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Areas in Palisade Mountain

Becker Wall 6 / 4 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
East Buttress (God's Country Cowboy Church Cirque) 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Horseshead 21 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 21
Ivy League 3 / 5 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Jewel of the Nile Wall 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Jungle Wall 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Mikey's Island 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 4
Nancy's Rock 5 / 7 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Sinking Sun 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Skull Rock 5 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Skull Valley 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Subskull 5 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Temple of Tao, The 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Unknown Crag at Palisade Mountain 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1

Description

Palisade Mountain is the same mountain that Nancy's Rock (a.k.a. Rio Bravo and Cyclop's Slab), Becker Wall, and Skull Rock are located on. This is a huge mountain with some established routes and possibilities for 100s of other routes. Many slabs and crack systems exist. With the exception of Nancy's Rock, everything requires steep approaches and navigating through difficult rock bands, pine needles, and vegetation. The rock here is however very solid and potential for multi-pitch routes exist. There are some brief descriptions in the Estes Park Valley Guide by Bernard Gillett, but locating these routes is difficult in reality and even more difficult to explain.

Getting There

Palisade Mountain is located on US Highway 34 west of Loveland. From the Beige Siphon tube in the Narrows it is 6 miles, just a mile short of the town of Drake. The mountain is the obvious rocky crag hundreds of feet up the north side of the road. Park in the paved lot at Nancy's Rock and start on that trail. After 100 feet break off right and trail blaze up and right. I recently discovered some quartz cairns midway marking a pseudo trail.

Poison Ivy Alert

Eds. Note, there is much poison ivy for the sensitive.

90 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Palisade Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Chance
Trad, Sport, TR
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Glue Factory
Trad
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Ponyboy Arete
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pearly Burly Brooke
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Drunken Master
Trad 2 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
The Middle Man
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Sea Biscuit
Trad
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Neighsayer
Trad 2 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Kentucky Derby
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
Breeder's Cup
Trad 2 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Funky Gold Patina
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
The Temple
Trad
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Tijuana Donkey Show
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Vulgar Display of Power
Trad 2 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Annie's Knotty Fingers
Trad
Chance Nancy's Rock 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Sport, TR
Glue Factory Horseshead 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad
Ponyboy Arete Horseshead 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad
Pearly Burly Brooke Jewel of the Nile Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Drunken Master Temple of Tao 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
The Middle Man Subskull 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Sea Biscuit Horseshead 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Neighsayer Horseshead 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 2 pitches
Kentucky Derby Horseshead 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Breeder's Cup Horseshead 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13 Trad 2 pitches
Funky Gold Patina Horseshead 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Sport 2 pitches
The Temple Skull Rock 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Tijuana Donkey Show Horseshead 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Vulgar Display of Power Temple of Tao 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad 2 pitches
Annie's Knotty Fingers Mikey's Island 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
More Classic Climbs in Palisade Mountain »

Weather Averages

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
westy
Loveland, Co
westy   Loveland, Co
Stay high (out of the valley) and it'll be alright. Denise is right with the poor quality of rock where we were. The actual location in reference to Palisade was the false summit face right of Palisade. We were there for a different type of climbing. From the dam, it's a long venture to get to the actual possibility of route climbing.
I agree Allen. There is an extreme amount of ivy in the Big T.

Climb fast, safe and Fun! Aug 29, 2008
Yes yes, there is poison ivy in the Big T. It is the Rocky Mountains. And, although there is loose rock, there is an abundance of solid rock. Aug 19, 2008
denise 911
fort collins, co
denise 911   fort collins, co
Note 'vegetation' involves forests of poison ivy. Can't really speak for quality of rock towards the top, but we encountered a lot of loose rock and decomposing granite on the approach up from Idlewilde Dam (on Hwy 34). Aug 15, 2008
In 1965, Kenyon King and I climbed a distinctive ridge or arete from the road to the summit of Pallisade. We stayed on or near the arete as much as possible to make it interesting. I do remember having to get off the ridge a little and go up a chimney of sorts. At the time we graded it II 5.6. You can probably make it as easy or hard as you want. The rock wasn't bad.

Tom Griffiths
Kenai, Alaska Apr 20, 2008

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