Elevation: 7,116 ft
GPS: 40.002, -105.41 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 3,058,223 total · 13,036/month
Shared By: Michael Komarnitsky on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Access Issue: Seasonal Closure / Update Details

Description

Minutes from downtown Boulder, a wide variety of climbing types and beautiful scenery make Boulder Canyon a favorite for many locals to climb. The rock type is granite, smooth in places but for the most part highly textured. Easy to challenging sport climbs litter the canyon, and new development is still going on. Also, there are a number of moderate and classic trad lines, from the Elephant Buttresses up to Castle Rock and beyond.

Note, for organizational purposes, Upper Dream Canyon is listed separate from Boulder Canyon, despite being a side branch of Boulder Canyon.

The crags on the south side of the canyon receive little sun in the winter months, and often are quite chilly then. They are great for shady climbing in hotter weather, however. Most crags on the northern side of the canyon are climbable in the winter months, and quite hot to climb in the summer sun. Approach time for most climbs is in the 5-15 minute range, if not less.

Ice Climbing

There are a couple of areas in BC that form ice during the winter thanks to a leaky aqueduct. These flows forms just West of Castle Rock on the South side of the creek. Mainly shorter, easier lines, but up WI6 (in thin conditions) can be found.

Mileages / Crags

Here is a update-able list of approximate mileages (from the bottom) with associated crags:

Mile 0.4 South: Goofy Spire | Slabs
Mile 0.5 North: Elephant Buttresses | The Dome | Frogman Pinnacle | Rock Island I | Ament's Rock | Three Buffoons
Mile 0.6 North: Rock Island II
Mile 1.0 North: Little Crag
Mile 1.1 South: The Teflon Wall
Mile 1.? North: Trespass Rock
Mile 3.9 North: Sugar Crack Buttress | (up Sugarloaf Road) Bummers Rock
Mile 4.2 South: Island Rock
Mile 4.6 North: The Brick Wall | Spasmodic Rock
Mile 4.8 South: Mental Rock
Mile 4.8 North: Turtle Rock: A Crag for Kids | Milk Dud aka Canyon Block | Long Walk Rock
Mile 6.2 South: Eagle Rock
Mile 6.3 North: The Arena (aka Contender Wall)
Mile 6.6 South: Cob Rock | Lost Flatiron | unknown crag
Mile 6.6 North: One Shoe Makes It Murder | Stoner Slab | The Wall of Voodoo | Bitty Buttress
Mile 6.7 North: Short Cliff w/ Three Cracks | Blob Rock Area
Mile 6.8 North: Happy Hour Crag | Security Risk Massif | Poison Ivy Dome | The Solar Dome (aka Lighthouse)
Mile 7.0 North: The Riviera | The Bihedral Area
Mile 7.0 South: Lost Flatiron | unknown crag | Witches' Tower | Sherwood Boulder | Sherwood Forest | Garden Party Wall | Across from The Bihedral aka Cascade Crag | Scruffy Crag
Mile 7.3 North: Hillbilly Rocks | Truth or Consequences Crag aka Inca Stone
Mile 7.3 South: Boulder Canyon Boulder
Mile 8.0 North: Lower Dream Canyon | Lower Boulder Falls | Boulder Falls East | Boulder Slips | Lion's Den | Mindless Cliff | Mind Shaft Cliff | Valor | Law of Physics
Mile 8.0 South: Tonnere Tower | Tower of Babel | Above Tower of Babel | Across From Mind Shaft Cliff
Mile 8.1 North: The Bowling Alley | The Lookout | The Hideout | Tungsten Mine Shaft | Practice Rock | The Cornerstone | Electra Glide | Road Rock | Superdeath
Mile 8.1 South: Sentinel Slab | Aquarium Wall | Bell Buttress Massif | Solaris | Japanese Garden
Mile 8.2 North: Myth Rock
Mile 8.2 South: Wizard Rock | Avalon | The Watermark
Mile 8.7 North: The Zoo | Animal World | The Boulderado | Mine Hole Crag | Armin's Crag | Huck's Fins aka Sun Dial Crag (submitted as Fin Land)
Mile 8.7 South: Vampire Rock | The Loft | Black Widow Slab | Trout Rock | Sleeping Beauty | The Angel of Death (formerly known as The Beer Can) | The Catacombs | Unknown Crag
Mile 8.8 North: Unknown Crag
Mile 8.8 South: Lost Rock
Mile 8.9 North: Easter Rock
Mile 9.1 South: High Energy Crag | Higher Energy Crag
Mile 9.2 South: Interloper Wall
Mile 9.2 North: Coney Island
Mile 10.5 North: Nip and Tuck | Stepping Stones | El Barrio
Mile 10.8 North: Nursing Home
Mile 10.8 South: Retirement Rock
Mile 11.0 North: Couch Fire Crag
Mile 12.0 South: Broken Rock | The Overlook | Castle Rock | Mountain Rose | Frisky Cliff
Mile 12.3 North: Cenotaph Crag
Mile 12.3 South: Across From Cenotaph
Mile 12.5 South: The Sport Park
Mile 12.5 North: Cenotaph Spire

Getting There

From the low lands, go to Boulder. Canyon Street (aka CO Hwy 119) runs east to west. Get on Canyon, and drive west. Mileage distances for the crags are measured from the bridge that you cross on the right turn as you just get into the canyon. You can also walk/ride on a footpath that follows Boulder Creek to get to some of the rocks.

From the high lands, go to Nederland. Drive downhill on CO Hwy 119.

Per George Bracksieck: parking for Cenotaph Spire is the same as for Cenotaph: at 12.3 miles.

Access Issues

Note, the lands along this canyon are a patchwork belonging to multiple owners. Some allow bolting, some do not. Be aware of the owner of the land and their regulations before altering the landscape here.

The US Forest Service implemented existing seasonal closure orders for Eagle Rock, Blob Rock/East Blob/Bitty Buttress and Security Risk (including both Upper and Lower Security Risk) climbing areas.

These closures protect a long-established golden eagle territory, including valuable alternate nest sites. Undisturbed access to alternate nest sites is important for birds of prey early in the nesting season, to give them a chance to use different nests during courtship and to select a site for the season free of human influence. Signs have been posted at key access points into the closed areas and closures will be in effect until July 31. See AccessFund for further details.

Also, please see ?news? item regarding Security Risk crag access.

Marijuana

Though Colorado has passed Amendment 64 to legalize recreational marijuana use and limited quantity possession, the U.S. Justice Department issued a memo to federal prosecutors that the government would still "aggressively enforce" laws to prevent violations in eight areas of concern involving the drug including possession on federal property. To this point, Boulder Canyon is a complex network of land owners including the federal government. Be aware of where you are if you choose to use.

1,700 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Boulder Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 249
Cosmosis
Trad 2 pitches
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 131
Athlete's Feat
Trad 5 pitches
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 120
Consilience
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 245
Country Club Crack
Trad 2 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 286
Animal Magnetism
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 104
The Gill Crack
Trad, TR
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 130
Jolt Cola
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 73
The Ticket
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 332
Empire of the Fenceless
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 83
The Good, The Bad, and The Jacked
Sport 2 pitches
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 194
Tell-Tale Heart
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 113
Plan B
Sport
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 139
Lucid Dreaming
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 71
Vasodilator
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 89
Nevermore
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Cosmosis Bell Buttress M… > Bell Buttress - Main…
 249
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Athlete's Feat Castle Rock
 131
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad 5 pitches
Consilience Black Widow Slab
 120
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Country Club Crack Castle Rock
 245
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad 2 pitches
Animal Magnetism Animal World > Upper Animal World
 286
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
The Gill Crack Castle Rock
 104
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, TR
Jolt Cola Blob Rock Area > Blob Rock > Right Gully
 130
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Ticket Blob Rock Area > E Blob > Upper E Face
 73
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Empire of the Fenceless Easter Rock
 332
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Good, The Bad, and The… Vampire Rock
 83
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport 2 pitches
Tell-Tale Heart Easter Rock
 194
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Plan B Security Risk M… > Upper Security Risk
 113
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Lucid Dreaming Lower Dream Canyon > Plotinus Wall > Middle
 139
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Vasodilator Blob Rock Area > Blob Rock > Right Gully
 71
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Nevermore Easter Rock
 89
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
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