When the colors change, weather cools, and crowds disappear, you can find the best adventures at the crag. 

Whether you’re a first-time climber or lifelong expert, Durango’s access to hundreds of unique routes make it a year-round climber’s destination. Couple the year-round access with fall weather conditions and the experience cranks to eleven. 

What can a climber expect from Durango in the fall?

1. Unbeatable scenic views

The higher you climb, the greater the views. There’s nothing like earning the final send and enjoying a sweeping view of quaking aspens and bigtooth maple trees. Venture out to the Vallecito crags for solitude, alpine quartzite routes, and vibrant colors. 

2. Predictable weather conditions

After a hard summer rain, it’s best to stay away from those beloved sandstone routes. Destinations like Turtle Lake and Lightner Creek, epic for sandstone climbing, can be less accessible in the rainy months. With fall’s reliably cool and dry weather, you can skip the crowds caused by climbing peak times and enjoy mid-morning, midday, or mid-evening climb as much as you’d like.

3. Crowdless climbing in solitude

Fall may be the prettiest season in Durango, and it can also be the quietest. Summer vacationers have left town and locals are experiencing the quiet lull before the holidays. 

As locals enjoy quiet, so too can climbers enjoy crowdless routes on the rock. Skip the stress of navigating bouldering etiquette and enjoy unbeatable sport climbing at Lemon Reservoir in solitude. 

4. It’s an ideal time for community involvement

Some of the best climbers in the country have made the southwest their home. In a small town like Durango, you can find these experts spending their days at the local wall or climbing gym. Visit the Rock Lounge, owned by local legend Marcus Garcia, and learn from the very best. Swap beta, share stories, and enjoy this climbing community at its peak.

5. Bring the whole family and gain lifelong memories. 

The San Juan Mountain Guides, now more than 26 years in operation, hosts half and full day family rock climbing adventures. Bring the entire family and learn everything you need to know about safe and effective rock climbing. Complete the course and keep on your training regime. Ice climbing is just around the corner. 

For more information on Durango’s climbing scene, check out these 7 unbeatable rock climbing destinations.