Elevation: 6,600 ft
GPS: 38.854, -104.88 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 174,469 total · 998/month
Shared By: Stewart M. Green on Nov 8, 2004 with updates from Jes Meiris
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Access Issue: Reopened after flood damage! Details


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.


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."


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 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
Nose in a Day
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Mad Scientist
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
The Mantel of the Leprechaun
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Electric Swimming Pool
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Wake to Wake
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Jumping the Gun
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pockets a' Plenty
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Solar Flare
Trad, Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Storm Surge
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Re-Thinking the Ethics
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Current Event
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
The Ripple Effect
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Nose in a Day Westbay Wall
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport
Helios Solar Slab
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
The Mad Scientist Sayers' Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
The Mantel of the Leprechaun Sayers' Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13 Sport
Electric Swimming Pool Sayers' Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Wake to Wake Ripple Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Jumping the Gun Ripple Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Pockets a' Plenty Whale's Tail
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Icarus Solar Slab
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Solar Flare Solar Slab
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Sport
Storm Surge Ripple Wall
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Re-Thinking the Ethics Ripple Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Current Event Ripple Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Tava Solar Slab
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
The Ripple Effect Ripple Wall
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Red Rock Canyon Open Space »

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I'm glad for those who spent so much time to get the access, along with work on the routes. Every route I have been on presented some challenge...regardless of the grade. Nov 11, 2004
So, are the two routes listed as projects in the guide still unclimbed? Anyone been working on these routes? Dec 3, 2004
The 5.13 is an open project. The other is closed. I don't know if it has been climbed yet or not.... Dec 4, 2004
I'm not too good with lingo... does "closed project" mean because someone is working on it and they want the first ascent? Seems odd to publish it then... Dec 6, 2004
A closed project is one that someone has put in the work to clean and then spent their hard-earned cash to bolt. They have the right to close it to all other climbers until they have snared the coveted first ascent or they can open it up to anyone who wants to do it. It's published in the book because anyone who sees the route will wonder "What route is that?", then consult their book and see that it is a project and hasn't been climbed yet. It's all about information... Dec 8, 2004
About 90% of the routes at RRCOS are classics. Just lots of really good climbing. I've done almost 80 of the canyon's routes thus far and the following are some of my favorites....

Most of the routes on The Whale are excellent. Recommends include Pockets a'Plenty, Mister MIA, Aphrodite, Whale Rider, Esse Curve, The Good Stuff, Bound in Blood, Aborigine, and Dreamtime. The Quarry Wall has the excellent Old'n and Monosmear. On Solar Slab, check out Helios, Icarus, and Tava. Good routes on Wailing Wall are El Supremo Grande, Red Hot, Meet Me in Montana, and Like Bookends. On The Wiggins Wall, Mo' Verde is a classic 130-foot 5.7 route. The Coyote Wall offers several great lines--Zoidian Flakes, Pete's Classic Corner, Coyote Corner, Chaco, and Coyote Verde are all outstanding. The Ripple Wall's best route is Current Event. Other good Ripple lines are: Wake to Wake, Storm Surge, South Pipe Route, Jumpin' the Gun, and Snubnose. On Sayers Wall, you can do Pikes Peak in a half hour--very fun with a great view across the canyon.

Pick up a guide at Mountain Chalet or the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center, hike in, and crank. If you're motivated, you can climb a lot of routes and get some serious mileage in. A couple weeks ago we climbed 12 routes on The Whale in an hour and a half. Dec 14, 2004
Wow, I agree completely with Stewart's comments, most of the routes here are top notch. Yesterday was my first day of climbing there, and I was quite impressed. Did everything on Solar Slab in about two hours, and had a blast doing it. It lived up to its name too, the rock was warmer than the air I think. Anyway, some of the routes need some travel before they clean up, but that's to be expected.

I spent a few days exploring the bouldering opportunities in the park, and I'm impressed. One of the best balance problems I've been on is the the traverse of the Ripple Wall. Start on the sidepull jugs between Baja Ha Ha and The Ripple Effect, and traverse left for a hundred feet or so all the way to the end of the wall. Similiar to the Wall of Winter Warmth, but longer and considerably harder. Plus this will be in the shade of beautiful aspen trees in the summer!

Stewart, are there any plans for a second edition of the guide, as routes change and the park gets more travel? Dec 20, 2004
Yeah, a second edition will be published as stuff changes and the bouldering areas get discovered. Today I am actually doing the 4th printing of the guidebook. Each time I have revised ratings and included additional comments or beta on some routes. This new printing has a bunch of new ratings.

I've had a few folks tell me that some of the routes are under-graded and having gone back to those routes, I agree thus the new edition will reflect those changes. Some of the changes are on The Ripple Wall with some of those 5.9s going up to .10a. Also, The Youth on The Wiggins Wall is now rated 5.10b. When I did the second ascent back in August, it didn't feel so bad, but I had top-roped it twice before. Last week Brian Shelton and I climbed it and agreed it was stiffer than 9+.

I'm glad someone is beginning to explore some of the bouldering possibities at RRCOS. It is my understanding that we can boulder anywhere in the park, unlike the technical climbing which is confined to the designated areas. We did some bouldering on the big hogback to the east of the canyon as well as on the ridges above the old dump. Explore away and if anyone finds some good stuff, let me know and I will put it in the next edition.... Dec 21, 2004

Am I understanding you correctly that the guidebook I got the weekend the park opened has been updated?

Have you dropped some off at the gym? I was wondering also who we might report updated route info to? Knocked some holds off last week on one of the 5.6s on the Whale. Jan 18, 2005
For those of you in Denver who may want to head South for a visit, the guidebook is available at Wilderness Exchange Unlimited. After a glance, I bought the book, and after reading most of the route descriptions, I can't wait for a warm afternoon to head down and give it a go! Feb 15, 2005
Thanks for the routes Mr. Green! And, thanks for not bolting the cracks - ex: Ripple Wall, Re-thinking the Ethics, (10a). I've been twice and enjoyed both days - fun, thought-out routes. For your future editions, take another look at Solar Slab's "Up Until Sunrise" (11b/c). The crux micro-edges disintegrate after one use (you have to use your fingernail to re-edge it). . . maybe (11d) or (12). . . fun climb though! Anyway, I've climbed 15 or so routes here, and all the others seemed solid at grade. Thanks again! Feb 17, 2005
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Finally got down to check it out after a bit of ice but only tried Ripple Wall. Hmmm...the sandstone seems very soft, reminiscent of the face climbs on Windgate in Colo Natl Mon or the Navajo of Potash Rd. High H20 is very sandy, slopey, & stiff & NOT a must do. Storm Surge is better, but still we broke off a big face hold on lead. Heavy traffic may make routes harder. Think desert face without calcium to strengthen the holds. Apparently, chalk is not allowed. Access is off US Hwy 24 (S of GOG) on the turn S just W of 31st St (not 30th as per the guide). Mar 20, 2005
My wife and I had a great day here on 4/17/05. Thanks for all of your hard work making this place happen. We wanted to give a big heads up though for one route. It's listed as #12 on The Whale in the guidebook and says 4 bolts to 2-bolt anchor. This climb does not have its own anchors!! The closest anchors my wife could climb to were the ones on #13 "Just Happens"...which were 35+ feet away!! The name of this climb is "Virgin Bolters". Is this some kind of joke? We are worried someone is going to get hurt here. I hope someone can fix this. Apr 19, 2005
The best climb so far here is Green2 on Solar Slab and that's it. A lot of these climbs here are over rated and are by no means classics as labeled in the guide. I climbed the Ripple Effect 11c/d and it was actually more 11a/b. Try comparing that climb to Anaconda in the Garden of the Gods!! The only wall I have not climbed on yet is the Wailing where Van Horn's routes are. We shall see. I'm not trying to bust on anyone. It's nice to have all the climbing, but there is no way that was labeled in the guide, "the best and largest in the Pikes Peak region..and these routes are better than most of the climbs in the Garden"....no way, man...that's my opinion. May 15, 2005
Red Rock Canyon, like any new sandstone climbing area, is an evolving place. Grades change as the rock changes. Since the first edition of the guide came out in early November, many of the route grades have changed. Like "Ripple Effect," which Ric Geiman initially graded at 11d/12a. As the route cleaned up with traffic, the grade has plummeted. The latest guide, printed today, lists the grade as 5.11a/b. Some routes have gotten harder, some easier. May 19, 2005
What I was refering to is the comment in the guide about how 90% of the climbs here are classics and that there is more of them at Red Rock than the at Garden. I would say that only 10% of the climbing is classic climbing here. The best of which are at the Wailing Wall. There are some awesome climbs here. I just believe a false impression was given in the guide about the quality of the routes here. May 20, 2005
Well, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Over the last 35 years, I've climbed almost every route in the Garden and I think, based on my experience climbing at hundreds of areas around the world, that perhaps 15 of the Garden routes are worth climbing. A few, like Anaconda, are certainly classic, but most suffer from deteriorating fixed protection which detracts from their quality as well as a lot of bad sandstone. Red Rock Canyon, on the other hand, offers lots more great climbing than the Garden, and it is well protected with modern gear. This opinion seems to be shared by most of the climbers I have talked with since the beginning of last November when the park opened. Many climbers have told me that they like Red Rock Canyon's cleaner rock, better protection, and the wide variety of routes that can be climbed quickly and safely. I talked with one climber last Wednesday who told me he had cranked 25 pitches a couple weekends before. Now go out to the Garden and try to climb 25 pitches in an afternoon.... My advice is: if you don't like climbing at Red Rock, which some people don't, then head over to the Garden and hang out with the tourists! May 21, 2005
Ok [Stewart] let's take a step back. I have also climbed almost every route at the [Garden] as well. I have also climbed many places other than [Colorado]. Big deal. I do agree about the pro getting old there. So, what needs to be done is some retrobolting there which had started but has seemed to slow down. My point for the whole thing is that there really seems to be no comparison to [Red Rock] and the [Garden]. Name one 5.7 at [Red Rock] that even compares to let's say New Era? And the only reason it seems that you can do 25 climbs in a afternoon at [Red Rock] is because the climbs are so close together, over-bolted, easy slab. The reason you [can't] do 25 climbs at the [Garden] in a afternoon is because you would be so pumped out after the first 10 you want to go to the bar and drink beer. I [believe] that you are being biased and misleading about your description of [Red Rock] because it's your baby. If you are a [beginner], then [Red Rock] is great, but if you want real adventure I recommend going to the [Garden]!! Jun 26, 2005
I was just there for a [couple] days with 4 friends from PA. We had a great time. The climbing is different than anything I have been on in the East. There seems to be a lot of crumbling rock and broken holds. We climbed things from 5s to 9s, although the 5.5 I led is now considered a 5.7. We wondered what it will be like in 10 years. Nice place. Jul 5, 2005
Paid a visit to RRCOS recently and found it to be as advertised: a lot of fun, safe climbing on rock that is typical of the Garden of the Gods. Thanks for all the hard work of the route developers; that's a lot of hiking in and out with a heavy drill and all the other necessary toys/tools.

Question for Stewart or another route developer: what are the typical diameter and length of the bolts you used? Sep 9, 2005
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
A...couple comments on getting to the cliff. I thought I would be able to climb a few quick routes on the way back from a long road trip. Not the case....

The parking lot is the first turn after 31st and not 30th, 30th street does not intersect US 24. There are also 2 old roads that leave the parking lot. Pick the wrong one and you will wander around for 30-45min before you realize you are in the wrong spot. There is a map by the correct one which is to the east.

I also saw a sign saying that you need to register to climb at the vistor's center. Is this true, if so where is it located? [Eds. at the Garden of the Gods VC] Oct 14, 2005
There was a question I read about the climbing permit for Red Rocks Canyon. You are supposed to pick up the permit at the Garden of the Gods visitor center. It is free and you can get one at the information desk on the second floor. The same "permit" is used for Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon, and actually for North Cheyenne Canyon as well. The visitor center is right across from the main Garden entrance or is at 1805 N. 30th Street (at Gateway Road) Colorado Springs, CO 80904, if you are from out of town and want to mapquest it. The permit allows the city parks folks to keep track of the multi-use portion of the parks. Nov 23, 2005
So, um, can we put up route descriptions on CB.com? Yes, obviously, I *CAN*, but I'm wondering if the developers would prefer that everyone go out and buy the guidebook (which is in -- what? its fifth iteration?). I really, really enjoyed the Solar Slab area, and had some fun shots of Tava I wanted to put up.

Cheers to the folks who developed this fun resource. Dec 13, 2005
Joshua Balke
Colorado Springs
Joshua Balke   Colorado Springs
I noticed the other day while climbing a couple of bolts above the upper shelf above the south end of the top rope wall across from the cave. The route/routes are not in the guidebook. Are they projects, off limits, etc. Also, that same area seems to hold the potential for a little trad, is it acceptable with the park's restrictions to climb this area? May 11, 2006
That area of Red Rock Canyon is off-limits to climbing. The cliff, while big and impressive, is very loose and soft and would require lots of trundling to clean any lines. After we rappelled it a few times and looked at it and top-roped a couple possibilities, the park manager asked us not to climb on that area because of impact. There shouldn't be any bolts up there except on the route All Mixed Up, which requires gear also. We will have to take a look at the wall and remove any unnecessary bolts. May 13, 2006
Joshua Balke
Colorado Springs
Joshua Balke   Colorado Springs
Thanks for the reply, Stewart. I'll stay off as fun as it looks it may be. I had a hard time locating exactly where All Mixed Up is based on the description, but if its in that area above the south end of the top rope wall, those are probably the bolts I saw. If not, then there's some that will need to go. By the way, I tried to send you an e-mail offering help with whatever goes on out there, considering how much I've been using the area. I thought I should do my part, so if there's something coming up pm me, and I'll try to give a hand. May 14, 2006
Joshua Balke
Colorado Springs
Joshua Balke   Colorado Springs
I climbed Snubnose on Ripple Wall the other day. The guide has it as 5.8, but going directly up to the left of the second bolt felt much closer to a 10. Is the intended route to the right of the bolt or perhaps wearing of the route has bumped up the grade? Sep 14, 2006
Thanks, Brett. I agree with your Snubnose assessment. It has gotten harder. I was thinking of 9+, so 10a is close enough. The holds have smoothed out a bit. Most of the Ripple Wall routes have gotten harder. Like The Pipe Route...I would call it 5.8 now. Likewise, Jumping the Gun maybe a grade harder. Sandstone...you gotta love it...always changing. Just wait til the next rainstorm! Oh, congratulations, Brett, on being the first to climb ALL the routes (except that sick project). Great job. Sep 16, 2006
Alex Burton
Colorado Springs, CO
Alex Burton   Colorado Springs, CO
Red Rock Red Point has been rescheduled to October 1st, due to weather. All other details are the same. Sep 22, 2006
Joshua Balke
Colorado Springs
Joshua Balke   Colorado Springs
Anyone going up to climb High H2O bring a wrench. The left anchor bolt is desperately loose. Sep 27, 2006
I wish I'd checked here before climbing today. As Joshua mentions, the one anchor bolt on High H2O is quite loose. The other felt bomber. We climbed Electric Swimming Pool before that and the right anchor was very loose also. Mar 4, 2007
Joshua Balke
Colorado Springs
Joshua Balke   Colorado Springs
Stewart, considering I have absolutely zero experience placing bolts, what size wrench would I need and what torque should I use to tighten the bolts on High H2O and Electric Swimming Pool? May 25, 2007
mark felber
Wheat Ridge, CO
mark felber   Wheat Ridge, CO
Soft rock and soft ratings, but you can still have a good time here. This would be a good place to take a beginner, a good place for someone's first lead, and a great place to take a small child climbing. Good place to focus on your footwork, too. Nov 8, 2007
A few weeks ago we were exploring The Chief and noticed that the bolt hangers seemed to be pulled on both routes (Off to Kiwi Land and Certain Kind of Fool). Just curious why these were pulled? Certain Kind of Fool looked like a nice long route! May 13, 2008
Littleton, CO
Ang   Littleton, CO
First trip to this area today. It is really nicely developed . . . great job to all of you who put the time and effort in. Jul 5, 2008
Over the next month or so, we--the members of the Red Rock Canyon Climbing Committee--will be replacing many of the ring anchors at Red Rock Canyon, especially on popular routes, with regular hangers. There is a growing problem at the park with climbers who insist on top-roping with their rope directly through the rings rather than with their own quickdraws, slings, and locking carabiners. Besides being unsafe since the anchors bolts are being loaded with a 100% load, it is wearing out the steel rings. Some even have grooves on them from repeated toprope ascents. To replace a set of these with stainless steel Fixe ring hangers will cost almost $25--that's the cost of the hardware plus shipping!

So, to avoid having the selfish folks who continue to top-rope through the rings, we will be replacing them with hangers, so after climbing you can get off the route the old-fashioned way--by threading the hangers and rappelling! Even today when I was out there I saw 3 ropes on the Sayer's Wall with the three ropes threaded directly through the rings for top-roping...and this was being done by this Gravity Play guiding outfit who employs a bunch of inexperienced kids. Not only complete laziness for properly cleaning the anchors but also...imagine taking paying clients on that set-up. Jul 15, 2008
Patrick Manitou
Atlanta, GAAAAA
Patrick Manitou   Atlanta, GAAAAA
Back to those projects, anybody know if that 5.13ish route listed as a project in the first guidebook has been sent? Maybe the answer is in the newer guidebooks, but I'm stuck in chicago for the time being.

Also, the other project, has it been opened up?

I'm a sucker for gossip. Aug 26, 2008
Mike Morin
Glen, NH
Mike Morin   Glen, NH
Come on folks, regular chalk isn't supposed to be used at RRCOS. While certainly most folks seem to be abiding by this ethic there is still white chalk residue on the slabs. Sep 16, 2008
The 13ish project has been redpointed and is hard 12ish. The name is Jason's Bicep. Nov 5, 2008
Tim C
Lakewood, CO
Tim C   Lakewood, CO
All rating here are really soft. Feb 20, 2009
Bosier Parsons
Colorado Springs, CO
Bosier Parsons   Colorado Springs, CO
We found a pair of shoes at the base of High H20 on Wednesday, April 15th. Let me know if they're yours and I'll find a way to get them back to you. Apr 19, 2009
Hey, just got out of the Army, probably staying here with my wife for a while. Getting back on my feet after a flareup and diagnosis of Crohn's disease (long story short: rapid weight loss, hospitals, sucks.) Anyway, got this place recomended to me by a buddy, and its definitely great, especially if you haven't climbed in years, haven't got the craziest rack, or just want a laid back afternoon. Appreciate all the hard work. Jul 8, 2009
Dan Petty
Wheat Ridge, CO
Dan Petty   Wheat Ridge, CO
Lat/long to large parking lot: 38.853574, -104.880311. Nov 11, 2010
Danielle Donelson-Smith
Colorado Springs, CO
Danielle Donelson-Smith   Colorado Springs, CO
Hi, just wondering what the latest edition of Stewart's RRCOS guidebook is? When was that one published? Thanks! Mar 14, 2011
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
FWIW, the folks at the VC told us Section 16 was acquired by the city. They suggested there wasn't much climbing there. Mar 31, 2011
Last Thursday, August 11, I worked with Brian Shelton, Cliff Powers, and Bill Springer for 6 hours doing anchor repair work on both protection bolts and lowering/rappel anchors on the Ripple Wall and Sayers Wall at Red Rock Canyon Open Space Park on the west side of Colorado Springs. We pulled almost every bolt off both walls to analyse the placements and check the condition of each bolt and hanger. All of the bolts were placed in the summer of 2004 by Ric Geiman, Brian Shelton, and myself so we know them pretty well....

Contrary to what some folks seem to think these days, almost every bolt and placement was in excellent condition. All most of them required was cleaning sand behind the bolt hanger with a brush, then putting the hanger back on and tightening the nut to about 25 pounds pressure. Some of the hangers were replaced with enviro-hangers or ones that are newly painted to match the sandstone color.

None of the top anchors, except those on High H2O, required replacement. All of them are in great condition and now are tightened down. On a few bolts, the outside edge of the hole had some wear and a slight enlargement due to wobble caused when climbers toprope directly through the bolt hanger (most of these hangers on Ripple Wall were large Metolius rap hangers). A bit of epoxy was appled to these few bolts to fill in the slight gap and to seal the hole from moisture.

The bolts on Sayers Wall were also in excellent condition. The only ones requiring replacement were the two top anchor bolts on Mad Scientist. These were replaced with beefy bolts glued in with industrial epoxy.

To maintain the strength and continued integrity of the anchor bolts atop each route, we decided to place 3/8" chain connected to a quick link, which is attached to a hanger on the bolt, on each route on Ripple Wall, Sayers Wall, and Westbay Wall. While we have avoided the use of anchor chain at RRCOS in the past because of its visibility and the grooves that chains leave in sandstone, we decided that it would be more important to continue to have safe anchors by using chain which will equalize the bolts when climbers toprope the routes by threading their rope through the chains.

Today I went back out with Brian and Bill for 3 hours and we put chains on the anchors on 3 routes on Sayers Wall and 3 routes on Ripple Wall. We will be putting chain on the anchors on most of the other Ripple Wall routes on our next work day as well as pulling the anchor bolts on High H2O and replacing them with glue-in bolts.

Thanks to Bill Springer for buying all the 3/8" chain and quicklinks to re-equip these routes. The work was done by the Red Rock Canyon Climber's Committee with permission from the Colorado Springs' Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. Climbing at RRCOS is a managed process...all bolting and route repair must be done with city permission. Aug 13, 2011
Michele Beaty
Boulder, Colorado
Michele Beaty   Boulder, Colorado
The lack of crowds and peaceful open space is very nice. Thank you to those who developed this area. If you are accustomed to granite, this place will provide a head game for you. It is some of the worst stone I have climbed on; much of it dusty and exfoliating...but for some reason I love it! That very nature of the stone turns one pitch sport climbing into a bit of an adventure. Something to be aware of, it seems that many of the easy routes have been worn down into harder grades, with key holds having turned into slippery slopers. Nov 2, 2012
John D  
Bit of a Public Service Announcement I came back to the second parking lot today with my partner to find that someone had tried to steal his catalytic converter off his truck. The thieves were unsuccessful only because he had taken preventative measures, though they did still royally jack up his truck. Definitely lock your doors, and it might not be a bad idea to park in the first lot where your car will be a bit more visible from the road. Nov 21, 2012
Yucca Valley, CA
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
Mine is the truck that John D is speaking of.

Had I not had a chain welded to the converter and frame of my truck, they would have been successful.

I suggest that anyone driving a Toyota Tacoma (they are #1 for having this issue) park in the front/first parking lot. Nov 28, 2012
How does the group feel about people that are there climbing come across anchors that are loose? Is it permissible to tighten them when you come across them or just keep a mental note of loose hardware on the wall? BTW, I am an electrician by trade, and setting these style anchors is part of what I do for a living, hanging thousands of pounds of transformers off concrete walls and ceilings. Oct 13, 2013
Yes, there has been a lot of theft of hangers during the first couple weeks of March. At least a dozen routes have been affected, with both protection hangers and anchor hangers and chains stolen. It appears to be the work of a climber or climbers, since it would require climbing equipment to steal most of the hangers. It's very sad that it's come to this sort of vandalism. We would like to replace them but need funds to do so.... Mar 18, 2014
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is currently CLOSED to all access due to flood damage. Please respect this mandatory closure until further notice. If you're interested in rock climbing, check out Cheyenne Canyon, Shelf Road, or any granite area - our fragile local sandstone is very susceptible to damage when wet.

Rapid degradation of climbs, injuries, and a fatality are linked to climbing on wet rock. A bone-dry surface can hide fragile, wet rock underneath – jeopardizing our fragile resource.

Be a steward of our local precious resource and encourage others to do the same. Thank you! May 22, 2015
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
I meant to add this earlier but as of July Fourth weekend, Red Rock Canyon Open Space is open for climbing. Please be careful on the access trails to cliff, since there is considerable erosion, and it won't be until this fall that a trail day can be scheduled. Thanks to the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department for all their work cleaning up parking areas and restoring hiking trails that were badly damaged in the May flooding. Aug 1, 2015
Adam Pawlikiewicz
Colorado Springs, CO
Adam Pawlikiewicz   Colorado Springs, CO
Could I be added to the Red Rock Canyon Climber's Alliance? I saw that in the description it just asks for the email of a climber who wants to be added. Here's mine: adam.pawlikiewicz@gmail.com. Let me know if I need to send my info elsewhere. Jun 18, 2017
Levi Arnhold
Colorado Springs, CO
Levi Arnhold   Colorado Springs, CO
After moving to COS and doing some climbing at RRCOS on short days after work, I set a goal to climb all the routes here this year. After moving through the pages of Stewart Green's manual, I noticed a few issues on Mountain Project's side and also some bolts being chopped. Mountain Project doesn't have all of the routes on Wailing Wall. There are holding spots for them but no details. As for chopped bolts: the anchors of Jason's Bicep on Westbay Wall are missing and the first bolt and the anchors of Foreign Squaw on Squaw Wall are missing. Storm Surge and Eddyline on Ripple Wall are missing, but I think that is due to obvious rockfall above their anchors. Is there a proper line of communication for route maintenance that I can talk to someone? Sep 17, 2017
Thanks for your comment, Levi. Someone stole the anchors on Jason's Bicep. Yes, the routes on Ripple Wall are closed indefinitely due to continuing rockfall from above, and the first ascensionist of the routes on the Squaw Wall removed the hangers from the bolts, since the rock is pretty crappy and soft. If you have further questions, please contact me. Oct 15, 2017