If you're looking to push climbing grades and do almost no walking, then Penitente Canyon is the climbing spot for you.

Located in the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado, this beautiful piece of BLM land is a place loved by locals and most Colorado climbers.

 Upon arriving at the Penitente Canyon parking area, which is free of charge, head towards the map at the entrance on of the canyon. From here hang a right and you'll be on your way to some beautiful sport routes bolted up the volcanic tuft.

The canyon is suited to climbers that can send 5.10's and up. From what I experienced, the warm up 5.7-5.9's were not too great of routes aka poor hold location and run out bolts. Still, these easier routes are still fun and 

However, if you're in the sending range of 5.10's and up then you'll have an amazing time.

There are plenty of super classic routes in the canyon such as Not My Cross To Bear (5.11a/b), Bullet The Blue Sky (5.12c/d), and A Virgin No More (5.13a).

If you're looking for some camping, there are multi solo and group sites ranging from $11 for single campsites and $20 for group campsites. All of these are located on the BLM land as well.

Also beware of the rattlesnakes. They'll see you before you seem them so keep your ears peeled. 

Pack List

  • Harness
  • Climbing shoes
  • Chalk
  • Rope
  • Sport rack
  • Water
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Activities Rock Climbing
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Scenic
Wildlife

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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