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Routes in Cactus Cliff

Affluenza S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Afterburner S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Agave S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Alexi's Climb S 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Alignment, The S 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Almost French S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Almost Gothic S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Amiga S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Are You Experiential? S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Awesome Offwidthin' T,TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Axis of Evil S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Banana Split S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Barbed Wire Love S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Beach Ball S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Beef Cake Formula S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bionic Minnow S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Black Slabbeth S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Blackman's Burden S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Blade Runner S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Blarney Stone, The S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Blond Princes S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Bombodido S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Book of Dude-Aronomy, The S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Bur-Har-Bur S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Cactus Cliff Addict S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Candy for Big Kids S 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Carnage (aka "Wild Virus") S 5.13d 8b 31 X 32 E8 7a
Cellulite District T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Centurion Enigma S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b PG13
Cheeseburger In Paradise S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Child's Play S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Chompin' at the Cholla S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Christmas Tree S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Chunky Monkey S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Cobra S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Commitment S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Crimpin' and Pimpin' S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b PG13
Crimpson Candy S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Critic's Choice S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Cro-Magnum S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Crynoid Corner S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Cure For The Common Crimp S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Da Fly S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Dances with Cholla S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Dereliction Affliction S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Dihedrus S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Divinity School S 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Don't Be Messin' With Ma Moves S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Early Bird S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Escalando S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Et Tu, Brutus S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Fantasia S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Fast Food Nation S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Fiscal Cliff S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Fishisms T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Flight of the Phoenix S 5.14a/b 8c 33 X+ 33 E9 7b
French Are Here, The S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Fully Equipped S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Funkdemental S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Gabby S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Glass Babies S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Glue Slippage S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Good Red Road, The S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Gravitations S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Great Expectations S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Hair Trigger S 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Half Breed S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Hero Driver S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Hey Pueblo Gringo, Got a Hanger? S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
High Heeled Tittty Twister S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Hot Beach S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Hurricane Hinzi S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
I Claudius S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
I Lean S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
I'm Having A Vision S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b PG13
Ian's Climb S 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Illegal Smile S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Impulsive Hands S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Institutional Meat S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Jamuary S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Joy of Cholla, The S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Jumpin' the Gun S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Just Thesenga It S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Kalahari Sidewinder S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Killer Toupee, The T,S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
King Louie's Traverse S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Kipu Pawkets S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Kodachrome S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
La Temperatura de Shelf S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
LaCholla Jackson S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Lats Don't Have Feelings S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Legend on the Fall S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Leisure Class S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Manly Bulges S 5.13c/d 8b 31 X 31 E8 7a
Midget Toss S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Misalignment S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Morning Joe S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Mr. Fred T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Muscle Beach S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
New Ethics S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
New World Order S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Ol' 47 S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Oscar de la Cholla S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Out There Take Anything S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Paleolithic Tool Traditions S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Part Muffalo S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Pick Pocket S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Politically Incorrect S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Poquito Mas S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Puff Daddy S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Purple Corner T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Quarterback S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Quasi Quasar S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Raven, The S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Reach Around, The S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Red Eclipse S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Red Giant T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Redman's Burden S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Relampago S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Richard Simmons' Tanktop S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Risky Business S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Shelf Pride S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Short Man's Burden S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Six More Bottles of Bosco S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Six Pack O' Whoop-Ass S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Slicer S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Solar Eclipse S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Southern Belle S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Spray Lord S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Squeeze the Moment S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Stand, The S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Super Suka S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Sweet Sam S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Third Stage S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Three-Quarter Ton S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Thumbs Up S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Tits Up S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Too Much Beef and Not Enough Meat S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Total Recount S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Totally Blonde S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Turkey's Bleak T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Two For One S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Under A Blood Red Wall S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Unnamed (aka Slab n' Vein) S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Usual Suspects, The S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Utter To A Scream S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Wadsworth Boulevard S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
White Punks on Pockets S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Whiteman's Burden S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Working Man S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
World Peace S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
You Show Me Your Heavy Weapon, I'll Show You Mine S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Elevation: 6,721 ft
GPS: 38.632, -105.222 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 139,683 total, 636/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Nov 29, 1999
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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.

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.

152 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
Crynoid Corner
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
LaCholla Jackson
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Dihedrus
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Three-Quarter Ton
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Wadsworth Boulevard
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Blackman's Burden
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Politically Incorrect
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Funkdemental
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
I Claudius
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Muscle Beach
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
I Lean
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Illegal Smile
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Lats Don't Have Feelings
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Gravitations
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Hot Beach
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Crynoid Corner 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
LaCholla Jackson 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Dihedrus 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Three-Quarter Ton 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Wadsworth Boulevard 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Blackman's Burden 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Politically Incorrect 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Funkdemental 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
I Claudius 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Muscle Beach 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
I Lean 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Illegal Smile 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Lats Don't Have Feelings 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Gravitations 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Hot Beach 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Cactus Cliff »

Weather Averages

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Derek Young
Denver, CO
Derek Young   Denver, CO
  • CLIMBERS BEWARE - MY DRAWS WERE STOLEN OFF GLUE SLIPPAGE
I left my draws up on this route starting with bolt 4 to begin the crux and through to the top. That's 8 draws. I hung them for project burns and for others to have fun. This was mid-Oct. Went back this past weekend Dec 1st and they were taken. I guess poaching draws still happens at Shelf. Watch out everyone! This route is 12b so all fingers point to someone who climbs the grade - or takes the time to steal by aiding a route. If anybody sees them, they are 7 BD Posiwire with replaced vari-width dogbones, and 1 two red carabiner tan colored, thin dogbone. All bolt sides had green tape marking them as mine. It'd be really swell if the person gave them back. Bad form.

Needless to say, I won't be leaving gear on routes anymore and wish the best to those that still have gear up on Deeper Shade, The Example, etc. What's next, the perma-draws off Headcheese?! Dec 3, 2017
mkclimb  
To whoever took my draws from Manly Bulges,
- I put those up last Saturday, intending to finish the route Sunday. My dog tore a muscle Sunday morning in the campsite, and I had to bail to take him to a vet. Came back today to finish and retrieve my draws, and they are all gone - 7 blue OMP draws and one OMP Vulcan. Just hung a second set of draws to finish the route but would like my quickdraws back! I'm camping in Sand Gulch at the group site by Freeform, everyone hanging out there knows me and the draws can be dropped off with anyone there. Full set of draws = not bailed gear.

Would love to have them back - thanks,
Mike. May 29, 2016
James Cox
Cotopaxi, Colorado
James Cox   Cotopaxi, Colorado
Excellent climbing, but it used to be nice to be able to drive right up to the routes, although the new trail is nice. Did 5 different routes today, and I gotta say there is some excellent limestone up there. A lot of anchors, so if you are new to leading, you won't fall far. May 15, 2012
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
Thanks for mentioning the road closure and new access trail, Chris. More information regarding this change is on the accessfund.org website. It reads:

Shelf Road: Cactus Cliffs Road Closure, CO (11/14/2006)

Liz Nichol, Outreach Coordinator, Rocky Mountain Field Institute
Beginning November 2006 the road leading to the Cactus Cliffs climbing area from Shelf Road will be closed. The BLM has decided to close this steep, un-maintained road due to liability issues and the requests of private property owners along the road.

Cactus Cliffs, Spiney Ridge, and The Gymnasium are still open to climbing.

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 park in the newly expanded parking area at The Bank.

PLEASE DO NOT PARK ALONG SHELF ROAD.
For more information contact BLM at 719-269-8500 Thank you for your cooperation. Sep 25, 2007
Chris Zeller
Boulder, CO
Chris Zeller   Boulder, CO
As of 9/21/07, the road to Cactus Cliff is closed. Don't follow the directions in the guidebook. The access is much easier now from "The Bank" campground. From the campground walk to the parking area then 50 yards or so down the right fork of the road. Turn right onto a nice trail that leads onto the old Cactus Cliff road and then up to the cliff. About 1 mile. The whole trail is extremely well made and marked. There are signs everywhere to the crags. Great job and a definite improvement from what I can see. Sep 24, 2007
Scott Miller
Denver, CO
Scott Miller   Denver, CO
I agree with BR The road to Cactus should be closed for sure. Are people that lazy they won't take the nice hike from the campground. This crag plays host to some of the most gapertastic climbers I've ever had the displeasure to climb around. If your visiting from out of state DON'T follow the crowds, poke around and you WILL find good climbing. I could have sworn there is a little more rock to climb at Shelf, other than Cactus Cliff. May 29, 2006
3 weekends in a row has been enough to convince me that Cactus Cliff is the LOUDEST crag in the state. From wife beaters to screaming kids to spray lords, I've never been surrounded by such rude LOUD climbers in my life. No more than 8 cars were in the lot this past weekend but when we were near any party, they were loud. I climb with my kids and teach them to be respectful of the other climbers around them yet the adults in the area can't do the same. Dec 27, 2004
There is a shiny new road sign just past the turnoff to the campgrounds: "do not leave cars unattended, next 4 miles". I assume that means you can't park along the road, nor in the pullouts adjacent to the road. Mar 22, 2004
ac
ac  
Were the ticketed cars in the pullout or on the road? I've always assumed that the cars in the pullout were legit while the other cars who parked on the road were breaking the rules. Mar 9, 2004
A bunch of parking citations got handed out on Sunday afternoon for parking on the road. It was the first time in ten years of climbing there that we've had that happen, after multiple times parking on the big pullout on the bend below the Spiny Ridge/Gym junction. Best topark at the Bank I suppose but that lot's a little too small these days. Mar 8, 2004
Brad Short
Saudia Aurora, CO
Brad Short   Saudia Aurora, CO
IMO, Cactus seems to have more loose rocks on routes and ledges than some of the other Shelf areas. Be careful and wear a helmet -- both leader and belayer. Nov 14, 2002

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