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Elevation: 6,612 ft
GPS: 39.33108, -104.73859
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Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Dec 31, 2000 · Updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Warning Access Issue: Historical seasonal raptor closures with 2023 updates DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Castlewood Canyon is somewhat of an anomaly on the plains SE of Denver. The Cherry Creek River cut out the shallow canyon. The rock varies from crumbly shale to conglomerate sandstone and quartz. All the cliffs are short and steep (under 25 meters), so they're perfect for toproping. Thomas Hanson's guidebook, "A Rock Climber's Guide to Castlewood Canyon State Park, Colorado," describes over 300 routes including 100 sport routes, but he also mentions that documentation exists for over 600 routes in the Canyon, not to mention the hoardes of bouldering development possibilities. Ice flows develop during certain times of the year also!

The canyon is an anomaly because so many different forms of wildlife exist in this small area. Deer, rattlesnakes, vultures, scrub oak, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, bats, bees and plenty of bee hives on the walls, wildflowers, etc. all live in this little area. Remember, that climbing access in the future depends on respect for the wildlife of the area and good judgement.

For top roping, very long slings or an extra rope are useful since not every climb is equipped with bolts on top, and the scrub oak isn't as solid as a fir or pine. Also, many 1/4" bolts still exist as the only fixed pro for some top ropes--always back up a single bolt. CWC is great for toproping and sport, but don't leave your trad rack at home. Their are MANY underclimbed trad lines here also, albeit a little more spicy on some because of crumbly or sandy cracks.

Ice Climbing Suggest change

What?!! Ice climbing on the eastern plains of Colorado? YES! Believe it--there's ice that forms every year in the Wood--you just have to be patient and observant to find it.

Regardless, ice will form at a small waterfall along the Cherry Creek and along the north bank of the creek just downstream from this fall. Also, you'll find very intermittent ice formations on the north side of the canyon just below the visitor center and along that South Rim.

Wait for enought moisture and snow melt, then some cold temps at night and voila! Ice climbing SE of Denver!

See the description in the rock database for more about The Wood....

Getting There

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Driving Directions: There are two entrances to the park--a West and East entrance. Depending on what areas you plan on climbing, one entrance may be a shorter hike. See the area topo to decide.

From Denver: Take I-25 South to Castle Rock and exit 184 to Founder's Parkway. Then take HW 86 East to Franktown (about 5 miles), but look for the park entrance (Castlewood Rd) to the South before the Franktown stoplight (yes, there's only one in the whole town). This is the West entrance.

If you want to enter from the Southeast, continue to the stoplight and turn South (R) on CO Hwy 83. Stay on this road until you see the sign for the E. entrance, which will be on top of the canyon rim. Look for the signs for the E. entrance. You can also take CO 83 all the way from Co. Springs if you want--it's a much more scenic drive.

New Fixed Hardware

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There is currently a ban on new, fixed hardware. The current situation is difficult at best in regard to replacing fixed hardware.

Please do not place new, fixed hardware at this time.

L->R for the subareas / walls

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This section is for your benefit and is arranged in a clockwise fashion starting from the southeast going to the south, etc.

South Rim

Visitor's Center (from CO 83/Parker Rd.)

The Grotto
The Terminal Area
Honeycomb Spire

Corporate Walls
Sherwood Forest

Realm of the Venusian Love Goddess
Anvil Tower
South Canyon Point

West Rim

South Entrance Station (Hwy 51)/Dam Ruins

Porky's Wall

Morning Sun Wall
Cave Wall
Allied Wall
Neaderthal Walls
Grocery Store Walls

North Entrance Station (from CO 86)/ Homestead Ruins

East Rim

Gargoyle Wall

The Dungeon
Falls Wall
The Zoids
Project X Wall
C-Section aka Hedgeclipper Area
Sea World aka Hanson's Wall
Vulture Walls

North Canyon Point
Coat of Arms Corner and The Rat Cracks
Shakespearean Theatre
Revolution Buttress

The Juggernaut Area
The Playground
Corporate View Block

Wendell Spire


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Rattlesnakes are prevalent.

700 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Castlewood Canyon SP

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V4- 6B
Fountain Lip Traverse
V4 6B
Nine Lives Arete
V6 7A
Hobble Cobble Direct
V7 7A+
V7 7A+
Tiger Woods
V8-9 7B+
Hoagie in Heaven aka The Crystal…
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Pay Homage
Sport, TR
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Song from the Wood
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
The Sub
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Rim Job
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
The Black Streak
5.15d 9c 39 XIII- 41 E11 8c V16-17 9A WI8 M13+ A5+ Steep Snow X
Little Devil
TR, Aid, Boulder, Mixed, Ice, Snow
5.15d 9c 39 XIII- 41 E11 8c V17 9A AI6 M16+ A5+ Steep Snow
The Cornucopia
Aid, Boulder, Mixed, Ice, Snow
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Fountain Lip Traverse Bouldering prob… > Fountainbleau Area > Fountain Lip Boulder
V4- 6B Boulder
Nine Lives Arete Bouldering prob… > Central City area > Nine Lives Boulder
V4 6B Boulder
Hobble Cobble Direct Bouldering prob… > Fountainbleau Area > Hobble Cobble Boulder
V6 7A Boulder
Punani Bouldering prob… > Punani Area/N C… > Punani Boulder
V7 7A+ Boulder
Tiger Woods Bouldering prob… > Inner Canyon area > Tim's Boulder aka Pow…
V7 7A+ Boulder
Hoagie in Heaven aka The Cr… Bouldering prob… > Five & Dime Area > Electric Kite Wall
V8-9 7B+ Boulder
[Redacted] C-Section
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Subterfuge Sea World a.k.a. Hans…
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Pay Homage Vulture Walls
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport, TR
Song from the Wood Wendell Spire
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
The Sub Wendell Spire
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Rim Job Falls Wall
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
The Black Streak Wendell Spire
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
Little Devil Bouldering prob… > Miscellaneous Castlew…
5.15d 9c 39 XIII- 41 E11 8c V16-17 9A WI8 M13+ A5+ Steep Snow X TR, Aid, Boulder, Mixed, Ice, Snow
The Cornucopia Grocery Store Walls
5.15d 9c 39 XIII- 41 E11 8c V17 9A AI6 M16+ A5+ Steep Snow Aid, Boulder, Mixed, Ice, Snow
More Classic Climbs in Castlewood Canyon SP »

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