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Elevation: 7,126 ft
GPS: 40.00239, -105.41014
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 4,965,260 total · 17,603/month
Shared By: Michael Komarnitsky on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Warning Access Issue: Seasonal Closures 2024 - Bitty Buttress, Eagle Rock, Blob, Security Risk DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

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 Suggest change

There are a couple of areas in BC that form ice during the winter thanks to a leaky aqueduct. These flows form 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

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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 | Symposium Rock

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 | Kanjiklub | Lady’s Choice

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 | Jungle Book 

Mile 7.3 North: Hillbilly Rocks | Truth or Consequences Crag aka Inca Stone | Claim Jumper | Glacier Dome

Mile 7.3 South: Boulder Canyon Boulder (AKA Graham 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 aka Sea of Tranquility

Mile 12.5 South: The Sport Park

Mile 12.5 North: Cenotaph Spire

Getting There

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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

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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

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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.

Bats - conservation

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See a bat on a route, give a shout. Climbers for Bat Conservation is working with climbers to understand bat ecology and why bats choose certain cracks and flakes. If you see bats, and want to tell them, here is their email (climbersforbats@colostate.edu) and their website ( climbersforbats.colostate.edu/).

Climbers for Bat Conservation is a collaboration between climbers, bat biologists, and land managers to understand where bats roost and where large populations may reside. They are interested in finding bats because a new disease, called white-nose syndrome ( whitenosesyndrome.org/), has killed millions of bats in North America. This collaboration has identified bat roosts throughout the U.S., and as far away as Norway and Bulgaria. CBC was developed by biologists who climb and they are advocates for climbing access and bat conservation. If you see bats while climbing, please let them know by emailing them at climbersforbats@colostate.edu, or visiting their website to learn more ( climbersforbats.colostate.edu/).

Rob Schorr

Zoologist, Colorado Natural Heritage Program ( sites.warnercnr.colostate.e…)

Director, Climbers for Bat Conservation

Robert.schorr@colostate.edu 

1,875 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Boulder Canyon Change
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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.
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 274
Bitty Buttress
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 318
Dementia
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 336
Cosmosis
Trad 2 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 625
Lust
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 316
The Scientist
Trad
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 187
Consilience
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 302
Country Club Crack
Trad 2 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 408
Animal Magnetism
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 498
Strange Science
Sport, TR
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 188
Jolt Cola
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 452
Empire of the Fenceless
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 267
Tell-Tale Heart
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 149
Plan B
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 186
Lucid Dreaming
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 88
Vasodilator
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Bitty Buttress Bitty Buttress
 274
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Dementia Happy Hour Crag
 318
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, TR
Cosmosis Bell Buttress M… > Bell Buttress - Main…
 336
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Lust Avalon > Second Tier > Tarot Wall
 625
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
The Scientist Lower Dream Canyon > Plotinus Wall > Middle
 316
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Consilience Black Widow Slab
 187
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Country Club Crack Castle Rock
 302
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad 2 pitches
Animal Magnetism Animal World > Upper Animal World
 408
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Strange Science Avalon > Second Tier > Middle Wall
 498
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport, TR
Jolt Cola Blob Rock Area > Blob Rock > Right Gully
 188
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Empire of the Fenceless Easter Rock
 452
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Tell-Tale Heart Easter Rock
 267
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Plan B Security Risk M… > Upper Security Risk
 149
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Lucid Dreaming Lower Dream Canyon > Plotinus Wall > Middle
 186
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Vasodilator Blob Rock Area > Blob Rock > Right Gully
 88
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Boulder Canyon »

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