Elevation: 6,600 ft
GPS: 38.854, -104.88 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 215,811 total · 1,159/month
Shared By: Stewart M. Green on Nov 8, 2004 with improvements by Jes Meiris
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Access Issue: Reopened after flood damage! Details

Description

Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a 787-acre parkland owned by the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department. The park opened at the end of October, 2004. The park, composed of three distinct drainages, nestles against the Front Range south of the Garden of the Gods and US 24.

Rock climbing is allowed on the East and West Canyon Walls in Red Rock Canyon itself, but nowhere else in the park. Over 90 bolted routes up to 130 feet high ascend the ruddy sandstone walls, offering a marvelous new arena for Pikes Peak region climbers. The climbing is similar to that in the neighboring Garden of the Gods, but offers better stone, excellent protection and rappel anchors, and lots of moderate routes. The park also offers lots of serenity and isolation in a beautiful natural setting.

Due to the crackless nature of the sandstone, all RRC routes are bolted sport climbs with only a handful of routes that also require an occasional cam or nut. All routes are equipped with lowering and rappel anchors. There are 13 distinct cliffs that offer climbing. The rest of the park is off-limits for technical climbing.

Climbing at Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a managed process. At the city's request, a group of local climbers came up with a management plan to create a safe and environmentally-conscious rock climbing area, thereby avoiding all the problems that occur at the Garden of the Gods. Also at the city's request all the routes were established before the park was open. Over 30 local climbers participated in the creation of this new climbing park. A new climber liason group, the Red Rock Canyon Climber's Alliance, is the official intermediary between rock climbers and the city of Colorado Springs. Any climber can join by sending their email address to me.

"Red Rock Canyon Open Space: A Rock Climber's Guide" by Stewart Green was published in early November by the Red Rock Canyon Climber's Alliance. It is available at a nominal price at stores in the Pikes Peak region, including the Mountain Chalet, The Colorado Springs Sport Climbing Center, and the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center. ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THE GUIDEBOOK GO TO SUPPORT CLIMBING AT RED ROCK CANYON AND THE GARDEN OF THE GODS. The guidebook will not be available on the web because of this. Support local climbing areas by purchasing the local guidebook.

Getting There

Red Red Canyon Open Space is south of the Garden of the Gods and US 24. Find the trailhead by turning south from US 24 at the only turnoff between 30th Street and the first Manitou Springs exit. Drive a block south and park in the designated lot.

Follow an old road east and then south to Red Rock Canyon. It is a half-mile to the lake at the beginning of the climbing area. The road continues up the east side of the canyon, offering access to Westbay Wall, Sayer's Wall, Ripple Wall, Squaw Wall, The Chief, The Wailing Wall, Wiggins Wall, and Coyote Wall. The west side trail accesses The Whale's Tail, The Whale, Solar Slab, and The Quarry Wall. Consult the book for specifics.

Regulations

This park is city-owned. Thus, there are specific rules and regulations that must be followed. All the rules from general technical climbing rules from Garden of the Gods apply here. Each calendar year, you are obliged to fill out a free permit obtainable online (no longer available at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center).

Technical climbing at RRCOS is limited to the main section of Red Rock Canyon that leads south from the lake. No technical climbing is permitted in the historic quarry.

"Climbers must not leave colored slings on the walls except in case of an emergency."

"New route development at RRCOS is a managed process. Therefore, no new fixed protection is to be placed at RRCOS without going through an approval process. At the climber's discretion, individual bolts may be replaced for safety reasons. For more information on establishing new routes, contact the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department at 385.5940. Ask for contact information regarding the Red Rock Canyon Climber's Committee.... Final approval will be made by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Service Department."

Toproping

Please consider toproping through your own gear rather than directly through the rappel rings. The sandstone in the area and the wear it creates on the rings shorten their lives and perhaps yours if this is done too much.

Mountain Biking

Note, there is mountain biking in this park. There is even a mini-terrain park (helmets required) for those inclined. Biking can potentially add to the enjoyment of your day or even those in your family here.

Dogs

Dogs are allowed at the park. There are places in the park where dogs may go leashless; however, much of the park requires leashes.

Vehicular Theft / Damage

Be warned, car thieves are attacking vehicles parked here. Some have tried to even steal catalytic converters here.

Rock After Rains

Remember that the soft sandstone of Garden of the Gods is particularly fragile after rains. You should strongly consider refraining from climbing after rains for a few days. Thanks!

85 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 85
Nose in a Day
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 91
Helios
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 119
The Mad Scientist
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
 111
The Mantel of the Leprechaun
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 119
Electric Swimming Pool
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 115
Wake to Wake
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 89
Jumping the Gun
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 83
Pockets a' Plenty
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 68
Solar Flare
Trad, Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 74
Storm Surge
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 169
Re-Thinking the Ethics
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 67
Jason's Argonaut
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 71
Current Event
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 84
Tava
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 85
The Ripple Effect
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Nose in a Day Westbay Wall
 85
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport
Helios Solar Slab
 91
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
The Mad Scientist Sayers' Wall
 119
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
The Mantel of the Leprechaun Sayers' Wall
 111
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13 Sport
Electric Swimming Pool Sayers' Wall
 119
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Wake to Wake Ripple Wall
 115
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Jumping the Gun Ripple Wall
 89
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Pockets a' Plenty Whale's Tail
 83
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Solar Flare Solar Slab
 68
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Sport
Storm Surge Ripple Wall
 74
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Re-Thinking the Ethics Ripple Wall
 169
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Jason's Argonaut Whale's Tail
 67
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Current Event Ripple Wall
 71
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Tava Solar Slab
 84
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
The Ripple Effect Ripple Wall
 85
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Red Rock Canyon Open Space »

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