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Arch Rock

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Arch Rock Direct T,S 
Arch Rock Route T 
Blackjack T 
Cake Walk T 
Death by Drowning T,S 
Dorsey-O'Donoghue Direct T 
Haircase T 
Hollow Flake T 
In Two Deep T 
Kansas Honey T,S,TR 
Middle Dihedral T 
Middle Meanie Crack T 
Mighty Young Joe aka Captain Fist T 
Obscura T 
Obscura Direct T 
Persistence S 
Pride of Sweden S 
Right Meanie Crack T 
Smiley Face S 
Sprout Route T 
Staircase, The T 
Village Idiot S 
Waiting for Staircase 1-3 S 
Waiting on a Resolution aka Unknown S 
Waiting on the Staircase aka Unknown 2 S,TR 
Zamboni Man S 
Zendance S 
Zorro's Cave T 

Arch Rock  


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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Dan Mottinger on Sep 10, 2001
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Description 

Arch Rock is one of the more prominent rocks in Elevinmile Canyon, 4 miles up the road. A short approach will lead you to a slurry of fine moderate sport and trad climbs. The "sport" routes are typical of South Platte climbing, often mixed sport and trad, and hosting long runouts on easier terrain. Descent: The Routes can be descended from the top by heading to the SOUTH side of the rock and going down easier gullys and slopes past the dome. Expect morning shade, and afternoon sun.

Many classics abound including, the two pitch 5.5 trad adventure: "The Staircase."

Getting There 

This fine rock is 4 miles up the canyon and is easy to identify. Look for a dome with a series of unique grooves towards the north end. There are several turnoffs to park at below the crag.

Climbing Season



Weather station 4.2 miles from here

28 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',6],['5.7',6],['5.8',6],['5.9',3],['5.10',5],['5.11',2],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Arch Rock:
The Staircase   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 2 pitches   
Waiting on the Staircase aka Unknown 2   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 90'   
Middle Dihedral   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Hollow Flake   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Middle Meanie Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 25'   
Right Meanie Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 30'   
Zendance   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Obscura   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   
Waiting for Staircase 1-3   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   
Arch Rock Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   
Waiting on a Resolution aka Unknown   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   
Mighty Young Joe aka Captain Fist   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch   
Persistence   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   
Kansas Honey   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, TR, 3 pitches, 115'   
Zamboni Man   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Death by Drowning   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 200'   
Browse More Classics in Arch Rock

Featured Route For Arch Rock
Ellen Runnels photographer, Lance Bischoff climber and novices waiting their turn.

The Staircase 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a  CO : South Platte : ... : Arch Rock
This great moderate route goes up the prominent notches on the North side of Arch Rock.Start the climb by finding the low angled dihedral below the notches. This first pitch is interesting, with actual moves and great protection. Hold up a nut and the crack will swallow it. Make a belay on the prominent ledge below the steeper, upper part of the climb. Take heart, the climb is easier than it looks. Enjoyable stemming, and crack climbing takes you up the obvious "steps". Above the steps, st...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Arch Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Arch Rock from the summit of Turret Dome
BETA PHOTO: Arch Rock from the summit of Turret Dome
Labor Day, 2001:  Arch rock has a great mix of sport and trad, along with all the other rocks at Elevenmile Canyon.  Moderate crowds, even during the holiday weekend.
BETA PHOTO: Labor Day, 2001: Arch rock has a great mix of spo...
The Stairway, Waiting for the Stairway, and Arch Rock Direct.
BETA PHOTO: The Stairway, Waiting for the Stairway, and Arch R...
One of the Best Rocks in the Canyon (stays a little cooler than the other domes in the hot summer sun)
One of the Best Rocks in the Canyon (stays a littl...

Comments on Arch Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 6, 2002
Arch is one of the best pieces of solid granite I've climbed on. Gentle breezes help you cool off, river noise can interfere with long leads, so take care!
By Jim McGuire
Sep 17, 2003
Considering ease of approach/descent, quality of rock and abundance of moderate routes, Arch Rock is hard to beat.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 29, 2004
Fine easy to moderate routes but the rock is way too crowded - four(!) climbing parties on a weekday is a bit too much for a crag of this size.
By Larry Shaw
Jul 28, 2005
I'm posting this here because there isn't a section for spray rock. Does anyone have route information on the 4 or 5 slab routes just downstream from spray rock?
By Todd Miller
Jul 31, 2005
I think Shmausser put those up. I saw him climbing there with his wife a few weeks ago. He is working on a web based guide that should be out this summer.

His email is bisch40@msn.com.
By Larry C. Schubarth
From: colorado springs, colorado
Nov 14, 2005
I see a lot of "first ascents" being bagged/claimed on Arch Rock these days. Remember that the climbing that went on there in the seventies was CLEAN, meaning, i.e.,natural or nuts, hexes, knotted slings often times long runouts etc. and often without chalk, the only evidence that another party had been there before was the lack of loose flakes or vegetation having been cleaned out.Yes, there were climbers back then.
By Lordsokol
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2006
Back in 1997 I climbed in this area. I lead up Captain Fist and then top ropped Death by Drowning's first pitch. While playing around on the top ropped route I had a near death experience. I climbed the route and stood at the belay stance ready to come down. The person I allowed to belay me on top rope was a guy I had met that day as there was a large group of us on the rocks all being "buddy buddy". I had just watched him competently belay his son so had some confidence in him as a belayer. Though I didn't pay much attention to that. When I reached the top he asked if I was going to rappel or if he should lower me. I said "you can lower me". He responded, "OK, I have you".
I called out, "Loading rope! I'm coming down!". Again his replay, "I've got you!". AS I sat back in my harness, I realized there was no resistance on the rope. My first thought was, "geeze this is a fast belay" but that thought was soon replaced by "falling!". I grounded from sixty feet up. My "belayer" never had me. He was wearing belay gloves and never felt the rope slip through his hands once I loaded the system. I am alive and climbing today because there was a search and rescue team at Arch Rock that day practicing and they were on the scene in seconds. I was loaded into a flight for life helicopter and rushed to the hospital. I have since returned to the area and lead the climb I was dropped on. Why share this story here? Just to serve as a reminder that you can't ever be too careful. Always make sure you know your belayer. This is a great sport but people die when careless mistakes are made. I am lucky and very grateful to be alive. Final lesson: Burn your belay gloves!!!
By Buff Johnson
Mar 7, 2008
Anyone ever tried the P2 for Kansas Honey? What/where the heck is pitch-2 of the route?? We contrived ourselves just to stay out of the crappy, lichen covered rock, & runout with rope drag, too. 5.9 natural line, my ass.
By Larry C. Schubarth
From: colorado springs, colorado
Apr 1, 2009
Don't let the ratings fool scare you off of routes listed here. Many of them were put up in the B.C. (Before Cams) and may now be much better protected and hopefully safer. Have fun!