Clear Creek Canyon (CCC) is aptly situated along Clear Creek, just west of Golden. The canyon is most well known for its accesible wealth of sport climbs, with some trad climbs interspersed. The rock varies here from gneiss & schist to a sandy granite, relatively solid but much different and perhaps more unique than the gray sweeps of Boulder Canyon.
From Denver, head out on 6th Ave. and exit into Golden. Turn left on US 6 into the canyon. From Boulder, the best way to reach Clear Creek Canyon is to take CO Highway 93 (Broadway) straight south for about 25 minutes into Golden. Then take a right, heading west on US 6 into Clear Creek Canyon. Pullouts can be found along the highway, and most approaches are about 5-10 minutes. Sometimes tyroleans exist but cannot always be trusted.
Note, many routes are not descendable with a single rope, be it 45m or 50m or 60m or 70m. Please, carefully lower when not certain of route length. Please!
There have been at least 4-5 guidebooks including Clear Creek Canyon. Peter Hubbel put out Front Range Crags. Mark Rolofson has put out a 1995 Boulder Sport Climbing Guide, a 1999 Clear Creek Canyon Sport Climber's Guide, a more recent Clear Creek Canyon Sport Climber's Guide, and most recently, Darren Mabe has put out a Clear Creek Canyon guidebook.
FYI, CO State Patrol has been put on notice by their head person due to too many complaints for those who drive US 6 through CCC. So, they have up to 4 patrollers ticketing speeders at a time. The speed limit is 40 mph through the entire canyon!
This is the second route from the right. It is a very fun, gym-like climb up the steep, east face using the arete on the left. The crux is half-way up followed by a hard move at the last bolt and then a pumpy finish. It's only 5.7 up to the first bolt....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Not that anyone really cares, but the rock in this Canyon is not granite at all but metamorphic Schist and Gneiss (similar to the rock on Hallet Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park). Makes for good face climbing...though I never thought of metamorphic rock as being so pocketed ;)
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Sep 5, 2004
Y'all probably have seen this but in case you missed it, The Denver Post reports on p 3C, Clear Creek Canyon will be closed for 3 weeks 9/13/4 for work on 3 bridges & rock-fall mitigation for 11 miles from CO Hwy 93 to CO Hwy 119. Climbing access will be affected.
On the east side of Tunnel 2, right off the highway there are a few routes that go to a ledge where there are several other routes. One of these routes is a dihedral (I think. It is right in a corner, with a 'roof') its a short pitch, with only 4 bolts, and looks right over the highway. Does anybody know what this is called, or what it is rated?
Look People. The Wall of Justice IS NOT the toilet area for Highwire Crag! I visited it yesterday and was disgusted by the abundance of human feces, toilet paper, etc in the vicinity. If you have to go, go somewhere else. If you see someone headed over there to crap there, remind them that the Wall of Justice and the surrounding area are not the shitter.
I've been climbing in Clear Creek Canyon for many years now and enjoy many aspects of it. Usually people are very friendly, the climbing is good and the convenience is great. Lately I've been hanging out at the Wall of Justice working on "The Great Escape" which is a super fun route. About 10 days ago I was there and put some draws on the route. After finishing our session, I decided to take the bottom three draws but leave the top three for future projecting. Didn't think that this would be an issue. Well, I was wrong and now very disappointed in our fellow climbers. Today, when I went back to climb the route my draws were gone. What is wrong with people? What ever happened to, "if it's not yours, don't touch it"? Last year, we had draws on the entire route of the "Great Escape" and the bottom three were stolen and then a week later all draws were stolen off "Anarchitect". This is absurd and unacceptable. Why would someone do this? If your reading this, "THIEF", quit stealing other peoples stuff, and I hope your not hurt too badly when karma bites you in the ass.
By M.Morley Administrator From: Sacramento, CA Sep 26, 2006
Jess, sorry to hear about the stolen draws. I found several other similar incidents reported on the site within the past 5 years:
Thanks for your support, Mike. My question is, why doesn't this happen in Rifle, also a very high traffic area? Does the thieving have something to do with wanting to put their own draws on the route while climbing it? Or thinking that it's lame to have draws on a Clear Creek 5.12? Or is it just plain stealing? I guess it's said and done, and we'll probably never know who the thief is unless they have balls big enough to speak up. Another lesson learned the hard way.
Chris, You would take the draws too? Are you calling yourself a thief then? I'm pretty sure you just announced to everyone that you are. Attention Colorado Climbers: Never climb with or around this guy!
Chris S., First, I'm not a fella, I'm a lady, and second, Nixon was a crook! It's pretty disturbing to have personal belongings stolen and this is not the first time. I try to have trust in my fellow climbers and people in general. I suppose that coming from the East your perspective on trusting others is very different. I'm surprised that you're surprised at how angry I was. (I've cooled down a bit now.) If you go to Anarchy Wall in CCC and look at a comment from 2004 regarding stolen draws, you'll realize that I actually kept my cool pretty good. Like I said, I learned the hard way. I definitely will not leave draws around anymore knowing that many people out there think it's OK to take anything left on the rock but chalk! Jessica
Jess, sorry to hear that your project draws were stolen. Fixed draws shouldn't be considered booty. If you want, you can have my draws I have hanging on The Gauntlet on the Armory, or there are also a few of mine on Hot Rocks on Crystal Tower. I have not had a chance to go up there and take them down, but you can have them if you want, and if they are still up there. However, leave the top biners on the chains of the Gauntlet. I don't know what condition the draws are in, as they have been up there since March, I think. darren
Hi Darren, Thanks a lot for your offer and generosity. I have a decent stash of draws, so I'll be set for a little while. Thanks again though! My project is almost completed at The Wall Of Justice. Later, Jess
Darren, I fear that your generosity is now going to cause many other climbers to rush for that gear and claim if for themselves. I would be surprised if that has not happened already. What a bummer as these should be considered yours or for someone deserving (like Jess).
I just recently had my draws stolen off Ten Digit Dialing, like in the past 4 or 5 days. Does anyone know anything that could help me get them back? I really need them. I won't be pissed off. I just want them back. Thanks.
As Sharp End Publishing is closing in on finishing my new Clear Creek Canyon guidebook, they could still use a few more climbing action photos to supplement the ones I shot.
If you have any rad photos you would like to see in the new guide, get in touch with me. The guide will be full color. Decent resolution makes files too big for email, so I would rather want them burned onto CD.
I would also need to know the names of the routes, climbers, as well as the photographers.
Can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
thank you! Darren Mabe
By John McNamee Administrator From: Littleton, CO Apr 11, 2007
Any news on the guidebook availability yet? I don't see anything on the publisher's site yet.
Is Cat Slab closed or not? Access Fund website doesn't say that it is, but RC.com and this site indicate that it is (or might be). Anybody know for sure? I'm trying to plan a trip (coming up from Texas). And need an are with moderates, preferably stuff 5.7 and below, because the guy I am going with is not very experienced.
Caleb - Yes, access/trespassing is prohibited there currently by private property owner. Highwire & some others will offer you some moderates; Creekside is a fun crag, plus you won't get charged for a technical rescue there should something happen & you get a fun tyrol.
Does anyone know what the route on the south side of the highway just past mile marker 270 and Tunnel 1 is called, and what grade it is? It seems to be about 30 feet long and very overhung, and the approach looks to be by crossing a permanent bridge.
I'm looking for information on Belleview Mountain on the West side of Idaho Springs. On the right side of Fall River Road exit off 70W there are some large walls that seem untouched. I'm wondering if anyone has claimed first ascents there, if it's public land, or if anyone has any idea what I'm talking about.
Hey if anyone found a camera between High Wire and Wall of Justice, and are honest, could you please let me know. I misplaced it somehow and it has pictures of my little boy on it. Thanks for the help.
Greetings, as of 7/20, there are still draws on the Gauntlet..I don't know if they are Darren's; however, we did not see a rush out to clean them off.... Anyway, I hope no one minds if others use draws left on a "project"..in actuality it makes it more attractive to try something that may be more difficult for someone if they don't have to worry about leaving their own gear on a pitch. I will further add that CCC has been a real Godsend for those of us from the Denver area who don't want to climb further North where lately there has been a lot of attitude. I say this not to bash Boulderites, but the last time my friends and I climbed in Eldo we were subjected to what amounted to some serious chest thumping...i.e. while waiting in line to do the first pitch of Rewritten, some boneheads cut in front of us and got on the first pitch of Great Zot...way we were going to take...now in their big rush to get on, they crossed the parties line whom we were waiting on.... We fully offered to kick their asses, but they seemed to ignore us? I ramble and apologize, but I really don't see any other way to get through to some people....Young Doug.
Doug, I do not consider the draws I left on the Gauntlet "mine" anymore, and I decided to leave them there for everyone to use after I sent it, with the hope they will not get stolen, unless they are replaced. I am glad to hear that they are still there.
I agree that it is nice not to have the Bouldertude in Clear Creek Canyon.
Edit: Doug, what do you think of the Gauntlet? did you send it?
Yeah..Not yet!, It looks like a grunt! Perhaps I should have stated we observed them in passing. Awesome photos in your guidebook, I really like that format. We have yet to encounter any difficulty in finding any route in the Canyon. Peace Young Doug....
I've heard from a couple of my climbing buddies that a new crag has been bolted somewhere down before tunnel 1, evidently Jeffco put a bridge in across the creek as well... I'm looking for some info on this, I haven't purchased Darren's book yet (probably getting it tonight or tomorrow), but if anybody has any info on this new crag I'd appreciate it!!
I was trying to find information on a route in CCC that an old friend of mine (John Rosholt) did the FA of in the late 70's or early 80's. All I remember of it was that he said that it was directly above the East side of either tunnel 1 or tunnel 2 and that it was pretty stiff and pretty steep. I think if I saw a picture of it I would recognize it, he showed me pictures at the time.
Also, is it possible to post a map that shows location of crags relative to tunnels and distance up the canyon?
I replaced the last bolt on Twitch about one day ago and found out upon inspection on said bolt that I would really like to replace all of the lines bolts... and with out doubt replace the bolt that bares the brunt of all the big falls from the crux of the line the most.
The bolt that I 1st checked out was so rusted and worn I had to beat it lose with a wrench and my wall hammer!!!! Rust fell out of the hole, people!!! Scary!!!!!
If the community would not mind, especially Pete... if you're out there, I would like to re-bolt the whole line. All bolts would be located in the same place as the old ones and holes patched. I would replace the existing bolts with 3/8 inch 3 inch stainless steel bolts and hangers. They will be bomber folks.
I believe such an old C.C.C. classic such as "Twitch" needs this kind of attention!! Because as of now.... the bolts on this line have become, large in part, scary!!! I also think the anchors need an update as well!!!
If there are any real objections, and I mean real objections!!!... to my proposal to re-bolt please speak up now!!! I want to re-bolt A.S.A.P., so please speak your peace soon, please.
I would really like Pete as well as the community to be fully behind my re-bolting of this classic line. Thanks to all that respond.
WARNING: The cops are out in force in CCC. I got a $170/4 point speeding ticket doing 55 mph (the speed limit is 40 mph which seems awfully slow). The cop told us that there are 4 state patrollers there every day, due to complaints about speeders.
Primo Wall/ Crystal Tower get sun from 10:30-2ish.
The "Binge side" of Creekside gets sun around the same as primo (but can be harder to get to if there is not an ice bridge).
Convenience Cliff gets sun most of the day... I think.
Also Sports Wall gets sun most of the day, say 11 am til dusk.
If you're looking for a hard project, Stuffed Wolf (13b) at the Higher Profile Wall gets sun in the late afternoon. This is a great time to go over there as a ice bridge normally forms for easy access.
My husband and I are planning a 2 month climbing trip for the summer and are considering adding Clear Creek to the list of destinations. Can someone please provide me with the 411 on the area.... How is the crowd in the summer? Is the park dog friendly? Are the hikes dangerous for the dogs? Is there a park fee?
Clear Creek Canyon is not a state park, and there is no fee to climb there. Jefferson County manages the space, I believe.
Crowds: Weekends SUCK, not going to lie. Weekdays you will be fine. Dogs: Be respectful of the other climbers. Keep them on a leash. Hike: There are a couple Tyrols that would probably suck for a dog, but the rest are just fine.
To whoever stole my draws off Free Enterprise at Capitalist Crag:
What is wrong with you? Seriously? Stealing someone's project draws? Really? I mean, stealing is bad enough, but stealing within our community of climbers who leave stuff up, in good faith, for anyone to use? Are you that poor? Or are you just that big a dick?
You deserve the absolute worst in life. I hope you get it.
On 10/1/2012, I found a down jacket and a water bottle left in the Nomad Cave. Let me know the brand and color of the jacket, and I can get it back to you whenever. The only reason I didn't leave it was because someone stole the draws I left on "Squeeze Play" after I was done working it as well as one of them off of "Public Solitude." I didn't want other things to be stolen as well.
^ B Smith, it is Jefferson County and Clear Creek County Open Space. JeffCo calls their part Clear Creek Canyon Park. Here is link to management plan, though no specifics on guiding. jeffco.us/parks/recreation/climbing/
Hey B, if you are guiding in the JeffCo portion of the canyon you need to obtain a commercial use permit. I used to administer the program but no longer do. You should call the main office at 303-271-5925 and ask for Kathy DeWeese.
The Peaks to Plains Trail construction team would like to alert all climbers to rockfall mitigation happening over the next 2-3 months near the Oxbow Parcel in Clear Creek Canyon (please see attached map for more specific locations and impacts). All mitigation work will be taking place in areas already designated as construction zones, but crews would like to remind climbers that these areas remain off limits for safety concerns. Mitigation work may wrap up sooner than expected depending on weather and scheduling. Please direct any questions or concerns to email@example.com.
Thank you, Peaks to Plains Trail Project Public Info Team