Elevation: 7,757 ft
GPS: 40.708, -105.752 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 43,573 total · 215/month
Shared By: Anonymous Coward on May 27, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Access Issue: The Kingpin Boulder is closed to climbing Details


The 420s are a recently developed bouldering hot spot offering classic Camp 4 like problems on mostly free standing boulders. A subalpine setting makes this an ideal place to boulder in the summer. Most boulders are on state forest land. However, some of the more famous problems (Kingpin) are on private property. When in doubt, ask a friendly Ft. Collins local. Camping is not allowed at the 420s.

Getting There

From Boulder, Go north to Ft. Collins on I-25. Get off on the exit after Prospect. Follow signs for CO 14 and US 287 until you get to the gas station at the entrance to the Poudre Canyon (there is a sign). Drive up for a ways (20- 30 miles). Keep an eye out for the turnoff for Pingree Park. The 420s are 16 miles after the turnoff for Pingree Park. Remain on US 287. Park, go through gate on right side off road, and follow the trail (a 5-10 minute walk).

57 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at 420s

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V3- 6A
The Warm-up
V3-4 6A+
SW Face of The Warm-up Boulder a…
V4 6B
Hank's Arete
V5 6C
Hank's Lunge
V5 6C
Puffing Stone Traverse
V5-6 6C+
Scuba Steve
V6- 7A
V6 7A
V6 7A
The Perch
V7 7A+
Bisher Traverse
V8 7B
V8-9 7B+
V9 7C
Can Opener
V9 7C
Sharma Dyno
V11-12 8A+
Cloudwalker (submitted as 420 cr…
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Warm-up Warm-up Boulder
V3- 6A Boulder
SW Face of The Warm-up Boul… Warm-up Boulder
V3-4 6A+ Boulder
Hank's Arete Hank's Boulder
V4 6B Boulder
Hank's Lunge Hank's Boulder
V5 6C Boulder
Puffing Stone Traverse Puffing Stone Boulder
V5 6C Boulder
Scuba Steve Scuba Steve Boulder
V5-6 6C+ Boulder
Tsunami Warm-up Boulder
V6- 7A Boulder
Scarface Hank's Boulder
V6 7A Boulder
The Perch Warm-up Boulder
V6 7A Boulder
Bisher Traverse Warm-up Boulder
V7 7A+ Boulder
Tilt Tilt Area
V8 7B Boulder
Divergence Tilt Area
V8-9 7B+ Boulder
Can Opener Balance Boulder
V9 7C Boulder
Sharma Dyno Sharma Boulder
V9 7C Boulder
Cloudwalker (submitted as 4… Tilt Area
V11-12 8A+ Boulder
More Classic Climbs in 420s »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season


Where is the add a rock link?

Some more info/beta: the first area you come to is a single black boulder on the dirt road. The main 420s area is farther along in the woods. Just look for an obvious trail, and walk for 3 minutes to the main area. The Kingpin area is even further down the trail. It's a 5 minute stroll past the main area. The Kingpin area is right next to some cabins. Please respect the No Trespassing signs, and keep the noise level down. If you're bouldering and can see the buildings, then you're probably too close. Apr 17, 2002
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
Ummm... kind of screwed that up, we're working on an improvement to the site. In the meantime, just go to Contribute (left side navigation bar) and click on suggest a rock... Apr 19, 2002
This area should be removed. It is part of the Fort Collins' climbing world not Boulder's. It is a disgrace to FC climbers to see it on this site. It's probably the worst description I've ever seen anyways. Don't climb on Kingpin! Apr 22, 2002
Get off your high horse Anonymous Coward. Obviously not every route, or really any, belong to Boulder or anyone else. This site is great and has given useful, although sometimes inconsistent, biased, or incorrect beta to anyone who may want it. If you don't like it, don't use it. Or better yet, make a useful contribution.

Based on your ignorant and selfish philosophy, you have just limited your own climbing opportunities by a billionfold, becasue now you can't leave Fort Collins. Stay away from Vedauwoo, it belongs to Larmie. Don't go to Lumpy or climb in the Park, it belongs to the climbers in Estes. Stay away from the South Platte, and definitely don't go to Eldo.

Stop making Fort Collins climbers look like the very people you probably despise from Boulder for the same reasons you despise them. Actually, keep it up, the crags will be less crowded without you! Apr 23, 2002
Sorry, but this is the real world, and there is no difference between Poudre, Hueceo, or Font.! They're all places that people have heard/read about and want to climb at. Unless you personally own the land and are trying to keep people off your property, then I think your groundless provinciality is just a little trite, but yeah stay off Kingpin; it is on private property, and the description to the area is absolutely lame! Apr 23, 2002
If the description to Poudre is the worst you have seen - Fix it!

Poudre is not a private area anymore, it has gotten to much attention recently. Better that the access is clearly defined so that people know where they can go and where they can't.

Poudre Season is here and its access should be clarified and public. Apr 25, 2002
I am sorry about the bad description. It would be great if someone fixed it. I thought the time was right to add this popular area particularly because the new Benningfield guide won't have it. Poudre to the people! jm Apr 26, 2002
It's just amazing that you see stuff like the Poudre in magazines and on the internet, it's really not that spray worthy. Anyways, perhaps it will be a good distration from Colorado's real bouldering destination, for all you bumblies out there. May 4, 2002
Please show this area a great deal of respect. Keep your voices down, DO NOT climb on the kingpin boulder and CLEAN UP YOUR TRASH. There are no ratings for any of the problems except cicadian rythm which is V14/15 Jun 4, 2002
No ratings on the problems? You better take a look at some scorecards at8a.nu before you say that again. Aug 12, 2002
Lost a pair of MADROCK Mugen shoes over the holiday weekend (7/5) at 420 boulders. Please email jennifer@e-vse.com if you found them. Many thanks, Chris. Jul 9, 2003
Krister Sorensen
Centennial, CO
Krister Sorensen   Centennial, CO
I really wish that someone would make some sort of topo for this area that knows it best and post it on this site. I would do it, but it would be the worst topo ever, and I would get blasted. If anyone knows of one or can make one, then you should email me at mtnman455@hotmail.com. Also, the rock here is the most wonderful thing. Jul 20, 2003
Need pinepoint directions to the 420s. What's the weather like at this time. Thanks. Nov 7, 2003
The 420s are a superlative bouldering zone. I am sure Merlin is excellent as well. Is there a guide to the boulders? Nov 1, 2004
Where is short cubby demons???? Moving to CO on Thursday and heard about it last year. Any help???cheers Feb 14, 2005
Short Chubby Demon is in the main area in the back of the two boulders leaning against eachother. Feb 22, 2005
Ricky Newman
Fort Collins, CO
Ricky Newman   Fort Collins, CO
Some fun climbs for beginners at a secluded rock next to the stream.

FYI: bring plenty of mosquito repellent as they are active through-out the day. Jul 28, 2006
Dan S.
Red Feather Lakes, CO
Dan S.   Red Feather Lakes, CO
WARNING: you must possess a "Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp" to climb in this area. A fishing or hunting license is also valid. It may be purchased at any Wal-Mart or at one of the roadside convenience stores along the canyon. This is a State Wildlife Area (SWA) owned by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. See the following website for more information.


As we were leaving the 420 area, several officials with the DOW informed us of the requirement. They had just posted a sign at the pulloff that states the requirement. Each climber must possess a stamp i.e. one stamp is not valid for a group of climbers. Aug 19, 2008
I'm looking for some beta on three boulders uphill from Hank's. The first has two established problems, near/on its downhill arete. The two boulders a little bit farther uphill seem to have seen human traffic (i.e. terraced rocks, some trails, debris, cleaned-up loose rock) but don't seem to have established lines.

The furthest of these three boulders is really tall, has two large scoop-like features on its downhill face, and a cave on the other end. Looks like lots of potential for problems way beyond me. The closer, undeveloped boulder only had one worthwhile face (its uphill face) and a good bit of lichen. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Nov 1, 2008
Scott Salisbury
Fort Collins, CO
Scott Salisbury   Fort Collins, CO
I'm pretty sure that the arete on the first boulder you are talking about is the Poudre Arete and I have been told that it is V10-ish, and I'm not really sure about anything else up there. Nov 7, 2008
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
I can only recall 2 climbable boulders directly up the faint trail from Hank's Boulder. I think there may be a small one in between them, but can't remember.

Here's some info, albeit slightly incomplete ... right to left across 1st and 3rd boulders.

1st (big) Boulder R->L
Reach Out V6ish (FA: BS)
Poudre Arete V9/10 (FA: HF - low start to Reach Out)
Mr. Harry V4/5 (FA: PG)
The Mase V4 (FA: PG - cheatstone) / V9/10/? (FA: BS - now broken)

2nd (small) Boulder
nothing maybe???

3rd (big) Boulder R->L
Unnamed V4 (FA: WL)
Merv Griffin V6 sds (FA: KG - sds to Unnamed)
can't remember V9/10 (FA: WL)
The Liger V9ish (FA: BS)

I'm going from memory here ... I'm sure someone else can fill in the gaps if I don't do it first. THANKS FOR THE UPDATE Seth!!!

FWIW, there are about 3-4 boulders off-trail 30-100 yards east of these boulders with problems on them. Nothing tremendous, but most definitely a few warmupy things one can do for a change of pace away from the crowds. About 30 - 50 yards east, I recollect a east-facing tall slab with lots of slabtastic funness to be had and an arete/face on the south side of the same block. There is also a short and steep moderate problem on a short block just south of the aforementioned slabular block. About 75 more yards to the east is a block with maybe 3 or 4 nice crimpy but moderate lines on the south side. Bring pads for these as the landings on a couple of them leave a lot to be desired.

Peace Nov 7, 2008
Poudre Arete FA: Herman F., V9/10.

The Mase FA: PG (cheat stone). Standstart done by Bennett @V9/10 unrepeated since Blake broke the left hand hold. Nov 16, 2008
Michael Byczynski
Denver, CO
Michael Byczynski   Denver, CO
How the hell do you get to this place???
Went 17 miles past Pingree, thought I found it but no.

Are the "gates" you go through giant, wood-like gates? Sep 14, 2009
Brett Billings
Fort Collins, CO
Brett Billings   Fort Collins, CO
Definitely check out the guide as recommended above. There really isn't a gate, it's more like an opening in a wire fence and a very small pulloff the right-hand side of the road. You'll probably miss it the first time, but very soon after it there is a large pull off on the right hand side of the road. You can park there and walk back, or flip around and park a little closer. Sep 14, 2009
Andrew R
Andrew R   Arizony
Habitat stamp is no longer required to climb at the 420s or any other SWAs in the canyon. Hooray! Oct 10, 2009
Are you sure they no longer require a stamp or did someone just take the sign, thought it was wilderness designation (stamp required), but they do make some exceptions. Very cool if the restrictions are gone for anyone that does not possess a fishing license or the stamp by itself. Nov 26, 2009
Brett Billings
Fort Collins, CO
Brett Billings   Fort Collins, CO
Yep, if all you are doing is climbing you don't need to have the stamp. It's only required for people hunting or fishing now. Nov 27, 2009
Jason Haas
G1 Climbing + Fitness
Jason Haas   G1 Climbing + Fitness
The new, comprehensive Poudre Canyon book is in stock. Get it off the Fixed Pin website or in any of the local shops. 100% of the money goes to Craig Luebben's daughter's college fund. Dec 18, 2010
Kirk L
Fort Collins, CO
Kirk L   Fort Collins, CO
S. Stember
St. Paul, MN
S. Stember   St. Paul, MN
Anyone have a conditions update? Is there much snow atop the boulders? Good to go? Mar 15, 2014
Steve Guard
Boulder, CO
Steve Guard   Boulder, CO
Does anyone have suggestions for camping options near the 420s? After doing a little looking around, it seems that most of the developed campgrounds are on forest service land and are closed for the season as of Sept. 25th....

Planning on making it up for a weekend and was hoping to find a good camping spot close by.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks. Nov 1, 2016
Hey, Steve G. I have not found any camping around there yet, but I will let you know if I find anything.

Looking to fix the Kingpin Boulder problem hopefully...bring the boulder to us. Hint, hint.

Entrance to the 420 Bouldering area: L&L Colorado.
40.708461, -105.752054

Okay, so the closest camping I can find possible is if you take the Roaring Creek Trailhead and find somewhere 1/4 a mile away from the Cache La Poudre River. Then it's a little hike along the road before you get to the 420 Boulders entrance.

I added a bunch of pictures that show the view of arriving to the entrance, at the entrance, overview of the climbing area, and Hank's Boulder/ approximate location of Circadian Rhythm, etc. Aug 10, 2017
Checked this area out on 5/20/18. Hank's Boulder is laying on the face where the boulder problems were. All of the climbs on Hank's are now gone. Not sure the cause, but damage to the ground looks recent. May 21, 2018
Ben Scott
Fort Collins, CO
Ben Scott   Fort Collins, CO
Yes, sadly Hanks Boulder fell down to a variety of factors:
1. Lots of rain.
2. The creek flooding.
3. Boulder was an upside down triangle.
4. Big tree was pushing on it too. May 23, 2018
I was here with my wife on Sunday 5/27 and climbed on the new Hank Boulder. There's not much, a couple problems on the east face. The one traversing from the right arete to the left arete and then up the slab I sent and called Hank's Plunge. It's a V3 I'd say. I didn't see any signs of use and had to clean footholds of dirt, so I don't think anyone did it before me, but if so, then so be it. The V0 going up the right arete my wife Amber sent and called Hank's Fate. Jun 7, 2018