Rocktype Sandstone (hard)
Altitude 1231m a.s.l
Off! (Nothing Shocking, 5.13-) © Jonas Wiklund
From bouldering to 20+ pitch free climbs, all about 17 miles West of the Las Vegas strip. There are lots of long trad routes and a some multipitch routes that are almost sport climbs. The rock is unique, having in many places a "desert varnish," which is a hard surface mineral layer that weathers to provide all kinds of face holds. This means there is relatively little pure Indian Creek style sandstone crack climbing, and in addition to relatively featured crack routes, there are all kinds of face climbs. The approaches are usually not terribly long, but can be demanding in terms of both effort and route-finding.
The range runs North-South, and is split by East-West canyons, with access from the East, so there is climbing on all aspects except, in general, the Western one.
As in other sandstone areas around the world, the rock needs a few days to dry out after any substantial rain storm, as the danger of breaking holds rises considerably when the rock is saturated.
Summer weather is brutally hot; the rest of the year is good with the best climbing days generally in the Fall and Spring. Temps on the high cliffs are generally ten degrees cooler than in Las Vegas, and the canyons can get extremely windy, making more clothing necessary than you might think while packing up in the city.
Although only a handful of climbs are in the UKC database, there are thousands of routes in the region.
The official name is the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and it is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). There is a 13 mile scenic loop drive that has many of the trailheads to climbs as well as access to the primary sport climbing area at Calico Hills. There is an admission fee for this drive and it is only open from 6 AM to either 5 PM, 7 PM, or 8 PM depending on the season. Climbers whose cars are in lots on the scenic drive after closing hours are subject to very substantial fines; however, it is possible to apply for and obtain late-exit extensions by calling a recording and leaving information about your whereabouts. This can be done as early as a week before the climb and as late as 4 PM on the day of the climb from a cell phone, IF you have reception. These rules do not apply to the parking area for Black Velvet canyon and the turnouts for Windy Canyon, but overnight camping is prohibited in these places and substantial fines apply if you are ticketed.
|Agree with Dr Gav, also lots of routes have grades above the guide book and some of the french conversions are a bit out. Yaak (not Yakk) crack gets 11c (F6c+) It's a Bitch (at Dog Wall not Gallery) gets 10b (F6a).|
Olli-C - 09/Jan/13
|Spelled Abandon wrong, sorry.|
Olli-C - 09/Jan/13
|Quite a few routes here are not at the Gallery..|
DrGav - 18/Nov/09
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