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Nine Mile Hill

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"Cattle Guard" Sign Parking 
Animal Farm  
Area 51 
Black Wave Area 
Blue Moon Boulder Area 
Bondi Boulder 
Bone Park 
Cattle Guard Wall 
Crack Hole 
Dave Loves Donna Boulder Area 
East Creek Day Use Area 
Four Blocks Bouldering 
Four Blocks Crag 
Grit Wall 
Late Bloomer Boulder Area 
Mecca Boulder Area 
Nine Style Boulder Area 
Pebbleton Boulder Area 
Petrified Wall 
Pool of Plenty Boulder Area 
Reba Boulders 
Rock Garden 
Superchief Boulder Area 
Texas Boulder Area 
Thor Wall 
Triangle Boulder Area 
Unknown Area (pending input) 
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Nine Mile Hill  

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Location: 38.9361, -108.4862 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 267,668
Administrators: Jesse Zacher, Jared LaVacque, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Matthew Seymour on Oct 15, 2009  with updates from Nick Reecy and 1 more
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East Creek in the Fall makes for scenic climbing a...


The climbing along Nine Mile Hill exists on the Cretaceous-era Dakota Sandstone formation. Although not as solid as its famous Wingate brother, the Dakota is certainly capable of moments of brilliance. Several cliffs along Nine Mile Hill have been developed with both traditional crack climbs and bolted sport routes. However, the main draw along Nine Mile Hill is bouldering.

The boulder fields along CO-141 extend the entire nine miles from the Gunnison river to the top of the Uncompagre Plateau, at an average width of over a mile. Now that is a lot of boulders! It is true that a lot of these boulders don't contain climbable rock; for every climbable boulder there are perhaps 5 unclimbable boulders. But in an area where the boulders literally number in the thousands, that leaves about (hmmm lets see [several X 1,000 X (1/6)= uhmmm]) a lot of climbable rock. Whats more, a lot of those boulders that have routes have amazing routes.

The bouldering in this area is still largely undeveloped, and much that has been developed has gone unreported. This often gives the bouldering an adventurous feel.

The earliest known bouldering in this area was developed in the late '80s and early '90s by the climbers heading out to the main canyon. Many areas were developed throughout the '90s, and there were a few chipping incidents whose offenders shall go nameless here. Many of the classic areas were explored and developed by the reticent hardman Matt Lisenby and friends throughout the late '90s and early 2000s. Many more strong climbers have developed boulders as of late. Several of them have posted these areas to this database, and I will let them tell their own stories.

The land in the Nine Mile Hile area is all BLM, and few regulations are in place. There is no camping in the East Creek Day Use Area. Once you pass the cattle guard at the base of the real hill there is legal at large camping with the usual 14 day limit. Please help keep this area free of regulation by being respectful of this great resource.

Getting There 

From Grand Junction, Colorado, head south out of town on US 50, towards Montrose and Delta. After traveling about 9 miles south of Grand Junction, turn right on CO-141, toward Gateway. This intersection is located in the small town of Whitewater.

The Nine Mile Hill area begins about 1 mile past this intersection and continues along CO-141 for about, you guessed it, nine miles.

Driving directions to crags are generally measured from the intersection of CO-141 and US 50, or from the cattle guard just past East Creek Day Use Area and the beginning of Nine Mile Hill proper.


Per Nick Reecy: these are the distances I've found, I don't however know where the Petrified Wall is though.

All distances were measured heading south from the US 50/CO Hwy 141 intersection.

Superchief Boulders Area (1.3 miles, road left)
Late Bloomer Boulder Area (1.35 miles, road right)
East Creek Day Use Area (~2.0 to ~2.2 miles, road right & left)
Bondi Boulder (2.2 miles, road right)
Nine Style Boulder Area (2.4 miles, road right; 2.7 miles, road right)
Cattle Guard Sign Parking (3.2 miles, road right)
Texas Boulder Area (3.0 miles, road left; 3.2 miles, road right)
Crack Hole Boulder (3.4 miles, road right)
Reba Boulders (3.6 miles, road right)
Rock Garden (4.3 miles, road left)
Four Blocks Crag/Boulder Area (4.9 miles, road left & right)
Bone Park (5.1 miles, road right)
The Animal Farm (5.4 miles, road right)
Triangle Boulder Area (5.4 miles, road right)
Dave Loves Donna Boulder Area (6.0 miles, road right)
Grit Wall/Area 51 (6.43, road right)
The Black Wave Area (7.0 miles, road right, 7.1 miles, road right, 7.3 miles, road right)
Pool of Plenty Boulder Area (7.3 miles, road right)
Pebbleton (7.6 miles, Road Right; 7.5 miles, road right)
Blue Moon Boulder Area (7.7 miles, road right)
Mecca Area (8.0 miles, road left; 8.1 miles, road right; 8.2 miles, road left)

Climbing Season

Weather station 12.8 miles from here

810 Total Routes

['4 Stars',30],['3 Stars',287],['2 Stars',409],['1 Star',73],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Nine Mile Hill:
Crack Cave   V3 6A     Boulder   Crack Hole
Endocrine Disruptor   V3 6A     Boulder, 13'   Pink Floyd Area : Megalomania Block
A Bit of Eden   V3-4 6A+ PG13     Boulder, 12'   Pool of Plenty Boulder Area : Tree of Life Boulder
Full Torque   V4 6B     Boulder, 10'   Other Side Of Road Area : Stronger Than Water Boulder
Mono Pocket Rocket   V5 6C     Boulder, 25'   Late Bloomer Boulder Area : Rib Cage Boulder
All Hail Hibernation   V5 6C     Boulder, 12'   Area 51 : Falls From Above Boulder
Chinese Algebra   V5 6C     Boulder   Mecca Area : Mecca Boulder
Route 2   V5 6C     Boulder   Bone Park : Plethora Boulder (Right Gon...
Rockshop Traverse   V7 7A+     Boulder, 200'   East Creek Day Use Area
Magic Tricks    V7-8 7B     Boulder, 15'   Pink Floyd Area : Main Boulder
Route 5   V8 7B     Boulder   Bone Park : Plethora Boulder (Right Gon...
Red    V9 7C     Boulder   Bone Park : Plethora Boulder (Right Gon...
Kibbles and Grits   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Grit Wall
True Grit   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Grit Wall
The Diving Board   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Four Blocks Crag
Gritlock   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Grit Wall
Grit Expectations   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Grit Wall
Impotence   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Four Blocks Crag
Pocket Reference   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Four Blocks Crag
Bust'n Out   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Four Blocks Crag
Browse More Classics in Nine Mile Hill

Featured Route For Nine Mile Hill
Endocrine Disruptor problem on the Megalomania Blo...

Endocrine Disruptor V3 6A  CO : Grand Junction Area : ... : Megalomania Block
Endocrine Disruptor is a technical, vertical face climb that ascends perfect sandstone edges over an ideal landing.Stand start from two micro-edges about five feet off the ground, a thin left foot edge, and a high right foot edge/tooth (crux). From there, move up the vertical face/slab, using a two-finger pocket, and larger edges to reach a solid top out. Achieving a high, right foot edge will help gain the initial two-finger pocket. This requires a fair amount of flexibility....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Nine Mile Hill Slideshow Add Photo
Some very pretty lichen and sandstone combinations...
Some very pretty lichen and sandstone combinations...
Nine Mile fossil.
Nine Mile fossil.
The long pumpy traverse along lower East Creek in ...
BETA PHOTO: The long pumpy traverse along lower East Creek in ...
Traverse wall along Hwy 141 at the bottom of Nine ...
BETA PHOTO: Traverse wall along Hwy 141 at the bottom of Nine ...
Bucket Racer Boulder.
BETA PHOTO: Bucket Racer Boulder.
The upper half of Nine Mile Hill.
BETA PHOTO: The upper half of Nine Mile Hill.

Comments on Nine Mile Hill Add Comment
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By Airbiscuit
May 27, 2013
While I absolutely applaud the new route activity going on on the long overlooked walls lining this canyon, you guys need to start using painted hangers. It is getting pretty bad. You can bet the land managers see it too.
By Abbe
Aug 30, 2013
I was climbing Four Blocks Crag out in Nine Mile Canyon with a friend last night, Aug. 29th, and my friend accidentally pulled our rope with a knot in the end. It was too dark to climb it again, and so we left it. We came back the next day and SOMEONE HAD STOLEN OUR ROPE!! I would appreciate if anyone knows about this to please contact me and help us get our rope back, so we can continue to climb another day. Thank you.
By Nick Reecy
From: Clifton, CO
Mar 7, 2014
Rock experts,
I've always been curious about Nine Mile's range of rock quality. From what I understand, it's Dakota sandstone. But when I consider how different the rock is, it just doesn't make sense to me. For instance, the rock quality at the Texas Boulders is nothing like the rock quality of the Chinese Boulders. Is this just a natural range of Dakota sandstone in general or is there something else to it?
By garrettem
Mar 9, 2014
That's the natural range of the rock. The Dakota sandstone and Burro Canyon Formation that we climb on in Nine Mile will have a lot of variability. It can be coarse sandy layers that are pretty weak and crumbly but within just a few feet have sandy, iron rich rock that is patina'd and pretty tough. The idea is that this formation was a series of braided streambeds originating from no longer existing mountains in Utah before it became a rock. This is why you can also find old petrified logs, dino bones, and more predominantly pebbles in the sandstone and conglomerate layers. Message me if you have more questions, and I'll try to make up some more BS.
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