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Vista Verde Crag

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1. Bat Cave 
2. Time Bandits Wall 
3. Gold Rush Wall 
4. Afterburner Face 
5. Monster Wall 
6. Wayne Manor 
Far Right, The 
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Vista Verde Crag  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,800'
Location: 36.342, -105.7394 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 50,358
Administrators: Mike Howard, Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Mike Howard on Dec 16, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Mid Winter cragging. Jay Foley starting on the tra...

Bat Cave, Afterburner and beyond 

Steep face to overhanging cave climbing on tall Rio Grande Corridor basalt. Classic high-desert setting overlooking the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Rio Pueblo southwest of Taos. East-facing with great early morning sun. Cool in the late afternoon during the summer months. This is the half-mile-long cliff band left of the Bat Cave. Approach on climbers' trail about 15 min from the car. The walls from north to south include: Bat Cave, Time Bandits, Gold Rush, Afterburner, Monster, New Era and Wayne Manor. Look for ratings at base of each climb sharpied on small stones.

Expect secluded climbing with beautiful views to the Rio Grande Gorge and the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.

Long sport routes (up to 100 feet) on mostly good basalt. Bring gear for established cracks. Some routes are mixed and most are bolts only. About 40 routes so far with a number of them in the 5.12 range.

World class whitewater, fly fishing and mountain biking surround the area. The stunning camping sites available along the class II float of the Orilla Verde State Park a few miles below this wall make this a multisport destination.

Helmets recommended. Not easily top-roped.

Getting There 

From south: Turn west at Pilar on NM 570 toward Carson. After several riverside miles, cross the Taos Junction Bridge over the Rio Grande onto NM 567 and climb out of the gorge on a gravel 2-wheel-drive road. Park at the La Vista Verde trailhead halfway up to the rim.

From north: Take NM 64 West across Rio Grande Gorge Bridge to West Rim Road South. Turn left onto pavement at junction with road to Carson (NM567) and then descend east into Rio Grande Gorge on gravel road (toward Pilar). Continue down to small parking area at La Vista Verde (North side of road).

To find climbers' trail, cross over wash on road heading uphill. Immediately after wash look for cairns on the other side of the road and pick up trail through boulders on the northwest side of the wash. This climbs steeply up to the Bat Cave, Afterburner and other walls.

Guidebook: Taos Rock: Climbs and Boulders of Northern New Mexico. Author:Jay Foley Publisher: Sharp End Publishing, 2005
Best resource for the established climbs in this area.

Guide Service - Mountain Skills climbingschoolusa.com/index.ht...

Climbing Season

Weather station 12.5 miles from here

53 Total Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',27],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Vista Verde Crag:
Raya Negra    5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   3. Gold Rush Wall
Get Fatty!   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   3. Gold Rush Wall
Holeistic Healing   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport   1. Bat Cave
Subaru Nation   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport   1. Bat Cave
Wrendevous   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 80'   6. Wayne Manor
Gold Rush   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   3. Gold Rush Wall
Rifle-esque (Chaturanga)   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 80'   1. Bat Cave
Afterburner   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 90'   4. Afterburner Face
Big Howie   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 80'   4. Afterburner Face
Crystal Therapy   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   1. Bat Cave
Path to Enlightenment   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 45'   1. Bat Cave
Blockbuster   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   4. Afterburner Face
Fang Shui   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport   1. Bat Cave
Browse More Classics in Vista Verde Crag

Featured Route For Vista Verde Crag
Tim's original guide photo  Image courtesy of andr...

Mariposa 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  NM : Taos Area : ... : 6. Wayne Manor
Start in open book with perfect finger crack and some edges to set up for crux bulge throw for slopers over bulge and establish yourself on face for some gear. Go up steep face and crack to anchors on left. Another route put up in 80's? only one bolt at time of first ascent but added another. A huge flake pulled off by first bolt and a jug broke off at crux while cleaning so it felt ok to claim 1st ascent, but it wasn't us. Probably 5.10+ before....[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of Vista Verde Crag Slideshow Add Photo
Local rock climbers checking out the crag.
Local rock climbers checking out the crag.
Route grades at base of climbs
BETA PHOTO: Route grades at base of climbs
These three (and one more) showed up above the Bat...
These three (and one more) showed up above the Bat...
Black Crack in the center of Wayne Manor
BETA PHOTO: Black Crack in the center of Wayne Manor
Right to left:#3 Gold Rush Area
BETA PHOTO: Right to left:#3 Gold Rush Area
Kevin,Bat Cave. FoleyPhoto
Kevin,Bat Cave. FoleyPhoto
Walls from right to left:#3  Gold Rush
BETA PHOTO: Walls from right to left:#3 Gold Rush
#5 Monster into #6 Wayne Manor
BETA PHOTO: #5 Monster into #6 Wayne Manor
Walls from Right to Left:  #4  Afterburner
BETA PHOTO: Walls from Right to Left: #4 Afterburner
Far left of crag:  #6  Wayne Manor
BETA PHOTO: Far left of crag: #6 Wayne Manor
#5 Monster Wall (Tombstone)
BETA PHOTO: #5 Monster Wall (Tombstone)
Jay,Taos Bat Cave. BurrPhoto
Jay,Taos Bat Cave. BurrPhoto
#5 Monster Wall
BETA PHOTO: #5 Monster Wall
Kevin on Dark Night
Kevin on Dark Night

Comments on Vista Verde Crag Add Comment
Show which comments
By tim naylor
Jul 18, 2010
i didn't really want to change the name of the area, i just thought about it as an option for names of cliff sections before we had any.
By Mike Howard
Jul 18, 2010
Hey Tim, We just grabbed that name from the sign for the area at the parking lot. We didn't want to scoop any older names and I like the Gotham theme. Total respect from me to rename the area, or any of the crags, back to that original one. Cheers, Mike
By tim naylor
Jul 18, 2010
we ended up using vista verde too. its much more fitting.
By Bob Graham
May 30, 2011
Climbed today at the Vista Verde crags with a friend and we had a total blast, what fun climbing. Thanks to everyone who put in all the hard work to develop these climbs! Crackula and Crankenstein were a couple of our favorites.
By Bob Graham
Jun 3, 2011
put 2 biners on the anchor chains of Gold Rush last night for speed and ease, please leave in place.
By George Perkins
From: Los Alamos, NM
Jun 1, 2014
There are a few additional climbs on a small cliff adjacent to the road about 100 yards to the south of the Vista Verde trailhead (the normal Bat Cave parking). They look to be easy/moderate. Anyone have more info on these?
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