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GPS: 38.88164, -104.94966
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Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Feb 24, 2003 · Updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Description Suggest change

Let's start this description with a cautionary note: Ute Pass bouldering lies on private property, not just any private property but property belonging to the city of Colorado Springs. With a sense of balance and reason that seems rare in any climate these days, the City of Colorado Springs has, so far, taken a very distant view of the privacy issue. In other words, things are presently quite relaxed, and are likely to stay that way if we don't mess it up. In my trip down there a couple of weeks ago I met several hiking parties just out enjoying the day, and those we spoke to felt that a low profile was all that was necessary. No boom boxes, screaming, or trash, etc, etc, etc just a little respect for the place. If this area were moved into park status it would rival Boulder City Parks as a gorgeous "wilderness" only minutes from a major metropolitan area. Eagles soar overhead.

Ute Pass, so far at least (!), is all about bouldering on perfect granite, perfect bullet granite. There are close to 100 decent boulders here and many have problems on them. The boulders all sit in a short scrub-oak forest that is similar to Castlewood Canyon, perhaps even a bit shorter and offering loads of privacy - to say nothing of a place to pee. Most of the rocks are just moments from the road, sit high on a South by West facing slope, and get excellent sun throughout the year. The rocks are killer, possibly the best bouldering concept in the entire front range. High balls exist, but this does not appear to be the norm, its just available. Ute Pass bouldering is also all about the landings - nearly all of them dead flat, unobstructed, and sandy. You could readily go padless. This is perfect bouldering, get it?

The first area you come to is the Warm Up Boulders. Yeah right. We jumped on a classic warm up called The Flake route and couldn't believe the killer rock and perfect landing. However, nothing else that we stumbled into had jugs like these. Most of the problems seemed to have been put up ninja mutants with sick-strong fingers. We spent over an hour on one six foot finger traverse with pathetic feet and a ridiculous 45 degree angle - and loved it. The further we traveled the better the wonderland unfolded with gorgeous, brilliant problems lurking behind every tree. Frankly, if bouldering is not your forte, and it certainly is not mine, Ute Pass will seduce you entirely. If you are already mutant, it would be hard to imagine not finding a stopper problem, some of these things looked like minimum V50. We left thinking that if you can't develop strong fingers here, then you never will.

If this sounds like a rave, well.....

Getting There Suggest change

Getting to Ute Pass bouldering is considerably more simple than the bouldering. Take I-25 to roughly the middle of Colorado Springs, and from I-25 take exit 141 West. This puts you on Colo 24 to Woodland Park and Deckers. Zero the odometer once you hit Colo 24 and the large parking area will be on the right side of the canyon at the enterance to Waldo Canyon exactly 7.6 miles West of I-25. Cross the highway with some caution, and head up South past the locked gate on a good unimproved road. The trail to the first bouldering lies about 100 yards up the road from the gate, and as you continue West up the road you will pass several obvious trails leading to additional, and better boulders.

Per Joe Leach: I spoke to someone with utilities and they said that between the private landowners that use the gate, parking, and "unhoused" people trying to dig in and live up there, they've taken had to take a hard line, no trespassing stance on the gate. I've had several other people tell me they've been stopped by police trying to hike up that hill.

My contact said there is no problem with climbers climbing, but right now the only access is via the Ute Pass Trail from Manitou. 

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