Elevation: 6,407 ft
GPS: 39.749, -105.243 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 43,403 total · 208/month
Shared By: Darrin Stein on Feb 12, 2002 with updates from Ethan Little
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac


This crag has dark granite (I think), and it is approximately 65' high and the same in width. There are two sport and four trad climbs with multiple TRs in between. There are two sets of two bolt anchors on the face, above the roof. It's a stretch to set up a TR on those, so be careful.


A. 5.7 Face, 7, 1p, gear or TR.
B. 5.7 Dihedral, 7, 1p, gear.
C. 5.7 Arete, 7, 1p, TR.
D. 5.9 Crack aka "Into the Void", 9, 1p, 60', gear.
E. 5.10a Face, 10-, 1p, bolts.
F. 5.10 Crack aka "Thin Fingers", 10- C0/A0-1, 1p, gear.
G. 5.9 Face, 9, 1p, bolts.
H. 5.8 Crack, 8, 1p, 45', gear.

Eds. Beware of rattlesnakes here!

Getting There

From US 6, take Lookout Mountain Road 1.7 miles to a parking pullout on the right side. If that is full, go around the switchback, and pull off on the left side. The trail goes East of the first pullout mentioned and puts you on top of the crag. From there, you can go left and down to the base. The trail down is loose, so be cautious. If the approach takes you more than a couple minutes, you're at the wrong place.

Post Rock Cleaning Note

After a rock cleaning effort, the top left side of the crag has changed. At least one set of anchors is no longer there. Please be careful.

This is now the top of this face and the corner. The anchor is back behind vantage point.

Commerical Permits

Per Robert Pearson: JeffCo Open Space issues commercial permits for this crag. They are supposed to still share the crag with other climbers. Call Cathy at Open Space 303-271-5981 for details.

10 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Lookout Mountain Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Lookout Mountain Crag »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
I believe the granite here is metamorphosed. It creates interesting patterns in the rock that make the climbing interesting. It is definitely different than the South Platte and Boulder Canyon. The few routes here are short, so don't plan on making a day of it. But if you in the Golden area, have some quick burns and then head to the Golden City Brewery. Fun stuff. Feb 13, 2002
Kevin Currigan
Kevin Currigan   Lakewood
And-keep your eyes open for rattlesnakes. My buddy Andy just about stepped on one last summer. These guys are about an inch in diameter and two feet long. When they coil up on the ground they look just like a little, dark green, cow pie. They are very hard to see. Feb 16, 2002
Last year somebody placed a number of new unnecessary bolts on this crag. Several of the bolts were partially placed, then abandoned. Maybe the bolter was using his short little pr#%k as a depth-gage?

Anyway, I just removed several of these bolts, and filled in about ten partially-drilled holes. From now on, if you want to toprope this slab, sling a damn tree.

And don't let me catch you (whoever you were) practicing to be a Sport Park grid-bolter on this crag. If I do catch you, we will be having an unpleasant discussion about spreading your filth were others have been happliy climbing since before you were a glimmer in your dad-uncle's eye.

Cheers. Feb 20, 2002
Golden climbers (and particularly students from the School of Mines) have been teaching people to climb at this crag for decades. It is small, but it is very special to a lot of people. We'd like to keep it that way. Please respect the area and the rock. Pack out your bottles and trash, and PLEASE leave the bolt kit at home. Thanks. Feb 27, 2002
This is one of the greatest rocks I've ever had a chance to play on. It has just about everything. The approach is about thirty seconds to the top of the rock. Once there you can rap down (if there is an open anchor), or scrable down a nice gully. The climbing is great. Everything from cracks to thin face moves. Almost everything has a roof to work your way over. Long slings will enable you to TR just about every route on the rock. A little gear will make it even better. (Please don't plug every placement for one anchor...)

I too was shocked to see a bunch of new bolt anchors last summer. The new anchor on top of the easy slab furthest east was a nice touch. I was never patient enough to get a good anchor set up there. The others seemed redundant. I was also confused why the bolter didn't bother to retro bolt the bottom bolt on the western most sport climb. You can tell where the bolt used to be, and if you take the bottom most start to the route, it gets a little run out at the bottom. Feb 28, 2002
Today, I saw a rattlesnake at the bottom of the crag. It was very large and rattling. It was near the bushes. Be careful!! Jun 20, 2002
By the way this rock is not granite it is gneiss. A very highly metomophosed rock. Just thought I would point that out since people seem confused about the rock type. By the way I agree with Matt keep your bolt kit at home. Jun 28, 2002
[Ed. Note - Moved from duplicate posting]

Details: This area has just about everything: trad, sport, top rope, and aid. The rock is of ver high quality. The crag was a very short approach, 30 seconds off the road. It has very good beginner cracks to toprope, a 5.10 finger crack that you can clean aid at a very easy A1, a few sport routes in the 5.9-5.11 difficulty. This place has just about everything in a fairly small area, so it is a great place to take friends that climb at different levels.'

Get There: Follow 6th Ave into Golden and turn left on 19th St (at the stop light). Follow 19th as it winds its way up though the neighborhood and onto the mountain itself. The crags are on the north side of the Mountain, about 1.8 miles up the road. There are small pulloffs on both sides of the road and a path leading down to the crags, follow the path for 30ft to the top of the cliff. You can either set up a rappel from the bolts or walk down to the base. Note: If you go below the huge "M" on the mountain then you have gone to far. May 9, 2003
Seems to me that some of the cold shut anchors up top could due with replacement...Would anyone be upset if I were to replace them. Most notaly, the cold shuts atop the 5.10a face climb. One is VERY rusted and the other is spun. Oct 18, 2003
Was climbing last tues. morning at a large group of kids from the Colorado Academy. 8 12 year olds showed up to climb they set up a bunch of top ropes the two instructors were talking about placing a bunch of new bolts so it will be easier to set up top ropes. I told them that this spot didn't need any bolts but they really didn't care. Jul 28, 2004
Bryan Kulla
Arvada, CO
Bryan Kulla   Arvada, CO
I noticed it has been a while since someone posted here. Is this area still able to be climbed? Jun 10, 2006
It's still there and open to climbing. I was there recently. There was a group from CMC there who had topropes set up on all the climbs except the 5.7 Face and Dihedral. They were friendly enough and offered to let us climb on their ropes so it wasn't too bad despite being crowded.
I had a new climber with me and the 5.7 Face was great for teaching him to trust his shoes. Jul 17, 2006
Several of the route descriptions on the list describe the same obvious routes, but with different ratings.
A good photo of the entire crag, with numbers, would help narrow this down a bit. Sorry, I didn't bring a camera with me yesterday.
Alan Jul 28, 2006
Alan, I agree. How can a small crag with maybe 6 routes have 12 routes listed, all with different ratings?

I will take a camera and see if I can identify the routes better. Aug 2, 2006
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Fun "little" spot with surprisingly nice rock. Zero approach. In 2 hours' time, you can pretty much climb every variation possible. Sep 28, 2006
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
I took my nephew up here today and I must admit it's a really great little crag. The rock quality is fantastic and for a 12 year old it's got it all. Easy trad leads, a stiffer sport climb, and a fun roof to boot. For some reason it reminded me of some climbs I've done in north Wales. Similar rock I would guess. Apr 19, 2007
I left some gear on the big overhang climb. If anyone found it, please let me know. We came back within 10 mins and it was gone. Jun 17, 2007
Chris Chaney
Stanton, Kentucky
Chris Chaney   Stanton, Kentucky
Why is this called "Lookout Mountain" crag if it is actually on Mount Zion? Feb 27, 2008
Brian Tessier
Lakehood, Colorado
Brian Tessier   Lakehood, Colorado
I believe Jeffco open space refers to it as the "Car Crash Crag" Feb 28, 2008
This crag has great rock quality and the trad here is really fun, but beware of crowds and bullshit top-rope anchors to climb around. Sep 26, 2008
Climbing Sunday at Lookout Mountain, Golden, Alan stepped on what looked like good rock on the Hard Smear route, just left of the Hand/Foot Crack (this is "H" on the Mtn Project page). It broke off, sending a 'large piece of flake' about 20 feet into us. Amazingly it went between four of us and stopped after hitting a pack. Alan et al tapped the remaining rock flake and discovered a 12" by 4' or so section that is hollow underneath, just waiting for a hard smear step to break it off and nail a belayer.

Second rock problem is the large slab just right of the Hand/Foot Crack (again "H"). The reason there are slabs in the first place is 'years ago' the bottom part of the slabs have broken off, leaving a fun slab to climb up and over. Unfortunately the slab in question has had enough freeze-thaw cycles to begin to look like it 'might' break loose. In addition the top of the slab has a delta piece that John was able to rock when he grabbed it, so it is 'loose and balanced'. The delta piece is 2000-3000 pounds; the complete slab is 20,000 pounds, more or less.

Alan marked both the flake and the delta slab with chalk "X". But chalk washes off.

I hope to contact the county et al about taking my little 5# sledge and breaking the flake off. The delta 'might' be movable with a crowbar. The full slab is another problem. Remember some of the rock slides in Yosemite that buried camping climbers ? Jun 22, 2009
Greg D
Greg D   Here
If you need a sledge, maybe it is not ready to come off. Be careful, wear a helmut and never hang out below other climbers. Jun 23, 2009
Found: Flashlight at base of cliff. Identify to claim. Topropecmc@aol.com Sep 7, 2009
Stubby-Ian Howells
Denver, CO
Stubby-Ian Howells   Denver, CO
Just curious which way the crag faces. IE, does it have summer shade? or Winter Sun? May 29, 2010
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
The crag faces North - no winter sun, good summer shade (except midday sun can be in your eyes...). May 30, 2010
Michael Slater   Denver
Was there yesterday from about 10:30 till 3 and it is a great little area. We had climbers ranging from first time in a harness to a climber who has a guide service and all had a blast. The approach can be a bit sketchy as you have to climb down some steep rocks, bring some approach shoes. The area is shady in the morning and even late in the afternoon there are places to get out of the sun.

WARNING, on the 5.10a face there were two loose bolts. I think they were the second and fourth. The climber was able to finger tighten them and continue (not recommended). We didn’t have a wrench, so please consider bringing one if you are headed up shortly. Jul 5, 2011
Eben Daggett
Boulder, CO
Eben Daggett   Boulder, CO
Was here today. PLEASE be very aware and careful and bring a snake bite kit. Had a run in with a HUGE and AGGRESSIVE rattlesnake today. Luckily, no one was bit, but he was chillin' in a bush on the main trail down from the road to the top anchors. He was rattling like crazy and attempted a strike on my leg. Please be safe. May 31, 2012
Climbed 7/26/2014.
JeffCo Open Space now calls this "Car Crash Crag", no idea why. They also issue permits to commercial groups who supposedly can 'take' all the routes, but I was told they are still supposed to 'share' the crag. This is done to avoid overcrowding and conflicts but could easily lead to commercial groups taking whatever and whenever. Call Cathy at Open Space 303-271-5981 for details. Jul 28, 2014
Ryan Gajewski
Longmont, Co.
Ryan Gajewski   Longmont, Co.
Left some webbing and 4 locking biners on top of the 5.7 on the far climber's left of the wall. If anyone picked them up, let me know! Aug 11, 2015
The far left slabs of Lookout Mountain Crag are now much safer. We trundled some huge blocks today. Everything should clean up with a good rain! Most of the remaining debris is loose soil and smaller rocks.

There are still two bolts remaining; however, it would probably be best to bring a static line to set your anchor with. In the meantime, be careful out there! Oct 21, 2016
Noah Yetter
Lakewood, CO
Noah Yetter   Lakewood, CO
To clarify the above (just by observation, I was not involved), the rock which hosted the relatively-well-placed anchor chains for the leftmost routes is no longer there. That area is now very loose soil and quite a few loose rocks; do not attempt to traverse it. To set up a TR here, you will once again need to use the old anchor bolts which are perhaps 6 feet back from the edge. Bring some long webbing or cord. Oct 23, 2016
Golden, CO
AleyaJean   Golden, CO
To continue the observations on the area where the rocks were trundled last year, the soil continues to erode making access the two bolt anchor difficult. Set up there yesterday and moved a few football-sized lose rocks before they came down on the group below. Make sure to let people below know you'll be working above them, and be prepared to extend the anchor pretty far down below you. May 14, 2017
Aaron Willey
Denver, CO
Aaron Willey   Denver, CO
GF left my belay device at the bottom of the 5.7 route. It was a green Mega Jul, if someone would be so kind to get it back to me, there will be a reward involved. Thanks! Aug 28, 2017