Elevation: 6,721 ft
GPS: 38.632, -105.222 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 295,311 total · 1,126/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Nov 29, 1999 · Updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Description

Situated directly above the hairpin is one of the most obvious cliff bands at Shelf Road. Cactus Cliff faces South-Southwest, gets great sun, and can be climbed most of the year. The rock is typical of Shelf Road in general and reminds me of The Gallery. Cactus Cliff is home to several fine lines, although the trend in difficulty is a bit less than at The Gymnasium. Development, which has slowed to a tectonic crawl in recent years. However, in the winter months, Shelf Road can be the only option available, short of Mexico, so it is still worth keeping in mind and Cactus Cliff is always worth a mid-winter romp.

Cactus cliff is now hands-down the most well-rounded sport crag in Colorado, including at least one route of every grade from 5.7 to 5.14a.

Getting There

Please park in the newly expanded parking area at The Bank Campground.

There is a new trail leading to Cactus Cliffs from The Bank. This is now the fastest, most convenient way to approach the area. The trail was built in August by the Rocky Mountain Field Institute with the help of AmeriCorps volunteers and a grant from the Access Fund. It is approximately 1.5 miles long.

PLEASE DO NOT PARK ALONG SHELF ROAD.
For more information contact BLM at 719-269-8500 Thank you for your cooperation.

APPROACH DESCRIPTION: From the new parking area by The Bank Camground, follow the road NW towards The Bank for ~100yds. Pickup the trail on the right side of the road that descends into the canyon. Follow this trail for ~5 minutes, crossing the canyon bottom, and passing below the 2150 Wall, to a terminus at the road that heads up above Cactus Cliff (this road was the former approach to Cactus). Turn left and follow the road uphill towards Cactus. Continue along the road as it banks hard right, passing the new toilet. Where the trail banks left, continue east, passing signage, along a well maintained trail that traverses Cactus Cliff.

157 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cactus Cliff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 647
Crynoid Corner
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 499
LaCholla Jackson
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 239
Politically Incorrect
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 345
Funkdemental
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 233
I Claudius
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 481
Muscle Beach
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 243
I Lean
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 189
Illegal Smile
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 104
Fantasia
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 338
Lats Don't Have Feelings
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 171
Gravitations
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 172
Hot Beach
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 120
Almost French
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 118
Tits Up
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 108
The French Are Here
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Crynoid Corner
 647
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
LaCholla Jackson
 499
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Politically Incorrect
 239
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Funkdemental
 345
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
I Claudius
 233
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Muscle Beach
 481
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
I Lean
 243
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Illegal Smile
 189
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Fantasia
 104
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Lats Don't Have Feelings
 338
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Gravitations
 171
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Hot Beach
 172
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Almost French
 120
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Tits Up
 118
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
The French Are Here
 108
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Cactus Cliff »

Sun & Shade

Routes Mostly Face: Southeast · South · Southwest
Sunny Roughly 10am to 8pm during high season
6am
8pm
Details: All year aspects. Far right side of the crag faces South East and gets AM sun to mid PM. The most popular area, i.e. routes leftwards of Alexi's, stay shaded til late morning. More trees exist in this area offering shady belays.

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season
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Photos