BETA PHOTO: This is the view looking out the west end of the c...
This area has excellent traditional crack climbing and great bouldering on the metamorphic granite/gniess canyon walls and large Dakota sandstone blocks of Unaweep Canyon half an hour from Grand Junction. The routes ascend canyon walls via cracks of all sizes and difficulties for up to nine pitches. Lines are clean and sustained; thousands of interesting options exist.
The potential for new routes seems limitless and many of the the existing routes feel like first ascents due to low traffic and the large absence of fixed gear. Bouldering is even more vast and varied. Roadside blocks of solid Dakota sandstone offer a lifetime of challenges on very interesting rock in a quiete setting. There are over 30 established cliffs in the canyon but many are on private property. Great care must be taken not to offend the residents and locals of Unaweep Canyon as much of the climbing access lies at their mercy.
The Sunday Wall and Hidden Valley Wall offer excellent routes and are located on Acess Fund property. The Mother Buttresses offer some of the best and longest climbs in the canyon and are also very deserving of a visit. Climbs can be selected for their exposure, so climbing in Unaweep is possible on almost any dry day.
This area is rich in climbing being close to The Black Canyon, Ouray, Colorado Monument, Redstone, etc.
There are a few bolted sport climbs in the area concentrated mostly on Sunday Wall, but for the most park, expect sustained crack climbing with the occasional run out. The cracks range from splitter hand cracks through steep faces to gaping offwidths, to desperate face moves so bring a good selection of traditional gear with a few extras depending on the climb. Long runners, RPs, and often times an offwidth piece are critical. Many routes have difficult route finding due to the numerous options. The rock can take a little getting used to. Many descents entail very involved walk-offs and down climbs. Don't expect much fixed gear, but some do have bolted rappel stations.
This is a beautiful and undisturbed part of Colorado and needs to be treated with the upmost respect. Do not leave trash, park on private property, chip anything, or be overly stupid. The Canyon is also an interesting geolocial formation because it has rivers flowing out of both sides. Unaweep means "canyon with two mounths" in Ute. Here one can feel the beauty of climbing.
Eds. Note, this large area has been reorganized since it covers 40 miles of terrain.
Western Colorado, South of Grand Junction between Whitewater and Gateway along CO Hwy 141. From Boulder take I-70 West to Hwy 50 in Grand Junction towards Ouray (Delta, Montrose). Turn right on 141 and follow it into the Canyon. Bouldering is found on the hundreds of sandstone blocks visible from CO 141 on your way into the canyon. Sunday Wall and Hidden Valley are located on Access Fund property 2 miles West of Divide Road. Camping can be found on BLM land along Divide Road as well as along CO 141, Divide Road is cleaner and quieter but there is excellent bouldering along CO 141. Bring water.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Unaweep Canyon:
Chocolate Couture is a straightforward crimp test. Stand start by reaching a right hand, incut sidepull and a left hand on an oblique crimp. From there, move straight up the slightly overhung face using a bulbous knob and crimp rail. The topout is solid and juggy. Downclimb the opposite face.As a note, shorter folks may need to stack a few pads to reach the start holds....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
I just moved to GJ and have been putting up new boulders in Unaweep lately. Takes a little searching but have found some really good rock and good problems up to V9 and hopefully harder soon. Just need some people with pads to go climbing with me some time.
There is only one established route up it in the guide. There may be more now. It is like 10+ with some clean aid. Right up the gut. You can see the crack system it goes up. Never done it but looks good. Like all routes in the canyon in the 10+ range, it will be thought provoking. There is potential there for new routes there I'm sure.
*LOST CAMERA** On 5/30/12 My camera fell from the top of the 2nd pitch on Sweet Sunday Serenade, Looked like it went into the left side of the pillar off to the right when looking down. It's a digital Nikon in a small black hardcase. REWARD IF FOUND! Please contact Britney at (208)-353-6548 or 505 W. Dogwood St., Boise ID 83705. Thank you and have a great day!