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Routes in Deer Ridge Buttress

Center Left Face T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Crystal Balls T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b X
Crystal Ship T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Deer in the Headlights T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Forrest Solo T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Nun Buttress T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Praying Nun T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
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Elevation: 9,755 ft
GPS: 40.389, -105.587 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 6,176 total · 28/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Access Issue: Season raptor closures: March 1 - July 31, NOW LIFTED Details


Deer Ridge Buttress is a high and lonely 600' cliff in the Park that provides beautiful views, excellent climbing on perfect granite, and near certain solitude. It is well worth the longer approach, especially if you do a couple of routes.

Descent: head east from the top, then bushwhack down.

Getting There

2 ways-- 1) park at the Deer Ridge junction trailhead on Trail Ridge Road, follow the Deer Mountain trail for about 1 and 1/2 miles to where it touches the south side of the mountain, then contour around past a smaller buttress (Rainbow Rock) to the base of the cliff. Alternatively, Richard Rossiter (in Rocky Mountain National Park: The Crag Areas) describes the confusing parking arrangements that plant you at the base of a vertical bushwhack (count on an hour) up to the north-facing cliff. You can park near Aspen Glen Campground or near the Estes Park cemetery off Fish Hatchery Rd. and hike uphill (~1 hour).

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Classic Climbing Routes at Deer Ridge Buttress

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Nun Buttress
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Center Left Face
Trad 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Nun Buttress
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Center Left Face
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 4 pitches
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Steve Annecone
Steve Annecone   boulder
Nice rock and beautiful area with excellent views, stays nice and shady for much of the day. I haven't read Rossiter's approach description from the north, but found a very mellow approach based on the Gillett description. We parked at the Aspen Glen campground, headed down a faint trail east from the SE end of the campground, then went south as soon as you get past the ridge... from there, just head straight up the hill to the bottom of the north face. It took 1 hour at a very moderate pace and could be done in 45 or 50 minutes at a quick pace. Very little to almost no bushwacking, very pleasant approach. Jun 29, 2005
Fort Collins, CO
nolteboy   Fort Collins, CO
The quality of the rock here is surprisingly good - very "Lumpy-like".

We approached via the trailhead at Deer Mtn Junction. It wasn't bad at all. After taking the trail all the way up to the 2nd right-hand switchback, strike off thru the woods (to the north) at a level grade - neither gain nor give up altitude. After traversing around to the north side of Deer Mountain (thru mostly open forest - easy walking), encounter a few hundred yards of blow-downs and bushwhacking as the prow of the rock formation starts to be discernable thru the trees. Emerge from the woods onto the talus field at the base of the NW face. Jul 3, 2005
Fort Collins, CO
nolteboy   Fort Collins, CO
The rock here is surprisingly good.

We approached via the Deer Mtn Junction trailhead. Took a left at the 2nd right-hand switchback and traversed around to the north side of Deer Mtn. Only the last couple hundred yards before the talus field was anything close to being a bushwhack. Jul 5, 2005
clint dillard
Louisville, Co
clint dillard   Louisville, Co
We used the Deer Mtn Junction trail as well. We did not leave any gear at the base, so when we topped out, we just hiked southwestish through the woods for 5 or 10 mins till we met back up with the trail. This was a great way to descend. Aug 14, 2006

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