Elevation: 6,000 ft
GPS: 40.186, -105.333 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 387,024 total · 1,638/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

Description

Located West of Lyons, the South Saint Vrain Canyon offers a considerable amount of climbing close to Boulder or to Longmont. As a granite canyon, many of the known routes in the SSV follow excellent crack systems on trad gear. Many of the newer lines have gone in as sport routes, on good faces or where the cracks are very short and intermittent. Routes can vary in length from half rope pitches to several rope length pitches. Granite quality is variable in the SSV. The best rock is well consolidated and featured with edges and flakes, while the worst is chossy and crystalline. Slab to vertical climbing is rather common on the older trad lines. However, many of the newer sport lines run through some big roof systems with steep the rule. Development of SSV sport climbing started many years ago with the Monkey Skull and The Fang, where Mark Rolofson and his associates have put up some very difficult climbs. Rock in the SSV seems to face in just about all directions, so it has been possible to climb here throughout the year. The best climbing is to be had in the summer and fall when temperatures are less comfortable further East or South.

Getting There

The South Saint Vrain Canyon can be approached from Boulder North along US 36. This will take you to the intersection with CO 66 one mile East of Lyons. From Longmont, simply take CO 66 West to the town of Lyons. At the intersection of CO 66 US 36, head West into Lyons and to the main intersection that forks North to Estes Park on US 36 or South to Estes Park via the SSV canyon and CO 7. Set the odometer from this intersection; climbing in the SSV begins at The Scout Rock 3.1 miles upstream on CO 7.

Per Matt Henry, Recreation Program Manager, Forest Service (April 2020):

CDOT will be reconstructing US Hwy 7 at some point in the near future . They want to try to maintain parking to allow for climbing access on National Forest System lands, if possible (but not too much parking to overcrowd the area for the future). It is not yet clear which pullouts/parking areas will be used. 

Link to S St Vrain Ice

Mileage for Crags

With the help and prompting of John Marsella, we'll list these crags going uphill from CO 7 & US 36.

SouthSt. Vrain
Mile 3.1 North: Scout Rock | Scout Slab
Mile 3.5 South: Guard House | Guardian Rock
Mile 3.6 North: Dance Hall of the Dead | Turd World Country | The Shrine of Vanity | Atoll, The | Deadman's Gulch | Deadman's Gulch Boulder
Mile 3.8 South: Mushroom Massif
Mile 3.9 South: Area 51 | Desdimona
Mile 4.1 South: The Wave Twister
Mile 4.2 North: Kids' Wall | Shortcrack Lump
Mile 4.3 North: Backstage Wall | December Wall
Mile 4.4 South: The Cliffs of Insanity
Mile 4.4 North: P. Mosh Wall
Mile 4.45: Whistler's Mother
Mile 4.5 North: The Thinker
Mile 4.5 South: The Sentinel
Mile 4.6 North: Roadside Rock
Mile 4.7: The Ant
Mile 4.9 South: Sweat Loaf aka Big Dogs | The Thinker
Mile 5.0 South: The Throne
Mile 5.1 North: Observatory Rock | Upper Infirmary Slabs | Lower Infirmary Slabs | Left Infirmary Slab | Defibrillator Dome | The Mortuary
Mile 5.3 North: North Narrows Slabs
Mile 5.5 North: Vrain Dead
Mile 5.5 South: Mechanical Man | Swift Rock
Mile 5.6 South: Rapids Rock
Mile ~6: Wailing Wall
Mile 6.0 South: The Spire
Mile 6.5 North: The Monkey Skull | Rhesus Monkey
Mile 7.0 South: Mystery Rock
Mile 7.0 North: The Hobo Car
Mile 7.2 South: Trojan Bunny Buttress
Mile 7.3 : Pilot Knob
Mile 7.4 South: Stewardess Convention Crag | The Acrophile
Mile 7.5: Sandbox Wall
Mile 7.7 South: Arch of Titus | The Coliseum | Roadeo | The Pantheon
Mile 8.1 North:
Mile 8.3 South: The Sundrop
Mile 8.6 South: Hideaway Dome
Mile 9.1 South: The Fang
Mile 9.3 North: Stray Dog
Mile 9.6 North: Violator Buttress
Mile 10.4 South: The Watchtower

Middle Fork of St. Vrain
Mile ~14 south on CO 72: Piz Cengalo
Mile 14.4, south on CO 72 -> "a few miles" East: Piz Badille


North St. Vrain
2.9 mile hike from Johnny Park off CO 66 : Coulson
Gulch

453 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at South Fork of St. Vrain Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 54
Community Service (formerly Litt…
Sport, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 76
Handcrack-a-rete
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 62
Unleash The Lions
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 59
Remission
Sport, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 65
Hollow Man
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 78
Casual Corner
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 109
KeeMoSabe
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 32
Crooked Cross
Trad 2 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 54
Panic in the Gray Room
Sport, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 84
Sunshine Dihedral
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 98
Upside The Cranium
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 53
Rawhide
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 45
Ionic Column
Trad, Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 39
Life After James
Sport 3 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 36
Temptation Arete
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Community Service (formerly… Upper Infirmary Slabs
 54
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport, TR
Handcrack-a-rete Coliseum
 76
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Unleash The Lions Coliseum
 62
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Remission Upper Infirmary Slabs
 59
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport, TR
Hollow Man Coliseum
 65
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Casual Corner Monkey Skull
 78
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
KeeMoSabe Scout Rock
 109
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Crooked Cross Sentinel
 32
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Panic in the Gray Room Upper Infirmary Slabs
 54
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, TR
Sunshine Dihedral Monkey Skull
 84
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Upside The Cranium Monkey Skull
 98
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Rawhide Scout Rock
 53
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Ionic Column Coliseum
 45
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Sport
Life After James December Wall
 39
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport 3 pitches
Temptation Arete Trojan Bunny Buttress
 36
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in South Fork of St. Vrain Canyon »

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