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The Dark Side

Colorado > Morrison/Evergr… > Morrison Boulders


Across from the road from the standard Morrison bouldering area is a hill side of beautiful boulders that draws the eye as you repeat the same old standard Morrison problems. This area gained some recent attention from the video, Who Got the Props? The ultra-classic, Breashear's Crack II, draws plenty of attention. Shady lines for summer bouldering abound in this newly (?) explored area. Perhaps you can find a Holloway or Gill problem here.... First ascent lines await your eyes and touch.

Prompted from a suggestion from jmapping, we are reorganizing this into these subareas:

Arrowhead Arete Area
The Caves
The Cube Area
Rockstaircase Area
Rupture Area
The Schoolyard Area
Squirming Coil Area
Warm-up Traverse Area (Behind the Cube)

Obviously, some of these problems are yet to be sorted, and some may be missorted. Any help with the reorganization is appreciated.

Getting There

Go to Morrison, look south of the road. This hill side is covered with various shady boulders.


Onery rattlesnakes have been known to frequent this area. Beware!

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Wiley Evans is the "Squirming Coil."
[Hide Photo] Wiley Evans is the "Squirming Coil."
The Dark Side:<br>
1 [[Arrowhead Arete Area]]111663803<br>
2 [[The Caves]]111663818<br>
3 [[The Cube Area]]111663797<br>
4 [[Dasani Area]]111663821<br>
5 [[MoSo Area]]111663825<br>
6 [[Rock Staircase Area]]111663911<br>
7 [[Schoolyard Area]]111663970<br>
8 [[Squirming Coil Area]]111663809<br>
9 [[Tofurkey Area]]111663829<br>
10 [[Warm-Up Traverse Area]]111663812
[Hide Photo] The Dark Side: 1 Arrowhead Arete Area 2 The Caves 3 The Cube Area 4 Dasani Area 5 MoSo Area 6 Rock Staircase Area 7 Schoolyard Area 8 Squirming Coil Area 9 Tofurkey Area 10 Warm-Up Trav…
Luke Childers gets his repeat of the beloved "Rupture."
[Hide Photo] Luke Childers gets his repeat of the beloved "Rupture."
Wiley Evans feels no "Rupture."
[Hide Photo] Wiley Evans feels no "Rupture."
Rough map of the Dark Side.
[Hide Photo] Rough map of the Dark Side.
Wiley Evans feels no "Rupture."
[Hide Photo] Wiley Evans feels no "Rupture."
Wiley Evans is the "Squirming Coil."
[Hide Photo] Wiley Evans is the "Squirming Coil."
My friend in the cave.
[Hide Photo] My friend in the cave.
Wiley Evans feels no "Rupture."
[Hide Photo] Wiley Evans feels no "Rupture."
Wiley Evans is the "Squirming Coil."
[Hide Photo] Wiley Evans is the "Squirming Coil."
Wiley Evans is the "Squirming Coil."
[Hide Photo] Wiley Evans is the "Squirming Coil."
Wiley enjoying a nice warm up at Morrison.
[Hide Photo] Wiley enjoying a nice warm up at Morrison.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Chris Dawson
Grand Junction, CO
[Hide Comment] It should be said that this is predominantly a summer destination. In the winter months it is cold, shady and wet, as the sun doesn't touch most of the hillside all day long. Feb 21, 2002
chris deulen
Castle Rock
[Hide Comment] The winter months do bring some great temps for sending. The best way to get here when heading West on Morrison Road is to take your first left after C-470 and park on the right after crossing the bridge in the dirt pullout. Walk to the end of the lot (South) and cross a concrete bridge over the canal. Take the steep trail straight up the dirt. When a fork in the trail comes, go left (up) rather than right (straight and flat). This good trail dips down, then continues up, around trees, and along rock. When you come to the first boulders (which may have notable chalk on them) squeeze between a rock and a tree with your pad. this will lead to, yet another, steep dirt path that will bring you to a nice "cave area." Up another steep hill, and to the right will lead you to the main area, with the Cube. May 24, 2006
Jay Samuelson
Denver CO
[Hide Comment] If anyone knows the names of any of the recent problems I've put up here on the site (since I don't), please let me know and I'll change them. Thanks. Oct 13, 2007
Jay Samuelson
Denver CO
[Hide Comment] Just wanted to thank whoever put in the time, money and effort into making the staircase on the approach trail for this area, it's greatly appreciated Jul 17, 2008
North Bend, OR
[Hide Comment] I agree, the staircase makes the hike up about twice as easy. Nice work. Aug 5, 2008
Mike Morin
Glen, NH
[Hide Comment] Thank the Jefferson County Open Space Trail Crew. Aug 5, 2008
Chris Chaney
Stanton, Kentucky
[Hide Comment] The name of the hogback is Mount Glennon and this area is mostly within Jefferson County Open Space. Oct 4, 2008
Josh Cook
[Hide Comment] I have just added some very classic MoSo climbs to the database. The names I have chosen are names that myself and other locals of the area have used for the past 8+ years and have started to become the de facto names of the problems. I realize that we are most likely not the first ascentionists of many of the lines (if not all) and therefore do not have the right to replace names of ones that may or may not exist. I merely hope to give recognition to really good problems and provide a means of reference so that finding problems is easier. MoSo is a great Front Range area and I hope people can visit without having to decipher beta like "Go past Unknown V3, up to Unknown V8, and then start right of Unknown V6". It is for that reason I have added with our given names. I will happily change any info if you are 100% sure you did the F.A. and you reach out to me.

Good Climbing. Feb 19, 2009
[Hide Comment] I have also added some routes recently and if anyone knows any info on these, I would be more than happy to make corrections. I agree that it would be nice to have names to reference climbs rather than 'arete 1' etc... Also, I'm bad at grading things, so some consensus would be nice too. This is an awesome area, way better than across the road, you can actually top things out. Mar 21, 2009
[Hide Comment] There are plenty of lines still to be done here, go big or go home, seriously folks, proud ascents await!

Cheers and happy findings. May 16, 2009
John McNamee
Littleton, CO
[Hide Comment] Nice darkside vid.… Aug 2, 2010
Sean Wolf
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] Anyone have information about the cave problem at the very top of the hogback with the glue'd hold on it? Aug 30, 2010
[Hide Comment] Does anyone know what the V1-V2 climbs are that are located in the cave to the right of Dasani? In that area on the left of the cave there are two V1-V2 type climbs, the left one that you can top out, almost onto a flat sheet with some ledges on it. Steep dropoff downhill. The other climb starts on the right side of the left wall and goes straight up w/ no topout. On the right side of the cave is a super awkward, probably V5/V7, overhanging problem that stems a crack?
Couldn't find them on here and thought they would be a good addition for beginning climbers or decent warmups. There's plenty of chalk on the holds, but landings are definitely 2-4 pads and a spotter. Sep 28, 2010
[Hide Comment] There are a handful of lines that I have seen/climbed on the Dark Side that are not listed here. It would be great to get some of these named/graded and listed. There are two that I may not have been the first to climb, but they sure did take some cleaning. Has anyone climbed or know anyone whose climb the right pockety face of Moso Roof (V3-V4)? Also, the far right face of High Gravity? Right next to the arete on the right side, has small crimpy ledges all the way up (V4-V5)?

And a problem directly right of warm-up traverse (seemed to already have some chalk on it). It has a sit start to a couple of two-fingered pockets and then up to the ledge (V2?)?

Anson Jun 19, 2012
Jon Sauls
Denver, Colorado
[Hide Comment] Can anyone tell me what problem this is and its rating? I have scoured the internet looking for it with no luck. It is the 1st problem in this video: Jul 5, 2012
[Hide Comment] Does anybody know the problem that starts in a bit of a mini-cave with no feet, follows a crack system out a roof to the prow of an overhanging arete, and then tops out around the prow? It's just downhill from squirming coil and maybe behind Dasani? In the Colorado Bouldering Front Range book, their map has its area titled as "The Tunnel" and the problem is incorrectly called Dasani.

Just opposite this mini-cave is a more vertical block with some fun problems as well with weird, slab topouts.

It felt in the V4-V8 range, but I couldn't do the first move of the sit start back in the cave and can't say for sure. Beautiful movements though.

I think I'm referring to the same area as Kelham Stephenson. Jul 24, 2013
Matt W.
Edmond, OK
[Hide Comment] What are conditions like in this area right now and during the first part of February? Too wet and snowy to climb? Jan 29, 2015
doug rouse
Denver, CO.
[Hide Comment] Huge shout out to those who came up on Sunday to clean graffiti at the Dark Side in Morrison. I spoke briefly with Chris S. who advised it was all part of a mentoring program for younger climbers. Your efforts are appreciated, and we are all very thankful for the time all of you put in! Oct 5, 2015
[Hide Comment] Hello, did anyone find a pair of Red Chili Spirit VCR last Saturday, 12/16? Dec 22, 2017
[Hide Comment] Ran into a real bastard of a rattlesnake right at the top of the second set of stairs yesterday, it was hanging out just off the trail. Had to walk back over to the boulders and scramble down a faint trail to the canal and back around to the main trail to get down.

Keep your eyes peeled! It was hanging out there for a while. Oct 3, 2018
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Hey everybody! I was at Morrison Darkside parking today (the Mount Glennon Access lot), and as I pulled up, I found a white Subaru next to me with a shattered window that had been broken not long ago. Just a quick reminder that car break-ins are still happening there, so please be careful, and keep your valuables out of sight. Jun 2, 2019