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Las Conchas

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Cattle Call Wall Area 
Chilly Willy Wall 
Dream Tower 
Easy Bake Alcove 
Gallery Wall 
Gateway Rock 
Grotto, The 
Hidden Tower 
Leaning Tower 
Love Shack Area 
Retirement Wall 
Sponge, The 
Subdivisions, The 
Wart, The 

Las Conchas Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 8,400'
Location: 35.8151, -106.532 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 69,181
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Jason Halladay, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Anthony Stout on Jul 30, 2006
Forecast:
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You & This Area
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A ten-minute hike from the highway and one is rewa...

Description 

Beautiful area set in the meadows in the Jemez mountains, Las Conchas is one of the more popular summer sport climbing areas within 2 hrs of ABQ. Because of the elevation, summer days are often cool enough to be pleasant. Many of the crags in the area are situated along the East Fork of the Jemez River, making the climbing environment that much more enjoyable.
That said, Las Conchas is a year-round climbing destination. The wind-sheltered, south-facing walls of Easy Bake Alcove, Hidden Tower, Retirement Wall and The Subdivisions are ideal in the heart of winter given a sunny, calm day.

Getting There 

From Albuquerque, take I-25 North to Bernalillo and exit at highway 550 (exit #242, DON'T miss this exit, the next exit does not come for many miles). Follow 550 to San Ysidro and head North on state road 4 for about 36 miles. You will drive past picturesque Jemez Springs, Battleship Rock, the small community of La Cueva, just beyond Las Conchas camping area to the second pull out by a well-traveled trail and meadow on your left. From Los Alamos or Santa Fe (or from the north), it is faster to reach the same area by taking NM-4 into the Jemez near Bandelier NP, passing the Valle Grande meadow (watch for elk) and reaching the same meadow.

The obvious cliff seen through the meadow on the north side of the road is Cattle Call Wall Area. Most of the other cliffs are downstream, following a trail that begins on the west side of the creek.

Resources 

There has been a lot of route development at the Las Conchas crags since 2007 making the print resources pretty out-dated. The MountainProject database is the best source of information but these older books do cover Las Conchas to some degree:

  • 'Jemez Rock' is the most complete guide to the area
  • 'Rock Climbing: New Mexico also covers the area

Climbing Season



Weather station 2.1 miles from here

143 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',9],['3 Stars',47],['2 Stars',63],['1 Star',23],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',3],['5.8',12],['5.9',16],['5.10',38],['5.11',33],['5.12',25],['5.13',4],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',5],['V4-5',4],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',1],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Las Conchas

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Las Conchas:
Crucible   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Cattle Call Wall Area
Crucial Taunt   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 60'   Easy Bake Alcove
Bovine Inspiration   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Cattle Call Wall Area
Eat Mor Chikin   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 50'   Cattle Call Wall Area
Hollywood Tim   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   The Sponge
The Other Woman   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 60'   Love Shack Area
Huaca del Sol   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 90'   The Subdivisions : Huacas
Drive By Shooting   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport   Gateway Rock
Forest   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Gateway Rock
Woof Toof Noof Roof   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Gateway Rock
Pumping Huecos   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 50'   The Sponge
Cow Pies For Breakfast   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Cattle Call Wall Area
Road Rage   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport   Gateway Rock
Udder Limits   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Cattle Call Wall Area
Metamuscle   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 65'   Retirement Wall
No Sketching   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 45'   Chilly Willy Wall
Silverback   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 75'   Retirement Wall
The Color of Optimism   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 80'   Easy Bake Alcove
Death Grip   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Love Shack Area
Mainliner   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Leaning Tower
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Las Conchas

Featured Route For Las Conchas
Rock Climbing Photo: Great position and rock on Lightbulb Not Included....

Lightbulb Not Included 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b  NM : Jemez Valley Area : ... : Easy Bake Alcove
A lightbulb gave the Easy Bake Oven its power but it's not power, but technique (and a touch of faith), that will get you to the top of this line.Start as for Babies in the House but clip bolts on the blunt arête to the right. After the third bolt leave the security of the corner with a tricky, blind reach to the arête. Engaging climbing leads up to gigantic holds through the roof and steep finish. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of Las Conchas Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Boyle starting up Death Grip
Richard Boyle starting up Death Grip
Rock Climbing Photo: Gateway Rock near the Las Conchas Trailhead
Gateway Rock near the Las Conchas Trailhead
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking south across highway 4 at the burned area ...
Looking south across highway 4 at the burned area ...

Comments on Las Conchas Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 7, 2016
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From: Los Alamos, NM
Aug 13, 2008
Because of the multi-use nature of this area, there's a huge problem with human waste disposal in the area. It's super pitiful to hike behind any of the climbing walls only to find huge piles of unburied dookers complete with toilet paper dressing.

This past weekend there was a big load sitting at the base of Hollywood Tim that was no doubt put in place by a non-climber. For a long while I've questioned why there isn't a porta-potty at the main parking area for Las Conchas. Sure, there's a permanent toilet just up the road towards the Caldera but people aren't likely to make the short walk or drive up there to take care of business.

This morning I attempted to contact the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest at 575-829-3535 but got no answer. When I called the main SFNF office in Santa Fe they told me I'd have to speak with the Jemez Ranger district folks about this. If you get a chance to call the Jemez Ranger district and politely suggest a porta-potty, please do. I've never looked into how much it would cost to have a porta-potty setup somewhere and dumped regularly but I'd be happy to donate funds to the cause if it wasn't terribly expensive.
By Mike Dechter
Mar 3, 2010
Hello all,

The Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest is considering camping restrictions in the East Fork Jemez Wild and Scenic River Corridor. This includes the area between Las Conchas and Battleship Rock. There were a couple public meetings about this last year to help the Forest Service design a proposal... and now that proposal is out and the Forest Service is looking for comments on it from users like YOU.

I have a scoping letter with all of the details on the proposed action, which I can send via post or e-mail. If interested, please e-mail me with your information: mdechter@fs.fed.us. Thanks!
By Willie Mitchel
Mar 18, 2010
I read the mention of packing out waste and thought id share a product I use. Its called a Biffy Bag and it is far superior to the Wag Bag and Reststop systems. It does not require a bucket or commode and comes with everything you need in a little package. It has a triple sealed puncture proof containment bag which prevents all odor and chance of leaking. WONDERFUL product I recommend to everyone. The rammifications of human waste are seriously effecting these beautiful areas we love so much so I ask everyone to address this matter more seriously.
By Code Dog 91
From: Edgewood, NM
Sep 16, 2011
A week ago I was searching for Upper East Fork and found that two trailheads were closed and a fine would be given. Any updates on opening them would be great thanks.
By Bill M
From: Fort Collins, CO
Oct 16, 2011
Noticed two new routes today on Gateway Rock, the one on the far right was excellent, what's the grade on these?
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From: Los Alamos, NM
Oct 16, 2011
Bill Matlin wrote:
Noticed two new routes today on Gateway Rock, the one on the far right was excellent, what's the grade on these?

The far right route is Forest, a former gear route that was recently retro-bolted. The other newer, short route is Unknown 5.7. I don't know who put up the routes but I think it was the same persons based on the identical hardware.
By Owen Summerscales
From: Los Alamos, NM
Apr 21, 2012
Anyone know about the bouldering here? There's some very nice problems, chalked and clearly have been climbed many times, just wondering about if theyve been named yet or not?

The rock's a little coarse, but the overhangs make for some superb boulders.
By Curt Dvonch
Apr 22, 2012
I left a rope in a blue rope bag at gateway crag yesterday (Saturday 4/21) and I checked this morning but it wasn't there. If you found the rope or if you know who did, please let me know. Thanks!
By John M Sullivan
From: Austin,TX
Aug 9, 2013
I'll be in the area in a couple days, and figured I'd get a little information about the crag to get ready:
1) How many quickdraws do I need for the climbs?
2) Top rope friendly?
3) I'll be with some beginning climbers; what's a good wall to take them to?

Thanks a lot!
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From: Los Alamos, NM
Aug 9, 2013
Due to the Thompson Ridge fire, most of the Las Conchas area is closed until Oct. 1, 2013. The Cattle Call Wall Area is apparently open but that's it. For routes here, 10 quickdraws is more than enough and some routes can be set as TRs if you bring static line to tie off from trees at the top--the bolt anchors aren't accessible from the top.
By Owen Summerscales
From: Los Alamos, NM
Aug 11, 2013
Cattle call is on private land, so the FS dont have anything to say about it. In fact, the flagging makes it very clear where the private/FS land boundary is.
By John M Sullivan
From: Austin,TX
Aug 11, 2013
Thanks for the info! I'll be pretty close, so it wont be a big deal if it's closed. I'll check out area 37. Since Cattle Call is on private land, camping there probably isn't an option?
By Owen Summerscales
From: Los Alamos, NM
Aug 12, 2013
No camping at las conchas right now. Without the restrictions, you'd be normally allowed to camp about a mile downstream, but not currently. Camping is open in jemez springs, unless you want undeveloped spots.
By Chet Butterworth
From: Chattanooga
May 23, 2014
will be here in the next few days, what's the most recent word of camping in Las Conchas?
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From: Los Alamos, NM
May 24, 2014
Chet Butterworth wrote:
will be here in the next few days, what's the most recent word of camping in Las Conchas?

A couple of years ago (at least) the forest service closed all camping along the river at Las Conchas in the first 1.6 miles (or so, maybe further) from the highway. So effectively no camping. But there are forest service campgrounds not too far away. Look for Redondo Campground or San Antonio Campgrounds to the west a number of miles.
By Nathan Kofahl
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jul 28, 2014
Jemez falls campground is a good place to stay and it isn't very far away.
By Chelly Young
Apr 23, 2016
{Las Conchas/Jemez Valley Area/NM}

Hi there--

I have been thinking of how valuable it would be to have practice anchors at the Cattle Call Wall area (specifically off to the side of Johnny Can't Lead).
Years ago when learning to clean, it was extremely helpful for me to be able to use the practice anchors in the School Room Area at Maple Canyon. Just a few inches off the ground allowed me to simulate cleaning while another pair of eyes could watch and critique my process.
Recently, I'm finding myself watching instructors teach others how to clean using simulated anchors. I think it would be very beneficial to have real chain anchors in a position that simulates the climbing experience.
I have someone willing to install them and would like to provide them as a service to the climbing community.
Looking for feedback; do you think this would be valuable?

Chelly :)
By Nathan Kofahl
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jun 6, 2016
3d Photosphere I took near gateway rock and uploaded to Google Maps. My son is climbing near the top of Garden Wall in this picture

goo.gl/maps/WHUUDST81Qr
By George Perkins
From: Los Alamos, NM
Jul 31, 2016
There are ~4 sport climbs way farther down, in the East Fork Box, for those into a bit more exploration and a beautiful hike. I think they are in the 5.11 to 5.12 ranges-- I've heard a bit of information. From my understanding, the FAs (Heath Bailey and Shibli Fazal?) have largely moved on from route development in the area, so I highly doubt there's an issue with me mentioning them, but let me know if there is and I'll delete this. It's possible that it's quicker to come in from the west, rather than from Las Conchas; in any case expect you may get wet feet. There's potential for more, but it's a longer hike and there's no singular good destination wall like "Monster Wall" or "Retirement Wall" in there, so even if you bolt it, it will see few visits.
---------------------
The best seasons for climbing at Las Conchas (and Upper East Fork) are spring and fall, for anyone thinking of visiting from farther than a couple hours away. Most climbs are S-facing and thus roast in the summer heat (with some shaded exceptions like Love Shack and Chilly Willy), although the area is still popular with ABQ climbers escaping even hotter temps at that time. Winters can sometimes provide nice days and ideal crisp "sending temps" for serious locals, but the approach is typically snowy and it can be too cold to reliably justify a visit from a long ways away.
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From: Los Alamos, NM
Aug 7, 2016
George Perkins wrote:
There are ~4 sport climbs way farther down, in the East Fork Box, for those into a bit more exploration and a beautiful hike. I think they are in the 5.11 to 5.12 ranges-- I've heard a bit of information. From my understanding, the FAs (Heath Bailey and Shibli Fazal?) have largely moved on from route development in the area, so I highly doubt there's an issue with me mentioning them, but let me know if there is and I'll delete this. It's possible that it's quicker to come in from the west, rather than from Las Conchas; in any case expect you may get wet feet. There's potential for more, but it's a longer hike and there's no singular good destination wall like "Monster Wall" or "Retirement Wall" in there, so even if you bolt it, it will see few visits.


The routes down that way are not a secret, just kinda random and seldom climbed. The routes are shady, especially those on the south side of the river, and belays are often right on the edge of the stream so it's cool summer spot. It does get unusually humid in there in the summer, though.
The best approach is via trail 137 from the picnic area where 137 crosses highway 4. It's a decent hump in there, probably about 30 minutes, with some off-trail descending from trail 137 down to the stream at an arbitrary spot.

The easiest sport route is a really fun, but all-too-short, arête that overhangs over the river on the river's north side called "Reflection Eternal" (5.11a) done by Heath Bailey in summer 2014:
Rock Climbing Photo: Heath on the FA of Reflection Eternal (5.11a), Low...
Heath on the FA of Reflection Eternal (5.11a), Lower East Fork, Jemez, NM


The 5.12c/d route, "PBR Street Gang" also established by Heath Bailey in the summer of 2014.
Rock Climbing Photo: Heath nearing the top of "PBR Street Gang&quo...
Heath nearing the top of "PBR Street Gang" (5.12+), LEF south side of river

Rock Climbing Photo: Nat cruxin' on "PBR Street Gang" (5....
Nat cruxin' on "PBR Street Gang" (5.12+), LEF


I've climbed one other 5.12-, not sure the name, also done by Heath on the north side of the river:
Rock Climbing Photo: Nat on a Unnamed 5.12-, north side of the river at...
Nat on a Unnamed 5.12-, north side of the river at LEF. Bouldery, big lock-off crux down low.


There are two more harder routes, 5.13- or so, next to each other near PBR. Heath also did a route purely on gear on the river's south side that went up cracks to a groove at the narrowest spot in the canyon where it looks like one could jump from one side of the canyon to the other. This is further downstream from the sport routes and just upstream from the spot that used to be super popular for cliff jumping but filled in with flood debris post-Las Conchas fire in 2011.

I think Josh S. did a couple of gear routes in the vicinity too. Pretty cool area to explore.