Los Alamos, New Mexico

Climb in Diablo Canyon

Originally added by Josiah Roe

Year-round sport and trad climbing, without the crowds, just an hour from downtown Santa Fe at the edge of the Rio Grand River Canyon.

Diablo Canyon has grown in popularity over the last decade, particularly due to its frequent appearance in television and films. It has hundreds of sport and trad climbs of varying difficulty on basalt cliffs that reach over 300 feet high, with approaches varying from 5 to 30 minutes.

Grades range from 5.8 to 5.13 and vary in steepness and exposure. Many routes are moderate 5.10 and is one of the best sport climbing areas in northern New Mexico for 5.10-5.12 climbers.

Climbing in Diablo is year round with shade in the summer and sun in the winter. 

Note: be sure to wear a helmet, as the freeze/thaw process common with Northern New Mexico results in a lot of loose rock.

To get there take Santa Fe Bypass route (Veterans Memorial Highway 599) either from I-25 south of Santa Fe or off of Saint Francis Drive NW of Santa Fe. 

Take the Camino La Tierra exit heading west toward the Rio Grande. After 4.7 miles turn right on Old Buckman Road. At 7.7 miles you'll pass a large blue/green colored frame on your left as you follow the main Diablo Wash. At 12.2 miles you should reach the first turn off into the Diablo parking area on your left. The canyon is clearly visible beyond. Enjoy the teeth-rattling washboard road.

After a rain the road can be muddy and difficult for 2WD vehicles.

More information on specific routes here.

Climbing in Diablo Canyon was featured in The Outbound's Santa Fe County is Adventure True - Summer Lookbook 2019.

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Rock Climbing
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking


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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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