A great deal of rock can be found along the Mount Evans road, Colo 103. The road follows Chicago Creek South to the Mount Evans drainage where the creek has carved its way through a great deal of granite. While much of the rock along Chicago Creek is unappealing high altitude granite, like Mt Evans itself some of crags along Colo 103 are composed of superb stone. The Chicago Creek Rock is one of the better crags along the creek and it is composed of bullet-proof stone equal to the best granite in the state. The best lines on the crag are largely South facing and get good sun through mid afternoon. CCR appears to host numerous short cracks and trad protected face routes, and climbing on the crag dates back to some indeterminate point when it was not so kitch to make up climbing guides and record every ascent - so most of this information is probably lost to history. For example, we located some natty old gear in a very pretty crack, but couldn't guess how far back the ascent might date, nor could we even guess who may have climbed it. Two bolt protected face routes (5.10 & 5.12) were installed in January of 2003 taking the main, blank plate that faces due South. These both ascend brilliant rock that is well featured and solid. Climbing on these two routes follows a system of roofs and edges along light, chocolate colored stone. Overall it is hard to gauge how many routes have been done on CCR, but at least a dozen good lines are apparent from our initial inspection. Some of the crack routes appear to have been cleaned up by unknown parties, while others seem to be just waiting for someone to climb them. Difficulty would likely span from quite moderate to 5.12 or harder. The mountian setting, although within sight of Colo 103, is still serene, out in the woods, and well worth a visit on a warm summer day.

Getting There

Take I-70 to Idaho Springs and in the center of town take Colo 103 South (exit 240) toward Mount Evans. If you set your odometer to zero at the South side of the bridge over I-70, then the parking area will be located 6.6 miles South on Colo 103. A large parking area is adjacent to the National Park sign, and an old road heads due South from the parking. Follow the road along West Chicago Creek to a point below the crag where the stream is crossed on a steel bridge, about 250 yards. A short hump through the talus puts you at the crag.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Chicago Creek Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Super D
Trad, Alpine
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Super D
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine
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Ross Keller
Parker, CO
Ross Keller   Parker, CO
We climbed these a couple of weeks ago & found them to be worthwile little diversions. However, I don't know that I'd go so far as to say that the stone is bulletproof or that there are a lot of worth-doing new route possibilities in this area.

I would advocate that some camoflaging be done when putting up routes in an area such as this. The shiny hangers & chains are about as attractive as discarded beer cans & a little gray primer could future access issue nastiness.

I'd go with 10a & 1 star on the left and 11d & 2 stars on the right. Aug 8, 2003