Elevation: 6,031 ft
GPS: 40.229, -105.345 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 56,420 total · 266/month
Shared By: Jesse Ryan on Nov 27, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Access Issue: No longer closed! Details


Also located west of Lyons, this area is cousin to the South Saint Vrain (SSV). Like the SSV there are both trad and sport routes on a variety of features. Rock quality varies from superb to choss. One of Buttonrock's centerpieces is the classic River Wall. This steep wall has steep cracks alongside of both technical and pumpy sport routes. Well-known climbers from Boulder and around the Front Range developed this area in the last three decades. The best climbing season is whenever it isn't precipitating, possibly year-round as the aspect of the formations is diverse. River Wall in particular has midday sun, but is often chilly due to breeze off the river. The Falcon guide to Lyons area covers both Buttonrock and the SSV.

Getting There

Drive to Lyons on CO 66, this can be reached via US 36 from Boulder. Continue past the junction in Lyons of US 36 and CO Hwy 7 (CO Hwy 7 takes one to the SSV) for about 3.7 miles. Look carefully on the left for a sign for Shelly's Cottages. Turn left here on County Road 80. One half-mile on the left are Entryway Slabs, another tenth of a mile are Buick Rocks and Hitler's Sex Life. About 2.3 miles further one reaches a steel gate and parking. One can hike along the road to reach River Wall, Old Yellar, and other formations.

30 Total Climbs

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Location: Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock) Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Tigers in Lipstick
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Green Slab
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Trad, Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Introducing Meteor Dad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Escape from Alcatraz
Sport, TR
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Surround Sound
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Pocket Hercules
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Redneck Hero
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Big, Big, Monkey Man
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
New Horizon
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Old Yellar
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Brother From Another Planet
5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c
Le Diamant E'ternal
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Tigers in Lipstick Tigers in Lipstick
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Green Slab Buick Rocks & Hitler'…
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Livewire River Wall II
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Sport
Introducing Meteor Dad River Wall II
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Escape from Alcatraz River Wall II
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, TR
Surround Sound River Wall II
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Pocket Hercules River Wall II
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad
Redneck Hero River Wall II
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Neurosurgeon River Wall II
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R Trad
Big, Big, Monkey Man River Wall II
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad
New Horizon River Wall II
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Old Yellar Old Yellar Dome
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Brother From Another Planet River Wall II
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
Le Diamant E'ternal River Wall II
5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock) »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


There is some great bouldering in this area, the Lion's Den is a mere 20 minute hike up the slope opposite the River Wall. Many unclimbed rock still remains in the vicinity with Twin Dinosaurs (only one established problem, "Snott the Mamma" V4, just across a meadow from the Den). May 1, 2002
This was the worst area yet! Approaches are long, long, long and boring. Encountered hostile, beer-swilling fishermen at the parking area; our car was vandalized. This was definitely a 'never-again' experience for us. With so much great rock along the Front Range, why would anyone waste their time in Lyons? May 13, 2002
I have never found this to be the case, the Lion's Den area is very isolated (ok the approach includes hiking 1 1/2 miles up a steep draw), but the sheer quality and quantity of problems make for a great day of climbing. Jun 7, 2002
I love climbing and fishing at Button Rock. Have had nothing but pleasant experiences here. Hopefully everyone else does also. Feb 25, 2003
If you hike up the road to the fork (porta-potty), there are some good/okay routes and many topropes across the river (east side) - you can't miss the large crag. Cross the river just above the pipe-gate heading toward the dam/res; some new route potential as well. Great place if you want true solitude. Nov 22, 2004
Matt Richardson
Longmont, CO
Matt Richardson   Longmont, CO  
The area mentioned by camerones looks like it has a lot of potential. But the slabs look as if they would need some fixed hardware.

EDIT: This section is referred to in the new Gillett guide as Below Price (as in below Price Dam). May 9, 2009
I'm going to echo most of the comments made under "Pinewood Rock." The correct name for "Pinewood Rock" is Button Rock, which is the name that has appeared on USGS and USFS maps for at least 60 years. In the '80s, climbers started calling the rocks (including the River Wall) by Longmont Reservoir "Button Rock." Longmont Res. lies a couple miles east of Ralph Price Res., which was originally named Button Rock Res., because it lies three miles south of and is in sight of Button Rock Mtn. and the real Button Rock. Perhaps climbers avoided using the name "Longmont" because it's French for Long's Peak, and they didn't want to confuse the River Wall with the Diamond. Go figure.

I recommend changing the name of this MP section from "Button Rock" to Longmont Reservoir Area and "Pinewood Rock" back to Button Rock. Oct 25, 2014
Matt Hodges
Berea, Ky
Matt Hodges   Berea, Ky
Just some input from a couple flatlanders who call the Red River Gorge home: we've been climbing in the Front Range for the last month and finding an escape on the weekends has been a challenge. We climbed here twice in the last week, once on a weekend, and again on the 4th of July, and had the place to ourselves! We topped out on Livewire and had easy access from the top to the rest of the climbs. Throwing down topropes was easy, and while we would have preferred to lead, it was more time efficient to TR. This allowed us to get plenty laps on the classics there, including Redneck Hero, before the sun started baking the majority of the climbs around 12:30pm. Awesome setting, classic (but slick) routes, and a great hideaway (but not from gawking hikers). Thanks to the people who took the time to develop this little gem! Jul 5, 2017