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South

Colorado > Boulder > Flatirons
Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Subject to Seasonal Closures Details

Description

This section of the Flatirons holds some of the best climbing in the Flatirons, but it seems to be less crowded. For the purposes of this organization, this section extends from Bear Canyon to Eldorado Canyon. Great rocks such as the Maiden, Matron, Devil's Thumb, Nebel Horn, Seal Rock, and the Goose offer lower end difficulty climbs for beginner trad leaders and also more challenging trad lines. Excellent sport routes also can be found, some several pitches in length. The longest line in the area can be found here. There is plenty to explore here.

Getting There

The approaches vary depending on where you're headed. For rocks like the Matron, take the South Mesa Trail head from the open space park on the way to Eldorado Canyon SP off CO Hwy 170. Otherwise, N. Shanahan trail from Table Mesa or Fern Canyon via the Mesa Trail from NCAR. See specific routes for exact directions.

Access

Various of the Flatirons are closed for falcon nesting from Feb 1 up to July 31 and for bat nesting Apr 1 to Aug 31. Historically, some of these in this area have included The Matron, Towers of the Moon, Jam Crack Spire, Devil's Thumb, Nebel Horn, Jaws, The Fin, Fern Canyon, The Goose, The Goose Eggs, and possibly others.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

From The Slab, 4/11/02.
[Hide Photo] From The Slab, 4/11/02.
Fern Canyon being saved by fire retardant.
[Hide Photo] Fern Canyon being saved by fire retardant.
The South and Central Flatirons can be a beautiful and lonely place...This image taken after a brief rain, just below the Sphinx.
[Hide Photo] The South and Central Flatirons can be a beautiful and lonely place...This image taken after a brief rain, just below the Sphinx.
Bear Mountain and Devil's Thumb.
[Hide Photo] Bear Mountain and Devil's Thumb.
Sumac season in the fall ...
[Hide Photo] Sumac season in the fall ...
Delphinium nuttallianum on Shadow Canyon trail.
[Hide Photo] Delphinium nuttallianum on Shadow Canyon trail.
 BH on FA of The Kid, Kid Boulders, South Mesa Trailhead Area.
[Hide Photo] BH on FA of The Kid, Kid Boulders, South Mesa Trailhead Area.
Jamcrack Spire, Maiden, Fatiron, Devils Thumb, Flying Flatiron
[Hide Photo] Jamcrack Spire, Maiden, Fatiron, Devils Thumb, Flying Flatiron
From left to right... The Tower of The Moon (small, shaded), the Jamcrack Spire, the Maiden, the Fatiron, The Devil's Thumb, the Flying Flatiron, and the Devil's Wings as viewed from the South-East on the Old Mesa Trail.
[Hide Photo] From left to right... The Tower of The Moon (small, shaded), the Jamcrack Spire, the Maiden, the Fatiron, The Devil's Thumb, the Flying Flatiron, and the Devil's Wings as viewed from the South-East…
Sunset over Bear Peak.
[Hide Photo] Sunset over Bear Peak.
The Goose and Seal Rock after a wet spring.
[Hide Photo] The Goose and Seal Rock after a wet spring.
The hike into the Southern Flatirons has beautiful Sumac in September and October! Photo by T. Bubb, 09/06.
[Hide Photo] The hike into the Southern Flatirons has beautiful Sumac in September and October! Photo by T. Bubb, 09/06.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] June 2010 new-route application through the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

Please click on the above link to submit comments on the proposed climb. The deadline closes June 15; this is the only route submitted this cycle. There will be a public meeting held June 23, Wednesday, at 7:30 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder. Jun 14, 2010
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
[Hide Comment] This pitch is simply too long. A line must be drawn somewhere. :) Jun 14, 2010
[Hide Comment] True that! But you can stand on a little perch at 50 feet and catch your breath.... Jun 14, 2010
[Hide Comment] The Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council will hold its public meeting Wednesday, October 20, at 6 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado, to discuss and vote on applications for the autumn 2010 cycle. Anyone interested is invited to come participate and cast votes for the three proposals, which can be found here: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… Oct 12, 2010
[Hide Comment] The Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council will hold its public meeting Wednesday, July 6, at 7 p.m. at The Spot Gym, Boulder, Colorado, to discuss and vote on applications for the June 2011 cycle. Anyone interested is invited to come participate and cast votes for the three proposals (two of which are on the Slab), which can be found here: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo….
You can also leave comments on the proposed applications at the above link. Jun 24, 2011
[Hide Comment] As of today, July 24, the fire-closure boundaries have been moved west from the Mesa Trail, allowing access to many of the formations formerly affected by the Flagstaff Fire closure. More info and an updated closure map here from OSMP: bouldercolorado.gov/index.p…

A reminder to everyone to stay well clear of the closure and burn areas as you head back in to climb. Enjoy! Jul 24, 2012
[Hide Comment] There is an application for a new climb on the south side of the Maiden, our only application for the August 2012 cycle of the Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council. Details can be found at the link below; the public meeting and vote will be held Wednesday, September 5 at 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym (thespotgym.com), Boulder, Colorado. The deadline for the next cycle is January 1, 2013, though applications should be submitted in advance if possible.

flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… Aug 6, 2012
[Hide Comment] Please note that the application for the Hueco Wall, south face of the Maiden, has been updated to include a possible third pitch, which would have been brought up at the public meeting in any case. You can still view and comment on the application at flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

The public vote and meeting is September 5, 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym in Boulder, Colorado. Aug 19, 2012
[Hide Comment] There is an application for a new climb on the south face of Seal Rock, the first application for the autumn 2012 cycle of the Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council (www.flatironsclimbing.com). Details can be found at the link below; the public meeting and vote will be held some time early next year, details to be announced. This cycle closes January 1, 2013, though applications should be submitted well in advance.

The application can be found at:
flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… Sep 10, 2012
[Hide Comment] A second application has been submitted for the Autumn 2012 cycle of the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee, this one for the west face of Overhang Rock. Please visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… to view the application in full, as well as comment on it. The public meeting and vote will be held 6:30 p.m. Wednesday January 16 at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Nov 23, 2012
[Hide Comment] There is an application for a second proposed new climb on the south face of Seal Rock, the final application for the autumn 2012 cycle of the Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council (www.flatironsclimbing.com), which closes January 1, 2013. Details can be found at the link below.The public meeting and vote will be held 6:30 p.m. Wednesday January 16 at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado.

The application for this route, American Nouveau, can be found at:
flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… Dec 12, 2012
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
[Hide Comment] Mallory Cave, Harmon Cave, and Seal View Cave are permanently closed to human use to reduce the chance of introducing white-nose syndrome. Apr 27, 2013
[Hide Comment] One application has been submitted for the current cycle of the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee application process: on the west face of Overhang Rock.

You can visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… to view it; please post comments below the application or submit them via email to fhrc@flatironsclimbing.org. The public meeting and vote will be held Wednesday, September 18, 6:30 p.m., at The Spot gym in Boulder, Colorado. Aug 19, 2013
[Hide Comment] One application has been submitted for the current (January 2014) cycle of the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee application process: on the west face of the Goose.

You can visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… to view it; please post comments below the application or submit them via email to fhrc@flatironsclimbing.org. The public vote and meeting will be held Wednesday, February 5, at 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Jan 7, 2014