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Keyhole Rock

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East Face - 1st Tier 
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North End Pinnacle 
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Keyhole Rock Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 6,035'
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Monty, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian T. Wandzilak on Dec 3, 2003

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66° | 45°

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Memorial Day

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Keyhole Rock is the fourth of the major climbable formations at the Garden. Most of the climbing tends to be on the east face of the rock (i.e. good morning sun in the winter, nice shade in the afternoons and evenings in the summer). There are routes on the west face, but from what I hear, they are not worth the effort. Routes range in difficulty from loose 5.6 to solid 5.12. I recommend looking at the D'Antonio or Geiman guidebooks first, because some of the routes are extremely unprotected and could result in major falls. That being said, the majority of the routes are relatively short and bolt/pin/piton protected.

The descents tend to be walkoffs on ramps. There are anchors on top of the formation available for rappels.

It is a great place to go if you want to escape the crowds of the central areas of the park and get on some other solid routes.

Addendum: this crag has been reorganized closer to the excellent Rolofson guidebook, Soft Touch III.

Getting There 

There are a number of ways to get to this formation. The three main ones in no particular order:

1) (Recommended if you are doing other climbs in the park) Park at the main Garden lot. Hike through the park, past Montezuma's Tower. Look for a major trail heading south, starting just south of the tower. Hike past Easter Rock (smaller formation that isn't worth the time), down to the right of a small rib. Keyhole rock is the large formation to your right.

2) (Recommended for climbs on the north end of the rock) Park at a pullout/parking area just past the intersection of Juniper Way Loop and Garden Drive. Take a trail to the east up the hill. Keyhole rock is the large formation closest to you.

3) (Recommended for climbs on the south end of the formation) Follow Juniper Way Loop around to the south Garden lot. Hike along the road, down the hill, to an obvious trail heading west just past the base of Grey Rock. Hike/bushwack your way to Keyhole Rock.

CAUTION: When parking in the south lot, be sure to conceal any valuables. There was a rash of break ins last winter that resulted in lots of gear and possessions being swiped.

Climbing Season

For the Garden of the Gods area.

Weather station 6.3 miles from here

13 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Keyhole Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Keyhole Rock:
Martian Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   East Face - 2nd Tier
Ziggy Stardust   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   North End Pinnacle
Borderline Direct   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   North End Pinnacle
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Keyhole Rock

Featured Route For Keyhole Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: West Face and north end of Keyhole Rock.  The Keyh...

Keyhole Route 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b  CO : Colorado Springs : ... : North End Pinnacle
The Keyhole Route climbs up the West Face of Keyhole Rock, up to and under the arch that gives the formation its name. The guidebook calls this 3rd or 4th class. I thought it seemed a bit harder, like maybe even 5.6 or so. It's a cool climb to do, but there's no protection. So, either free-solo it as I did, or if you're bringing a partner, expect to free-solo on lead and just drag the rope up with you. Approach from the north end of Keyhole Rock and traverse a ledge system along the West Fac...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Comments on Keyhole Rock Add Comment
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By pancho
Oct 17, 2004
This is a really overlooked rock. Climbing here feels a lot more remote than the rest of the garden. I've climbed on the south east side of this rock for several hours and not seen a single other person, which is unique for the garden of the gods.

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