool Rock formation east of la cueva. Looks like s...
Rock Climbing Photo: La Cueva as seen from the road, with the Organ Mou...
La Cueva as seen from the road, with the Organ Mou...

Comments on La Cueva Add Comment
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By Aaron Hobson
From: Clinton, TN
Jan 19, 2006
I'm posting information about La Cueva in the hopes of gathering more information about this area. The climbing record in the Las Cruces area seems to be rather difficult to come by. I have been climbing at La Cueva without knowing any information about any beta. I have dubbed routes with my own names for simplification. Otherwise, every route would be called, "Route #4 north face" or something like that.

If you have any issues with my posts, feel free to set me straight.
By Aaron Hobson
From: Clinton, TN
May 24, 2006
I've reorganized La Cueva into sunny and shady sides. This should also allow for expansion of the bouldering potential, and the eastern satelite formations.
By cuclimbing
From: Las Cruces
Mar 25, 2008
Some of the other formations east of La Cueva have a few routes. I've seen a few old pitons and bolts there. I'll try to get some pics and routes up soon.
By Karl Kiser
Apr 2, 2008
Cuevas has seen a lot of climbing over the years, probably at least since the late 1960s. I expect several of the newer bolted lines were older TRs.

The harder cracks were done on aid and many were freed later. Some of the strange old bolts in the area were used for rescue and belay practice. I will try to determine some of the older names.
By cuclimbing
From: Las Cruces
Mar 7, 2010
Hey Everyone. Made a photosynth of the Sunny Side of La Cueva. check it out. There's a very detailed crack above the hermits cave if you click there, also some close ups on anchors. Enjoy!!
By Kirk Hutchinson
Sep 24, 2012
Made the trip to Las Cruces from Tucson, AZ over the weekend. Loved the climb we did on Sugarloaf (The North Face route) and saw LOTS of long routes I'll be back to climb. However, we went to the shady side of La Cueva for some cragging on Sunday and was thoroughly disappointed. The rock quality was very poor and placing gear in this choss was less than confidence inspiring.. Also, most of the bolts that were there were chopped at some point, including upper anchors. Not recommended.
By Ian Harris
From: Las Cruces NM
Sep 27, 2012
Next time try Rough and Ready Hills for a good sport crag experience. Southern Comfort Wall in the Organs has a lot of good trad routes and will offer a "crag-like" experience... except for the 1 to 1.5 hour approach.
By Sarah Halverson
Dec 27, 2014
Really Chossy rock on the La Cueva formation... One of the rocks blew after I placed my cam. Be very careful! Also, did not find any bolts. Maybe we missed them somehow.

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