Elevation: 8,013 ft
GPS: 39.131, -105.322 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 62,257 total · 273/month
Shared By: Brian Hansen on Jan 1, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC


At something like 1,000 feet high, Big Rock is perhaps the largest formation in the Platte and well worth the very full day it takes to find, climb, and descend. A day on Big Rock is not sporty, it's an adventure. Most of the rock is typical Platte, with smooth water streaks and crystal pinching, though there are some areas of friable rock. On the more traveled routes (e.g. Childhood's End), this has probably been reduced to reasonable levels. Most of the routes rely on bolts to some degree, though many are widely spaced. Bolts have recently been replaced on some of the more popular routes.

Descent: one 150 foot rappel down the back (northeast) side of the summit, reached by a short, dicey downclimb from the top.

Getting There

Ken Trout sums up the approach in his 1988 article in Rock and Ice, which is paraphrased below. It is also possible to approach from the Turkey Rock area to the east.

The best way to reach Big Rock Candy Mountain, with two-wheel drive, is from the west side of the South Fork of the South Platte River. From Goose Creek campground, drive almost four miles further south toward Lake George, passing the turn-off to the Lost Creek Trailhead. You will then find a a branch road to the left (east). his turn is more prominent than other, smaller left turns along the way. Take this turn, and then travel over a mile up, and then down onto a ridge, from where you will see Big Rock very clearly. Park on the open ridge where the trail drops down to the right (south; with four-wheel drive, it is possible to descend to the river, but this does not provide much of an advantage). Hike down the north side of the ridge toward Big Rock. There is a trail in the drainage which will take you to the Platte River. When the river is low, it is possible to wade across to the easy trail on the other side. After gaining the trail, turn left (downstream) until under the rock. If you want to avoid getting wet, scramble up and down along the river (downstream) until you get to a giant boulder choke in the river just below Big Rock. Crossing here requires some boulder hopping and dicey friction above rushing water (rock shoes needed? and unbuckle your pack's waist belt). Either way, the short remaining distance to the toe of Big Rock is all too obvious.

The ancillary summit on the right is Gum Drop Spire, separated from Big Rock by an obvious deep, smooth chimney. The route Childhood's End begins near the entrance to the chimney. The route Field of Dreams climbs the prominent prow up the center of Big Rock. The smooth prow right of the chimney on Gum Drop Spire is Sweet Catastrophe.

7 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Big Rock Candy Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Petered Out
Trad 6 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R
Fields of Dreams Growing Wild
Trad 11 pitches
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Childhood's End
Trad, Sport 12 pitches
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Shock Treatment
Trad 7 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Petered Out
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 6 pitches
Fields of Dreams Growing Wild
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R Trad 11 pitches
Childhood's End
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R Trad, Sport 12 pitches
Shock Treatment
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Trad 7 pitches
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