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Witches' Canyon

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Canyon Road Cliffs 
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Witches' Canyon Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Monty, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Darrin Stein on Oct 25, 2005

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22° | 6°

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William sending Witches' Tit 2nd or 3rd try. Amazi...


Just Southwest of Penitente Canyon lies Witches' Canyon, named for a rock outcropping that looks like a giant eye. The cliffs tend to be short, but excellent routes abound. A few routes sit near the mouth of the canyon, but most are located just beyond the end of the road.

Getting There 

Credit to Bob D'Antonio's guide to the San Luis Valley, 1994.

At the Penitente turnoff, zero you odometer and head South on the main road. At 0.6+ miles look for a road heading due West with a sign marked Witches' Canyon. Like the other areas down there...hard to miss now-a-days.

Per Mike Cherneski: they gated off the old road.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.5 miles from here

26 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Witches' Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Witches' Canyon:
The Golden Egg   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Main Canyon
Dashboard Variation   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Canyon Road Cliffs
Witches Eye aka Witching Hour?   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Main Canyon
Gunks Pump   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Main Canyon
Witches' Tit   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Main Canyon
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Witches' Canyon

Featured Route For Witches' Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Just above the crux.

Witches Eye aka Witching Hour? 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  CO : San Luis Valley : ... : Main Canyon
The crux is at the bottom, climb to the chains, or better yet continue through the "eye" and top out. Awesome route. It can go with gear....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Comments on Witches' Canyon Add Comment
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By Anonymous Coward
May 7, 2003
You won't like this have to walk a little to get to some routes. Less traffic so your fingers will get torn up. West facing so really hot in the sun. Stay in Penitente! I'll be in Witches.
By Kevin Currigan
From: Lakewood
Oct 31, 2003
It may have been due to extenuating circumstances but I doubt it; we got spanked over here. It's worth the trip over though just to see it and check out some really serious routes. Be on your game or beware...
By Joel Shanight
Mar 13, 2004
Another good Durango weekend getaway, FLC climbing club likes this place, cause it is fun!

By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
May 25, 2008
I like Witches even if most of the routes are shorter. It is quiet and while there are fewer routes, there are a lot of fun ones in the 5.9-5.10 range. Beware if you see Brian Mullins as the FAer. He seems to have a knack for putting bolts in poor places on good lines. Almost everyone I've climbed with over here agrees. This is too bad since he seems to have gotten on a lot of good lines before Bob D and others who know how to put up a route got here.

Also, there are a number of routes that are not in the guide. These are generally of VERY poor quality or ridiculously easy. Also, don't be surprised to find missing hardware- visually recon the route before climbing.
By Mike Cherneski
From: Colorado
May 17, 2013
I thought I should mention that a while back they gated off the old road. The old road was cut back a lot and now most of the "roadside" routes are now technically "trail side".