The dramatic vertical cliffs of Diablo Canyon Recreation Area make the area a hiking and climbing destination near the Río Grande. The eastern cliff walls are on BLM-managed land and the western cliff walls are managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Diablo Canyon has been featured in movies such as The Missing, 3:10 to Yuma, and Cowboys and Aliens.
The cracked basalt of Diablo Canyon offers some of the best multi-pitch tradition and sport climbing in New Mexico. Over one hundred routes range from 5.8 to 5.13 in difficulty. Winter Wall and the Solar Cave are located on the east side of the canyon.
Please note that the basalt can be loose and unstable where the freezing temperatures at night and the intense sun during the day create freeze-thaw cycles that are hard on the rock. Helmets and a double rope system for rappels are highly advised. The use of new, permanent climbing hardware requires pre-approval from the BLM.
Climbing, hiking, primitive camping
Facilities include a defined trailhead and parking area. There is no water or restrooms.
Access Veterans Memorial Highway (599) from either I-25 south of Santa Fe (exit 282) or off of Saint Frances Drive, NW. Exit onto Camino La Tierra road heading west toward the Río Grande. After about 4 miles, take a right onto Old Buckman Road and start down a dirt road. After about 7.5 miles, you will reach the turn off on your left used for parking for the Diablo Canyon Recreation Area.