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Areas in Carter Lake

2 X 4 Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Big Block 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Book Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Bridge aka Cave Rock, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Burnt Orange Boulder, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Call it Crock Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Chain Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Classic Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Crap Traverse 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Crayola Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Dead Trees Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Doughboy Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Entrance Overhang 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Extension Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Flip the Bird Slab 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Fromunda Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Giant Pebble Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Kahuna Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Little Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Little Debbie's Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Lone Star Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Mars Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Mighty Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Monster Block 0 / 0 / 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Pocket Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Prow Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Real Pocket Wall, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Scenic Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Scenic Sentinel 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Short Bus, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Skunk Rub Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Spaceship, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Spice Roof, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Split Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Elevation: 5,960 ft
GPS: 40.32, -105.214 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 83,747 total, 406/month
Shared By: Michael Komarnitsky on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

Description

A beautiful place to boulder, and a good variety of problems litter this area. All problems are found on the mile long east bank of Carter Lake. Most are slightly higher and away from the bank, with on exeption being Big Kahuna Roof, which one writer described as "Colorado's Best V5." Being close to shore, it actually lies underwater during part of the year.

The rock type feels more gentle to the fingers than Flagstaff, and there's a refreshingly nice variation of moderate lines. Landings are more in the ankle-injuring genre, given the somewhat higher elevation of the problems, but not death-like.

Steve Mammen deserves the credit for developing most of the problems in this area. We welcome more thorough commentary on this area, as we have only rarely visited it; though we do plan on journeying more up there in the future.

Getting There

It is about a 45 minute drive from Boulder. From Boulder, take CO 119 (Diagonal Highway) north into longmont until it terminates at 287. Go north on CO Hwy 287 approximately 11 miles, where the road takes a blantantly obvious, 90 degree, banked, arcing, right turn, with a gas station on the west side of the road. There are signs at this point for Carter Lake. Instead of entering the turn, go straight ahead, and then take a left on 56 (the road right behind the gas station). Follow for about 3.1 miles, and then take a left. Follow for another 3 miles, and enter the park. You have to pay $6 for a day pass here. Follow the road to a junction with a sign that notes that continuation goes to the south side of the resivoir, and to take a right means to go to the boat launch.

Going straight, the road arcs up and right 200 yards further, and the lake is basically in site. There is a pull off for a dirt parking lot on the right side, but it kind of comes up as a surprise. Park here, and take the Fawn Hollow Trail north, staying on the ridge line or below, towards the lake.

Going right from that junction, you park at the parking available, and walk south to access the boulders around the lake.

126 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Carter Lake

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Ross Swanson
Pinewood Springs
Ross Swanson   Pinewood Springs
Getting there is simple:

  • North on US 287 to Berthoud.
  • Take a left (west) on Mountain Ave (West Co Rd 8)
  • Co Rd 8 makes a right and becomes 23, After a total of 3 miles, take a left (West) on Co Rd 8e, Carter Lake is about 4 miles.
Aug 29, 2017
Matt Pufnock
Boulder, CO
Matt Pufnock   Boulder, CO
Anyone know which boulder is uphill from Fromunda and just to the right of the Real Pocket Wall. Very obvious pocketed roof problem out the middle. Great line, probably one of the best moderates at Carter. Oct 29, 2011
Brett Billings
Fort Collins, CO
Brett Billings   Fort Collins, CO
I believe you're referring to the Submarine Boulder, which is down and a little further south of the Kahuna Boulder. Although it's not out of the water all of the time, it's definitely been climbed. The problems are on the side that faces the water. There's a V1 called "Up Periscope" but that's the only one I know a name for. Further south from there is Shoreline Block which also has some problems. Sep 26, 2009
Anyone know what's up with the new semi-steep boulder under the Kahuna Roof? There's chalk on two sweet lines, one is around V5/6 with cool sloppers and another warm up sort of thing. I did some V5/6ish sort of thing last night that started matched in underclings and went staight up, was super cool. What boulder is this? Is it new terrain with the new water level? Sep 25, 2009
Andrew Ryder
Arizony
Andrew Ryder   Arizony
Cstorms, all boulders should be accessible if you park at the south lot (or walk over the ridge from the north lot and then drop down), don't cut past the dam. Dec 18, 2008
Joshua Merriam
Boulder, CO
Joshua Merriam   Boulder, CO
Parking next to the dam was a go yesterday. Although half the parking lot was off limits by concrete barriers.

The water level was pretty low, exposing an excellent quality rock with many awesome V3-V8 problems one after the other. It's another 100ft lower on the shoreline than Kahuna. Sep 22, 2008
cstorms
North Bend, OR
cstorms   North Bend, OR
Can you climb below the construction line now? ...I'd like to head up there and climb the Kahuna Roof Boulder, last time I was there it was unaccessible. Jul 27, 2008
Andrew Ryder
Arizony
Andrew Ryder   Arizony
The North Fawn Hollow trailhead (Dam 1 parking) is open again. It still looks a bit like a construction area, but the trail sign is up again and a park officer confirmed it was legal to park there. Jul 4, 2008
Buster Jesik
Allenspark, CO
Buster Jesik   Allenspark, CO
The dirt lot above the bridge area is still filled with construction equipment. May 17, 2008
cstorms
North Bend, OR
cstorms   North Bend, OR
Does anyone know if the construction has stopped by the main parking lot? Mar 14, 2008
Kris Moulton
Bishop, CA
Kris Moulton   Bishop, CA
Fee for the reservoir is $7 a day now, and it's good till the next day at noon. Mar 2, 2008
FYI, it's $7 on weekends and Holidays. Just a heads up. Jul 5, 2006
D@n Morta
Boulder, CO
D@n Morta   Boulder, CO
Check out the boulder 15' north of the Kahuna boulder. It has recently tipped onto its side revealing at least four new problems. The NE arete is stunning with slopers, pinches, and a high (20') finish on perfect stone. Nov 1, 2005
Tried lots of other places, as far as mummy pass even, this is still the best place when time is short and energy high, other than the fee (buy a season pass), this is one of the greatest bouldering areas around, especially with Horsetooth messed up by construction. May 23, 2003
There's lion (mountain) and bears up there @ Pinewood. I had a way too close encounter with a bear night fishing. The same night 2 mountain lions were roaming the area. Put your food away @ night and your fish. Have to be anon for now until tomorrow. May 22, 2003
Jake Wyatt
Longmont, CO
Jake Wyatt   Longmont, CO
It's Climbing issue #199. Apr 15, 2003
I [don't] know about a R&I issue, but there is an article on Carter Lake in an old Climbing mag (ca.2 yrs ago). Cover says: "Escape from Kyrzigstan!" or whatever. Apr 14, 2003
Does anyone remember the issue # of the R&I that had a miniguide for Carter Lake? Thanks for your help. Dec 10, 2002
Saw a big arse snake, about bit me. Watch out. Apr 23, 2002
A great place to climb, one of the few places you can get on the rock several times a week before work and still make it in before the boss. From Loveland it is only a 15 min drive. Apr 15, 2002
Although popular among boaters, this is a good place to escape the crowds of Morrison and Flagstaff. In the summertime, don't forget your SCUBA gear; the lake bottom is full of treasure (as well as muck and garbage). Feb 4, 2002

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