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 ADVANCED
The Canal Zone

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Aretnophobia S 
Batso Canal S 
Bear's Choice S 
Beasto S 
Box of Rain S 
Buckets of Rain S 
Cut Loose S 
Gondolier Arete S 
Holiday Road S 
Ivy League S 
Lambada S 
Levada S 
Made In The Shade S 
Panama Red S 
Ripple S 
Route Canal T 
Turkey Jerky S 
Venice Beach S 
Walking With A Ghost S 

The Canal Zone  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.75032, -105.2478 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 100,717
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Kirk Miller on Jul 21, 2008
Forecast:
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Chance of a Thunderstorm
59° | 38°
Clear
63° | 35°
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72° | 47°
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Temporary closures near Fiscal Cliff: May-July 2014 MORE INFO >>>

Description 

The first crag on the left heading up Clear Creek always caught the eye but was a pain to access. This all changed when JCOS put in a new foot bridge. With surprisingly excellent CCC rock, the crag holds the shade through the mornings until around 2:00 in the summer and stays shady all day in the fall.

For steeper, more challenging routes check out The Twilight Zone, just past The Canal Zone perched on the hillside above.

Getting There 

Park in the first pullout on the left, right after you enter the canyon. Walk East on the dirt road that leaves the East end of the lot past the gate, down to the canal road. Head back West on the canal road to the bridge.

For a more direct approach, pick one of the erosional, steep, loose, grotty, gullies beyond the parking lot and descend directly to the foot bridge.

A bit longer but more enjoyable approach to the bridge can be had by parking near the Golden Recreation Center at the West end of 10th Street and walking the river path West, under the highway, up river to the foot bridge.

Cross the bridge and take a left on the Canal Zone / Twilight Zone Climbing Access Trail. When the trail levels out at the canal, turn right and walk about 1/4 mile to the crag.

L->R: 

A1. Cut Loose, 11-, 1p, 75', bolts.
A2. Bear's Choice, 10, 1p, 75', bolts.
B. Box of Rain, 8, 1p, 75', bolts.
C. Ripple, 8, 1p, 75', bolts.
D. Venice Beach, 8, 1p, 75', bolts.
E. Holiday Road, 8, 1p, 70', bolts.
F. Beasto, 10, 1p, 70', bolts.
G. Turkey Jerky, 10, 1p, 80', bolts.
H. Walking With A Ghost, 11, 1p, 55', bolts. 2 starts.
I. Ivy League, 10-, 1p, 50', bolts.
J. Panama Red, 10-, 1p, 50', bolts.
K. Route Canal, 9, 1p, 50', gear & bolt.
L. Gondolier Arete, 10-, 1p, 55', bolts.
M. Made In The Shade, 9-, 1p, 125', bolts.
N. Aretnophobia, 11, 1p, 70', bolts.
O. Batso Canal, 10, 1p, 55', bolts.
P. Lambada, 10, 1p, 60', bolts.
Q. Levada, 8+, 1p, 80', bolts.
R. Buckets of Rain, 8 or 10-, 1p, 45', bolts.

Rattlesnakes 

Beware of rattlesnakes along the approach.

Climbing Season



Weather station 2.1 miles from here

19 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',5],['5.9',3],['5.10',8],['5.11',3],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['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 The Canal Zone:
Holiday Road   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Ripple   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Venice Beach   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Box of Rain   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Route Canal   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Made In The Shade   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 125'   
Ivy League   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Beasto   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Panama Red   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Gondolier Arete   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   
Lambada   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Bear's Choice   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Batso Canal   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   
Turkey Jerky   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Cut Loose   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Aretnophobia   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Walking With A Ghost   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   
Browse More Classics in The Canal Zone

Featured Route For The Canal Zone
Adam Schrader cruising to the last protection bolt.

Walking With A Ghost 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  CO : Golden : ... : The Canal Zone
Thin sustained crimps, cool movement, and intricate footwork lead up a steep line. Avoid the bailout left and stay on course through the last clip for full value. A two bolt variation to start adds to the fun; Snake Eyes comes in from the left, starting just right of Turkey Jerky, and pulls through two amazing huecos to clip the second bolt on Ghost....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of The Canal Zone Slideshow Add Photo
Owl, hanging out in a tree, at the Canal Zone.
Owl, hanging out in a tree, at the Canal Zone.
Correction on "The Canal Zone's" left/middle route photo beta as of 9-23-09.
BETA PHOTO: Correction on "The Canal Zone's" left/middle route...
Beta.
BETA PHOTO: Beta.
Routes in red a little easier to see.
BETA PHOTO: Routes in red a little easier to see.
A beautiful day at the Canal Zone.
A beautiful day at the Canal Zone.
Near the base of Ivy League.
Near the base of Ivy League.
Walking out from the Canal Zone.
Walking out from the Canal Zone.
A busy day at the Canal Zone.
A busy day at the Canal Zone.
Looking down the US 6, passing storm.
Looking down the US 6, passing storm.

Comments on The Canal Zone Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 8, 2014
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 22, 2008
Nice job Kirk!!! I too had been looking at this crag for well over 20 years and just never had the time to check it out. Glad you got it done.
By Gold Plated Rocket Pony
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 26, 2008
Kirk, nice work. Had a great day climbing all the routes today.
By aldoe
From: littleton
Jul 31, 2008
Thanks Kirk, I hope everyone can enjoy this niche crag like we have for weeks.
By Adam Berger
Aug 7, 2008
Thanks for the work Kirk; Tracy and I got on one route yesterday before being rained off but had a great time.

Watch out for rattlesnakes in the canal. We had an up close encounter with one on the walk out.
By Jake Wyatt
From: Longmont, CO
Aug 9, 2008
Thanks for the new routes, Kirk. This is a great addition to CCC.

The area is already quite popular; at one point this morning there were 17 people, 1 rat, and 1 rattlesnake at the base!
By Tim Kline
From: Littleton, co
Aug 9, 2008
Great area, loved the 3 routes I did, can't wait to get back to do some more!! Watch out for rattlesnakes, they don't seem to be too afraid of us up there, but don't take your chance. I had one slither by us less than 3 feet away from me and some other climbers. He just went into a corner and watched us, not rattling or anything, but still I would be very watchful of these dangerous guys!!
By Ben Helgeson
From: Denver
Sep 7, 2008
Fun climbing and close to home. Thanks to all who put their time, effort, and money into developing the area.
By adrenalated
From: Thornton, CO
Sep 10, 2008
I've done every established route here now but the hardest line. Consistently high quality routes, and unique rock. Thanks Kirk.
By AOSR
From: Wherever we park!
Sep 17, 2008
Every one of these routes has something to offer in the way of fun climbing. Well-protected crux moves make it a good place to push one's level on lead. I think it will be interesting to see what the consensus for route grades become after they clean up a bit more with increased traffic. All-in-all, another great addition to CCC.
By Scott Duke
Jan 23, 2009
Kirk- thanks so much for the nice routes, although you forgot to place few bolts on the 5.8! (see runout).
Made in the Shade (5.9) is great stuff.
Keep up the good work.
By adrenalated
From: Thornton, CO
Apr 28, 2009
^^^That's 'cause Kirk didn't establish the 5.8!
By Armin
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Jun 4, 2009
Kirk (and others) thanks for all of your hard work and $$ investment, well worth it! It was nice meeting you this evening.
By Lauren D. Hollingsworth
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 27, 2009
Thanks to Kirk Miller for this great addition to CCC. I really enjoyed all the routes I was able to get on today. All are well-bolted with good anchor positions and the movement is fantastic! Thanks for the investment.
By Dan G0D5H411
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 18, 2009
Great new crag. Perfect to start with before heading to the Twilight Zone. Definitely beware of rattlers. We saw two today (one right at the crag and one in the bush on the trail leading in.) Neither warned us it was in the area. I am more cautious of the snake that snaps at you without warning than the snake that tells you to "get the heck out of here".
By jon dickey
From: Half Moon Bay CA
Aug 17, 2009
Anyone know what the deal is with the trail. It is becoming horribly eroded. Is the trail on private property or can we build a real trail there? Any info would be good. Thanks.
By Mike Morin
From: On the Road
Aug 17, 2009
The trail and crag are on Jefferson County Open Space land, specifically Clear Creek Canyon Park. The Trails Department is aware of the issue. I'm hopeful that we'll see a better access become available soon.
By Mary303
From: Golden, CO
Sep 17, 2009
We went up here for the first time yesterday and found that if you cut left right after the foot bridge, there is a very well established trail that leads to the area. Not steep and no erosion.

Thanks, Kirk! It's great to have a crag so close to home for a quick session.
By mama
Jul 24, 2010
Have there been many snakes sighted here this summer? I hate snakes....
By Rob Culbertson
Jul 24, 2010
RE: Rattlesnakes Fri 7/23 4:15pm Encountered one - approx 36" x 1 1/4" rattler partially on the trail about 100ft East of the actual cliff. Suspect was completely silent until we rolled rocks it's way, activating its warning system. Lots of poison ivy along the trail, too.

Be alert as these snakes are apparently not required to warn of their presence.
By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Jul 27, 2010
Another couple friends reported a rattler on the horizontal part of the approach this summer in prior to the above noted snake. One nearly stepped on or next to it. Beware!
By Robbie Flick
From: Denver, CO
Sep 5, 2010
As everyone else as said, a big thank you to those who put up these routes, it's great to have a crag with so many nice moderates right around the corner!

I'm new to climbing in this area (East Coast transplant), and I came here for the first time last week. I noticed that all the climbing parties there were lowering directly through the bolts. Where I learned to climb, this is a serious abuse of the crag as it wears the bolts down. Is this considered kosher in this area?
By Kirk Ranney
Sep 6, 2010
Just wondering if any one has found a pair of red and white Scarpa shoes at the Canal Zone. Let me know if you have seen them. Thanks,
Kirk.
By Keith H. North
From: Englewood, CO
Apr 6, 2011
Hey,

Would people be interested in doing a little work on the trail to the crag? Personally I think it would be nice if an established trail was created that way the approach, both the portion straight down from the parking lot and the portion that goes up the other side of the river are pretty steep and they are seeing very heavy erosion.

If we (climbers) could put in some timber or something to ease out this approach, it would be really nice, especially in such a beginner friendly area.

So interest: Yay or Nay?
By Mike Morin
From: On the Road
Apr 6, 2011
Keith, Open Space is working on it. Please don't make any improvements, doing so is actually a violation of Open Space Rules & Regulations. We are planning on bringing people up the old road grade that can be accessed by turning left after crossing the bridge. This is taking some time because the ditch is actually still owned by the ditch company. Before we can make any improvements or do anything to officially direct people up to the ditch, we have to go through the proper legal channels.

Thanks,

Mike Morin
Park Ranger
Jefferson County Open Space
By Keith H. North
From: Englewood, CO
Apr 6, 2011
Mike, I had no intention of doing anything without talking you and having you run the event. I have done some work for Mike in Eldo and the people in RMNP. All I would be offering is to find you free slave labor.

AGAIN: THIS IS THEORETICAL ONLY!!!!! THIS IS NOT A SUGGESTION TO DO SOMETHING JUST TRYING TO FIND OUT ABOUT PEOPLE'S INTEREST IN DOING SOMETHING.

STOP SENDING ME E-MAILS ABOUT IT.
By needstolearn
Apr 17, 2011
I was climbing up here on Made in the Shade, I noticed two bolts here, and do know why they are there no rap rings or chains just two bolts?


What are these bolts for?
What are these bolts for?
By Todd Felix
May 31, 2011
There is a new route on the arete just left of Batso as of 5/29/11. Aretnophobia. These are not the anchors that needstolearn is asking about.
By Parker Wrozek
Mar 30, 2012
This has been a real fun place to climb for my wife and I. Every time we go there are a lot of people (I would estimate 30+ today). So you may want to try somewhere else if you want to be alone or go mid week.

Also I saw multiple groups TR through the chains today. There is really nothing that can be done about it besides educate people but it was a sad thing to see.
By Kevin Gillest
From: Arvada, CO
Jun 29, 2012
Shoes found at the Canal Zone Tuesday June 26th, describe make, model and size, they're yours!
By kipp.fo
From: Los Angeles, CA
Jul 25, 2012
LOST: 7/25 black iPhone and black wallet. Please message me here or email kifollert@gmail.com. REWARD. Thanks.
By J. McKinnon
Jul 28, 2012
Found carabiner last week. Let me know if this is yours.
By Dwight Jugornot
From: Arvada, Co.
Sep 29, 2012
9-29-12 found a belay device today.
Describe it and it's yours.
Dwight
By NickMartel
From: Tucson, Arizona
Apr 1, 2013
Belay device found Easter Sunday, 2013. Describe the device, biner, markings, etc. and it's yours.... I just moved here from Tucson, AZ, did the 1st Flatiron Saturday, found a cam, and then found this belay device Sunday... So far I am 2 for 2 in terms of finding booty every time I go climbing here in CO.... Hopefully it continues!!!

Also what is the name (if it has a name) of the big bloc down in the canyon directly below this wall? Thx.
By Eric Risi
Jun 18, 2013
Did anyone find a pair of climbing shoes / chalk bag left behind at or around the approach to The Canal Zone? We left at dark last Thursday, and I'm pretty sure these items got lost in that process.
By Chameleon
Jun 23, 2013
Found: belay device with biner at Canal Zone on Saturday, June 22, 2013. Reply to this, describe it, and we'll figure a way to get it back to you.
BJ
By Matthew Jeffers
From: Arvada, CO
Jul 13, 2013
I believe I left three draws (green, BD) near Made in the Shade when I was packing up in the dark the other night (7/10/13). I would greatly appreciate them back if they have been found; mjeffers44@gmail.com. Thanks!
By Chip Loomis
Aug 18, 2013
Climbing shoes found, give me the details and you get them. chiploomis@hotmail.com
By Kevin Capps
From: Golden, CO
Sep 5, 2013
That's awesome, Mike! I'm sure I speak for a lot of people when I say, I look forward to it.
By Kirk Miller
From: Golden, CO
Sep 23, 2013
Thanks to Mike Morin, a host of volunteers, and JCOS for the most excellent new trail into the Canal Zone! Great work, many thanks.
Cheers
By Bran
Aug 8, 2014
Be careful. Saw rattlesnake on trail up to Canal Zone this AM.