The above information has been extracted from the Mexican rock climbing guidebook for northern Mexico.
Canyon Tajo is composed of beautiful granite domes which are filled with many excellent mixed, trad and sport routes (these last ones mostly on slabs), and is very similar to Joshua Tree in California (though much less crowded). This place is huge with many areas of rock still unclimbed providing endless opportunities for new routes. Canyon Tajo is located close to the border with the USA the whole area is wild and barren, providing a magical climbing experience, in an environment of great beauty. The largest granite dome is called The Great White Throne that offers multi-pitch big wall routes up to 600m long.
Catavina is one of the main bouldering areas in Mexico. Here there are a host of large granite blocks between organ pipes and saguaros (a huge type of cactus), and is heaven for bouldering. There are also a number of sport and trad routes here as well.
Northern Mexico offers some great big wall climbing at places such as Basaseachic, and the Great White Throne at Canon Tajo, plus some world class bouldering at Penoles. The best climbing areas in northern Mexico is the states of Baja California Norte, Chihuahua, and San Luis Potosi.
Main rock climbing areas in Northern Mexico
|No||Crag||No. of routes||Typical Grade Range||Rock Type||Style of Climbing|
|1||Canon Tajo||300+||5.5 to 5.13b||Granite||Sport and Trad|
|2||Valle Azteca||40||5.7 to 5.12+||basalt||Sport and Trad|
|3||Catavina||100+||V3 to V11||Granite||Bouldering|
|4||Bahia De Coyotes||10+||5.8 to 5.11||Granite||Trad and bouldering|
|5||Cascada De Basaseachic||130+||5.8 to 5.13b||Andesite and Rhyolite||Sport, Trad, and bouldering|
|6||Cumbres De Majalca and Nuevo Majalca||55||5.7 to 5.12+||Rhyolite||Sport, Trad and bouldering|
|7||Penoles||100+||V2 to V15||Granite||Bouldering|
|8||Castillo Rojo||20||5 to 10||Orange Rhyolite||Sport and bouldering|
|9||Cuidad Juarez||40||5.10 to 5.13+||Limestone||Sport and bouldering|
|10||El Cerro Blanco||12||5.7 to 5.12c||Granite||Sport, Trad and bouldering|
|11||Presa Francisco Zarco (El Reliz)||120+||5.7 to 5.12+||Limestone||Sport, Trad, bouldering and DWS|
|12||Gruta De Las Candelas||48||5.9 to 5.13c||Limestone||Sport|
|13||El Peaje||24||5.18 to 5.11d||Rhyolite||Sport and Trad|
|14||Cueva Del Salitre||13||5.11a to 5.13d||Limestone||Sport|
Basaseachic is another place that offers some series big wall climbing set in a stunning semi-alpine spot with cliffs and vertical walls. There you will find one of the longest and most famous sports climbing routes of the world, Logical Progression, located on the impressive west face of El Gigante. This route is on excellent rhyolite rock, and at 1,000m long is definitely the Colossus of Mexican Big Wall climbing. The Magnificent Basaseachic Waterfall Wall provides the opportunity to climb near the second highest waterfall in Mexico. These routes are around 300m long and the spectacular presence of the eternal rainbow reflected makes the climbing seem more rewarding.
Penoles is a Mexican gem for bouldering and one of the world’s top bouldering destinations. This amazing spot is located on a desert plateau filled with hundreds of huge granite blocks with a unique texture and surprising shapes, providing some fabulous bouldering, as shown on the photograph opposite.
Near San Luis Potosi is the small town of Guadalcazar, where there are several top quality limestone sport crags. The main features of this area are overhanging routes with plenty of tufas and stalactites.
Generally the best time to climb in Northern Mexico is from November through to April. During this time there are very low levels of rain and the coolest temperatures.