REI Community
Muralla Grande

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Clarks Cramps T 
Dire Straights T 
Excitable Boys T 
Excitable Boys Headwall Variation T 
La Selva T 
Lawyers, Guns & Money T 
Liar King T 
Little Yellow Jacket T 
Out to Lunch T 
Rapture T 
Second Coming, The T 
Thunderbird T 
Warpy Moople T 

Muralla Grande Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 10,212'
Location: 35.2152, -106.455 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 21,520
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: George Perkins on Jan 22, 2006  with updates from George Perkins and 1 more


45° | 31°

54° | 38°

58° | 38°

49° | 34°

53° | 36°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Photo of Muralla Grande from the Sentinal.


The 800’ Muralla Grande is the most popular large formation for multi-pitch climbing in the Sandias. This massive SW-facing cliff face is easily seen from Albuquerque, standing just beneath the communications towers in upper Chimney Canyon. The rock wall boasts many long, quality routes from 4-7 pitches, including The Second Coming (the most popular multi-pitch 5.8 in the Sandias), Warpy Moople (a classic 5.9 with a somewhat runout “rite of passage” crux pitch for a 5.9 leader), Excitable Boys (a beautiful clean corner system and one of the most popular long 5.9s in the area), Little Yellow Jacket (5.11-, a great intro to Sandia climbs over 5.10), and Thunderbird (an adventurous 12- that’s invariably on the hit list those who seek out this grade). The rock quality is quite good (about as good as it gets in the Sandias), except for the top pitch of some of the climbs. The approach is fairly quick (~30 minutes) and on a well-established climbers' trail. Most climbs will be shaded early (I've often been shivering at the first belay), but go into full sun by late morning.

Although popular, Muralla Grande routes are a step up in seriousness & commitment compared to the shorter 1-2 pitch Sandia climbs off the La Luz trail and in Echo Canyon at the same grades. Over the years, many parties have reported having some routefinding difficulties on sections of climbs like Second Coming, Warpy Moople, and Little Yellow Jacket. Bailing off from most of these climbs will probably involve leaving gear behind and building intermediate rap anchors, followed by an unpleasant hike up the loose approach gully (so don’t bail!).

If you finish early and need more climbing, consider lowering in and climbing the various finishing pitches on the Second Coming headwall (great 5.8-5.10 cracks), or go over to the nearby Clandestine Wall.

Getting There 

From the North End of the crest parking lot, locate a prominent trail that skirts just around the fence (North Crest Trail). Follow it, as it slowly winds you down toward the limestone band near the top of the crest. This prominent trail continues along the limestone band for about 10 minutes or so, than you will come upon an intersection at a wooden sign. Take the climbers’ trail (Chimney Canyon Trail, unmarked) that angles to the left (it starts off initially level). Don’t take the trail that angles downhill more steeply from this junction; don’t continue north on the North Crest Trail.

The Chimney Canyon Trail works its way to the south and drops through some minor limestone bands and 4 switchbacks and emerges at a flat area with aspen trees and tall grasses making the trail more obscure, and a trail junction. The straight ahead or barely angling left (to the South/SE) branch goes down the correct approach gully (this appears less well traveled initially). The right branch (to the West/SW) goes to Muralla Grande summit (You can take this one if you wish to leave anything at the summit where all the climbs end). If you go all the way to the Muralla Grande cliff-top, return back to the junction where you entered the aspen meadow-- if you try to take a shortcut, you’ll likely end up bushwhacking through spike bushes down the wrong (western) gully, which is much looser.

From the aspen meadow, the Chimney Canyon trail goes to the south, and soon drops down a steep, rocky, gully into Chimney Canyon as you leave the aspen grove. (The gully is loose enough that you want shoes, but doesn’t involve any scrambling or downclimbing.) You will see the prominent Chimney formation ahead. At the base of the gully, the Chimney Canyon trail passes to the right of the Chimney. Muralla Grande is the large face on your right. The first clean face on Muralla Grande is “Lawyers, Guns & Money”. Next is The Second Coming, which is directly on the South Face (and is in the sun for a good part of the day in fall and winter). Continue down and around the formation to the other climbs on the main southwest face.

It's also possible to rap in via "The Rapture" (3 rappels w/ 2 60m ropes), though I personally favor walking down the gully for various reasons.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.3 miles from here

13 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Muralla Grande

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Muralla Grande:
The Second Coming   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches   
La Selva   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 850'   
Warpy Moople   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 800'   
Lawyers, Guns & Money   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 140'   
Excitable Boys   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 700'   
Out to Lunch   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 800'   
Dire Straights   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 700'   
Little Yellow Jacket   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 580'   
Thunderbird   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Muralla Grande

Featured Route For Muralla Grande
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing the crux pitch of Thunderbird on the FA.

Thunderbird 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  New Mexico : Sandia Mountains : ... : Muralla Grande
Starts at the head of a small gully 60 ft away from the start of Little Yellow Jacket and ~100 ft (a couple switchbacks) below Second Coming. The route begins in very obvious right-facing dihedral and climbs generally straight up for 6 pitches to the top of Muralla.P1 (95 ft – 5.11-): Climb an obvious right-facing dihedral and pull a roof to a fixed pin below a second roof. Back up pin with nut and traverse right under roof to belay on ledge with another fixed pin.P2 (90 ft – 5.11): Clim...[more]   Browse More Classics in New Mexico

Photos of Muralla Grande Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Beginning of the third pitch... watching the weath...
Beginning of the third pitch... watching the weath...

Comments on Muralla Grande Add Comment
Show which comments
By Anthony Stout
From: Albuquerque, NM
Sep 11, 2007
Thanks George for that clarification. I added your comments to the "getting there" section above. Please let me know if you have any more comments!

By Christopher Marks
From: okc
Nov 28, 2007
What is the bolted line to the left of Second Coming? Looked like new bolts and at least 2-3 bolted belays?
By Anthony Stout
From: Albuquerque, NM
Nov 28, 2007
It is called Rapture, although I don't know much more about it than its name.
By Zach Harrison
Sep 9, 2017
Oh god. Left an anchor of two cams and a 48 inch runner on top of Warpy Moople yesterday. If you are a saint and find this I would happily repay you somehow.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About