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Naturita and Paradox Valley

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Atomic Energy Bouldering 
Atomic Energy Crag 
Big Gypsum - Dolores 
Carpenter Ridge - Paradise Wall 
Ray Motel Boulders 
Red Rocks 
Sunshine Wall (River Road area) 
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Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Red Canyon Loop
This 13 mile loop climbs Red Canyon with awesome views of the Paradox Valley and beyond. Near Gateway, Colorado
Y-11 Trail
Challenging West End singletrack high above the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers. Near Gateway, Colorado
Unaweep Trail #601
A trail that clings to the high slopes of Uncompahgre Plateau with dramatic views of Unaweep Canyon. Near Gateway, Colorado
Y-11 Loop or Out N' Back
Challenging West End singletrack high above the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers. Near Gateway, Colorado
Big Creek Scout Trail #638
A slowly ascending singletrack through a big pine and aspen treed gully. Near Gateway, Colorado
Divide Forks Cutoff #639
A fast and flowy downhill to a short, punchy climb before a rolling finish. Near Gateway, Colorado
From MP's sister site:

Naturita and Paradox Valley Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,000'
Location: 38.2198, -108.5675 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 48,775
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John Peterson on Feb 28, 2007
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Photo of A.E.C. more routes to right of photo.


The "Wild Wild West" is a remote area of western Colorado near Naturita. With no nearby population centers, climbing in this area is wide open. Most of the rock is sandstone, with everything from short crags to pinnacles to long sandstone cracks.

The best source of information on this area is Charlie Fowler's guidebook, The Wild Wild West.

Getting There 

Approach from the south through the Telluride area on CO 145 northwest to Naturita and then continue west on CO 90.

From Grand Junction head south on CO 141 through Unaweep Canyon.

From the the Moab / Indian Creek area, head south on UT 191 to UT 46 east which becomes CO 90.

Unfortunately Charlie Fowler's excellent website is gone. Here's a link to the archive of it:

Climbing Season

Weather station 13.4 miles from here

73 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',30],['2 Stars',28],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Naturita and Paradox Valley

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Naturita and Paradox Valley:
Road to Nowhere   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Sunshine Wall (River Road a...
Psycho-Path   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 180'   Big Gypsum - Dolores : Psycho Tower
Sandstoner's Highway   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Sunshine Wall (River Road a...
Mushroom Cloud   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Atomic Energy Crag
Nameless Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 2 pitches   Red Rocks : Open Range
Wide Open Spaces   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 200'   Sunshine Wall (River Road a...
Mad Cowboy Disease   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Sunshine Wall (River Road a...
Rancho Deluxe   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Atomic Energy Crag
Black Bart   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Red Rocks : Open Range
Finger Fusion   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Atomic Energy Crag
Bomb Factory   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Red Rocks : Porcelain Wall
Nameless Face   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   Big Gypsum - Dolores : Psycho Tower
Chaos Spider   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Red Rocks : Porcelain Wall
Tower Of Power   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R     Trad, 3 pitches, 200'   Hamm Canyon : Tower Of Power
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Naturita and Paradox Valley

Featured Route For Naturita and Paradox Valley
Rock Climbing Photo: Up that corner.

Rancho Deluxe 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b  Colorado : Naturita and Paradox Valley : Atomic Energy Crag
Start off in a bit of poor rock with hands. As you continue up, the crack pinches down and the rock scoops out past vertical. Once the crack disappears, clip a bolt and go for the anchors. This has great movement on good rock....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Naturita and Paradox Valley Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: AH bouldering along Long Park Road, Paradox Valley...
AH bouldering along Long Park Road, Paradox Valley...

Comments on Naturita and Paradox Valley Add Comment
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By Christian Prellwitz
From: Telluride, CO
Mar 28, 2010
Detailed information for all of the bouldering in the Naturita and West End areas can be found in 'A Guide To Bouldering In The Telluride & West End Areas' by Christian Prellwitz. This book can be purchased at climbing shops and book stores throughout Southwest Colorado.
By MattCichella
Jan 3, 2011
I recently went to the West End climbing areas and found them very hard to find due to endless network of rough and poorly marked dirt roads. Most of the areas had huge approaches up very unstable talus fields that most often lead to mediocre climbing. The bouldering was only so so. I yanked on a lot of old and deteriorated bolts and anchors and many of them moved out up to a 1/2 inch. Scary place. Next time I'm out there I'm going to Potash Road where I can belay off my bumper or the Creek where I can mooch cams and climb top-ropes.
By Jason S.
From: Durango, Co
Apr 9, 2011
Yeah, the west end is all long approaches for chossy climbing, stay away ; ) True, some of the bolts are less than bomber, though.... Also, I think that The Wild Wild West guidebook is out of print. Edit: Guidebook.
By Kevin Sainio
From: Durango, CO
May 26, 2011
The whole area is junk. Everyone should definitely stay away.
By T5w
From: Ia.
Sep 4, 2011
WWWest still in print. Atomic Energy Crags is an excellent area nearby. Short but fun. Bouldering along EE22 also fantastic. The book store Between The Covers in Telluride had the book.
By Matt Kroll
From: Telluride, CO
May 7, 2012
There are some great areas out there with some fine sport and trad routes. You just have to know how to navigate the roads. Some of the best crags involve camping right above them.
By Jay Berino
From: Denver, CO
Jul 12, 2012
Has any one heard of the "lost world" craigs in this area? Off of EE22?? climbed there a couple of years ago with dudes who knew the area and I cant find them again. One of the neatest areas I've seen in CO (out of the mtns) with or without climbing.... Lots of bolts... maybe it has another name?
By Christian Prellwitz
From: Telluride, CO
Sep 15, 2012
Yeah, you might still be able to get a copy of the Wild West guidebook in one of the area stores. Damon was saving the remaining copies for Between The Covers. There are probably a few others floating around elsewhere out there at other random regional stores.

As to your question, Jay, the Lost World Crag is located off of Road EE22. Here are the directions:

From the intersection of Highway 90 and EE22, drive 1.7 miles and turn right onto an unmarked dirt road. This road is quite rough
in sections and a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle is advised. Take the dirt road, staying to the right where it splits. A 1/2 mile off of EE22, the road splits again. Keep straight to reach the boulders on a rough, washed out road. Park at the main campground, right next to a large boulder, or walk to this point if you decide the road is too rough.

Lots of bolted routes there, but the rock is lower quality than Atomic Energy and some of the other areas. Charlie liked to call it petrified kitty litter. The bolts probably haven't been checked in a while, so be safe. The same goes for all off the bolts out at these areas. Bolting in this soft and highly variable sandstone is difficult, and with so few visitors, bolts rarely get checked and replaced.

Anyhow, glad people are enjoying the areas. There's some fun to be had amongst all the choss. :)
By Stevie Johnson
May 2, 2014
The Administrators might note that Damon Johnston is a co-author of the Wild Wild West guidebook.

Kroll is right. An area slightly west and below the Naturita Crags is called Little Red Rocks. It is maybe 2 miles west of EE22 and best approached from the highway below in the main Paradox Valley. Go past EE22 about a half mile, 2nd gate, and head north through a wash then west along the base of the escarpment to a large, colorful drainage north of some large ponds.

This approach is different from that described in the guide, which approaches more directly from the south but is now washed out. Four wheel required. Little Red Rocks is visible as white and reddish-orange cliffs just west of the drainage. These become visible from the highway. Hike and scramble WNW up a faint trail about 30-45 minutes. Higher up there is a small spire to the east of the trail that can easily be approached by traversing a bench. It has a cool pictograph gallery.

Little Red Rocks and particularly the Porcelaine Wall has very high-quality face climbing, all one-pitch sport bolted (and a little less sporty than the Naturita crags) with several cracks. The sandstone rock on this wall is bullet hard and reminiscent of Red Rocks, much better quality than the Crags (which are small conglomerate and sometimes chossy). South-facing and warm, with some limited tree shade at the base, climbable into November and from late January in the right sun/wind conditions. Just before the parking area, you pass a fenced off area with hiker gate with huge boulders full of pictographs and petroglyphs. There are more such treasures hidden in these hills.

The Carpenter Ridge area west of the Dolores has fine Wingate crack climbs, longer but less dense than Indian Creek. Some routes like Cowboy Up on the Paradise Wall rival anything in Indian Creek and the ambience is reminiscent of Indian Creek in the late '70s-'80s. The approaches are longer, but the camping is free and never crowded, and the views are incredible.

Some new areas are being developed near the west end of the Valley with fine Wingate cracks and even some hard patina face climbs.
By Mickey Guziak
From: Grand Junction
Apr 30, 2015
Wild Wild West Guidebook. Here is a site with pictures of all the pages of the guidebook.

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