Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.15972°N / 115.44578°W
Activities Activities: Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Winter
Sign the Climber's Log


Calico Hills

During the winter months of December-February, there can be days where Calico Hills will be quite inviting compared to its larger brethren to the southwest. During such days, the Magic Bus and the Gallery will draw the larger crowds. Both walls are as south facing as you can get with sun soaked belayer positions to boot, which many walls lack due to minor slot features. At 35F when we left the parking area, after all these years climbing at Red Rocks, I finally was forced to visit both of these busy locations.

The Gallery is noted for one of the better sport training spots in southern Nevada. The routes line up, left to right, almost in order of grade, from 5.9 to 5.13. The undercut of the wall gets steeper and taller as you move along the base. The easier routes start out at 30’ and the harder ones become more than twice that height. The Gallery is a good place to catch the sun, audience and improve your skills during the winter months. Greg Mayer, Bill Boyle, Don Welsh and Mike Tupper developed the wall in the early 90’s.
Gallery, 5.9-5.13b

From the parking area for the 2nd pullout, descend the main trail staying left at the fork. Rise up over a small hill and descend into the wash. Cross the wash once you get down to it and ascend loose ground up to a sandstone rib and follow this rip as it rises and eventually cross to the right to gain a shoulder below the Gallery wall. Stay left to the west end of the wall and then head back east at the base of the wall to the main Gallery area.

Route Description(s)

Calico Hills
Gelatin Pooch- 5.10a
Calico Hills

The Routes are Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall

  • Range of Motion- 35’- 5.10d/

  • Bucks Muscle World- 30’- 5.9/
  • Fun huge varnished jugs through three bolts. First route on the left in the line of the majority of the routes as they line up equally spaced at the Gallery. There is at least one more route to the left out in space.

  • Gelatin Pooch- 30’- 5.10a/
  • More of the same through four bolts.

  • Pump First Pay Later- 35’- 5.10b/
  • Appropriatly named. I did this at the end of my climbing day and it is a lot more pumpy than it looks. Consecutive reach and grab moves than can be hard on a bad shoulder. Four bolts on positive, but pumpy edges.

  • Running Amuck- 40’- 5.10c/
  • Best route of the 5.10 group by far. Quite a bit of variety for such a short sport route. Start up a neat flake which can be pumpy just to clip the first bolts for shorter folks. A series of layback moves gets you up to more positive edges. Finishes on sandy slab.

  • Gridlock- 45’- 5.11a/

  • Social Disorder- 45’- 5.11d/

  • A Day in the Life- 45’- 5.11c/

  • Minstrel in the Gallery- 55’- 5.12b/

  • Yaak Crack- 50’- 5.11c/

  • Sissy Traverse- 90’- 5.13b/

  • The Gift- 55’- 5.12d/

  • Where the Down Boys Go- 55’- 5.12d/

  • Who Made Who- 55’- 5.12d/

  • Nothing Shocking- 60’- 5.13a/

  • The Glitch- 60’- 5.12c/

Essential Gear

One 60m or 50m rope and no more than ten draws. These are exclusively sport climbs on this wall as opposed to many of the other crags at Calico which are mixed. For sport climbing at Calico, you should definitely grab Jerry Handren’s book, “Red Rocks, A Climber’s Guide”.

External Links

  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM

  • Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association

  • DowClimbing.Com
  • Red Rocks