Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures January 1- July 31st Details

Description

Arch Rock is one of the more prominent rocks in Elevinmile Canyon, 4 miles up the road. A short approach will lead you to a slurry of fine moderate sport and trad climbs. The "sport" routes are typical of South Platte climbing, often mixed sport and trad, and hosting long runouts on easier terrain. Descent: The Routes can be descended from the top by heading to the SOUTH side of the rock and going down easier gullys and slopes past the dome. Expect morning shade, and afternoon sun.

Many classics abound including, the two pitch 5.5 trad adventure: "The Staircase."

Getting There

This fine rock is 4 miles up the canyon and is easy to identify. Look for a dome with a series of unique grooves towards the north end. There are several turnoffs to park at below the crag.

Per cyclestupor: Arch rock is the huge unmistakable dome 3.8 miles from the pay station. It is directly north (downstream) of the foot bridge parking area on the east side of the road. so if you see the footbridge or if you go through a tunnel you went too far. There is parking on the west side of the road behind the big boulder, or a small pull in on the east side of the road upstream of the boulder. Be prepared to scramble up hill.

28 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Arch Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 171
The Staircase
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 111
Hollow Flake
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 20
Middle Dihedral
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 24
Waiting on the Staircase aka Unk…
Sport, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 15
Zendance
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 17
Middle Meanie Crack
Trad
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 29
Waiting for Staircase 1-3
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 45
Mighty Young Joe aka Captain Fist
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 38
Arch Rock Route
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 22
Persistence
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 30
Kansas Honey
Trad, TR 3 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 3
Pride of Sweden
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 44
Zamboni Man
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 5
Death by Drowning
Trad, Sport 3 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Staircase
 171
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
Hollow Flake
 111
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Middle Dihedral
 20
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Waiting on the Staircase ak…
 24
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport, TR
Zendance
 15
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Sport
Middle Meanie Crack
 17
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Waiting for Staircase 1-3
 29
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Sport
Mighty Young Joe aka Captai…
 45
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Arch Rock Route
 38
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Persistence
 22
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Kansas Honey
 30
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR 3 pitches
Pride of Sweden
 3
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Zamboni Man
 44
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Death by Drowning
 5
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Sport 3 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Arch Rock »

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Arch is one of the best pieces of solid granite I've climbed on. Gentle breezes help you cool off, river noise can interfere with long leads, so take care! Sep 6, 2002
Considering ease of approach/descent, quality of rock and abundance of moderate routes, Arch Rock is hard to beat. Sep 17, 2003
Fine easy to moderate routes but the rock is way too crowded - four(!) climbing parties on a weekday is a bit too much for a crag of this size. Jun 29, 2004
I'm posting this here because there isn't a section for spray rock. Does anyone have route information on the 4 or 5 slab routes just downstream from spray rock? Jul 28, 2005
I think Shmausser put those up. I saw him climbing there with his wife a few weeks ago. He is working on a web based guide that should be out this summer.

His email is bisch40@msn.com. Jul 31, 2005
Larry C. Schubarth
colorado springs, colorado
Larry C. Schubarth   colorado springs, colorado
I see a lot of "first ascents" being bagged/claimed on Arch Rock these days. Remember that the climbing that went on there in the seventies was CLEAN, meaning, i.e.,natural or nuts, hexes, knotted slings often times long runouts etc. and often without chalk, the only evidence that another party had been there before was the lack of loose flakes or vegetation having been cleaned out.Yes, there were climbers back then. Nov 14, 2005
Lordsokol
Boulder, CO
Lordsokol   Boulder, CO
Back in 1997 I climbed in this area. I lead up Captain Fist and then top ropped Death by Drowning's first pitch. While playing around on the top ropped route I had a near death experience. I climbed the route and stood at the belay stance ready to come down. The person I allowed to belay me on top rope was a guy I had met that day as there was a large group of us on the rocks all being "buddy buddy". I had just watched him competently belay his son so had some confidence in him as a belayer. Though I didn't pay much attention to that. When I reached the top he asked if I was going to rappel or if he should lower me. I said "you can lower me". He responded, "OK, I have you".
I called out, "Loading rope! I'm coming down!". Again his replay, "I've got you!". AS I sat back in my harness, I realized there was no resistance on the rope. My first thought was, "geeze this is a fast belay" but that thought was soon replaced by "falling!". I grounded from sixty feet up. My "belayer" never had me. He was wearing belay gloves and never felt the rope slip through his hands once I loaded the system. I am alive and climbing today because there was a search and rescue team at Arch Rock that day practicing and they were on the scene in seconds. I was loaded into a flight for life helicopter and rushed to the hospital. I have since returned to the area and lead the climb I was dropped on. Why share this story here? Just to serve as a reminder that you can't ever be too careful. Always make sure you know your belayer. This is a great sport but people die when careless mistakes are made. I am lucky and very grateful to be alive. Final lesson: Burn your belay gloves!!! Apr 24, 2006
Anyone ever tried the P2 for Kansas Honey? What/where the heck is pitch-2 of the route?? We contrived ourselves just to stay out of the crappy, lichen covered rock, & runout with rope drag, too. 5.9 natural line, my ass. Mar 7, 2008
Larry C. Schubarth
colorado springs, colorado
Larry C. Schubarth   colorado springs, colorado
Don't let the ratings fool scare you off of routes listed here. Many of them were put up in the B.C. (Before Cams) and may now be much better protected and hopefully safer. Have fun! Apr 1, 2009