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Upper Chaos Canyon

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Upper Chaos Canyon 

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Location: 40.30419, -105.67015 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Peter Beal on Oct 25, 2008
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Looking down at Lake Hiyaha, Upper Chaos Canyon, R...
Fragile Alpine Area MORE INFO >>>


Upper Chaos Canyon is a very popular bouldering area located west and uphill from Lower Chaos Canyon, above Lake Haiyaha. Truly above treeline and substantially farther to hike to, Upper Chaos Canyon is the essence of alpine bouldering in RMNP. Every kind of problem exists from short, steep, powerful problems such the Skipper Roof problems or tall scary highballs such as Suicide Season. Many RMNP classics are found here as well such as Sunspot, Golden Rows of Flows, and Jade, at V14, one of the country's hardest problems.

As at Lower Chaos Canyon, environmental concerns take priority. Stick to established trails, don't harm vegetation, and avoid altering landings. Stashing pads is bad form and the consensus is that they will be removed, either by other boulderers or rangers. Pack out everything you bring in.

The higher elevation and more exposed position of Upper Chaos Canyon makes it imperative that the visitor be prepared for bad weather. Often the season is shorter up here as snow arrives in the fall. The lengthy talus approach can be dangerously slippery in rain and lightning is a serious threat here during frequent summer thunderstorms. Pack warm clothing and plenty of food and water. As with Lower Chaos Canyon, an injury could be very serious here. Make sure you have plenty of pads. Virtually all of the landings here are on boulders.

If you want to add any problems in RMNP check to make sure there is not an area or boulder already set up that it can be added to. Do not add individual problems to this site unless there is an area and boulder description in place. If there aren't any, feel free to add them but make sure the descriptions are detailed and accurate for all three, area, boulder, and problem.

Getting There 

Begin as for Lower Chaos. To get to upper Chaos, continue past the trail to Lower Chaos and continue around the lake on the main trail until it ends in a wooded area on the north side of the lake. An informal but relatively clear trail will head west and uphill across large boulders and meadows to an impasse near a large boulder. This is just beyond the problem known as Sunspot, an obvious chalk-covered overhang on the right. From here head south and squeeze through some trees to the talus. A seemingly endless talus pile leads past some classic problems such as Top Notch V13 and eventually to the main area just east of the alpine meadow. This will take around an hour, probably more, from Bear Lake. Problems such as Eternia can also be found higher still.

Climbing Season

23 Total Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',13],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Upper Chaos Canyon:
Skipper D   V8 7B     Boulder, Alpine   Skipper Roof
Right El Jorge   V9 7C     Boulder, Alpine   El Jorge Boulder
Browse More Classics in Upper Chaos Canyon

Featured Route For Upper Chaos Canyon
A line that begs to be climbed.

The Dividing Line V0 4  CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Dividing Line Area
I mean who wouldn't immediately want to climb this the second they see it? Ascend the line dividing ebony from ivory....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Local Information for Upper Chaos Canyon
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Aug 29 Bentgate Is Hiring: Backcountry Ski Tech 0
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Jun 7 A Tribute to Jeff Lowe   4

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Sep 26Reel Rock 2014 - South Denver
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