Snake Dike, 5.7R
Fairview Dome, 5.9
Muir Wall, El Cap
Lover's Leap, 5.7
Muir Wall, El Cap
High Sierra, 5.10
Red Rocks, 5.10a
Bay Area Bouldering
Northern California Bouldering
West Temple, Zion, IV 5.7
information would you
like us to provide?
Let us know!
Rocks Climbing Info
With steep, moderate routes, cracks which eat up pro, and tightly
bolted face pitches, many long routes at Red Rocks give you high
adventure without the runouts so common in many areas. Varnished
edges, incut jugs, splitter cracks, technical faces桼ed Rocks
multi-pitch routes have it all. Bolted anchors on popular routes
quicken the pace and allow easy retreat. Red Rocks multi-pitch
climbs are just downright fun, but that's only half the story.
The canyons of the Red Rocks are blissfully free of traffic noise
and the reminders of civilization, and desert bighorn easily
outnumber hikers. As you get back in the canyons, you realize
the awesome scale of the 3000-foot sandstone escarpment, and
how even the very long routes rarely tackle more than half of
a wall's relief. During the daytime, Las Vegas remains thankfully
hidden away, and only at night, with the glow of casinos on the
skyline, do you realize just how close Red Rocks is to Sin City.
Yet the huge and rapidly expanding Las Vegas, if not one of the
attractions, is one of the main conveniences of climbing at Red
Rocks. Cheap airfare, endless neon nightlife, restaurants, coffee
shops, supermarkets, libraries, and the infamous Strip梐ll
are only a few minutes away. Even more convenient than the city
is the plethora of sport climbing, bouldering, and short trad
routes that bring many climbers to Red Rocks in the first place.
And with the development of hundreds of sport routes on the limestone
in the area, climbers are no longer limited to the often overcrowded,
but excellent, sport crags at the start of the Red Rocks loop
road. All told, the multi-pitch classics of Red Rocks are uniquely
accessible, relatively low on the commitment scale, and undeniably
high on the pure climbing fun scale! Here we give you SuperTopo guides
of some of Red
Rocks' best梚ncluding a
few never before published routes.
Rocks Climbing Skills
Endless seas of perfect incut edges are the hallmark of Red Rocks
face climbs, and not surprisingly, when cracks split the rock more
edges are usually close at hand. Unlike Yosemite, most Red Rocks
crack climbs are actually face climbed while using the crack for
protection and the occasional jam. For those not used to sandstone,
take some time on easier climbs to get used to the often fragile
rock, and above all else, do not climb on the rock in the day or
two after a rainstorm (longer if heavy rain), since the rock is
significantly weaker when damp.
Please help support this site by checking out our Red
guide There is a free
sample download here
Red Rocks sandstone has many bottlenecks and a good set of nuts,
often including doubles, is essential. When are
used, they are mostly in the thin to hand size (we'll warn you
when bigger gear is needed in the
guidebook!). For many of the longer routes,
a LARGE number of quick draws and slings are needed梚t is
common to clip more than 10 bolts on
a single pitch. Extra rap slings and rap
rings are a good idea for many of the routes, especially
for trees and blocks. Most bolted stations have fixed rings or
chains which eliminate ugly webbing tangles. You will want a pair
of comfortable for the longer routes and a tighter
fitting slipper or velcro shoe for the sport climbing. A is a must for both potential loose rock and dropped gear from climbers above.
Rack For Red Rocks
Here's the rack we at SuperTopo bring when we climb at
Red Rocks. This is just to give you a general idea of what to bring. Check to
the SuperTopo guidebook before climbing each route to see specifically what you
1 set of Black
Diamond Stopper1 set of DMM
1 ea DMM Brass Offsets2 sets of to #5
1 sets of to #5
2 sets of #0.5-3
1 each of #4 and #5
1 60m x 10.2mm
1 60m x 7.7mm rappel rope
Diamond Oz quickdraws and 20 extra
10 Mammut Crocodile
or climbing harness
Cinch belay device
Adjustable gear sling
Climbing Glove or Black
Diamond Stone Glove
A good supply of water is key, both for climbing days and for camping.
Potable water is available at the campground, but it tastes bad,
and if driving, fill lots of water containers up from areas with
better tasting water. If the route does not have a lot of chimney,
I use a . Long pants and good or are
strongly recommended for the often cactus-filled approach trails
and the bushwacking descents. Sunscreen and for
warmer periods, and warm gear and rain gear for anytime in the
late fall through spring, where you can expect anything from hot
periods to rain or snow. Don't forget the on
multi-pitch routes, many people get hung up behind slow parties
or take longer on the descent than they expect. A headlamp is essential
to get out of the canyons if it gets dark. A is handy to remove old webbing at rappels. A cell
phone could potentially save your partners life in an emergency.
A will help you find the crags and parking. Don't
forget the camera!
Climbs for Your First Week in Red Rocks
There are a number of easier grade classic climbs that are often
the focus of a climber's first week in Red Rocks. We encourage
you to check out the FREE
SuperTopo we have available for download for Black
Orpheus. A selection of Red Rock's best classic climbs are
contained in our Red
Rocks climbing itinerary pack梩hese are aesthetic
and memorable climbs that climbers of any skill level will find
worth repeating again and again.
Cat in the Hat
great first multi-pitch climb with huge ledges, good protection
and fun climbing. The last pitch slab is a bit runout but you
can rappel before then if you want.
Wall, Heavy Spider Karma
in Pine Creek Canyon at the Brass Wall, this is a beautiful
thin hand crack to a slightly runout easy face..
great fun crack and juggy face on the Black Velvet Wall near
to Lazy Buttress, this long pitch has awesome face climbing,
but it is a bit scary at the startyou can toprope from
classic climb of the area. Great hands on the first pitch, then
a short burly fist section followed by lots of stemming and
face climbing around a wide crack.
Lotta Balls Wall, this climb has fun 5.7 crack climbing with
a bolted 5.8 face section, which is slightly runout, but you
can rap if it looks intimidating.
hard to believe that the steep, dark, and ominous dihedral of
Dark Shadows is rated only 5.8. The route is capped by a huge
roof and has walls so black and polished that they shine.
Climbs for Returning Red Rocks Climbers
Once warmed up to Red Rocks climbing, you may want to expand your
tick list to the climbs listed below. All of these climbs are
part of Red
Rocks Climbing guidebook.
fantastic route is sustained at 5.8. There are many bolts when
the climbing gets wide, which allows you to venture onto the
challenging 5.8 is sustained with a great variety of climbing
and a short approach.
Velvet Wall, Epinephrine
of the longest and best routes in Red Rocks, and certainly one
of the best 5.9 routes in the world, Epinephrine is huge and
Orpheus ascends a break in a huge overhung headwall via a cleanly
fractured dihedral and has some of the best moderate crack climbing
at Red Rocks.
varied climbing, tons of thin cracks, tightly bolted face climbing
cruxes, and an intriguing traversing roof to crack, Sour Mash
is endless fun.
Velvet Wall, Dream of Wild Turkeys
and sustained, Dream of Wild Turkeys tackles discontinuous features
for over 1000 feet of amazing climbing with nearly every pitch
5.9 or 5.10a.
Velvet Wall, Prince of Darkness
sustained perfect edges up pitch after pitch of sport bolted
Fun bouldering abounds at Red Rocks. Ask at for
detailed beta on where to go. The Craft Boulders in Calico Basin
located off of Highway 159 are popular. There are some mellow, but
good boulders at the Willow Springs Area梱ou can't miss them
as they are right in front of the second parking area and the hoards
Red Rocks is a desert ecosystem, and while the thorn and spine-barring
plants may look (and feel!) formidable, care should be taken to
reduce your impact. The number one way to do that is to stay on
the main trails and avoid lesser traveled trails梕ven backtracking
if needed. Bighorn sheep, peregrine falcons, and many other animals
inhabit the canyons梤espect them in their home. Unfortunately,
the real environmental issues with Red Rocks are outside its boundaries
and obvious to anyone who goes to Las Vegas more than once. The
city is exploding in size and threatening to develop every scrap
of land that it can get, somehow securing enough water for wasteful
practices like man-made lakes in the middle of some of the suburbs.
The hill across from the canyons, Blue Diamond Hill, has been the
home of a gypsum mine for as long as anyone can remember. While
the giant blasting (2 p.m. on Wednesdays usually) is annoying, the
hill has blissfully blocked Vegas from view from most of Red Rocks.
Unfortunately, this is likely to change, and unless enough pressure
is put on the local government entities, high-end housing, golf-courses,
gated communities, and Wal-Marts are only a few years away. See for more info
on how to help preserve Red Rocks.
Conditions and the ASCA
Until just a few years ago most bolts on longer Red Rocks routes
were terrible 20-year-old 1/4 bolts. Dan McQuade and friends
spent a ton of time and energy replacing key anchors, and then in
the last couple of years SuperTopo's own Greg Barnes, the Director
of the , spearheaded rebolting efforts that have replaced
350 bolts on classic climbs in the canyons, including most routes
covered in this SuperTopo guide. Please donate to the ASCA, a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit, as they don't yet receive enough support from the climbing
community to keep up with all the bolts that need to be replaced!
Even at big discounts below wholesale, on average a new camouflaged
1/2 stainless bolt for replacement in Red Rocks costs the
ASCA about $7. On just two routes, Prince of Darkness and Eagle
Dance, the ASCA replaced 129 bolts, costing nearly $1,000 in hardware
alone! For the most up-to-date information on each routes
anchors conditions, visit the .
In the sections below, we attempt to list information that will
help ensure that your climbing trip to Red Rocks is enjoyable and
Car Travel Red Rocks is just west of Las Vegas and can
be accessed from various points in Vegas, and from Highway 160
from the Death Valley area. From almost any direction it's
fastest to take the main Interstate highways into the city, although
on weekends the traffic from LA can actually have endless traffic
jams across the desert from the west (a LOT of people gamble).
Despite what you'd expect from a map, if driving from the Bishop
area it's actually much faster to take Highway 168 from Big Pine
across Westgard Pass into Nevada, then down Highway 95. However,
the views through Death Valley National Park, especially in late
fall, winter, or early spring, are definitely worth seeing, and
many people will want to spend some time viewing the Park.
Air Travel Las Vegas' is one of the easiest, and cheapest, places
to fly to in the world. However, huge conventions sometimes clog
the airlines, drive prices through the roof, and fill up every hotel
room. Plan ahead.
Loop Road Climbs accessed from the Loop Road have very
limited parking hours. If you are staying after hours, and wish
to avoid a $120 fine, call the late exit number 702-515-5050,
where you must give detailed information on your car, the number
of people, the route you're climbing, and emergency contacts. Late
exit passes are only available for long routes in the canyonsnot
for sport climbing, bouldering, or hiking. Don't try to abuse
the system. You WILL get fined, every time, for being in after
closing with no pass (although it takes them a while to work around
to the end of the loop). The pass only allows a few extra hours,
and if you are still not out, you can get fined even with the
late exit pass.
The longer routes at Red Rocks are in the canyons and are usually
too cold in the dead of winter. The best seasons are fall and
spring, although south-facing routes are sometimes too hot (and
therefore climbed even in midwinter). Current weather should be
monitored, as cold or hot spells can change your plans. Even in
warmer spring and fall periods, cold storms happen regularly,
and the sport, short trad, and bouldering areas of Calico Basin
are often perfect when the canyons are stormy or drying out after
a storm. Several local limestone areas are also perfect alternatives,
and for truly desperate days, (next to Desert Rock Sports) offers indoor overhung leads and hot
showers. June through August are usually so hot that no one dares
climb even in the coldest canyons, and air temperatures well above
100 degrees are common.
Weather and Road Conditions
Current road conditions and weather reports for the Red
Rocks area can be found below:
?five day forecast for Las Vegas
The only campground,
the , is located on West Charleston
(Route 159), 0.5 miles from Calico Basin
Road. It has over 70 sites but it is difficult
to find a spot in prime season. Both
drive-in and walk-in sites are $15 (two cars allowed
per drive-in site but only one per walk-in). Large
groups should reserve some of the group sites, which are only $40 a night for up to 8 cars and 15 people. Drive slow in and around
the campground: 秒速赛车开户speed
traps and $250 speeding tickets are common. These sites are often reserved half a year in advance for peak times. Call
the Visitor Center at 702-515-5371. If full, you can drive about
25 miles to where there is free
camping with no facilities. From the junction of Highway
160 and 159, drive west on 160 for 12.6 miles and turn right
on Lovell Canyon Road (which is about 5 miles past Mountain Springs
Vegas hotels or a long drive to the west to find a camping
spot are the only options。 If you can sleep in your car, the back
lots of many large casinos are usually hassle free。 It is illegal
to camp at the trailhead for Black Velvet Canyon or anywhere in
Some of the nearby lodging options are the (16935 Bonnie Springs Rd; (702) 875-191) (740 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas (702) 258-5200) and (4000 W Flamingo Rd,
There are endless restaurant options all over the place in Las
main concentrations of eateries near Red Rocks are along Charleston
and Sahara, and Rainbow which runs perpendicular to the two.
There is a Trader Joe's at and There is a with
WiFi at Several brand-new large grocery stores
are on Charleston near Red Rocks. By the time you read this there
will be even more so take your pick. There is a Starbucks inside
every one, and there is a Starbucks outside in the strip mall
in front of every one as well. We are not joking. At the intersection
of 159 and 160 near Blue Diamond (on the way out to Black Velvet
Canyon from the campground) is a Rebel
Gas Station with an OK selection
of food and supplies.
Carry lots of water especially on the south-facing routes, dehydration
is no fun, and it impairs judgment. Water can be had at the campground,
the visitor center, or can be bought at stores. None of it is of
great quality, so stock up ahead of time if you can.
and Internet Access - Free WiFi
The closest free WiFi to Red Rocks is 6 miles east at at 10834 Charleston Blvd. Continue another
two miles east and there is free WiFi at Whole Foods at 8855
W Charleston Blvd. (9600 West Sahara Ave.; 702-507-3630,) is at
the corner of Grand Canyon and Sahara and has free WiFi and 27
Internet terminals that you can use for free for an hour, but
amazingly they are all filled much of the time. It also has a
discarded book sale room out front where you can pick up great
reading material for either 50 cents or a dollar.
Gear and Climbing Guides
in Red Rocks: 800 239-7642 or 702-254-0885.
(8221 W。 Charleston Blvd。; 702-254-1143), on Charleston as you drive
into town, is a full-service climbing shop with a huge selection。 , located in the same building, is a good option for
rainy days and also offers affordable showers。
Las Vegas is a big city with big city crime. Never leave your wallet
in your car, conceal valuables, and be especially careful at the
trailheads to canyons. If possible, make an effort to conceal any
evidence that your car belongs to a climber. Thieves specifically
target climber cars because they know they will be gone all day.
A common trick is to break into a car, find a wallet, remove a single
credit card, then carefully lock the car back up. By the time you
figure out that a card is missing, thousands of dollars of bills
have been rung up at local casinos. Also, it is not uncommon for
valuables like to be simply ripped off of locked
racks on the car, sometimes leaving parts of the fork behind. Camping
near the city to the west along 160, which is a heavily traveled
road to the satellite town of Pahrump, runs the risk of violent
crime and should be carefully considered. Gun shells litter the
campsites, and most sites near the road are illegal to camp at.
Beta and Sharp Plants
Be very careful around the abundant cacti and sharp desert vegetationa
glance will tell you that the plants in Red Rocks know how to defend
themselves. Rattlesnakes are not common but they do occur. Scorpions
and tarantulas and wasps are likewise all present but rare. Peregrine
Falcons nest in the canyonsdo not disturb them if you see
them (they are bold and have a history of attacking climbers, so
it's not just for their protection!). Please give Desert Bighorn
sheep a wide berth in the unlikely event that you see them up close
(half a mile away up a 5th class wall is more common).
The human zoo of Las Vegas, especially the Strip, must be
viewed at night. Roller coasters, pirate shows, fountains, and
endless extravagantly decorated casinos, it reminds you of a modern
version of the orgies of the Roman Empire in its heyday. There
are so many lights in Vegasespecially the one out of the
top of the Luxor's black pyramidthat Las Vegas is the most
intensely bright spot on earth as seen from space. Check out The
Strip Podcast's for
local knowledge on the best
shows and deals in Vegas.
For a totally different experience, there are many excellent hikes
in the Red Rocks, especially Bridge Mountain. Those with mountain
bikes can explore the big new array of trails out near the entrance
to Black Velvet Canyon. is a 180-acre non-gaming
cultural and historical attraction designed to commemorate Las
Vegas' dynamic history and to provide a vision for a sustainable
Related rock climbing guidebooks
by Joanne Urioste
has detailed written information on many canyon routes not covered
by any other guide.
by Larry DeAngelo and Bill Thiry - This great
read captures the history, beauty and adventure of Red Rocks climbing.