Elevation: 8,524 ft
GPS: 40.375, -105.616 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 2,376,389 total · 9,625/month
Shared By: Patrick Vernon on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details

Description

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) needs little introduction as one of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Consequentially it has some of the most beautiful climbing in the U.S. The routes here are long, (grade III to V), committing, usually have some sections of loose rock, require a lengthy hike in, require some knowledge of snow travel, and are absolutely spectacular. In short, you need to be a competent climber to safely enjoy this area.

Climbing in the park is a complex endeavor that requires being able to analyze many different objective hazards, all while sucking air at 12-14000 feet. These hazards include loose rock, bad weather, bad pro, etc. all of which are magnified in this alpine setting. A first-time climber in the park should feel competent at leading trad at the very least a grade harder; probably two or three than the climb they wish to tackle. One should have a good deal experience on multi-pitch climbs, and one should feel in shape enough to hike five miles uphill in the dark and then climb a thousand-foot face.

All this said, the climbs are magnificent and unforgettable. Some good introductory routes would include the North Ridge of Spearhead (5.6), the Northeast Ridge on Sharkstooth (5.6), or even the East Gully on Sharkstooth (5.4 and NOT a chosspile, a really good climb). A step up from these routes would include the South Face of the Petit Grepon (5.8, with a time-consuming descent), the magnificent Culp-Bossier on Hallett (5.8+, runout 5.7). Climbing in the park really starts to open up in the 5.9 and 5.10 range. In the 5.9 range, Syke's Sickle (9+++, (7s)), the steep Hesse-Ferguson on Hallett (5.9 with low dihedral variation is in my opinion the best route on Hallett), and the Direct South Ridge of Notchtop (9) all offer spectacular and incomparable climbing.

In the 5.10 range you can't beat the Casual Route on Long's (10a), but there are other stellar 10s in the park. Chasm View Wall offers some spicy routes, and Spearhead has a couple classic 10s (The Barb and Age Axe?) with The Barb having a reputation as an "easy" 10. The Yellow Wall on the Diamond is 10c if done with the Forrest Finish variation, and is possibly the most spectacular route I have ever done. Pervertical Sanctuary (10+) is also apparently totally classic.

I have yet to venture into 5.11 and 5.12 range in the park, but two routes come to mind as totally classic, these are D7 on the Diamond (11c) and Birds of Fire on Chiefshead (11a). There are tons of other routes in the park, some suck, others are hidden gems. Exploring the more obscure routes is part of the fun of park climbing.

Getting There

Take US 36 north to Lyons. From Lyons, follow US Highway 36 to Estes Park. From Estes Park, take CO Highway 7 south to get to the Long's Peak trailhead or Wild Basin, or head directly into the park [US 36 and then left on the Bear Lake Rd.] to get to the Glacier Gorge area and the Bear Lake area.

Bypassing waiting in the lines

FWIW, if you are trying to enter during entrance fee collecting times, you can use the right lane at the Beaver Meadows entrance with the card activated gate bypassing the lines with a Rocky Mountain National Park annual pass OR a National Parks annual pass purchase at RMNP!

Annual Pass

The RMNP annual pass used to be as little as $35. As of 2019, it is now $70!

504 Total Climbs

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Location: RMNP - Rock Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at RMNP - Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V5- 6C
 146
Autobot
Boulder, Alpine
V5 6C
 202
The Kind (originally In Your Fac…
Boulder, Alpine
V7 7A+
 147
Tommy's Arete
Boulder, Alpine
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 126
Blitzen Ridge
Trad, Alpine
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 280
Northeast Ridge
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 565
South Face
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 377
Culp-Bossier
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 216
Syke's Sickle
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 530
Casual Route
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 123
Southwest Corner
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 257
The Barb
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 158
The Flying Buttress
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 111
Days of Heaven
Trad 3 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 254
Pervertical Sanctuary
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 100
D7
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Autobot RMNP Bouldering… > … > Lower Chaos Canyon > Gobot Boulder
 146
V5- 6C Boulder, Alpine
The Kind (originally In You… RMNP Bouldering… > Tyndall Gorge > Emerald Lake
 202
V5 6C Boulder, Alpine
Tommy's Arete RMNP Bouldering… > … > Lower Chaos Canyon > Automator Boulder
 147
V7 7A+ Boulder, Alpine
Blitzen Ridge Ypsilon Mountain
 126
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad, Alpine
Northeast Ridge Sharkstooth
 280
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
South Face Petit Grepon
 565
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
Culp-Bossier Hallett Peak
 377
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
Syke's Sickle Glacier Gorge > Spearhead
 216
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Casual Route Long's Peak > Diamond
 530
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Southwest Corner Saber
 123
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
The Barb Glacier Gorge > Spearhead
 257
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
The Flying Buttress Mt Meeker
 158
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Days of Heaven Fern Canyon Rocks > Rock Of Ages
 111
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 3 pitches
Pervertical Sanctuary Long's Peak > Diamond
 254
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
D7 Long's Peak > Diamond
 100
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
More Classic Climbs in RMNP - Rock »

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