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Map of the main rock climbing areas in Northern Mexico

Map of the main rock climbing areas in Northern Mexico

The above information has been extracted from the Mexican rock climbing guidebook for northern Mexico.

Rock climbing at Baja California Norte

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.

Rock climbing in northern Mexico

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

The excellent bouldering at Penoles, Mexico’s premiere bouldering destinationRock climbing in Chihuahua

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.

Average peak temperatures for Chihuahua in northern MexicoNear 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.

Logistics for climbing in northern Mexico

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.