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Routes in The Monkey Skull

Amy, Good Gorilla T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Casual Corner T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Fever Dance T 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Fringe Dweller T,S,TR 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Hollow Be Thy Name T,S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Looking for Trouble T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Monkey Trial T,S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Ripple S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Skull and Bones S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Summit Block T,S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Sunshine Dihedral T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Upside The Cranium S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
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The Monkey Skull is arguably the most popular climbing destination in the SSV canyon. It is a large, West facing plate with a good mix of moderate trad and moderate sport routes. Most of the climbing runs into 5.9 to 5.10+. The Monkey Skull is a good granite crag that picks up afternoon sun, and it has a short approach and enough routes to keep a climbing party busy for a day.

Getting There

The Monkey Skull is just about 6.5 miles up canyon. Parking can be had on the South side of the road. The crag and the trail up are obvious from the road.

12 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Monkey Skull

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in The Monkey Skull »

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George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Although there is a fairly good trail to the base of this rock, there is tons of poison ivy everywhere along it, so be careful! Jul 28, 2002
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Anyone know what the 12 bolt line between Hollow be thy name & Sunshine Dihedral is? Jun 17, 2003
Leo, see discussion from 5/21/03 under area South Saint Vrain Canyon. Jun 18, 2003
Led said 12 bolt route with red hangers yesterday 6/25/03. Might be a cruxy 10c if you stay on route. Stay away from the poison ivy tree, climb the thin face to the left of that bush, climb the crimpers to finger ledge to clip bolt 9 (I think its 9, last bolt before the traverse around the corner to the left). I placed a yellow Flex Friend on the way up the last vertical section, but this was unecessary, just quickdraws is enough gear. The only bolt not worth clipping might be #5, I back-unclipped it to keep drag down. For a minute, It felt like higher 10/11 crimpers, but its over too quickly to increase the grade above 10c...hell, it might even go at 10b if you know what to expect...I will have to climb it again to know for sure, its pretty safe climbing though, give it a try, **. Jun 26, 2003
The new line above the second tier is Ripple 11b(?). I put it up early in 2011 if I remember correctly. I never got around to submitting it, but I will now. Fun slab climbing after a tough start. QDs only. Makes a nice addendum to Upside/Sunshine, etc. Enjoy. May 12, 2012
Loveland, CO
Mathias   Loveland, CO
RE toprope access:

If you're not comfortable leading 5.10 but want to top rope some of these routes, you should know that the gully to the left of the wall is not a practical route for accessing the anchors. Whilst there is a 5.7 handcrack (see SSV guidebook by Gillett) starting above the grassy ledge towards the top of the gully/chimney, it's a real pain getting to it with lots of loose rock, vegetation, and lichen.

I'm sure there are more round-about ways of accessing the main ledge, but it seems the most straightforward is to climb Casual Corner (trad 5.8+). Apr 4, 2017

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