Access Issue: 2017 Seasonal Closures - Partial Closure Lifting Details
Access Issue: New 2018 Closure! Details

Description

New as of 2018: this formation is closed to climbing due to rock quality issues and wildlife concerns. The impact on brown bats, great horned owls, red tail hawks, and Cooper's hawks have resulted in this formation, part of the West face of Kindergarten Rock (aka Grey Rock), and the area between to be closed for all human uses including hiking and climbing. This information was from Bret Tennis, Garden of the Gods Park Operations Administrator.

Keyhole Rock is the fourth of the major climbable formations at the Garden. Most of the climbing tends to be on the east face of the rock (i.e. good morning sun in the winter, nice shade in the afternoons and evenings in the summer). There are routes on the west face, but from what I hear, they are not worth the effort. Routes range in difficulty from loose 5.6 to solid 5.12. I recommend looking at the D'Antonio or Geiman guidebooks first, because some of the routes are extremely unprotected and could result in major falls. That being said, the majority of the routes are relatively short and bolt/pin/piton protected.

The descents tend to be walkoffs on ramps. There are anchors on top of the formation available for rappels.

It is a great place to go if you want to escape the crowds of the central areas of the park and get on some other solid routes.

Addendum: this crag has been reorganized closer to the excellent Rolofson guidebook, Soft Touch III.

Getting There

There are a number of ways to get to this formation. The three main ones in no particular order:

1) (Recommended if you are doing other climbs in the park) Park at the main Garden lot. Hike through the park, past Montezuma's Tower. Look for a major trail heading south, starting just south of the tower. Hike past Easter Rock (smaller formation that isn't worth the time), down to the right of a small rib. Keyhole rock is the large formation to your right.

2) (Recommended for climbs on the north end of the rock) Park at a pullout/parking area just past the intersection of Juniper Way Loop and Garden Drive. Take a trail to the east up the hill. Keyhole rock is the large formation closest to you.

3) (Recommended for climbs on the south end of the formation) Follow Juniper Way Loop around to the south Garden lot. Hike along the road, down the hill, to an obvious trail heading west just past the base of Grey Rock. Hike/bushwack your way to Keyhole Rock.

CAUTION: When parking in the south lot, be sure to conceal any valuables. There was a rash of break ins last winter that resulted in lots of gear and possessions being swiped.

White Chalk is not allowed!

The Park staff want to remind the climbing community that white chalk (calcium carbonate) is prohibited in the park due to visual impact. While any chalk use is discourage, chalk substitute that does not discolor the rock may be used. Eco balls are sold at the Visitor Center.

When placing closure signange/notifications, our park rangers noted chalk stains on several routes in the closure area (Anaconda and Grapefruit Dance), as well as the Blowouts bouldering area (which were cleaned last year, meaning all the chalk here is new). We are again hoping that the community can come together and address this issue before it requires any action on our part. Access may come into play! We'd also like to thank the PPCA for their efforts to remove chalk stains in these areas last year and hope that local climbers might consider helping them remove chalk stains from the rock this season- check their website for more info on upcoming events- pikespeakclimbersalliance.o….

14 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Keyhole Rock

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pancho  
This is a really overlooked rock. Climbing here feels a lot more remote than the rest of the garden. I've climbed on the south east side of this rock for several hours and not seen a single other person, which is unique for the garden of the gods. Oct 17, 2004