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Pecos River Canyon

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Bleachers, The 
Cathedral Rock 
Cheap Seats, The 
Grandstand, The 
Rim of the World, The 
Windy Bridge Picnic Area 

Pecos River Canyon Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 35.7023, -105.6863 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 22,189
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Monomaniac on Dec 27, 2006


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BETA PHOTO: Approach view of the Grandstand


Pecos River Canyon is a picturesque granite crag northeast of Santa Fe, NM in the Santa Fe National Forest. The crag offers five separate cliffs of one-pitch, mixed trad and sport climbs on excellent pink-hued granite, nestled among the pines above the trout-filled Pecos River. On a typical weekend day, climbers will be outnumbered by fishermen 3 to 1. This ultimate roadside crag suffers and benefits from its accessibility. Complete solitude will be difficult to attain while belaying from the highway shoulder at Cathedral Rock; however, the dense vegetation and mandatory river crossing can make the Bleachers, only 100 feet distant, feel a world apart.

This crag offers excellent climbing on thin slabs, steep jug hauls, and blocky cracks (usually with a roof or two). This is a haven for the granite face-climbing afficionado, reminiscent of the best rock in the Sandias and Gilman. There are a number of pure trad lines (generally dihedrals), but this crag doesn't have any 'splitter' cracks. The real prime routes are in the 5.9 to 5.11- range, which would make this place popular in any state but NM.

Getting There 

From Interstate 25, head north to the town of Pecos. Continue north from Pecos on State Route 63 for about 7.5 miles. The Cathedral, which is the main crag, will appear on the right (E) side of the road, just as the road bends sharply to the left. The Cathedral is 10.5 miles from the intersection of 66 and 63 in Pecos. There is a small, sometimes crowded pullout on the left (W) side of the highway about 25 feet past the Cathedral. Additional parking can be found N and S of the Cathedral at various Forest Service picnic grounds, etc.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.5 miles from here

45 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',29],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Pecos River Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Pecos River Canyon:
Hanging Gardener   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   The Bleachers
Toss No Moss   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   The Bleachers
Easy Air   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13     Sport   Cathedral Rock
Hard Rock Miner   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   The Bleachers
Ooze Move   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Cathedral Rock
Rejuvenating Facial   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport   Cathedral Rock
Double Roof Dilemma   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Cathedral Rock
Li'l Darling   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad   Cathedral Rock
Bitch Slapped   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Cathedral Rock
MoFo   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Cathedral Rock
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Pecos River Canyon

Featured Route For Pecos River Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: My homie logan trying to pull on the bottom of the...

Edgy 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  New Mexico : Santa Fe Area : ... : The Bleachers
More excellent Pecos granite. This route is a much more difficult version of Stir It Up, with a steep start on large, positive holds, and a difficult slab finish. This route is old-school 5.11, and will make all but the most honed slab-master quiver. Fortunately, the slab is excellently protected--beware the Z-clip....[more]   Browse More Classics in New Mexico

Photos of Pecos River Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: View of the cheap seats, from the Grandstand.
View of the cheap seats, from the Grandstand.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rick McWilliams on "nearly classic" (5.1...
Rick McWilliams on "nearly classic" (5.1...

Comments on Pecos River Canyon Add Comment
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By Randall Gann
Jun 20, 2007
I'm not sure the term "excellent climbing" really applies to any of the Pecos River Valley Crags, but certainly not the cathedral. The climbs are short for the most part and often contrived and definitely not worthy of being advertised as quality climbing. Some of the rock is very good and some of the routes might be worthy if you were already in the Pecos, but the drive in from the interstate might be too far for anything more than novelty.
By Karl Kiser
Apr 1, 2008
There is a section on this climbing area in Marc Beverly's book Jemez Rock (2006) pp. 239-254. I agree that Cathedral near the road lacks location but the area offers a nice change for the hotter summer months.
By Randy Carmichael
From: Boulder, CO
May 10, 2008
Cathedral Rock is about 10.5 miles from the intersection of 66 and 63 in Pecos.
By tom wezwick
Nov 12, 2008
yes sir,,,I surley ditto Karls comments........
By Karl Kiser
Apr 17, 2012
Most of the routes at Pecos were put up by Tom Wezwick, Karl Kiser, Mark Thomas, Chris Kessler, Steve Hattenbach and Bryan Pletta during the years 2000-2005.

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