Image of red rocks

There are many areas appropriate for climbing on the Santa Fe National Forest, although none are designated climbing areas.  This is a legal activity unless otherwise closed. Please check with the local ranger district office prior to heading out on your climbing excursion.

Some areas that are popular for climbing are also sacred places for indigenous peoples. Many such indigenous people would prefer that climbers not climb these sacred places and have made this information well-known to climbers. Please show respect to these sacred sites, and to the people who hold them sacred, if climbing in the Santa Fe National Forest.

Climbing activities can sometimes encroach on rock art sites created by various Native American cultures and early European explorers and settlers. To help keep areas open to climbing, if you encounter rock art anywhere on the Santa Fe National Forest, please avoid climbing in these areas.

Although most climbers adhere to minimal impact and Leave No Trace practices, rock climbing is sometimes damaging to the environment. Common environmental damages include: soil erosion, chalk accumulation, litter, abandoned bolts and ropes, human excrement, introduction of foreign plants through seeds on shoes and clothing and damage to native plant species, especially those growing in cracks and on ledges as these are often intentionally removed during new route development through a process commonly referred to as cleaning. Please avoid leaving hardware behind or causing any damage to climbing areas on the forest.

Many non-climbers also object to the appearance of climbing chalk marks, anchors, bolts and slings on visible cliffs. The Santa Fe National Forest discourages permanently affixed hardware but if necessary, visual impacts can be mitigated through the selection of neutral, rock-matching colors for bolt hangers, webbing and chalk.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities