5 places to rock climb in Colorado
We already know that Colorado is known for the splendor of its exterior and the 300 days of sunshine that adorns it. One of the most essential activities you can do is get out there and show every nearby rock, tree, and mountain peak who’s boss.
Preferably by climbing to the top of any nearby object that you can see. As long as you stay safe and don’t get too much between a rock and a hard place, so to speak.
Whether you’re a beginner or a climber like a spider monkey, here are some of the top five places to rock in Colorado.
The Flatirons watched over my childhood when I was growing up in Boulder, and while I was never brave enough to try and climb one, they are easily one of the best places to climb. According to 5280, the east face of the Third Flatiron is one of the best climbs for beginners, and you certainly can’t beat the view at the top, either. But even if you are looking for a more difficult ascent, the Flatirons are also great for this, as well as for bouldering. Just keep in mind that seasonal closure sometimes occurs due to bat and raptor nests.
Garden of the Gods
Although I have never climbed the Flatirons, I HAVE been to climb the Garden of the Gods, and it is one of my favorite non-climbing gym experiences to date. Located right next to Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods offers some delicious hikes and climbs, and you certainly can’t beat this site for the stunning scenery. Just be sure to check at the visitor center before you start climbing anything and everything in sight as not all rocks have been cleared for climbing.
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t include Estes Park on this list. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, it’s no surprise that Estes Park is home to some of the greatest climbing giants, from competitive climbing to bouldering. However, it should be noted that when we mention that Estes Park is in the mountains, it is really in the mountains, taking with it all the vagaries of alpine environments. This includes sudden afternoon storms, loose rocks, and hard-to-reach areas, so keep these in mind when you go rock climbing. 5280 even recommends climbing a guide first.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Although Estes Park is basically at the east gate of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), we thought it was worth mentioning twice as the RMNP offers a wide range of climbing areas and open air beyond what is closest to Estes. You can even get a bivouac (which is a mountaineering talk for the terrifying experience of camping on the literal side of a mountain) while taking a few days to make the highest climbs, just keep in mind that you’ll need a parking permit.
Finally, there’s the ever-lovely Eldorado Canyon State Park. This park is particularly interesting because “Eldo” not only offers you difficult routes (often more than their ratings suggest) and lovely scenery, but it also has a swimming pool to cool you off once you are back. manageable elevations. Keep in mind that the pool is currently closed for renovations, but the climb is still worth it.
So, as the weather warms up and the vaccines start to flow, get ready to get out and hit the slopes in a whole new way.