Poudre Canyon lies up CO Highway 14, just north of Fort Collins. The rock is made up of granite, gneiss, and [schist] which results in a wide range of rock quality - solid granite to complete choss (bring a helmet). Roadside lines are mostly sport or mixed routes, but there are some quality trad lines as well. For those willing to carry their pack in for a ways (about 3 miles), Grey Rock offers some great climbs on solid granite with a true summit, great views, and a typically quiet setting. Many/most of the lines up the canyon and at Grey Rock were developed by Craig Luebben. Some obvious roadside bouldering exists up the canyon. For more options, ask a local or do some exploring.

Small 'mom and pop' stores are scattered up the canyon. Many are only open during the summer months. I like to support the Rustic Resort located in Rustic for grub and suds. It's one of the few places open in the winter. Camping is mostly limited to developed campgrounds that get a lot of traffic in the summer. Higher up the canyon towards Cameron Pass more primitive camping opportunities can be found, but that's pretty far from the climbs. I'd suggest making a day trip and then drinking some fine micro-brews in Fort Collins.

Getting There

I-25 to Fort Collins. Take the CO Highway 14/Mulberry St. Exit and head west into Ft. Collins. Follow the signs for CO HWY 14 and CO 287. By following the signs, you will take a right on Riverside(immediately after the RR tracks) and another right on College Ave. Follow this north and around to the west until it merges on 287. Stay on CO 287 for about 10 miles and hang a left onto CO 14 at Ted's Place.

From Laramie, simply take CO 287 south to CO 14 (Ted's Place) and go west.


The Poudre Canyon Guidebook 3rd Edition by Bennett Scott was released in October of 2018. The new edition covers over 1200 routes and boulder problems across 44 different climbing areas.

You can purchase copies in town at Ascent Studio and Jax Outdoor Gear, among others.

If you would like to purchase a copy online, please use the redirect link on the NCCC site so the climbers coalition can receive a portion of the proceeds:

Crags (downstream to upstream)

Poudre Practice Rock - 6.7 miles

Greyrock - 8.4 miles
- Greyrock Summit Trail 946

Routes - 9.6 miles

Triple Tier Area - 14.7 miles

Crystal Wall - 15 miles

The Palace - 15 miles

Stove Prairie Road Areas - 16.3 miles
- Stove Prairie Cracks
- PMA Crag

The Narrows
- Electric Ocean - 18.1 miles
- Yankee Doodle Slab
- The Trough
- Eden Area
- The Nod (formerly submitted as The Fable)
- Eve's Cave
- Snake Eyes Wall
- Twilight Area
- - Upper Midlife Wall
- Last Turn Crag
- The Beach
- Narrowslab

Pingree Park Road - 26.7 miles

West of Rustic
- Hatchery Rock - 38.3 miles
- Bone Caves
- Critical Mass Area
- Pearl Area - 40 miles
- Roaring Creek Area
- The Bog - 41 miles
- 420s - 41.5 miles
- Gandalf Area - 46.1 miles
- Poudre Falls - 47 miles

Thanks go to Ben Scott for his assistance in this reorganization!

Flow Rate for Cache de la Poudre

871 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Poudre Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
County Line
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Clean-Up on Aisle 9
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
East of Eden
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Churchill Rejects
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Cheerleaders Gone Hippie
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Rapunzel, Rapunzel
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
The Scepter
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Silver Girl
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Dear Slabby
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Ballet of the Bulge
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Tour de Poudre
Sport 2 pitches
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
County Line Crystal Wall > Southwest Alcove
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Clean-Up on Aisle 9 Crystal Wall > N Face
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
East of Eden Narrows > Eden Area > Eden Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Churchill Rejects Palace > Chamber
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Cheerleaders Gone Hippie Palace > Poudre Face
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Rapunzel, Rapunzel Palace > Citadel
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
The Scepter Palace > Scepter
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Monstrosity Palace > Mineshaft Wall
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Silver Girl Crystal Wall > N Face
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Inyerbuttkwa Crystal Wall > Southwest Alcove
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Dear Slabby Palace > Palace Pages
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Ballet of the Bulge Crystal Wall > Southwest Alcove
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
O.D.K. Triple Tier Area > Old Aid Wall aka Uppe…
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Tour de Poudre Crystal Wall > N Face
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport 2 pitches
Tailspin Triple Tier Area > Old Aid Wall aka Uppe…
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Poudre Canyon »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Anybody know what the very small crag on the West side of the Canyon, justup from the diversion dam is called?There was a large pulloff just to the north, not far up the canyon and south of Grey Rock trailhead.

There were a few toprope options, overhanging a bit.. We climbed and were curious to know any info: route names, rating, etc.


Thanks. Aug 29, 2002
Not sure, we stopped and explored that same area. It had lots of nice gym like bouldering. We did the TR problem that goes up just right of the crack. I am not into rating things but I would say it was a 5.9 to 5.10 depending on your start. Careful of the loose rock, the 2 that are bad for bouldering are marked with Xs, the route a lot of loose stuff as well so be careful. I think it makes for a great day trip for anyone interested in doing some nice bouldering traverses and some moderate TRing, on the other hand that is what I thought and I find myself up there a lot working the problems. It also has nice landings so you can go pad less if you need to. Sep 7, 2002
Some beta for the Poudre

0.0 miles Ted's Place (Intersection of Highway 287 and Highway 14 8.3 miles Greyrock Parking 17.6 miles Electric Ocean area - park here and head up a steep trail on left side of road (look for a cairn). Various bolted and trad routes.19.0 miles East of Eden crack - 5.9 trad crack26.2 miles Pingree Park Road 31.3 miles Rustic Resort, bar/store 38.1 miles Hatchery Rocks - bouldering 38.9 miles A few boulders on the right - moderate problems 31.4 miles. One boulder at base of hill on right (just past "Big Bend" sign). There are 2 problems on this rock, one being a stellar V6(ish)40.9 milesParking for Bog bouldering on the right 41.2 miles Parking for 420s bouldering(look for "Day Use Area" sign on your right) 42.9 miles Merlin Boulder (one lone boulder with one problem on eastern face,in the trees on the right, 20 feet from road) ???? miles Gandalf bouldering area - park at the "Tunnel" picnic area on the left.Not more than a few miles past Merlin. The boulders are just across the river. Oct 3, 2002
Why in the hell did you give all that info? Part of the fun going up the Poudre is finding stuff on your own. Not overpopulating the canyon! Thanks man! Oct 7, 2002
Hey Barry, I applaud your sense of adventure. You like to explore the Poudre with no help from a guidebook, discovering hidden gems for yourself. I say go for it! Don't look at this website. Don't buy any guidebooks. No one is forcing this beta down your throat. Have fun. Oct 8, 2002
There is a place called THE ELECTIC OCEAN that was put up about 9 years ago with well over a dozen routes in the .9 to .13+ range. Be on the look out ,,,,,,very well hidden and off the road,,,be adventurous and you will be rewarded with some of the best sport climbing on the Front Range. Nov 29, 2002
Hewlitt Gulch Boulder developed after fire, hike in 10-15 min., get to old mason foundation, look west uphill, black pod-like boulder, south side warmups, SE corner good with fun finish (beware of block leading to mantel) and east face with fun to hard, some light-cleaning might help finishes. sporty crag in sight uphill and left. Cams for anchor, 5.10-.12 TRs, fun but short-tread lightly. Nov 30, 2002
Hike around to the BACKSIDE of Greyrock and you will find this amazing spot with two huge erratic boulders with some awesome problems. Dont know names or grades, but a cool spot in a very nice setting with great landings. Mar 4, 2003
I've got a question about Greyrocks, a so I'll post this question here. There is a really hard OW somewhere in Greyrocks. Apparently it is not on the rock proper but near it somewhere. I don't think it is too tall. I hear it is a [Luebben] 5.12, I have no idea on the name. I'd really love to hit that thang, is there anyone out there with route location (no climbing beta please, ignorance is bliss), I just want to find it. My email is Thanks. Jul 8, 2003
Brian Milhaupt
Golden, CO
Brian Milhaupt   Golden, CO
Robert- I was at the library today and ran across a mini-topo on grayrock. It was in Issue #37 of Rock and Ice. Hope that helps. Jul 9, 2003
Hey, that OW at Greyrock is called Go Spuds Go, 12a I believe, first done by [Luebben]. It is very short, the meat is all of @ 15', and then 30' or so once above the steep part. Have fun. Jul 13, 2003
Trying to get into climbing in Poudre Canyon. Not a lot of time to explore. Is there any good info out there? We stopped a few miles past the tunnel by a very prominent wall along side the river. Across the road were a few nice looking (sparsely bolted) routes? Downhill maybe 200ft we climbed an arete (5.9?) and found two nice lines above. We climbed the right side (8 bolts maybe) and thought the grade to be 12 something. Does this sound familiar? Sep 5, 2003
As there is no bolting ban in effect in the area and let's face it, every sport crag on the Front Range is on FS land from , Clear Creek, Boulder Canyon, the 'Vrain, the Monistary, Jug Dome,Mary's Lake, etc. Thats because climbing is a recognized "offical" use of FS land. If I'm sorting out the facts right though, if somebody went ahead and actually "built" a trail without a permit, rather then just setting out a few cairns and waiting for the streaming hordes of feet to do the rest, then that's highly illegal but that can't "close" an area. I agree it's a little sticky right now but they have no legal jurisdication to throw you out. I just think it's funny how they've bent over backwards to accommodate the rafting,hunting,fishing community up the canyon( the Big$ groups), but are raising a stink about a few climbers. Nov 26, 2003
The Palace is a newish sport area with about 50 routes in a concentrated area up the Poudre. Parking is located about 15 miles up river from Ted's Place (jct of Hwy 14 and Hwy 287). Park in the large pullout just past the tunnel. Go across the river (sometimes too high to cross in the Spring) and follow good trail for 5 minutes. Guidebook should be available locally sometime in late April 2004. Apr 19, 2004
Palace beta: crossing the Poudre in the Spring can be nearly impossible in the Spring. Check the water levels before you drive up there by checking the following website:…

A flow of 50-100 CFS is probably crossable but don't even think about it when it's at 1000 CFS! Also note that water levels can rise real quick. In May 2004 the water went from 70 CFS to 700 CFS in under 48 hours.

I believe this graph would also be applicable to other areas where the Poudre needs to be crossed such as the Pearl area, Gandalf area, and the Bog. May 12, 2004
As of may 28 the forest service has closed the palace until may of 2007 the reason for the closure is unknown. They said something about title 36 but that was it.It's to bad because its areally good climbing area. Fort collins climbers need to step up and get there voices heard or the forest service will only cater to the boaters, hunters, fisherman. May 30, 2004
What's up with the closure at the Palace? How can they close public land without public involvement? Does anybody know who to contact or how to voice opposition to the closure? As a Fort Collins climber I'm always looking for more routes to climb closer to home. We should not let this closure go forward quietly. Jun 1, 2004
Are you sure the Palace area is closed? How did you find out? Are there signs posted, or did a ranger stop you from climbing one day? I know there was some flack in the last year about unauthourized trail construction. But I heard that was all cleared up.

What's the official word? Jun 21, 2004
It's official. The palace is closed. I met the person responsible. The area is considered very sensitive and is off limits to any development of any kind. If the forest service had noticed the development sooner, they would have put a stop to it earlier. Jun 21, 2004
Regarding the Palace closure - can you be a little more specific about your information?? Jun 22, 2004
OK, so if the Palace is closed to further development...that means a bolting/trail building ban. That's not the same as a closure to climbing. Or did I misinterpret your post. Any idea who should be contacted at the Forest Service to discuss this? Jun 22, 2004
Jeremy Monahan
Fort Fun, CO
Jeremy Monahan   Fort Fun, CO
I heard a rumor that the guy developing the Palace got wasted one night, got into a fight with the FS guys, and now it is closed. I guess he was doing a good job until then, but he screwed up and got it closed. Is this true, or is it just a tall tale?? Sep 3, 2004
"By: Jeremy Monahan On: Fri Sep 3 17:43:00 2004 Comments: I heard a rumor that the guy developing the Palace got wasted one night, got into a fight with the FS guys, and now it is closed. I guess he was doing a good job until then, but he screwed up and got it closed. Is this true, or is it just a tall tale?? "

Absolutely untrue !! It was a combination of 2 things.

#1 : Unauthorized trail construction on FS land. A biggie, but they were still willing to negotiate at that point

#2: The sticker from what I've heard: A fixed Tyrol across a "Wild & Scenic" river that was endangering boaters and was repeatedly removed by FS personnel and then replaced by "unknown persons"

So the fact of the matter is, that because a few people didn't want to get there feet wet and HAD to have aTyrol fixed, the area is now shut down indefinitely.

On a somewhat brighter side; the Access Fund is now negotiating with the FS. Don't screw up the area anymore by renegading a visit ! Despite an already published guidebook, the area is closed! Sep 3, 2004
Jeremy Monahan
Fort Fun, CO
Jeremy Monahan   Fort Fun, CO
Cool, as long as it wasn't some guy just being a jerk. Thanks for the info Old Fart. Sep 4, 2004
How does a tyrolean affect boaters? To be high enough to work it would have to be well above the level that would affect boating. Also, I guess the forest service would prefer everyone creating their access trail thus eroding an entire hillside. Most climbers "trails" are not exactly constructed. Oct 8, 2004
For many months, there's been a guidebook available at my gym for "The Palisades". Funny how there's a book out publishing routes in a closed area ! Wishfull thinking ? Oct 19, 2004
There are several "rocks" that should be added to the poudre canyon entry. I have submitted the Gandalf Area several times but it never appears. Is this because of some misguided belief in the "adventurous" spirit of Poudre Canyon Bouldering? Other people should submit there favorite Poudre spots to help make this guide reflect the growing options in the canyon. Nov 14, 2004
I called the Forest Service on November 15th, 2004 and asked about the Palace. It is open to the public, just make sure you wade acrross the river, and take care of the place. Nov 16, 2004
What about the plentiful bouldering up Young's Gulch? The FS guys will never think to look for us there! Mar 1, 2005
Fort Collins, CO
nolteboy   Fort Collins, CO
I hiked up and looked at the ELECTRIC OCEAN area. While there are indeed some climbs established there, I think that it is a gross overstatement to say that they represent "some of the best sport climbing on the front range." Apr 14, 2005
Is the Palace still closed? Any updates on the access issue? Oct 13, 2005
The Palace has been open for over a year now. It was only closed for 6 months, the time it took the Forest Service to have the local volunteer fire crew to remove the [unauthorized] steps. There is a guide with about 70 routes but there are now about 110. The book is probablly sold out. One might check Inner Strength gym. Future editions will only be sold in Fort Collins. The Palace and the Crystal Wall are almost fully developed with many five star routes. Please respect the trails and park as far off the road as possible. If camping, fires are discouraged. Nov 23, 2005
Does anyone know when the new guide for The Palace is coming out? Apr 17, 2006
Mark Dinkelman
Fort Collins
Mark Dinkelman   Fort Collins
FYI, there's a nice bouldering area up the Young's Gulch trail, I think it would be worth the 10-15 minute walk up the trail to beat the summer heat. There are several boulders with considerable potential. Lots of trees and of course the stream, it's off the trail and pretty overgrown. I think with some environmentally-respectable grooming it could be another option for the local boulderer. Apr 20, 2006
I'm also very interested in obtaining a guidebook for the palace--or perhaps, if one of you kind souls feels so inclined, would love any beta on finding routes up there--thx Apr 28, 2006
Keir, you can get a guide book from Inner Strength Rock Gym for $8. May 1, 2006
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
FWIW, about 30 problems have been put up in Young's Gulch. May 17, 2006
Does anybody know if there is any kind of bolting restrictions in the Poudre Canyon, or what you have to do in order to bolt something legally? Jun 21, 2006
Request for information:

After 10 years of procrastinating, I am finally working with Skip Harper on a Rock Climber's Guide to Northern Colorado. It will include many of the areas from Redfeather Lakes south to Big Thompson Canyon, including:

Redfeather Lakes
Creedmore Crags
Grazing Allotment ?
Lady Moon **
Greyrock & satellite crags
Poudre Canyon
Poudre Park (Odyssey)
Tunnel area (closed to climbing)
Crystal Wall **
The Palace **
Electric Ocean **
Big Narrows
Fish Creek
Hatchery Boulders
420 Boulders
Horsetooth Reservoir
Arthur’s Rock **
Horsetooth Rock ** (I have 1 route listed here)
Big Thompson Canyon
Mary’s Bust **
The Narrows **
Center of the Universe Crags **
Palisades (I have 12 routes listed here) **
Combat Rock
Cedar Park Slab ** (I have 2 routes listed here)

We have all of the un-starred areas pretty well covered (my friends and I opened around two or three hundred routes in these areas in the 1980s and early 90s – if you have anything newer let me know). We are still seeking more or updated information on the starred areas. Please send me an e-mail ( if you have some good info and maybe we can go climb there together so I get it right.

The book will cover some bouldering, but won’t be very comprehensive. It will be somewhat comprehensive for sport and trad climbing, except that we will leave out some of the choss.

If you have any information about access or sensitive areas, please send that too. We may or may not include first ascent information; if you have that for any of the areas please send it on.

Also, many of the early “sport” routes were bolted in “old school” style (bolts far apart and sometimes requiring tricky trad placements to supplement the bolts). These routes seem to rarely get climbed. It could be because no one knows about them, or because this style scares people – I think it’s a little of both. Should we modernize some of these (meaning closer bolts and fewer mixed routes where you need to know which one or two extra pieces to bring), or leave them alone and just provide information on their character? Of course, I am only talking about changing my own routes, not those of others unless it is their choice.

Lastly, if you know of any quarter-inch bolts or other unsafe hardware in these areas, let’s collect that information so we can replace unsafe fixed gear.

Thank you,

Craig Luebben Jul 29, 2006
Anyone have any beta on the area on the south side of Highway 14 right at the diversion dam, just west of the turn-off for gateway mountain park? This is the spot with the 2 Xs spraypainted on the wall. Looks like there's one route with bolts at the top (a short di-hedral rock). Also, looks like you can toprope off some trees on the right side of the area. Rock looks pretty loose in the area. I'm new to climbing and looking for easier toprope routes close to town.

Andrew Mar 21, 2007
Andrew, I've always heard that spot referred to as Ed's Wall, but I don't know if that's a completely made up name. As far as I know, the crack in the middle goes at about 5.9, the wall to the right can be toproped in the 11ish range, and the traverse is about V1/V2 if I remember correctly. There's probably also a route that goes up the overhang on the left, but I've always avoided it as it looked a little chossy. Jun 13, 2007
We had planned to visit Palace and would like to know if the river is quite easy to cross at the end of August?

We have only a week to spend in Colorado before to move to Wyoming and will probably spend couple of days to do sport climbing around Denver. We heard about Boulder (Avalon & Plotinus wall), Estes Park and this site. Would like to get your comments based on quality of routes from 5.9 to 5.10c, not too much crowd. Jul 3, 2007
Hey, had a question about Theodore on Greyrock, are there fixed belay stations up there? Me and my buddy are doing our first, multi-pitch, trad route and wanted to know what to expect. Oct 8, 2007
Could someone who's been to the Electric Ocean give me a little better directions on how to get there? I tried to find it the other day. I found some boulders, but no routes. Oct 11, 2007
Sam Miller
Boulder, CO
Sam Miller   Boulder, CO
Anybody know where Rasta Drop is? I saw it in the 2008 Photo Annual, and decided I have to do it. May 14, 2008
Dan S.
Red Feather Lakes, CO
Dan S.   Red Feather Lakes, CO
WARNING: Some areas in the canyon are State Wildlife Areas (SWA) owned by the Department of Wildlife (DOW). You must possess a "Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp" to climb in this area. A fishing or hunting license is also valid. It may be purchased at any Wal-Mart or at one of the roadside convenience stores along the Canyon. See the following website for more information.…

As we were leaving the 420 area several officials with the DOW informed us of the requirement. They had just posted a sign at the pull-off that states the requirement. Each climber must possess a stamp. One stamp is not valid for a group of climbers. Aug 19, 2008
Ben Schneider
Westminster, CO
Ben Schneider   Westminster, CO
New Poudre Canyon Guidebook Donates All Profits to Craig Luebben's Family

Poudre Canyon Rock Climbing Guide, by Craig Luebben, Bennett Scott and Cameron Cross is now available for advance purchase from the publisher, Fixed Pin Publishing.

This project was started almost 20 years ago with the publication of a Greyrock climbing guidebook (1991) by Craig Luebben, who many climbers know as the inventor of the Big Bro and the prolific author of instructional climbing books. During his time in Fort Collins, Craig contributed many first ascents to the canyon. With Craig’s support, Ben Scott and Cameron Cross of the Northern Colorado Climbers Coalition (NC3) spearheaded the effort to release this book online and free of charge to the climbing community. Tragically, on August 9th, 2009, Craig died in the North Cascades while training for an AMGA guide’s exam. While Craig could not be a part of the final stages of the process, the NC3 released Poudre Canyon Routes Select as a free download last fall.

Almost a year after Craig's death, his contributions to the climbing community are helping fulfill a dream he himself never realized - seeing his daughter Giulia attend college. 100% of the profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the Craig Luebben Memorial Fund, and will specifically be invested in a CollegeInvest 529 Plan for his daughter.

Additionally, when the book is available in local retail outlets this November, three local shops will be donating their share of the profits to the fund: Bent Gate Mountaineering, Neptune Mountaineering and Wilderness Exchange.

Thanks to a generous donation for the printing costs, when you buy this book directly from the publisher or from one of these supportive local shops, every penny you spend will go into Giulia's college fund.

Follow this link to read more about the project and to reserve your advance copy:…

Jul 30, 2010
Jason Haas
G1 Climbing + Fitness
Jason Haas   G1 Climbing + Fitness
The Poudre Canyon book is here! Get it off the Fixed Pin website or check it out in any of the local shops.

Jason Haas Dec 18, 2010
Who knows where up the Poudre there is ice or mixed? Jan 30, 2013
Looking for some awesome climbing over the holiday weekend! Does anyone know what the water level is at the Palace?

Thanks! Jul 2, 2014
Shane Bates
Pequannock, New Jersey
Shane Bates   Pequannock, New Jersey
Planning to camp at Poudre for the next week or so, I'm from out of town and am traveling alone. Was curious what crags see the most traffic during weekdays, or if there other ways/spots that would be good for finding a partners in the area? Aug 25, 2014
Found a pair of climbing shoes at crystal wall. Describe them, and they're yours. I'll give it 2 weeks.

Email: Dec 9, 2015