Sitting Bull Falls
Submitted by: Craig Childre
Few crowds and prevelant shade. This area can be super cold in the Winter. Watch for the killer bee hive between the Brit Route and Fire Water. 5$ per car day use fee.
Getting There
From Carlsbad, 8 miles out of town to the west on 285, take 137 South for about 25-30 miles. Follow the sign to the Sitting Bull Falls area and park. Follow the paved path about 150 yards and take a major right on an unpaved path up to the top of the falls for about 300 yards, up even with the falls, look for small trails to the right over to the climbing area.

ADMIN EDIT:The turn off of 137 for Sitting Bull is not as far as the signs indicate, the turn off is just before MM31 and after MM32 if coming from HWY 285.
Park Conditions
Lincoln National Forrest Conditions
Fall colors in nearby (relatively) Dog Canyon, Guadalupe National Park
Fall colors in nearby (relatively) Dog Canyon, Guadalupe National Park

View from the picnic area of the Big Horn Wall
View from the picnic area of the Big Horn Wall

Order of Closure
Order of Closure

Approach to Sitting Bull Falls
Approach to Sitting Bull Falls

Map of Closures
Map of Closures

Closing in on the chains of Counting Coup, July 13, 2013
Closing in on the chains of Counting Coup, July 13, 2013

jodeejo01  Jul 6, 2015
Sitting Bulls Falls opened back up last month!!! June 2015

Anthony Stout  Mar 31, 2010
Could someone please comment on the closures specified in the new photos added above. I have not yet climbed at Sitting Bull so am not familiar with the area. The date of the order says 2002 so this could not be new. I am assuming this does not mean that the standard areas people are currently climbing at are "closed". Either that or it is not enforced since I hear about folks climbing at Sitting bull all the time.

DisturbingThePeace  Mar 31, 2010
The current cliffs that are developed for climbing are not within the closure area. The closed area and bolting ban only affects the surrounding undeveloped cliffs. I've been there twice this season and the rangers were friendly and enthusiastic towards climbers.

Matt Mueller  Jul 6, 2011
Sorry to report that the "Last Chance" fire burned over the Sitting Bull Falls area. So the FS has closed the area until apx 6/12 for regrowth to prevent erosion from hikers and to rebuild burned down structures. My apologies as I'm a firefighter in the Pecos district though I was out of district stopping TX fires durring the incident.

Chris Archer  Sep 24, 2012
We are thinking about a trip to Sitting Bull and Last Chance. Are both areas open after the fire? Also wondering what the best season is, if you need a high clearance vehicle to access the cliffs, and where the closest place to stay is. Any beta would be most appreciated.

Jonathan Siegrist  Dec 4, 2012
This is an AWESOME little crag. Go there

Nathan wade  Aug 8, 2013
Are the bees still here? Its been 8 years. I'd like to think they are gone by now.

LeeAB  Aug 8, 2013
unless the fire chased them off I think they are still there, at least as of 2 years ago they were.

Nathan wade  Aug 13, 2013
I went here this weekend, there was 1 bee but left us alone. I climbed firewater no bees!

Craig Childre  Sep 24, 2013
The main hive of bees is gone. Fire either destroyed the hive or forced the queen to relocate. So have a go at the Brit route!

Mike Anderson  Feb 25, 2015
Is Sitting Bull Falls still closed? The forest service website seems to indicate that....

DisturbingThePeace  Feb 26, 2015
Yes, I believe it is still closed. Probably not a bad idea to call to verify if you are thinking about a trip.

Craig Childre  Feb 27, 2015
Correct, Still closed.

meghan c.  Jul 6, 2015
Woo Ho! This place looks great. Anyone know if the falls are usually running in the summer?

Craig Childre  Jul 7, 2015
I've never seen them not running. This place is awesome in the summer. Shade all day, a great place to get a quick cool dip in. Just know, the place is stout! Solid grades. I was sending 10d up in Last Chance before I could send anything here.

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