North Fork of the St. Vrain River Rock Climbing
Bob Horan on 3rd ascent of Randy Leavitt's Animal ...
US 36 is a popular through road connecting Denver to Estes Park and continues into Rocky Mountain National Park. Along the stretch from Lyons to Estes Park is a canyon littered with rocks that draw the eye. Many of these crags lie on private property or are only reasonably accessed through private property, so check first.
The rock here varies from granitic to harder, metamorphic, igneous varieties that are more challenging to characterize. Crags here may range from micro routes to perhaps 1000 feet.
Some of these crags include the River Wall (once called the best crag in Colorado) at Button Rock Reservoir, other scattered crags near Button Rock, boulders at Big Elk Meadows (east of Estes Park along FR 118). There are some scattered crags in the area of Pinewood Springs which have had less-heralded ascents. North St. Vrain Lyons Area Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock) Coulson Gulch
- 2.9 mile hike from Johnny Park off CO 66 Further up US 36
Animal Magnetism Little Thompson drainage
approach via US 36 Big Elk Meadows The Palace Raven's Roost Kenny Mountain Tomato Rock Pinewood Area - between Little Thompson and North Fork of the St. Vrain Button Rock
Button Slab Pinewood Boulders, Tomato Rock Off CO 7, via rough roads or Off US 36 through Johnny Park Pierson Park Pierson Point
Some of this can be accessed from CR 41 off of US 36 between Lyons and Estes Park. Some of this can be accessed from Johnny Park off of the Little Valley Rd. from Fish Creek Rd. going south from Estes Park.
To get there from the west, you can go east from Estes Park along US 36. To access this area from Denver, head north on I-25, go NW on US 36 through Boulder to Lyons. No access this from the NE, you can go west on US 66 into Lyons, and then go west on US 36.
There is a Ciatano Winery located along the St. Vrain River at the Rock'n River just outside of Lyons with wine tasting from grapes grown from the Western Slope. Nice Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and Viogner. $3 for 5 tasting. They have a picnic area with large trout in their pond. 11-5 F-M in Winter & 10-6 daily in Summer. 303.823.5011. Nice for apres climbing or early rainout days.
Weather station 10.0 miles from here
86 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',11],['3 Stars',24],['2 Stars',30],['1 Star',20],['Bomb',1]
Classic Climbing Routes in North Fork of the St. Vrain River
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in North Fork of the St. Vrain River
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for North Fork of the St. Vrain River:
Featured Route For North Fork of the St. Vrain River
Neurosurgeon 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
: ... : River Wall II
Neurosurgeon climbs the stellar fingercrack on the far right side of the 'central' River Wall (after the bouldering approach in from right), just right of the steep 'slab' Le Diamant E'ternal. The only reason this climb doesn't receive three stars in my book is the scary finishing options. One must either climb difficult to protect direct 5.11 PG/R finish or move right around the arete as the crack fades in and out and finish on loose scary 5.9 R climbing. The lower portion of the c...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Bobby B. at Pierson Park.
BH on the classic hand-crack, Conquer Crack, House...
BH on south overhang of the House Block, Allen's P...
|Comments on North Fork of the St. Vrain River
By George Bracksieck
Aug 16, 2016
FWIW of all the areas listed on this North St. Vrain page, only the Longmont Res. area and Coulson Gulch are actually in the North St. Vrain watershed. Split Rocks and Animal Magnetism (of which there is one posted pic) are also and are found farther up US 36.
Big Elk Meadows, the Palace, Raven's Roost, Kenny Mtn., and Tomato Rock lie within the Little Thompson drainage and are approached from US 36, northwest of Pinewood Spgs. Access to Coulson Gulch BTW is easiest from the Johnny Park Road, which is accessed from the Big Elk Meadows Road. Gillett included most of these areas in his St. Vrain Canyons guidebook, because those are in the vicinity of the North St Vrain.
Button Rock and Button Slab lie high above Pinewood Spgs, to the west, on the divide between each watershed. These are also in Gillett's St Vrain guidebook.
Pierson Park and Pierson Point are most easily accessed from Estes Park, although you can get there via long rough roads from CO Hwy 7, through Meeker Park, or US Hwy 36, through Johnny Park.