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Routes in Fifth Flatiron

Cat Scratches T 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
East Face South Side or Left T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
East Face, North Side T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R
Northeast Face T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Pinball T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


The Fifth Flatiron is the last numbered flatiron. At first, it can be slightly difficult to pick out of the jumble of rocks to the south of the Third Flatiron, but it has a distinctive north ridge and a very pointy summit. The Fifth is much more isolated than the First and Second, and hardly sees any traffic in comparison. However, don't expect a wilderness experience for your jaunt up the Fifth, as the Royal Arch is just below and day hikers make lots of noise. Also, it can be challenging to know you are on the right Flatiron from its base.

Getting There

Begin at Chautauqua Park, and hike up the road to the Bluebell Shelter. Follow the signs for the Royal Arch. After going over Sentinel Pass and descending steeply, you will curve around the bottom of the 4th Flatiron. Finding the bottom of the right side of the Fifth is slightly difficult on a first visit. The Tangen Towers are between the 4th and 5th Flatirons. Head up to the south of the Tangen Towers and then left towards the bottom of the Fifth. Bushwhacking may be required; however, you can reach the right side after going uphill from the Royal Arch and heading right. To reach the left side of the east face, continue to the Royal Arch, and then head straight uphill. There is a dirty flatironette in front and right of the Fifth, so keep this in mind when trying to find the start of your route.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Fifth 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
Cat Scratches
Trad 5 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R
East Face, North Side
Trad 7 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
East Face South Side or Left
Trad 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Northeast Face
Trad 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Cat Scratches
5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c Trad 5 pitches
East Face, North Side
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R Trad 7 pitches
East Face South Side or Left
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 3 pitches
Northeast Face
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad 4 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Fifth Flatiron »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
After rapping off this rock, DO NOT descend to the north! This is very brushy and also it is difficult to figure out how to get back to the Royal Arch Trail. Instead, head south, up over a small col, then drop steeply down to the south of the Fifth Flatiron. There is a crude trail in this area which will take you all the way back down to Royal Arch. May 28, 2002
Does anyone else think this one isn't worth the effort as far as the Flats go due to the fernwhacking and low rock qual? Jun 12, 2004
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
I didn't think there was bad rock or much in the way of fernwhacking on the route i submitted. One of my favorite Flatirons. Jun 16, 2004
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Actually, on the scale of Flatiron approaches, getting to the Fifth is pretty easy. All the routes in fact start less than 100 yards off the Royal Arch Trail, although it can be an unpleasant 100 yards, especially if you don't go the easiest way. I remember the rock on the Fifth as pretty good, and the summit itself is really cool. I guess the worst rock is on the back side, I can remember rock flaking off on the rappel, this is certainly something to watch for if you are under someone rappelling off. There is now a pretty good trail going down just south of the Fifth, this requires that you climb up slightly after the rappel, then descend the "trail". Do not go down north (climber's left) after the rappel! Jun 16, 2004
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
The rappel is nice. You have a big, beefy CMC eye bolt. Next to it are an old rusty pin in a crack, a rusty 1/4 inch rivet with paper thin hanger, and another 1/4 inch piece of mank with an aluminum hanger that resembles a beer can pull tab. It's like a mini-museum of pro. Nov 4, 2007
The Fifth is definitely my favorite Flatiron thus far. The North Face and Northeast Face (NE Buttress in Jason Haas's guide) are both awesome routes. The lichen on NE Face would clean up with a little more traffic - my partners and I both thought that route was better than Direct East Face on the First. The summit pitch is a ton of fun, and the slab climbing down lower is pretty thrilling. The North Face is just as much fun, just with bigger holds. Jul 14, 2009
Long Ranger
Boulder, CO
Long Ranger   Boulder, CO
Soloing the last 10 meters to the summit rivals kissing a girl good night on a first date. Jun 28, 2016
Brendan Blanchard
Boulder, CO
Brendan Blanchard   Boulder, CO
I'll echo what LongRanger said. At least for the NE Buttress, the route is okay, but the last section after the NE downclimb's notch is GOOD.

As for the approach and descent, there's a little irony in the fact that the approach is VERY easy to find once you've done the descent. For those who haven't done it: hike until the Royal Arch is in view up and left of you, look for three ~12" diameter trees on your right, and follow the faint trail between two of them until reaching the base of the southern end of the Fifth, follow packed ferns to your route of choice. The descent to the south of the Fifth is quite obvious now and will come down to meet up with the first 100 or so yards of the approach. Sep 10, 2016

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