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Elevation: 5,765 ft 1,757 m
GPS: 39.75376, -105.24007
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Quinn Stevens on Dec 31, 2000 · Updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Warning Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures/CDOT Road Work DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Clear Creek Canyon (CCC) is aptly situated along Clear Creek, just west of Golden. The canyon is most well known for its accesible wealth of sport climbs, with some trad climbs interspersed. The rock varies here from gneiss & schist to a sandy granite, relatively solid but much different and perhaps more unique than the gray sweeps of Boulder Canyon.

While the individual areas here tend to be specialized with regard to the route type and difficulty, the canyon as a whole has a variety of ratings. Beginners should look into the High Wire Crag, Catslab - note it is apparently open, Little Eiger, Red Slab, and The Canal Zone while excellent difficult routes abound from the Primo Wall, Wall of the Nineties, Anarchy Wall, The River Wall, and New River formation. Clear Creek also offers some nice winter climbing options such as the Red Slab and the Dog House.

As always, be attentive of the traffic and remove valuables from your car.

Ice Climbing Suggest change

See CO Ice & Mixed > Clear Creek Canyon - Ice.

Getting There

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From Denver, head out on 6th Ave. and exit into Golden. Turn left on US 6 into the canyon. From Boulder, the best way to reach Clear Creek Canyon is to take CO Highway 93 (Broadway) straight south for about 25 minutes into Golden. Then take a right, heading west on US 6 into Clear Creek Canyon. Pullouts can be found along the highway, and most approaches are about 5-10 minutes. Sometimes tyroleans exist but cannot always be trusted.


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Note, many routes are not descendable with a single rope, be it 45m or 50m or 60m or 70m. Please, carefully lower when not certain of route length. Please!


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There have been at least 4-5 guidebooks including Clear Creek Canyon. Peter Hubbel put out Front Range Crags. Mark Rolofson has put out a 1995 Boulder Sport Climbing Guide, a 1999 Clear Creek Canyon Sport Climber's Guide, a more recent Clear Creek Canyon Sport Climber's Guide, and most recently, Darren Mabe has put out a Clear Creek Canyon guidebook. Most recently, Kevin Capps put out a second edition to his 2014 guidebook in 2017.

Speed Limits/Tickets

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FYI, CO State Patrol has been put on notice by their head person due to too many complaints for those who drive US 6 through CCC. So, they have up to 4 patrollers ticketing speeders at a time. The speed limit is 40 mph through the entire canyon!

Tickets for 55 mph cost 4 points and $170.


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There is an RV park near the mouth of the canyon.

Crags (downstream to upstream)

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This is a work in progress...finally, eh? Thanks for your patience.

South vs. North is relative to the road.

CO 93 & US 6 intersection

large bridge / parking area

South (across CC) - The Canal Zone | The Twilight Zone

North - Labyrinth

South - East Side of Tunnel 1

Tunnel 1

North - New Hipster Rock

South - The Sports Wall

South - AAA Crag

metal bridge

South - Ghost Crag

North (MM 270) - The Blonde Formation

North (MM 270) - The Stumbling Block | Bumbling Stock

North - Postcolonial Crag | Fault Caves

North - Skinny Legs Formation

?North? (MM 268) - Bouldering (mile marker 268) | 268 Wall

Bridge - ~3.5 miles

North - The Red Slab

South - Piledriver | Rainy Day Rock | Little Eiger | Aftermath

South - The Garden Wall

North - Point Break | The New River Wall | The Highlands aka Highlander | Twitch Rock | Rapids Rock | Highwire North

South - Tetanus Cave | Evil Cave | River Wall

South - Wall of Justice | Low Spark of High Wire Crag | Low Wire | High Wire Crag | Higher Wire | Left Wire

Tunnel 2 - ~4.9 miles

metal tyrolean

South (across CC) - Punk Rock | Irok | Wanna Be Wall | The Mission Wall | Funyun Wall

South - Flood Wall | Back of the Nineties | Wall of the '90s

North - The Monkey House | Death Rock

South - Capitalist Crag | Upper Capitalist Crag | Lower Capitalist Crag

Tunnel 3 - ~5.1 miles

South - Independence Wall | Anarchy Wall

South (across CC) - Cool Thing Wall (aka Kool Krag) | New Crag

North - Elk Creek

South - Iron Buttress

North - Sex Cave (aka Pete's Wicked Cave) | Shark's Fin

North MM 264 - Rebel Wall

South - The Talon | New Economy Cliff | Bionic Crag

North - Nightworm Pinnacle | Unknown Tower AKA Crystal Dick Tower | Prestige Worldwide Wall | Real Hidden Valley | Upper Wall

North - Prohibition Pinnacle

South - A Little Piece of South Dakota

North (MM 263) - Jerky Boulder (263)

South - High Profile Wall

Mayhem Gulch mountain biking trailhead

Intersection with CO 119

South - The Fiscal Cliff | The Graveyard | The Pearly Gates | Lift 4

Tunnel 5 - ~10.5 miles

South - Cats vs. Dogs Wall | The Catslab | Bike Path Boulders (Near Catslab) | Cat Slab Boulders | Rabbit Hole | The Fish Bowl | Death Valley | Lift 4

North - The Dog House | Other Critters | The Safari | The Oz | Trump Tower | Live Action Wall | Carbage | Stoked Bowl | Creek Side

North - Mourning Glory


South - The Bunker | Sushi Slab

Tunnel 6 ~11.3 miles


North (not across the creek) - Broken Angel | Play Pen | | East Colfax

North across the creek - The Healing Center | The Conspiracy Crag | The Armory | The Witch House | The Crystal Tower | Seeing Squiggles Bloc | The Guppy | Waves Wall | Primo Wall | Nomad's Cave | Breakfast Cliff | Boulders Above Primo

South - Convenience Cliff | Project Wall | The Nest

Peak-to-Plains Trail project

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More info may be obtained from: The Plains to Peaks Trail blog can be found here.


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You may find these webcams helpful for visual peeks at conditions: Click on the camera icons along US 6.

Raptor Nest Closures

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The two areas Jefferson County Open Space intends to close in Clear Creek Canyon, shown on the attached maps, encompass the active eagle nests. If the Clear Creek eagles continue to nest in the active nests, these areas will remain closed from February 1 through July 31. If the eagles choose different nesting sites, the closures will be adjusted accordingly to protect those eagles during their breeding season.

Currently, rock climbing areas that fall inside of the seasonal raptor closures include:

Blonde Formation
Bumbling Stock
Evil Area
Ghost Crag
New River Wall
Point Break
Rapids Rock
Skinny Legs
Stumbling Block
Tetanus Garden.

1,485 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Clear Creek 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
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Playin' Hooky
Sport 4 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Hanging Judge
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Walking With A Ghost
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Skippin' Stones
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Wet Dream
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Dia de Los Muertos
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
The Reward aka Convicted Felon
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
The Great Escape
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Fission aka Ken T'ank
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Ten-Digit Dialing
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Sonic Youth
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Guppy Creek Side
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Playin' Hooky Creek Side
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport 4 pitches
Curvaceous Wall of the '90s
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Hanging Judge Wall of Justice
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Walking With A Ghost Canal Zone
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Skippin' Stones Crystal Tower
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Wet Dream Wall of the '90s
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Dia de Los Muertos Graveyard
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Slammer Wall of Justice
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
The Reward aka Convicted Felon Monkey House
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
The Great Escape Wall of Justice
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport
Fission aka Ken T'ank Armory
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Ten-Digit Dialing Wall of the '90s
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Anarchitect Anarchy Wall
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Sonic Youth New River Wall
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Clear Creek Canyon »

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