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Routes in Red Rocks (Boulder)

Honey Brittle V0 4
Honey Pie V0 4 PG13
JAKS Crack T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Lemons and Lime T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
NE Fin 2 V0 4 PG13
North fin arete TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b V0- 4-
SW fin 3 arete T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13
Underthang V1-2 5
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No, this is not the concert venue down in Denver nor the climbing mecca out in Nevada. This more modest Red Rocks is a group of very handsome sandstone fins perched above downtown Boulder near the mouth of Boulder Canyon. It's a short hike from a couple of parking areas and offers good views of down town. The strata is tilted at 90 degrees and the rock is somewhat fragile in places.

I have no idea what routes exist here or their relative difficulty. There are some obvious lines up the larger (30-50'?) faces and chalk marks under some overhangs suggest some interesting boulder problems. The rock is fairly soft, crumbly sandstone so trad leads may not be the best idea; top ropes from gear are probably your best bet. The large, eastern-most face looks quite attractive and the top is easily accessible by scrambling up from the north.

Getting There

Red Rocks is easily accessible from either the Mount Sanitas or Settler's Park Trailheads on Mapleton Ave and Canyon Blvd, respectively, just west of downtown Boulder. The rocks themselves are easily visible on the right as you approach Boulder Canyon. Follow any of the trails up the hill and to the base of the rock.


or… for a map of the area.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Red Rocks (Boulder)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1-2 5
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
V1-2 5 Boulder
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I'm not 100 % sure, but the last I heard this was private property. Does anyone know for sure? Sep 6, 2003
Charles Danforth
L'ville, CO
Charles Danforth   L'ville, CO
Nope. Last year's Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks map (see the link above) lists it very definitely as part of the the Open Space. There are official trails, an official memorial bench, and assorted signage. There is a shmancy-looking community directly to the east which may be the private property you're thinking of. Sep 17, 2003
Evan S
Erie, CO
Evan S   Erie, CO
I scramble around up there a lot. There is a wall of more solid stone with some fun bouldering just a little south east of the main rocks. You can see it from the trail, no secret or anything. As far as climbing on the fins themselves, I suppose you could try to top rope some of the bigger faces, but they are pretty featureless and the holds that you will find will rip right off. The way to do it up there is mess around in the slots and chimneys. There are some fun 5.5ish gullies to work your way up, and a few spots of maybe 5.6 face climbing higher up. There are also a couple gnarly squeeze chimneys and a 25 ft semi-offwidth crack I have been tempted to solo many times, but I always chicken out, the landing would be extra bad. Definitely some fun to be had on a lazy day, just beware of the super crumbly and abrasive rock. Jan 19, 2009
Ryan Flynn
Maple Valley, WA
Ryan Flynn   Maple Valley, WA
Anyone know any good routes here, if not I'd like to start some. May 22, 2009
Ryan Flynn
Maple Valley, WA
Ryan Flynn   Maple Valley, WA
The link above for the area map is no good.... Jun 21, 2009
Matt Novinger
Erie, CO
Matt Novinger   Erie, CO
OSMP map is now at…. May 14, 2013
David Tennant
Denver, CO
David Tennant   Denver, CO
All the map links have since become 404 errors. Here's the current map on Boulder's site:

www-static.bouldercolorado.… Apr 23, 2015

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