Rock Climbing Locations
The San Luis Valley offers a variety of excellent climbing destinations.
Just 20 minutes north of Del Norte is one of Colorado's renowned sport climbing destinations. A visit here gives you the chance to connect with the past as Penitente Canyon has a rich historical and cultural significance. As for climbing, there are over 300 routes in the area. The volcanic tuff from the La Garita eruption dates back 30 million years and makes for excellent climbing on huecos, steep thin faces, and some interesting cracks. Most climbs are between 30 and 60 feet high.
Penitente Canyon is just 20 minutes North of Del Norte. Camping is allowed in designated sites near the entrance to the canyon and there are restroom facilities at the trailhead. Penitente is managed by the BLM and you can find more information by visiting their site here.
Not far from Wolf Creek Pass is Big Meadows reservoir and National Forest campground. The crag is nestled in the trees above a creek and is a beautiful place to spend the day. Big Meadows reservoir is just up the road too. There you can camp, fish, paddleboard or even hike up to an alpine lake. At the crag, there are a variety of shorter beginner friendly to moderate routes along the creek between HWY 160 and the reservoir. This is a great summer time location.
Big Meadows is just 15 minutes west of South Fork. Camping is allowed in designated sites and there are restroom facilities near the reservoir. Click here for more information.
The Manassa Dike is one of our favorite spots in the SLV. Though just 45 minutes south of Alamosa, it feels quite remote and the views are spectacular. The igneous rock is fun to climb and there are around 100 different routes from beginner to advanced. If you're interested in multipitch climbing, there are several two pitch routes. Manassa might be the best spot in the SLV for learning to climb. It faces South, so the summer time temps can be quite warm in the afternoons, but it is a great spot in the fall and winter.
Dispersed camping is allowed at or near the Manassa Dike. It is on BLM land and there are no facilities.