Access Issue: Reopened after flood damage! Details


"Cheyenne Canyon is a narrow gorge carved by North Cheyenne Creek as it tumbles east from 12,000' Mt. Almagre. The creek rushes over Helen Hunt Falls before continuing downward through the granite core, making several looping meanders. The canyon's walls are lined with soaring rock precipes split by cracks, buttresses, ledges, and alcoves." - Rock and Ice #95. This area has a combination of mainly sport routes, with a few trad and ice climbs, too. It is one of the oldest climbing areas in the Pikes Peak region.

The granite quality runs the entire spectrum. The farther up the canyon you go, the better the rock quality seems to be. Helen Hunt Falls, which is located at the top of the canyon, has a little bit of ice climbing. The best seems to be Silver Cascade Falls. This area has seen extensive development in the last few years. There are lots of good routes located in discrete side canyons. Lots of good training is to be had scrambling up and down very loose gullies.

Camping can be had in nearby Pikes Peak National Forest or cheap motels abound in Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. All the good local ammenities exist. Colorado Springs has a many outdoor stores where climbing equipment can be obtained. See "In Search Of...Ice. An Ice Climbing Guide For Those In Colorado Springs" - Joel McWhiney, 1997 and "Colorado Ice Climber's Guide" - Cameron Burns, 1997.

Getting There

From Colorado Springs, exit Interstate 25 onto US Highway 24 west. Turn left or south on 21st street. Turn right or west on Cheyenne Blvd. Follow this until North Cheyenne Canyon Road splits back to the right. All of the climbing is along this road. The Graduation Boulder is an easy to find landmark. Above it, across the creek is the Pinnacle. It is very easy to spot and has a wonderful 4 pitch up its north face called the Army Route.

83 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: North Cheyenne Canyon Change
Type:  to 
Sort by:   then:

Classic Climbing Routes at North Cheyenne Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1 5 PG13
Route 5 aka The Graduation Crack
V3- 6A
Route 4
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
The Army Route
Trad 4 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Hanging Gardens
Sport 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Crack Parallel
Trad 2 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Reality Check
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
The Men Arete
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Old Aid
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Corrugation Corner
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Rock'n & Riding
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
The Full Male Deal
Sport 2 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Tiger Snap?
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
The Disclaimer
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Route 5 aka The Graduation… Graduation Boulder &…
V1 5 PG13 Boulder
Route 4 Graduation Boulder &…
V3- 6A Boulder
The Army Route Pinnacle
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 4 pitches
Hanging Gardens Flying Buttress
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport 2 pitches
Crack Parallel W Face (The Pinnacle…
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Kendlee Pinnacle
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Reality Check Silver Cascade Slab a…
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Balance Pinnacle
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
The Men Arete Pinnacle
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Old Aid Creekside Wall
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, TR
Corrugation Corner Pinnacle
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Rock'n & Riding S Buttress & Tinseltown
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
The Full Male Deal Amphitheater
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport 2 pitches
Tiger Snap? Pinnacle
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R Sport
The Disclaimer Amphitheater
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in North Cheyenne Canyon »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


Most of the climbs in Cheyenne are old school but fun. It's a nice place to go dink around. Jan 14, 2002
The bolts on the belay anchors of the first pitch of Crack Parallel blow. I tried tightening them, and the whole bolt just spun in the hole. They could stand being pulled and replaced if anyone has the gear and ambition. Apr 29, 2002
You find yourself in Colorado Springs, within 2 hrs of thousands of great climbs, many kinds of rock and every style you could want, and you climb Crack Parallel?? The problem here isn't the belay, it's your sense of taste. Maybe, you've climbed all the classics: Turkey, Pikes Peak, Sheep's Nose, Shelf Road, Elevenmile, Big Chief, Sunshine, Cynical etc, etc, etc, etc, etc? Maybe you just haven't been motivated enough to follow others to all the new routes and whole new areas developed by Schmauzer et al , Kovetz et al or Glen Shuler (not sure about the spelling of those guys names) in the Tarryalls, Thunder Ridge, North Face of Helen's Dome, new routes in Elevenmile? ... Jul 2, 2002
A Heads Up - My truck was broken into on Tuesday, Aug 6 at about 4:45pm. They got my buddy's car and a mini-van at Mt Cutler TH. We were at pinnacle rock/creekside wall. Those two piles of fresh glass in the parking area, that's us.

As for you, anonymous, I climb in Cheyenne, Cascade and the Garden for after work workouts. Occasionally, I like to lead a nice moderate gear route on weekdays. If you have a problem with that, that's your problem, therein one with which you have to live. You don't know me, nor I you. It must be really easy being you, though. Aug 8, 2002
To address ACs comments above: Some of us work for a living, and catching a quick after-work climb is tough enough without a 2 hr drive to Elevenmile, Turkey rocks, etc. I would never make North Cheyenne Canyon a destination, but it is a great place, near CS, to get in 4 or 5 routes to keep the body in shape for weekend trips. Oct 8, 2002
Anonymous Coward, quit while you're behind. It shouldn't matter where you climb but how much you enjoy climbing. You obviously are a supporter of trend climbing. Oct 8, 2002
I didn't want to, but I had to throw my thimble full of gas on the fire here: if you ask me, guys like the AC above are damaging the sport. No one will argue that N. Cheyanne ranks right above my basement's south wall as a quality destination climbing area, but as the comments above have shown, it has its place. Once, climbers climbed becuase of the view of the world it grants, the mental and physical challenge, the zen of it. Now I run across more and more of these jokers who apparently climb so they can throw around names like "Sheep's Nose" and ratings like 12a and fan their egos based upon what they've done and others haven't. Climb because you love it and leave the attitude in the city where it belongs. (except maybe climb Crack Parallel just to piss that guy off) Dec 11, 2002
There is plenty of adventure to be had in Cheyenne Canyon, which is why I've spent time climbing there. The rock isn't the best, but that's what local crags are for.

In my opinion, Cracks Parallel is a great granite face climb. The manky anchors at the first belay don't need to be there anyway, there's natural pro in the vicinity if you get creative. Also, if anybody wasn't aware, sometime last year someone chopped the anchors on top of the second pitch. It's just as well, there's a tree up there anyway, though you have to extend the hell out of it to belay from the lip.

For decades, Cracks Parallel was a runout trad route with no anchors, until it was bolted (by the Greens? not sure...). I like it as a sport route, it's good to take beginners on. But it's not like you can't climb it without the anchors, or without any of the bolts for that matter.

In any case, Cheyenne Canyon is mostly a chossy area, but a great spot for locals to get out of the city for a couple hours. You've got to love areas like that. Dec 13, 2002
Woah now, miss my point all together, bro. I'm totally not knocking anyone who talks about Sheep's Nose - of course it's a sick place. What I was TRYING to say was that I don't appreciate the attitude that that AC and guys like him have - putting the emphasis on what and where you climb instead of how. My beef was with his jackass comments and his alone...not anything anyone else, including you, may have said. Look at the context before you go getting all offended, man :) Dec 28, 2002
Wow. That was fun. I agree that nat. gear can be used for anchors on Crack Parallel, my point was simply that the anchors are there, as are the bolts and some folks probably rely on them and if they're not bomber, they need to be replaced. Happy New Year Colorado Springs. Jan 4, 2003
...Really, one of the reasons I love the Springs climbing scene is that most people don't even know where the best stuff is, and most things require a substantial hike. It keeps everything low impact and quiet. You gotta work for it. Aug 8, 2003
I'm working on a problem at the canyon, but I don't know what it's called. It is right at the beginning of the park, one of the first you see. Part of it is over a stream, some is next to the road, a bush covers one side, and the rest is open. I realize the name carries no importance, so I'm not too worried about it, but since it is my first it would be kinda nice to know. Sep 4, 2003
Your description is a bit vague... Are you talking about Graduation Boulder? Sep 6, 2003
I know this was long ago now but that AC that dissed so hard on Crack Parallel ... is a complete moron (I just read his comments recently). Anyway, I've spent a bunch of time climbing in North Cheyenne and people DEFINITELY underestimate that place. I've done a number of first ascents there in the past 3-4 years (while I've been at college in the Springs), and I can tell you that there IS good rock in North Cheyenne, it just might not be right next to the road. There are endless routes to be done, if you aren't afraid to hike a bit and a life time of first ascents...AC you one of the biggest tools I've come across. Crack Parallel is a fun route, ...trend-following assholes like you spew. Go to Rifle or Shelf play with your stick-clip... Feb 3, 2004
I finally have a downloadable PDF guide to North Cheyenne Canon and assorted Pikes Peak area crags now available on my website. The miniguide originally appeared in Rock & Ice a few years back. I've had lots of requests for the information since that issue is hard to find now. Go to and follow the links to Pikes Peak Climbing Topo. Enjoy and climb safe! Sep 27, 2004
I am transcribing my grandmother's diary from 1905 and she mentions a steep trail that leads up to the top of Cheyenne Mt. from the foot of the falls where Helen Hunt Jackson is buried. Please excuse my stupidiy but who is Helen Hunt J.? And where is this location? Or any other tid bits you could add would be great. I am giving this as a gift to cousins and siblings for Christmas as a surprise.

Eds. Helen Hunt Jackson was a writer who became somewhat famous writing about the area, incorporating it into stories. There is a small visitor center at the base of Helen Hunt Falls. They do sell her some of her writing there. Nov 21, 2004
If you drive up Cheyenne Canyon, there is a trailhead at the top where the road turns sharply to the north. The trailhead is obvious with a parking lot and small building. The trail goes up to Helen Hunt Falls. Not sure who she is. Nov 27, 2004
Lauren D. Hollingsworth
Colorado and Kentucky
Lauren D. Hollingsworth   Colorado and Kentucky
What's the issue number of that Rock and Ice with the miniguide? Apr 27, 2006
Joshua Balke
Colorado Springs
Joshua Balke   Colorado Springs
This book is mentioned in the description but I can find absolutely nothing out about it. Internet search just takes me to this exact page. There is nothing about the author and no one seems to know squat about it. Has anyone seen it or know where I can get a copy? "In Search Of...Ice. An Ice Climbing Guide For Those In Colorado Springs" - Joel McWhiney 1997 Dec 1, 2006
Julian Smith
Colorado Springs, CO
Julian Smith   Colorado Springs, CO
Hey Joshua,

I have a copy of the book "In Search Of Ice... " It is written by Joel G McWhinney of Colorado Springs, and was published in 1997. I think I bought my copy at Mtn. Chalet. The book lists his address, but I have no idea if it is any good. Drop me an e-mail and I will hook you up it. Dec 28, 2006
phil wortmann
Colorado Springs, Co.
phil wortmann   Colorado Springs, Co.
ROCK & ICE #95, Oct. 99, is where you will find the mini-guide. Or, check it out on Apr 20, 2008
Colorado Springs
kristoff   Colorado Springs
Does anybody know the routes on Middle Colombine Trail? they are gear routes that i haven't found any information on. look fun Apr 24, 2008
Bosier Parsons
Colorado Springs, CO
Bosier Parsons   Colorado Springs, CO
To Kristoff's inquiry:

I have climbed the crack up to and through the big roof, directly above Mid-Columbine Trail. I'll add it to the data base for you and others - definitely worth climbing. May 9, 2008
Derek W  
I've spent a fair amount of time in the Canyon, and there looks like there are quite a few lines that haven't been established as of yet (loose rock, no anchors on potential sport lines, etc.). How would one go about doing the research and potentially establishing a new route? Both trad and sport. Apr 10, 2011
Colorado Springs, CO
LawHous   Colorado Springs, CO
Does anybody know anything about the routes right by the creek to the right of the bridge that takes you to Columbine Trail and the trail to the Pinnacle? They are definitely new and maybe have been put up in the past year or two. I'm looking for grades and if they're actually finished (with anchors). Any beta would be great, thanks! May 29, 2013
ATTENTION!! The Colorado Springs Parks Department has CLOSED ALL CITY PARKS, including Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, and North Cheyenne Canon, to rock climbing for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

This is due to record rainfall totals in western Colorado Springs which as caused severe trail and parking lot damage, saturated the sandstone cliffs, and is causing parts of cliffs to break off.

The parks will be re-evaluated on Monday to determine how the closure will last.

Please respect the closures and take care of our precious climbing areas! May 22, 2015