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|Location: ||36.5995, -105.6918 View Map Incorrect?
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|Administrators: ||Mike Howard, Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman|
|Submitted By: ||Jfoley on Oct 5, 2008|
Look who was spotted Deep Water Soloing upstream i...
Secluded Sport and Trad crack climbing on the West Side of the Rio Grande Gorge North of John Dunn Bridge. This is a "funky" area, some people have raved about the climbing here, while others have walked away without climbing. The cliff is scary looking with many fractures and sits above a rough dusty base.The climbing is well featured with lots of flat edges,crimps and cracks on mostly vertical to slightly overhanging basalt. The routes tend to be close together and short. Although a few sport routes are now 30 meters. The sport routes are well equipped and climb steep faces and aretes on solid rock. The trad routes follow cracks in faces and corners. Although there is typically ample pro the cracks can be jagged and be hollow or have some small loose rocks in the cracks. Expect tricky gear placements!
From the John Dunn Bridge Area described in the guide book Taos Rock or The Arroyo Hondo/Seco area follow road past John's wall up switch backs to the west rim above John Dunn Bridge. Turn right (North) on well maintained Montoso road (towards houses). Continue on this road for 1.6 miles. stay right at fork past last house onto two track (high clearance/4WD if wet). Continue 2.5 miles stay on main track then right at fork and park at Miner's trail head. Note: Don't get caught in a rainstorm here. If you do it may be wise to wait until road dries before trying to drive out. Check out ariel view above for Google maps.
From Town of Taos or locations such as Tres Piedras it may be better to approach this crag from NM highway 64 west of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, a bit further but faster driving: Turn North at mile marker 236 onto Montoso rd (dirt toward Chiflo Mountain (currently signed only on the East side). Pass over cattle guard and continue on this road for 3.7 miles. Now turn left (North) and follow directions above from Montoso Rd.
From parking: Do not go down the main trail head, sometimes signed, Miner's Trail.
Walk back Southeast on two track road (closed to vehicles?). Look for faint cairned climber's trail on your left when "road" goes down small hill at first rock outcrops (about 1/4 mile).
Then follow cairns down steep trail into Rio Grande Gorge (about 10 minutes) and eventually traverse right through loose "shale trail" at base of cliff for about 5 more minutes. Beware this trail has a few loose exposed sections. The cliff sits about midway between the rim and the river. About 20 minutes from car park.
Click on "Aerial photo/map" link above for approximate locale.
Great Camping, Mountain Biking, Hiking abound. The Class II whitewater run from Miner's trail to John Dunn Bridge (Middle Box) is a nice casual paddle with one real rapid at "Horsethief Shorty".
Guide Service - Mountain Skills climbingschoolusa.com/index.html
42 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',19],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',9],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Miner's Crag
Latest Regional Forum Messages
|By Jason Halladay|
From: Los Alamos, NM
Mar 18, 2009
Awesome, Jay, thanks for doing that! Sure makes it easier for those of us heading there for the first time to more easily identify what's what.
|By tim naylor|
Mar 19, 2009
Sweet Jay. 40+ routes. whoed ah thunk.. Nice job everyone. I think this place is fun.
Jan 14, 2010
Thanks guys!! Glad somebody actually made it out to this obscure location. The routes have cleaned up well and despite the initial appearance some of the rock is quite solid hard basalt,(bring extra bits if equipping). Kevin & I climbed Tim's new 30 meter route Mother Lode,and (despite a bit of loose rock in the easy middle section)loved it! I think if someone was willing to put in the work there could be some killer hard routes through some of the upper tiers.
|By Robots and Dinosaurs|
May 11, 2014
Such a cool crag! It is a bit out there and the walk back to the car is steep but worth it. We saw two Peregrine falcons, a vulture, and one or two hawks. The rock is a little flakey or loose so I'd recommend helmets when belaying and climbing but the location is beautiful and the climbs are all really fun. Be prepared to get off trail going to the crag and bring a camera because it is awesome.