There have been rumors of ice to form in this small canyon, perhaps during times prior to global warming. This area lies at a very low altitude and consequently is subject to the whims of chinooks, Colorado's low latitude, and fickle warm spells in the middle of winter. But, then again, desperate ice climbers have been known to swing tools on frozen water fountain creations. Nonetheless, there have been climbs here done with ice tools & crampson in the WI2-4 range. Some of these have been documented in P. Hubbel's Front Range Crags. Others come from word of mouth.
There is a wonderful shot of ice, albeit short, dripping here on this website.
So, come but be prepared to find less than big blue here. Some have said that the most commonly frozen features get quite short with healthy doses of snow around these parts.
South of Denver, this is in the Castlewood Canyon State Park. It lies E of I-25, north of Castle Rock, south of Denver. Probably if you come from anywhere further a field, you may be disappointed with what you may find here.
Driving Directions: There are two entrances to the park--a West and East entrance. Depending on what areas you plan on climbing, one entrance may be a shorter hike. See the area topo to decide.
From Denver: Take I-25 South to Castle Rock and exit 184 to Founder's Parkway. Then take CO 86 East to Franktown (about 5 miles), but look for the park entrance (Castlewood Rd) to the South before the Franktown stoplight (yes, there's only one in the whole town). This is the West entrance.
If you want to enter from the Southeast, continue to the stoplight and turn South (R) on CO Hwy 83. Stay on this road until you see the sign for the E. entrance, which will be on top of the canyon rim. Look for the signs for the E. entrance. You can also take CO 83 all the way from Co. Springs if you want--it's a much more scenic drive.
Also, it requires a Colorado State Parks pass or a $7/day fee (bring exact change).
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Castlewood Canyon State Park - Ice:
The short falls are about 80 degrees and very featured, so the feet are good. Toprope from the large boulder about 15 feet back from the edge. Another, smaller boulder near the edge can be used also.The falls are fun and sorta cool to do just cause they're there, but don't make a trip out here just to climb the falls. With warmer weather, the ice is quite unstable and could be dangerous--use good judgment.To access the bottom, you likely will need to do a short rappel off a boulder or a d...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Photos of Castlewood Canyon State Park - Ice Slideshow