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Styx Rock Climbing 

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Submitted By: Jason Halladay on Oct 1, 2006


82° | 53°

77° | 46°

74° | 43°

74° | 44°

72° | 45°
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BETA PHOTO: Route topo photo of the Styx area of Diablo Canyon...


A warm, south-facing basalt area just beyond the Solar Cave area that offers enjoyable, easier traditional routes up nice crack, columns and small dihedrals. The features resemble those of Devils Tower, Wyoming but on a *much* smaller and less steep scale.

All climbs here have two-bolt anchors.

Multiple lines exist on this face so get creative and have fun as the climbing never gets too hard.

Getting There 

Park at the main Diablo Canyon parking area. Hike down the sandy wash towards the Rio Grande passing the Winter Wall and Solar Cave areas and look for anchor bolts on the right wall five feet off the ground. These low anchor bolts are used for cave rescues and are located between climbs Elysian Fields and Phlegethon's Ripple.

Climbing Season

For the Diablo Canyon area.

Weather station 6.9 miles from here

6 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Styx
Rock Climbing Photo: Great routes for beginning trad leaders.

Phlegethon's Ripple 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13  New Mexico : Santa Fe Area : ... : Styx
Start right of the low two-bolt anchor used for cave rescues--this is the right most climb at Styx. Follow cracks through shallow dihedrals to two-bolt anchor. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in New Mexico

Comments on Styx Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jason Hundhausen
From: Bozeman, MT
Jan 5, 2008
This is a good place for a beginning trad leader. Very accessible and good protection for most of the climbs. As usual for Diablo, watch for loose rock.
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Jan 7, 2008
(Much like hell...) Styx bakes in the sun in the summer; but is shaded in the winter as the sun is too low in the sky and blocked by cliffs.

Denny Newell and friends did some (probable) FAs in this area in the early '90s, but he forgot which lines, exactly.. [edit- Kiser, Wezwick, and Kessler also did these climbs early on. I didn't intend to start an argument about who did what first.. I don't know, it doesn't matter much anyway and there's no clear way to resolve it.]

The names for most of these routes came much later than their FAs, with the guidebook being published.
By Tom Johnson
From: Colorado Springs, or Santa Fe
Jul 21, 2008
Great little wall for some easy trad. Remember a rope bag or ground cloth; super sandy at the base.
By Karl Kiser
Mar 6, 2009
Newell et. al. placed none of the anchors in the area. Beverly named four of the routes with the guidebook because they needed a name.
By Robin
From: Albuquerque, NM
Apr 28, 2009
I agree this is a good venue for a new trad leader. Most of the protection is extremely straightforward, especially if you have cams.

I also believe this is one of the best places at Diablo to bring beginners for some top roping. If you think it's worth dragging some gear down here, your top roping friends will have a blast.

For what it's worth I have never placed a cam larger than a #1 C4 here, so you don't need to bring a big rack. In fact a double set of cams from very small (purple TCU) to #1 C4 will suffice. You don't need to bring nuts (unless you want to of course). Likewise if you are more adept and motivated than I, you could probably get away with a rack of small to large nuts instead.

Due to potential (but somewhat rare) loose rock I always bring a helmet for kids, or adults who want it.

As George hinted at above, this area is best in spring and fall.

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