Elevation: 6,612 ft
GPS: 39.33108, -104.73859
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Dec 31, 2000 · Updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Access Issue: Historical seasonal raptor closures with 2022 updates Details


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

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

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

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

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

591 Total Climbs

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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.
V1+ 5
Rocket Ship
V2 5+
Up Staged
V3-4 6A+
Fountain Lip Traverse
V7 7A+
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Peaches and Scream
Trad, TR
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Hot Fudge
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Rat's Nest
Trad, TR
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Entry Level
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Licorice Stick
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Phalloid Void
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Cobble Wobble
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Bozo No No
Sport, TR
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Song from the Wood
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
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Rocket Ship Bouldering prob… > Fountainbleau Area > Fountain Lip Boulder
V1+ 5 Boulder
Up Staged Bouldering prob… > Fountainbleau Area > Fountainebleau Boulder
V2 5+ Boulder
Fountain Lip Traverse Bouldering prob… > Fountainbleau Area > Fountain Lip Boulder
V3-4 6A+ Boulder
Punani Bouldering prob… > Punani Area/N C… > Punani Boulder
V7 7A+ Boulder
Peaches and Scream Grocery Store Walls
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Hot Fudge Grocery Store Walls
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Rat's Nest Grocery Store Walls
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Entry Level C-Section
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Licorice Stick Grocery Store Walls
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Phalloid Void Wendell Spire
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
[Redacted] C-Section
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Cobble Wobble Wendell Spire
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Bozo No No Grocery Store Walls
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport, TR
Song from the Wood Wendell Spire
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b 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
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