Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tres Piedras Bouldering: Granite Problems in Northern New Mexico

We just got back from a trip to Northern New Mexico to explore some remote bouldering areas and to run a bunch of empty trails and dirt roads. I'll be posting the entire trip as individual posts so that we can keep each area and trail as a separate post.

On the first day we drove down to Tres Piedras. This is a small granite outcropping located in Northern New Mexico about 20 minutes outside of Taos. Similar in nature to Vedauvoo up in Wyoming, Tres Piedras is a beautiful spot to do some granite climbing and bouldering. There are several solid trad routes at the formation, as well as some slabby sport routes. However, the bouldering is what we came for - quite, undeveloped, and in a beautiful setting.
Bouldering at Tres Piedras, New Mexico
Although most of the bouldering around the main formations has been developed, there are a few spots in the outlier areas that have gems waiting to be sent (or resent as the place sees so little traffic each time feels like an FA). The Fins section is full of steep, overhanging crimp lines, while some of the outlier stuff is more crystaly, blobular, and open-handed.
Tres Piedras New Mexico Bouldering
All in all, Tres Piedras is one of the bouldering gems of Northern New Mexico that many people don't know about. Often it is best from fall through spring, as summer can get hot. Sitting in the dry part of the San Luis Valley between the wet Southern San Juans and the Southern Sangre de Cristos, you can often boulder here throughout the winter.


  1. Is there some nice primitive (NF) camping at or near the climbing that you could point me toward? Thanks

  2. You can camp almost anywhere. Tres Piedras is mostly on Carson National Forest land, so you can camp on any of the FS roads in the area. FS Road 222 has some pull-outs about 10 minutes away, as well as some if you keep going down 64 towards Tierra Amarilla (Tusas Ridge Road).