|GPS:||38.839, -106.133 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||crossad on Jul 3, 2002|
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DescriptionThe Buena Vista (locally pronounced, 'Bew-na Vista') area contains a number of different crags ranging from 40 to 500 feet. With the exception of Holy Water, most of the climbs are in the low, semi-arid mountains on the East side of the Arkansas River Valley. The views of the 14,000' Sawatch Range are phenomenal on just about every route in the valley. The valley has typical Colorado mountain weather in the summer. You will experience the typical afternoon thunderstorms that roll off the high peaks and across the valley. You can often look up and down the valley and spot isolated thunderstorms and climb around them. If a storm is moving across the northern valley, head for Rainbow Rock, if you get a southern or central valley storm, head up north to the Bob's Rock area. Don't make this storm dodging a standard practice, but it is often be pouring at Bob's Rock and dry at Rainbow Rock.
There is fairly solid rock throughout the valley, especially at the developed crags. Holy Water sports some fine alpine granite up Cottonwood Pass road west of town. The area contains 8-10 developed cliffs, including Bob's Rock, The tunnels area, Pumpstation, Split Rock, Elephant Rock, Davis Face, Holy Water, Turtle Rock, and Rainbow Rock. With the exception of Davis Face, all of these crags top out at about 50-100 feet. Davis Face, a large, west-facing cliff about 10 miles from town, stands at about 400-500 feet. Also, some great bouldering is found on the west side of Rainbow Rock. Routes range from 5.5 to 5.12. The majority of the routes in the valley are bolted face routes, while some good traditional routes do exist. Although many of the routes in the valley are bolted, one would be wise to carry some traditional gear to supplement. A few topropes are available at Bob's Rock and Rainbow Rock.
Camping abounds to the northeast of town near Turtle Rock and Split Rock and is free. There is also camping in the National Forest west of town in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. The guidebook is available at The Trailhead outdoor shop on the north end of town, and contains local beta for many of the climbs in the valley. You can get just about anything you need in Buena Vista, and if not there's a Walmart in Salida, about 20 miles south of Buena Vista. Kay's and Bongo Billy's coffee are great places to grab a bite and relax after a day on the rocks. Another treat is the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs off of Mt. Princeton Rd. a few miles south of town. Showers can be had near the public river put-in immediately east of downtown BV. In the summer, the valley becomes a whitewater mecca. There are many fine outfitters in town if you want to spend some time in the river.
Ice climbing can be found here.
Getting ThereBuena Vista is located in the Arkansas River Valley about 3 hours from Denver and about 2 hours from Colorado Springs.
From Denver: Take US Hwy. 285 for 3 hours west from C-470 past Fairplay to Antero Junction where US Hwy. 285 and US Hwy 24 will join. Continue on what is now US Hwy 285/24 until your reach Johnson Village. Proceed to the T-Stop and turn right onto US Hwy 24. Take US 24 about 2 miles into BV.
From Colorado Springs: Take US Hwy 24 (Cimmarron) west out of downtown. Stay on US 24 until you reach Antero Junction, where US Hwy 285 and US Hwy 24 join. Turn left on what is now US 285/24 and take it over Trout Creek Pass to Johnson Village. Just after Johnson Village turn right and follow 2 miles to Buena Vista.
Eds. There is a newer guidebook Arkansas Valley Climbs by Tom Perkins for $16.95.
Eds. The Trailhead, 707 Hwy 24 N, Buena Vista, 719.395.8001. www.thetrailheadco.com.
If you are coming from the Leadville side & need coffee, bakery goods, or wireless internet, the Provin' Grounds Coffee Shop (508 Main St.) may have what you need.
Classic Climbing Routes at Buena Vista
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season