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North Cheyenne Canyon

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1st Middle Buttress 
Amphitheater, The 
Creekside Wall 
Crow's Nest 
Eagle Perch 
Fly Cave Wall 
Flying Buttress 
Graduation Boulder and Post-Graduation B 
Nose (aka Mid-Columbine Buttress), The 
Pinnacle, The 
Silver Cascade Slab aka Hesitation Slab 
South Buttress (?) 
Sun Slabs 
West Face (The Pinnacle West Face) 

North Cheyenne Canyon 


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Location: 38.7925, -104.8758 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Julian Smith on Dec 30, 2001
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BETA PHOTO: Cheyenne Canyon.

Description 

"Cheyenne Canyon is a narrow gorge carved by North Cheyenne Creek as it tumbles east from 12,000' Mt. Almagre. The creek rushes over Helen Hunt Falls before continuing downward through the granite core, making several looping meanders. The canyon's walls are lined with soaring rock precipes split by cracks, buttresses, ledges, and alcoves." - Rock and Ice #95. This area has a combination of mainly sport routes, with a few trad and ice climbs, too. It is one of the oldest climbing areas in the Pikes Peak region.

The granite quality runs the entire spectrum. The farther up the canyon you go, the better the rock quality seems to be. Helen Hunt Falls, which is located at the top of the canyon, has a little bit of ice climbing. The best seems to be Silver Cascade Falls. This area has seen extensive development in the last few years. There are lots of good routes located in discrete side canyons. Lots of good training is to be had scrambling up and down very loose gullies.

Camping can be had in nearby Pikes Peak National Forest or cheap motels abound in Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. All the good local ammenities exist. Colorado Springs has a many outdoor stores where climbing equipment can be obtained. See "In Search Of...Ice. An Ice Climbing Guide For Those In Colorado Springs" - Joel McWhiney, 1997 and "Colorado Ice Climber's Guide" - Cameron Burns, 1997.


Getting There 

From Colorado Springs, exit Interstate 25 onto US Highway 24 west. Turn left or south on 21st street. Turn right or west on Cheyenne Blvd. Follow this until North Cheyenne Canyon Road splits back to the right. All of the climbing is along this road. The Graduation Boulder is an easy to find landmark. Above it, across the creek is the Pinnacle. It is very easy to spot and has a wonderful 4 pitch up its north face called the Army Route.


55 Total Routes


['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',15],['2 Stars',29],['1 Star',11],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',9],['5.7',6],['5.8',8],['5.9',9],['5.10',9],['5.11',6],['5.12',2],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',3],['V4-5',1],['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 North Cheyenne Canyon:
Route 5 aka The Graduation Crack   V4-5 6B+ PG13     Boulder, 16'   Graduation Boulder and Post...
The Army Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 4 pitches   The Pinnacle
Hanging Gardens   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport   Flying Buttress
Crack Parallel   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport   West Face (The Pinnacle Wes...
Kendlee   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Pinnacle
Climbing By The Brooks   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch   The Amphitheater
Reality Check   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch   Silver Cascade Slab aka Hes...
The Men Arete   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Pinnacle
Balance   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Pinnacle
Alabama Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 180'   The Nose (aka Mid-Columbine...
The Nose   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 180'   The Nose (aka Mid-Columbine...
Old Aid   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch   Creekside Wall
Corrugation Corner   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Pinnacle
The Full Male Deal   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 190'   The Amphitheater
Tiger Snap?   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R     Sport, 1 pitch   The Pinnacle
Johnson Route   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 2 pitches   Silver Cascade Slab aka Hes...
Crickets in the Cabbage   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Amphitheater
Dragnet   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   The Pinnacle
Full Monty   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Pinnacle
The Disclaimer   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Amphitheater
Browse More Classics in North Cheyenne Canyon

Featured Route For North Cheyenne Canyon
Bill on lead beginning second pitch

Crack Parallel 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  CO : Colorado Springs : ... : West Face (The Pinnacle Wes...
This is a really nice climb. Approach as for the West Face. Scramble up a gully to the start of the climb. Climb 2 pitches up the slab beside the obvious left facing corner system on the right side of the west face. The first pitch has a funky start. Pitch 1 - There is a hard move, boulder problem really, that goes over a bulge and gets you up to a stance where the first bolt is. It would seem that either side of the bulge will go, but most people tend to favor the left side. Climb the re...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of North Cheyenne Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Kind of an overview of the lower, south-side of Cheyenne Canyon.
BETA PHOTO: Kind of an overview of the lower, south-side of Ch...
Comments on North Cheyenne Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 29, 2013
By Anonymous Coward
Jan 14, 2002

Most of the climbs in Cheyenne are old school but fun. It's a nice place to go dink around.

By Mike Ray
Apr 29, 2002

The bolts on the belay anchors of the first pitch of Crack Parallel blow. I tried tightening them, and the whole bolt just spun in the hole. They could stand being pulled and replaced if anyone has the gear and ambition.

By Anonymous Coward
Jul 2, 2002

You find yourself in Colorado Springs, within 2 hrs of thousands of great climbs, many kinds of rock and every style you could want, and you climb Crack Parallel?? The problem here isn't the belay, it's your sense of taste. Maybe, you've climbed all the classics: Turkey, Pikes Peak, Sheep's Nose, Shelf Road, Elevenmile, Big Chief, Sunshine, Cynical etc, etc, etc, etc, etc? Maybe you just haven't been motivated enough to follow others to all the new routes and whole new areas developed by Schmauzer et al , Kovetz et al or Glen Shuler (not sure about the spelling of those guys names) in the Tarryalls, Thunder Ridge, North Face of Helen's Dome, new routes in Elevenmile? ...

By Mike Ray
Aug 8, 2002

A Heads Up - My truck was broken into on Tuesday, Aug 6 at about 4:45pm. They got my buddy's car and a mini-van at Mt Cutler TH. We were at pinnacle rock/creekside wall. Those two piles of fresh glass in the parking area, that's us.

As for you, anonymous, I climb in Cheyenne, Cascade and the Garden for after work workouts. Occasionally, I like to lead a nice moderate gear route on weekdays. If you have a problem with that, that's your problem, therein one with which you have to live. You don't know me, nor I you. It must be really easy being you, though.

By Anonymous Coward
Oct 8, 2002

To address ACs comments above: Some of us work for a living, and catching a quick after-work climb is tough enough without a 2 hr drive to Elevenmile, Turkey rocks, etc. I would never make North Cheyenne Canyon a destination, but it is a great place, near CS, to get in 4 or 5 routes to keep the body in shape for weekend trips.

By Luke
Oct 8, 2002

Anonymous Coward, quit while you're behind. It shouldn't matter where you climb but how much you enjoy climbing. You obviously are a supporter of trend climbing.

By Sean O'Dell
Dec 11, 2002

I didn't want to, but I had to throw my thimble full of gas on the fire here: if you ask me, guys like the AC above are damaging the sport. No one will argue that N. Cheyanne ranks right above my basement's south wall as a quality destination climbing area, but as the comments above have shown, it has its place. Once, climbers climbed becuase of the view of the world it grants, the mental and physical challenge, the zen of it. Now I run across more and more of these jokers who apparently climb so they can throw around names like "Sheep's Nose" and ratings like 12a and fan their egos based upon what they've done and others haven't. Climb because you love it and leave the attitude in the city where it belongs. (except maybe climb Crack Parallel just to piss that guy off)

By Dan Russell
Dec 13, 2002

There is plenty of adventure to be had in Cheyenne Canyon, which is why I've spent time climbing there. The rock isn't the best, but that's what local crags are for.

In my opinion, Cracks Parallel is a great granite face climb. The manky anchors at the first belay don't need to be there anyway, there's natural pro in the vicinity if you get creative. Also, if anybody wasn't aware, sometime last year someone chopped the anchors on top of the second pitch. It's just as well, there's a tree up there anyway, though you have to extend the hell out of it to belay from the lip.

For decades, Cracks Parallel was a runout trad route with no anchors, until it was bolted (by the Greens? not sure...). I like it as a sport route, it's good to take beginners on. But it's not like you can't climb it without the anchors, or without any of the bolts for that matter.

In any case, Cheyenne Canyon is mostly a chossy area, but a great spot for locals to get out of the city for a couple hours. You've got to love areas like that.

By Sean O'Dell
Dec 28, 2002

Woah now, Shane...you miss my point all together, bro. I'm totally not knocking anyone who talks about Sheep's Nose - of course it's a sick place. What I was TRYING to say was that I don't appreciate the attitude that that AC and guys like him have - putting the emphasis on what and where you climb instead of how. My beef was with his jackass comments and his alone...not anything anyone else, including you, may have said. Look at the context before you go getting all offended, man :)

By Mike Ray
Jan 4, 2003

Wow. That was fun. I agree that nat. gear can be used for anchors on Crack Parallel, my point was simply that the anchors are there, as are the bolts and some folks probably rely on them and if they're not bomber, they need to be replaced. Happy New Year Colorado Springs.

By Dan Russell
Aug 8, 2003

...Really, one of the reasons I love the Springs climbing scene is that most people don't even know where the best stuff is, and most things require a substantial hike. It keeps everything low impact and quiet. You gotta work for it.

By wonderboy22
Sep 4, 2003

I'm working on a problem at the canyon, but I don't know what it's called. It is right at the beginning of the park, one of the first you see. Part of it is over a stream, some is next to the road, a bush covers one side, and the rest is open. I realize the name carries no importance, so I'm not too worried about it, but since it is my first it would be kinda nice to know.

By Dan Russell
Sep 6, 2003

Your description is a bit vague... Are you talking about Graduation Boulder?

By william mcbride
Feb 3, 2004

I know this was long ago now but that AC that dissed so hard on Crack Parallel ... is a complete moron (I just read his comments recently). Anyway, I've spent a bunch of time climbing in North Cheyenne and people DEFINITELY underestimate that place. I've done a number of first ascents there in the past 3-4 years (while I've been at college in the Springs), and I can tell you that there IS good rock in North Cheyenne, it just might not be right next to the road. There are endless routes to be done, if you aren't afraid to hike a bit and a life time of first ascents...AC you one of the biggest tools I've come across. Crack Parallel is a fun route, ...trend-following assholes like you spew. Go to Rifle or Shelf play with your stick-clip...

By Stewart M. Green
Sep 27, 2004

I finally have a downloadable PDF guide to North Cheyenne Canon and assorted Pikes Peak area crags now available on my website. The miniguide originally appeared in Rock & Ice a few years back. I've had lots of requests for the information since that issue is hard to find now. Go to stewartgreen.com and follow the links to Pikes Peak Climbing Topo. Enjoy and climb safe!

By Anonymous Coward
Nov 21, 2004

I am transcribing my grandmother's diary from 1905 and she mentions a steep trail that leads up to the top of Cheyenne Mt. from the foot of the falls where Helen Hunt Jackson is buried. Please excuse my stupidiy but who is Helen Hunt J.? And where is this location? Or any other tid bits you could add would be great. I am giving this as a gift to cousins and siblings for Christmas as a surprise.

Eds. Helen Hunt Jackson was a writer who became somewhat famous writing about the area, incorporating it into stories. There is a small visitor center at the base of Helen Hunt Falls. They do sell her some of her writing there.

By Dan Russell
Nov 27, 2004

If you drive up Cheyenne Canyon, there is a trailhead at the top where the road turns sharply to the north. The trailhead is obvious with a parking lot and small building. The trail goes up to Helen Hunt Falls. Not sure who she is.

By Lauren D. Hollingsworth
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 27, 2006

What's the issue number of that Rock and Ice with the miniguide?

By Joshua Balke
From: Colorado Springs
Dec 1, 2006

This book is mentioned in the description but I can find absolutely nothing out about it. Internet search just takes me to this exact page. There is nothing about the author and no one seems to know squat about it. Has anyone seen it or know where I can get a copy? "In Search Of...Ice. An Ice Climbing Guide For Those In Colorado Springs" - Joel McWhiney 1997

By Julian Smith
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Dec 28, 2006

Hey Joshua,

I have a copy of the book "In Search Of Ice... " It is written by Joel G McWhinney of Colorado Springs, and was published in 1997. I think I bought my copy at Mtn. Chalet. The book lists his address, but I have no idea if it is any good. Drop me an e-mail and I will hook you up it.

By phil wortmann
From: Colorado Springs, Co.
Apr 20, 2008

ROCK & ICE #95, Oct. 99, is where you will find the mini-guide. Or, check it out on stewartgreen.com

By kristoff
From: Colorado Springs
Apr 24, 2008

Does anybody know the routes on Middle Colombine Trail? they are gear routes that i haven't found any information on. look fun

By Bosier Parsons
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 9, 2008

To Kristoff's inquiry:

I have climbed the crack up to and through the big roof, directly above Mid-Columbine Trail. I'll add it to the data base for you and others - definitely worth climbing.

By Derek W
Apr 10, 2011

I've spent a fair amount of time in the Canyon, and there looks like there are quite a few lines that haven't been established as of yet (loose rock, no anchors on potential sport lines, etc.). How would one go about doing the research and potentially establishing a new route? Both trad and sport.

By LawHous
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 29, 2013

Does anybody know anything about the routes right by the creek to the right of the bridge that takes you to Columbine Trail and the trail to the Pinnacle? They are definitely new and maybe have been put up in the past year or two. I'm looking for grades and if they're actually finished (with anchors). Any beta would be great, thanks!