X Rock

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
La Plata
Hiking, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
7648 ft / 2331 m
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83.1% Score
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X Rock
Created On: Mar 5, 2014
Last Edited On: Oct 19, 2014


X Rock
X Rock

X Rock
is a small climbing area located just north of historic Durango, Colorado. Due to its short approach and south facing cliffs it is very popular and climbing here can be year round. 
The soft sandstone is a of a little worse quality when compared to East Animas, another climbing area in Durango, located just on the opposite side of Animas River

The route range from 20 to 90 feet in length. It is popular with beginning climbers and local climbing schools. 

There is a newly published guidebook Durango Sandstone, which describes this area well. Stewart Green does not mention it in his Colorado Rock Climbing 2nd edition. Mountain Project describes 48 routes. New routes are being developed. 

Durango is a great little city, with charming historic downtown and famous narrow gauge Durango Silverton train popular with tourists and providing access to remote peaks of the San Juans, including Chicago Basin and Grenadier Range. Durango is also  a popular vacation destination and many people stop here on their way to Mesa Verde National Park, or to explore scenic drives over San Juan Mountains - Million Dollar Highway

Getting There

The Strater Hotel, Durango
The Strater Hotel, Durango
Red Book 5.9
Red Book 5.9

Drive north on US 550 from Durango, and park on the west side of the road just past the speed limit sign, or turn on a little dirt road (accessible by 2WD vehicles) and drive a short distance to a small parking area. 
The X-rock (rock formation with a very obvious natural X) is visible from the highway.
There is a well established trail, which is  maintained by local climbers. The trail brings you to the base of the Gold Wall, if you continue slightly north, you will see X-Rock formation. Approach time less than 5 minutes.


The area can be subdivided into a several crags: 
1. The Boxcar - This is the obvious large boulder on the side of the trail heading to the climbing area. There are several problems on this boulder ranging from V0 to V9.
2. Dihedrals - a little secluded area, past X-Rock formation and the Gullies. The routes are more dirty. Mountain Project describing 3 routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.10d.
3. Dos XX - the next prominent formation past Dihedrals. The rock is not that great. You recognize it by the large roof on the left side of the cliff. Mountain Project describes 3 routes from 5.6 to 5.10b/c.
4. Elementary Wall - turn left from the main trail and hike until you see a slab with some easy looking climbs. This is a good beginner area, and climbs range from 5.5 to 5.11. The routes may be lead or top roped. Some routes are gear and some are bolted. 
5. Gold Wall - the wall you first see on your approach, past Elementary Wall. The trail here splits - north (right) to X-rock formation, or SW to Gold Wall. This wall features 6 routes from 5.9 to 5.13a.
6. The Gullies - Hike past Elementary Wall and X-rock, you will see The Gullies just around the corner from the X-rock formation. Again, mostly beginner routes, and top rope can be set on all routes from bolted anchors or trees. Route difficulty ranging from 5.4 to 5.10a.
7. Ken's Face - is the last area past X-Rock. The approach time here is 15 min. Mountain Project describes 3 routes from 5.9 to 5.10b.
8. Sweet Sandstone - slab just past the Gullies. Look for a large roof to the left side of the wall. 3 routes are described, all in 5.10s range.
9. X Rock - this formation gives the area its name. The formation features 10 routes ranging from 5.2 to 5.11d. It is the most popular destination and often crowded. 
Short approach trail
Short approach trail
Horse Trough 5.8+
Horse Trough 5.8+
Horse Trough 5.8+
Horse Trough 5.8+
X Rock
X Rock

Gold Wall
Gold Wall
Left X 5.7+
Left X 5.7+

Red Tape

There is no red tape. Climbing and parking are free. The climbing area is located within San Juan National Forest. 

When to Climb

Summers tend to be hot, winters on sunny days are pleasant. Year round. 


There is not official camping at the site, but the town of Durango provides a great number of hotels and motels. 

Nearby campgrounds: 

External Links

X Rock on Mountain Project