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Routes in First Flatiron

Atalanta T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Baker's Way T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Butterfly T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Direct Route T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Dumais Direct T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
East Face Gully T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
East Face North Side/1st Flatiron T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R
Fandango T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Fandango Variation T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
First in Flight T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Hubris T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Kamikaze Overhangs T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Massugu T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
North Arete T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Red Slab Variation T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Southwest Face T 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
Way of the Ancients T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
Yellow Brick Road T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Zig Zag T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Elevation: 6,713 ft
GPS: 39.991, -105.293 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 162,227 total · 778/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Sorry, weather is currently unavailable.


The First is a huge Flatiron with many good face routes starting from the bottom to the top of the East side. It's probably the 2nd largest Flatiron overall. The climbing is longer and more varied than the Third with huge flakes, dihedrals, and the rollercoaster ridge. Climbs range from about 4-10 pitches. Virtually every climb is a quality line. There is adventure and there are crowds. A 60m rope is nice for these routes, especially for the rappel.

On a rare winter, you can even find an ice climb here....
Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details

Getting There

From Chautauqua Park (W on Baseline, near 9th, off US 36), take the diagonalling "Chautauqua Trail" from the parking lot. At the trail intersection once in the trees, go briefly south (L), then follow signs (R) for the 1st Flatiron to the base. Depending on which route you're going to do, either take the wooden bridge to the base (routes starting near the nadir) or stay on the trail and keep hiking up the hill to the left to another trail that leads to access for climbs that start higher on the East face (e.g. Fandango). Approaches range from 20-40 minutes for the casual walker.

19 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at First Flatiron

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
Southwest Face
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Baker's Way
Trad 6 pitches
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R
East Face North Side/1st Flatiron
Trad 5 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
North Arete
Trad 5 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Trad 4 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
Way of the Ancients
Trad 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Direct Route
Trad 10 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Fandango Variation
Trad 6 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Zig Zag
Trad 5 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Yellow Brick Road
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Kamikaze Overhangs
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Red Slab Variation
Trad 7 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Dumais Direct
Trad 6 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Southwest Face
5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c Trad
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad
Baker's Way
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad 6 pitches
East Face North Side/1st Fl…
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R Trad 5 pitches
North Arete
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 5 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 4 pitches
Way of the Ancients
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R Trad 3 pitches
Direct Route
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad 10 pitches
Fandango Variation
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 6 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad
Zig Zag
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 5 pitches
Yellow Brick Road
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R Trad 6 pitches
Kamikaze Overhangs
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Red Slab Variation
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R Trad 7 pitches
Dumais Direct
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R Trad 6 pitches
More Classic Climbs in First Flatiron »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Kellon Spencer
Tempe, Arizona
Kellon Spencer   Tempe, Arizona
LOST: had someone snag my Arcteryx Miura 50 pack while I was up on the flatiron. Had hidden pretty well, so I don't think a climber would have taken it. If you grabbed in good faith of thinking I left it behind, I got a 6 pack for you! If you took it in bad faith and return it, I have a 6 pack for you no questions asked! Just want my pack and its contents back.

Thanks Oct 9, 2017
My partner couldn't retrieve a brand new Black Diamond #1 on the pitch just after the bolted anchor on Hubris. Lots of beer and good Karma if you can return this to me!

Ben (720) 837-9501 Jul 14, 2017
I climbed the First Flatiron the afternoon of 07/01/17 - very fun climb, however, my partner and I left a 35L BD Creek backpack at the base of the climb, intending to retrieve extra gear on the hike down. When we got down around 8:30pm, the gear was gone. The bag contained trad gear we need for the rest of our trip (we're from Nashville). If you see / hear / know anything regarding the whereabouts of our gear, please call me @ 615-522-4336. Thank you!

P.S. I recommend a single rack and small backpacks you're comfortable climbing with! Not leaving anything at the base again. Jul 3, 2017
Climbed up May 21st - still plenty of snow around. Lots of people showed up to hike which turned the trail back down from the top into a muddy, slushy, slippery mess. Route was clear / dry / in sun all day, so climbing was great. May 30, 2017
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
The fastest approach to the First Flatiron is from the Gregory Canyon Trailhead; however, this parking area fills very quickly. When hiking out, most people use the trail between the First and Second Flatirons. If parked at Gregory Canyon, a faster hike down starts from the saddle west of the First Flatiron. Head north, down steeply on a primitive trail (marked) and down into the Gregory Canyon trail system, eventually passing The Amphitheater. Sep 26, 2016
I left a rope in a green rope bag at the bottom of the rap off yesterday. (Sat. Aug. 28th). When I went up to get it this morning, someone had already retrieved it. I would give a reward if it was returned. If you need more details about the rope, I can PM them you. Aug 28, 2016
We bailed off what we hoped to be Fandango a week ago. Left a single BD 120cm sling and two Edelrid biners.

It was maybe the "3rd" pitch of whatever we were climbing, I basically solo'd up from a tree belay (smaller tree to the right, and a small boulder/ledge above)". Put 1 piece in when I realized things looked like they were going wrong...the slab was going to end in 5-10 meters or so. To the left was a dropoff to another level of slab, and to the right, a slightly overhanging face which was the thick edge of the slab to the right. At the top (end) of my piece, I put a sling around a triangle flake, got lowered almost all the way to the tree, and we rapped out in the dark.

If anyone finds them, let me know - I don't expect to get them back, but I'm wondering what the hell we ended up on. Sep 17, 2015
Be polite and communicate with the climbers if you are soloing this one, though easy and a great confidence builder, many of the climbers on this rock are novice and get scared when they see you jumping around with nothing but your smile. May 31, 2015
Hannah12 Miller
Fort Collins, CO
Hannah12 Miller   Fort Collins, CO
We dropped/left an Alien cam while climbing the slot up the Direct Route on the First Flatiron above Baker's Way OR from the ridge to the summit. Please return for good karma and a six-pack of your choice. Mar 21, 2015
Tabernash, CO
jkglenn   Tabernash, CO
Hey guys and gals. Had butterfingers for a second today and dropped four or five nuts on the 5.6R direct route. I dropped them a couple pitches below the ridge and am pretty sure a few of them stopped on the ledge below. They're taped with red, green, and yellow tape. If someone finds them, could you please email me @ Thanks! Oct 26, 2014
Lost my harness including two ATCs, two slings, and three lockers on the back of the first Flatiron! Please give me a call (93six,twozero6,0onefour0) if they've been found! Thank you very much! Jul 31, 2014
My favorite formation in the North Flatirons! I particularly recommend both Butterfly and East Face Direct. Both are runnout and exposed, but a competent leader should have lots of fun here! Oct 15, 2012
Chris Plesko
Westminster, CO
Chris Plesko   Westminster, CO
The tree is gone off the SW face downclimb. It still goes just fine though, but it's a little harder. Luckily, you're only 10-15 feet off the ground by that point. I'm sure you could find another easier way, but I didn't bother. Sep 24, 2011
Dan Holz
Denver, CO
Dan Holz   Denver, CO
Just found a GO PRO camera at the base of the First Flatiron. If it's yours, send me a message detailing what kind of unique 'case' it was in and I'll get it back to ya! May 22, 2011
James Beissel
Boulder, CO
James Beissel   Boulder, CO
Hi-res panorama (372 MP) of the First, Second and Third Flatiron. Requires Adobe Flash to use the GigaPan viewer:… Nov 19, 2010
Larry Graham
Boulder, CO
Larry Graham   Boulder, CO
For those of you who like to solo this: (a great outing by the way) as I was finishing the downclimb today I noticed that the old white dead tree that always provided a convenient way to get down the final 15-20 feet has suffered some damage. It seemed like it was further from the wall than before, but more disturbing is that one of the small broken off limbs that used to serve as a foot placement is now gone. This forces you to use holds on the wall--actually quite good--that I never had to bother with before. Overall, it makes this section of the downclimb just a bit more thought-provoking. Unfortunately, some day a big wind will probably fell the tree, but it will still be possible to get down those last few feet via rock. Aug 21, 2010
Squirming Coil
Morrison, CO
Squirming Coil   Morrison, CO
Does anyone know anything about this variation (in red)? Or is it the actual route?… Jul 7, 2009
Lost my left Vasque trailrunner shoe here on Saturday as it unclipped from my beltloop, probably on the downclimb. Any sightings? It was a great shoe. May 11, 2009
Golden, CO
Rhonda   Golden, CO
Climbed the 1st Flatiron on Sat. March 29th and rappelled off an anchor before the ridge (wind was howling). After reaching the ground, I was unable to pull my rope. If anyone retrieved my rope, I would appreciate hearing from you. My email is Thanks! Apr 1, 2008
jleining   CO
Helpful tip, unless you would like to practice your rope management, My Climbing Co guide book said the descent from the top of the First Flatiron requires two ropes. Guess what it doesn't. I wasted my time scrambling this thing and dragging two ropes up while doing it. If you're gonna do the First, it is only 92 ft from the summit eybolts to the ground! Jul 3, 2007
Matt Amory
Boulder CO
Matt Amory   Boulder CO
I'm planning on doing the direct route on the 1st with a friend from back east on Wednesday. Am I right in thinking that we're looking at about 4 hours car to car?

Thanks Leo and Tony for your responses. We had a stellar morning on either Zig-Zag or Kamikaze Overhangs (I'd be glad to hear from anyone what exactly the difference is between these routes) Oct 23, 2006
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Jerry, that is a great question and I don't know the answer. David Roberts' new book talks about he and Jon Krakauer repeating this route a few years ago. However, there isn't enough detail given to pin it down exactly. I believe it was on the left-half of the east face, but it may not even be on one of the official routes. May 15, 2006
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
What route were David Roberts and Gabe Lee climbing when Lee fell to his death? May 15, 2006
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Peter: The new bolt has been mentioned previously, see the comment by AC on 5/9/2005 under "Direct Route". I remember more discussion but it does not seem to be on this page any more. It seems that this is indeed a new bolt and all comments recommended removal. Aug 29, 2005
I just climbed this route again today and noticed a 3rd bolt on the first pitch. It is a Leeper hanger and 1/4" rawl drive 10-20' above the 2nd big glue in bolt. It had been a while since I last did this climb but I had never noticed this before. Has anyone else noticed this? Is someone adding old bolts to routes? I thought this was strange. Aug 25, 2005
Chris Zeller
Boulder, CO
Chris Zeller   Boulder, CO
I noticed a cable rap station at the top of Baker's Way where the route intersects the ridge. The cable is threaded under a large block and looks like it would go with a 60 m rope (have not tried it). This would be a good escape from either the [Direct Route] or [Baker's Way]. The direct route crosses [Baker's Way] at the gully and its very easy climbing in this gully to the ridge. Aug 23, 2005
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
Avoid this guy in the late afternoon. Right now there are millions of gnats congregating on high points along the ridge. I climbed the Direct Route this afternoon and felt like I was in Alaska in the spring when I got to the ridge. At least they weren't mosquitos. Be prepared to swat! Rock cools off a LOT after a short period of cloud cover, so don't be afraid to head up there if you see cumulus clouds in the sky. It might be cool enough to climb on.~Wm Jul 20, 2005
Hello, I brought my 5 year old up the First Flatiron. We had a party of 4 so it took 1-1.5 hours between pitches. If you are going to climb the Flatiron, a smaller party (2 or 3) is much, much better. Mar 16, 2004
Another descent option if you don't have a 60m rope is to downclimb the south face route. This is 5.1. It starts going down the west face right below the rappel bolt. Reach the monster ledge about 30 feet down, saunter around the corner to reach the south face, then diagonal - left as you're looking toward the ground - down the strata to step off the wall at an ancient snag. Establishing belay anchors, if you need them, could be a bit of an adventure, but should be manageable with springy things or TriCams. Oct 14, 2003
James Garnett
Bellingham, WA
James Garnett   Bellingham, WA
This is a popular rock now; get an early start on summer weekends unless you enjoy crowds on the summit ridge! Jul 12, 2003
We were up there Saturday (10/12/02) and did the rap in two parts, using the standard second fixed rap point on the south side. This is a single old, large eyebolt.

We did not back up the eyebolt, but I watched it as Bryan rapped first... and THE TOP OF THE RAP ANCHOR MUST HAVE FLEXED 1/4 INCH!!

I do not know how deep these bolts are placed in the rock, or what the bolts are like. It's difficult to back this bolt up easily, but I recommend it. Backing up fixed anchors is always a good idea, and especially this one! Oct 14, 2002
Kevin Currigan
Kevin Currigan   Lakewood
I was coming down the Saddle Rock Trail from the 1st today and about 200 yds. from the Gregory Canyon trailhead I met up with a bear. She was 30 yards away and looking down the trail. She didn't even know I was there until I spotted her; impressive animal. She took off down the trail and stopped about 15 yds. further down then turned and watched me. She apparently wasn't going anywhere. So, I chucked a couple of rocks grenade style into bush about ten yds. left of her. That sent her downhill into the bush. I was sure to make a lot of noise all the way to the trailhead. This is a nice alternative to the trail down the east side of the 1st. Aug 30, 2002
What an amazing climb, I just did the 1st flatiron direct route! First pitch was my favourite, definitely a waker-upper. Back at work now, can't believe that as I type this, 24 hours ago I was up on the big headwall. *sigh* Reality beckons!

John Luu (Didn't feel like registering) Jul 23, 2002
While roping up to climb the East Face yesterday a very big lion was checking us out from the top of the Macbeth boulder. We started the climb and watched park rangers try to chase it away, to no avail. The approach and descent trails from the First Flatiron were all closed. We had to bushwack down the boulderfield to the descent trail for the Third. $1000 fee if you are caught on a closed trail. The cat did not bother us but it did make the rangers very nervous and they yelled at us multiple times not not come back to the base. Also, a cloud of bees at least the size of an SUV was roaming over the bottom pitches of the East Face. It got very close to us and the sound was pretty incredible. Lots of fun. Jun 1, 2002
As of 04/19/02 there was a bee nest on the first pitch with lots of unhappy looking bees. Apr 24, 2002
A few summers ago there was a severe bee problem on the summit block. It is possible to avoid the nests by climbing straight up and to the left instead of circling up the ramp to the right. This requires a few slightly more difficult and committing moves than the standard top out. Feb 14, 2002
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
If you solo this route in winter, TAKE A ROPE! I once had to down climb the east face when I found 3 foot ice sickles and snow all over the final summit block! I couldn't climb up to get to the down climb. What an adventure, f... I love climbing! Feb 10, 2002

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