Elevation: 5,660 ft
GPS: 36.111, -115.496 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 109,838 total · 552/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Mar 4, 2004
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen
Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details

Description

Next to Mount Wilson, The Rainbow Wall is one of the most prominent natural features of the Red Rocks area. Visible all the way from the campground, it is also the location of most of the big wall routes in Red Rocks. The classic Original Route (5.12) was pushed up the center of the wall by Red Rocks pioneers Joe Herbst and Larry Hamilton back in 1973 and remains one of the most sought-after routes in the canyon today.

The wall is relatively north-facing and remains shady most of the year. It is also guarded by a bit of a hike... but hey, you can still usually get cell phone reception up there and in case your headlamp dies, the Luxor should serve you fine.

Historical note by Larry DeAngelo: The Rainbow Wall occupies an impressive historical niche. When Joe Herbst and Larry Hamilton climbed the wall in 1973, it was before almost every other serious route in the area. In fact, it was before most of the small routes too! At a time when NOBODY WAS EVEN CONSIDERING IT, these guys went out, committed, and completed the ascent. In the ensuing years, the route saw many attempts, but it was well into the next decade before anyone was successful. The original route was sufficiently challenging that three other routes were climbed (in 1983 and 1984) before the Herbst/Hamilton route yielded a second ascent.

Getting There

The Rainbow Wall can be approached via either the Pine Creek or Oak Creek parking areas. If you are planning on hiking out down Oak Creek after your climb, the Oak Creek Lot is your best bet, but I usually approach via Pine Creek. Either way, hike into the guts of Juniper Canyon, working your way left to find a drainage that comes down from The Rainbow Wall. There is usually some sort of fixed rope (and maybe some water) coming down this chute. From here, hump up what Swain calls "600 lung-searing yards" of slabs to the base of the wall and your intended route. Overnight stays require a bivy permit.

7 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Rainbow Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 23
Birdhunter Buttress
Trad 9 pitches
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 219
The Original Route
Trad 14 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Birdhunter Buttress
 23
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 9 pitches
The Original Route
 219
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad 14 pitches
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