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Miner's Crag

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ah-Ah Arete 
Angle of Repose 
Barney Rubble 
Black Diamond 
Blood Diamond 
Butterscotch Corner 
Butterscotch TR 
Chest of Drawers  
Clean Slate 
Contributing to the Delinquency of a Miner 
Core Sample  
Crack of Five 
Deep Purple 
Diamond in the Rough 
Diamond Toprope 
Dirty Low Down 
Fools Gold 
Gold Flake Arete 
Gold Pan 
Hippie Crack 
Hippie Joe's Face 
Major Miner 
Miner Delay 
Miner League 
Miner Threat 
Miner's Crack 
Miner's Lung 
Mr. Slate 
Project (J&Joel) 
Strike It Rich! 
Tailings Pile 
Tin Cup 
Unknown (26) 
Use Your Words 

Miner's Crag 

Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,000'
Lat, Long: 36.5995, -105.6918 Map Incorrect?
Page Views: 6,010
Administrators: Mike Howard, Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Jfoley on Oct 5, 2008
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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!

Getting There 

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
Pic showing route "26"

Unknown (26) 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b  NM : Taos Area : Miner's Crag
A thin crack in a small left facing corner that diagonals left at the top to a chain anchor, or continue up to share Miner League anchor 5.8+.Good rock up top but a bit of loose stuff on the ledge midway....[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of Miner's Crag Slideshow Add Photo
Steve Laycock leading Gold Flake Arete 5.11.  <br />Photo by Jay Foley
Steve Laycock leading Gold Flake Arete 5.11.
Thor Husted on Hippie Crack 5.10-
Thor Husted on Hippie Crack 5.10-
FA Blood Diamond
FA Blood Diamond
redtail hawk
redtail hawk
Jay Foley first ascent "Strike it Rich" at Miner's.
Jay Foley first ascent "Strike it Rich" at Miner's...
Jay sewing up another FA.
Jay sewing up another FA.
Miner's Crag as seen from The river. Ah-Ah  is the first low arete on the right and the first bolted route you come to on the shale trail
BETA PHOTO: Miner's Crag as seen from The river. Ah-Ah is the...
Miners. FoleyPhoto
Miners. FoleyPhoto
Right/Upstream Miner's Wall
BETA PHOTO: Right/Upstream Miner's Wall
jay after the f/a of major miner
jay after the f/a of major miner
Thor Husted climbing Reclamation for the first ascent.
Thor Husted climbing Reclamation for the first asc...
minor threat
minor threat
Comments on Miner's Crag Add Comment
Show which comments
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.

By Jfoley
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.