|GPS:||39.932, -105.281 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Charles Vernon on Dec 31, 2000 · Updates|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
Eldorado Canyon SP is STRONGLY DISCOURAGING CLIMBING at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Climbing is NOT ADVISED. Social distancing is challenging in Eldorado Canyon SP with climbing. The park office is closed. Warnings (& possible evictions from the SP) may be issued for violations of the social distancing requirement for a minimum of 6 feet between people not in the same household. In addition, touching surfaces contacted by others, which occurs on climbing routes and between climbing partners sharing equipment & rope(s), is a risk.
Rescues related to this sport are highly technical, require a large number of rescue personnel and equipment, and they generally result in an ambulance ride to the hospital. Please respect the statewide state-at-home order.
Seasonal Raptor Closures
Check Park site for current closures:
For more information visit:
Double check prior to venturing there. Thanks!
The largest cliff, Redgarden Wall , is a few thousand feet wide; it boasts several spectacular summits and an incredible collection of classic climbs. Many of the classic routes were put up in the 1960s by Layton Kor, along with climbers such as Pat Ament and Larry Dalke. The 1970s were primarily a time of first free ascents, spearheaded by climbers such as Steve Wunsch, Roger Briggs, Jim Erickson, and Duncan Ferguson. New activity tailed off a bit in the 1980s, though some very good routes were established.
Climbing in Eldorado Canyon can be odd and it requires some getting used to. It is primarily a traditional area, yet there is relatively little crack climbing. Friends of mine who are used to Lumpy Ridge think everything in Eldo is a sandbag, but once I got used to Eldo I started to feel more secure there than at Lumpy Ridge. Individual pitches will often require delicate face climbing and some kind of funky, inobvious traverse. Highly technical moves separated by decent rests are quite common. Old fixed gear is an Eldo staple, and can either add or subtract spice from your route depending on its quality and the availability of other pro. It enables routes such as the The Yellow Spur and the West Buttress of the Bastille (both 5.9) to offer pro-at-your-waist cruxes. On the other hand, you just know that those pins at the cruxes of climbs like Tagger (5.10) and the The Naked Edge (5.11) are not going to hold too many more 10 foot falls. One should really back up most pins whenever possible. Ultimately, skill in placing pro is very important; cracks tend to be discontinuous and incipient, and nearly all the "sport" routes require some gear as well.
Must-do beginner routes include Wind Ridge and Calypso (both 5.6) on Wind Tower. They are both a bit awkward in spots. In the 5.8 range, Ruper on Redgarden Wall and The Bastille Crack top the list. The Bulge (5.7+) on Redgarden is quite runout, but also excellent. Many people feel that The Yellow Spur (5.9) on Redgarden Wall is the best route in the Canyon. Other great routes at that grade include the West Buttress and Hair City (Bastille), Anthill Direct and The Green Spur (Redgarden Wall), and the The Unsaid (The West Ridge). 5.10 classics are everywhere; my personal favorites are Rosy Crucifixion (10a) and Outer Space (10c). Over the Hill (10b), Super Slab, Grandmother's Challenge, and Tagger (all 10c) are also great, as are many, many other routes at the grade. 5.11 offers some world-renowned classics like the The Naked Edge, Vertigo (11b), and the Northwest Corner of the Bastille (11a). 5.12 (which I have no experience with personally) seems to offer either very scary climbs such as Scary Canary (12b) or very safe climbs such as Your Mother. (12d). 5.13s are fairly rare, due to bolt restrictions, but some historic classics such as Desdichado and Rainbow Wall do exist. Addendum: A trad 5.14, Iron Monkey (freeding Lycra-Clad Donkeys), has been established.
The aforementioned Redgarden Wall holds the longest routes, but also offers great one-pitch climbs, [particularly] a little ways up the trail at a long slanting roof. The Bastille is a 350 foot high vertical cliff which rises right out of the road and offers very steep climbing. The The Wind Tower is the place to go for great beginner climbs as well as scary 5.10 routes, and the The West Ridge/Rincon offers the best concentration of one pitch routes of all grades -- usually very aesthetic crack and corner climbs. Obscure outlying areas such as Cadillac Crag, Shirt Tail Peak, and the Peanuts Walls have excellent climbing, but also involve longer approaches.
Eldo can be a very confusing place and it is helpful to at least look at a guidebook, such as Steve Levin's newest guidebook, Eldorado Canyon, A Climber's Guidebook, or Richard Rossiter's out of print, comprehensive Rock Climbing Eldorado Canyon. Fred Knapp's Classic Boulder Climbs is about a third the cost, and still has most of the best routes as well as other great routes around Boulder.
Ideally, a traditional climber's road trip to Boulder should include a day at Eldo followed by a day at Lumpy Ridge (45 minutes from Boulder)-- both offer fantastic climbing, but it is hard to imagine two more different styles. Of course, if experience permits, the alpine rock climbs in nearby Rocky Mountain National Park are not to be missed, either. One can climb in Eldo at any time of year, though summer is piping hot and slick while winter is inconsistent.
From Boulder, take CO Hwy 93 (Broadway) South until you get to the first stop light after leaving Boulder. This is Eldorado Springs Dr. Take this West until you hit the town. The park entrance is at the end of the dirt road into town. Pay entry fee per vehicle to park or walk-in for less. You WILL be ticketed if you park in undesignated spots outside of the park.... The Eldorado Springs bottling company is right off the road to the park. You used to be able to get a free fill-up on your water bottle, but now it's a pay deal. What a rip, man.
For 2021, Annual State Park passes cost $80 for one vehicle and $40 each for additional vehicles. Daily fees are now $10 per vehicle. Walk-in fees are $4/person. For up to date info, click here for the 2021 chart of fees.
Action Committe for Eldorado
Proceeds donated to ACE are used for the Eldorado Canyon Trails Project, fixed hardware, and supporting climbers in Eldorado Canyon.
To donate or learn more information about ACE please visit: aceeldo.org
Fixed Hardware Replacement Program
ACE has established a working database of hardware which is in need of
replacement. That working list is available here.
Everyone is invited to contribute to this list so we all can be made
aware of the fixed hardware progress and priorities. Just register on
the ACE website and contribute to the list. Its fast and easy.
As a reminder, a permit for 'like for like' replacement must be
secured from the Park Headquarters prior to completing any work.
ACE will gladly supply the drill, bits, prybars and any
necessary hardware to anyone wishing to do like-for-like replacements in ECSP. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Classic Climbing Routes at Eldorado Canyon SP
Days w Precip