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Areas in Flatirons

Central 229 / 71 / 48 / 48 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 357
North 215 / 20 / 28 / 139 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 374
Sacred Cliffs, The 11 / 8 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
South 237 / 73 / 16 / 42 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 345
Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details

Description

The Flatirons are synonymous with Boulder and the history of rock climbing in North America. It would be hard to find another location in the country where such an extensive variety, from scrambling to hard "Head Point" routes exist so close to a major metro area. They form the backdrop to Boulder and are the centerpiece of Boulder's Open Space system.

There are three main areas:

Flatirons North
This area includes classic rocks such as the First and Third Flatirons, and the Amphitheatre in Gregory Canyon. Climbs here range from short newer-age sport climbs to long trad routes, including some of the longer trad routes in the area, the whole face of the 3rd Flatiron, which is about 1300 feet and the Direct East Face of the 1st which is about 1400 feet. Hard conglomerate Fountain Formation sandstone is the medium for your rock craft.

Flatirons Central
There are many rocks to explore in this area. The "Central" zone spans Bear Canyon to the Ironing Boards (just South of the 3rd Flatiron). Slabmongers can have many field days exploring the numerous smaller Flatirons, and there's a good amount of trad and even sport among these rocks. Have fun in this scenic setting.

Flatirons South
This section of the Flatirons holds some of the best climbing in the Flatirons, but it seems to be less crowded. Great rocks such as the Maiden, Matron, Devil's Thumb, East Ridge, Nebel Horn, Seal Rock, and The Goose offer slabs for beginner trad leaders and also more challenging trad lines. Excellent sport routes also can be found, some several pitches in length. The longest climb in the area is here. There is plenty to explore here.

Access: Various of the Flatirons are closed for falcon nesting from Feb. 1 up to July 31 and for bat nesting Apr. 1 to Aug. 31. Historically, some of these have included The Matron, Towers of the Moon, Jam Crack Spire, Devil's Thumb, Nebel Horn, Jaws, The Fin, Sphinx, Medusa, Fern Canyon, The Goose, The Goose Eggs, Bear Creek Spire, Harmon Cave (bats), East Face of The Hand (bats), East Face of The Finger Flatiron (bats), East Face of Der Zerkle (bats), Dreadnaught, Achean Pronoucement, Skunk Canyon Ridge 2 & west, Sacred Cliffs, East & West Ironing Boards, The Third Flatiron, Queen Anne's Head, occasionally Gregory Amphitheatre, and possibly others.

Please check with city of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks at 303-441-3440 before heading up there. Also, 303.441.4060 ext 420 & x 416 can provide information.

Getting There

Look west of Boulder, if you can't see them you shouldn't go climbing...although, it can be amazingly beautiful with liquid or solid precipitation falling. Seriously, there are numerous trails and parking lots depending on which crag you are visiting, so please refer to these descriptions.

A word of warning though; the first time climbing in the Flatirons can be a confusing experience, with lots of trails, crags and rocks that look very similar so allow plenty of time for exploring and pick a major feature to climb.

Map of Boulder most of the green stuff down & left of the arrow is Flatirons.

Resources

If it is your first time climbing in the Flatirons try to remember to take a guidebook and a map, or better yet, go with a local. Also, a headlamp can come in handy as well on the journey home, but that's a story for another day!

Rock Climbing the Flatirons by Richard Rossiter is probably the best source of information. Gerry Roach's Flatirons guide, Richard Rossiter's older Boulder Climbs North, and even Stewart Green's Colorado guidebooks can provide alternative sources for information.  A new guide by Jason Haas, Climbing Boulder's Flatirons, is now in the second edition (2017).  

Flatirons Climbing Council is a non-profit, climber organization dedicated to the limited expansion of new fixed hardware and replacement of decaying fixed hardware in addition to other climbing related issues for the Flatirons. It is a partnership between the Access Fund, American Alpine Club, Colorado Mountain Club and the Action Committee for Eldorado created to preserve climbing access in the Flatirons, conserve climbing resources and the environment, and to work cooperatively with the land manager, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), to resolve climbing issues.

Fixed Hardware

Note, from the 1980s to the early 2000s, there was moratorium on new fixed hardware in the Flatirons. With great efforts, there is a new, application-based, limited new fixed hardware process in place. Please check with the Flatirons Climbing Council.

Standard Rack

So, many, many route descriptions include "standard rack" verbiage. What is a standard rack? Good question. Here's my thoughts: Probably a set of wires, a set of cams from smallest Alien/TCU to a #4 Friend or #4 Camalot, a couple larger hexes, and probably a dozen 24" slings with biners to match. Certainly, there are those who will travel lighter or heavier, but this gets you up most routes...with a bit of skill, courage, and coolheadedness. LP

Flora & Fauna

Note, there are a few things that live in the area that may warrant some attention. On the smaller side, there is plenty of poison ivy in places for the sensitive. Also, there are mountain lions & black bear that are known to wander these parts. Watch your kids, if you're climbing with little ones.

Dogs.

According to Boulder Mountain Parks website, 90% of the trails are okay for dogs. In general, dogs in the Flatirons should be on leashes. There is a special program where on dogs may be in voice and sight control, which requires a fee ($15 for residents, $18.75 for non-residents, $5 for additional tags) and watching a video. There are fines associated with violations of the rules.

Please check out their website for more details.

1,095 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Flatirons

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V8 7B
 82
The Turning Point
Boulder
5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c
 579
Freeway
Trad 6 pitches
5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
 106
Angel's Way
Trad 8 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 748
East Face (Standard)
Trad 8 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 167
East Face North Side/Seal Rock
Trad 4 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 102
East Face Left
Trad 9 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
 899
Direct Route
Trad 10 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
 158
North Face
Trad 5 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 95
East Ridge
Trad 5 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 77
Death and Transfiguration
Trad
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 120
Undertow
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 148
The Shaft
Sport, TR
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 76
Milk Bone
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 76
Ultrasaurus (aka Uber-Pwnage)
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 71
$00pr kr33m
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Turning Point North > Satellite Boulders > BBC Boulder
 82
V8 7B Boulder
Freeway North > Second Flatiron
 579
5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c Trad 6 pitches
Angel's Way Central > Skunk Canyon > Ridge 3 aka Angel's Way
 106
5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c Trad 8 pitches
East Face (Standard) North > Third Flatiron
 748
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 8 pitches
East Face North Side/Seal Rock South > Seal Rock
 167
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 4 pitches
East Face Left North > Third Flatiron
 102
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 9 pitches
Direct Route North > First Flatiron
 899
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad 10 pitches
North Face South > Maiden
 158
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad 5 pitches
East Ridge South > Maiden
 95
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 5 pitches
Death and Transfiguration North > Green Mtn Pinnacle
 77
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Undertow South > Slab
 120
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
The Shaft Central > Dinosaur Rock
 148
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport, TR
Milk Bone Central > Dinosaur Rock
 76
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Ultrasaurus (aka Uber-Pwnage) Central > Dinosaur Rock
 76
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
$00pr kr33m South > Slab
 71
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Flatirons »

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Photos

Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
Here is a current web cam of the Flatirons:

colorado.edu/webcam/index.html Jan 24, 2007
Gerry Roach's guidebook to the area, Flatiron Classics is now back in print from the CMC press, the newer version includes more photos than the hard to find original from the late '80s. This book is geared towards scrambling and slabmongering--the grades top out at 5.8, thus it is not comprehensive as a Flatirons guidebook. Aug 12, 2008
Asymptote
Lawrenceville, GA
Asymptote   Lawrenceville, GA
Anyone lose a pair of Mammut shoes off the 1st around 10/25? Rapped off and was hiking around the side when I saw one laying next to the little overlook. Found the other a few feet from it. Looked kinda like someone was doing a scramble down the side of the Flatiron and lost them?? Nov 1, 2008
Found rope on second single bolt rappel station on backside of First Flatiron on the optional downclimb. If it is yours, please describe the rope and give me your information, so I can return it. Apr 8, 2009
Monomaniac
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
Seasonal Closures for the Flatirons are as follows:

North:

The following crags are closed 1 February to 31 July:
First Pinnacle (Gregory Canyon Amphitheatre)
Second Pinnacle (Gregory Canyon Amphitheatre)
Third Pinnacle (Gregory Canyon)
Third Flatiron
Queen Anne's Head
WC Fields Pinnacle
The Ghetto
East Ironing Board
West Ironing Board
The Fin
Green Thumb
Jaws

Central:

The following crags are closed 1 February to 31 July:
Ridge Two
Ridge Three
Ridge Four
Achean Prnouncement
Argonaut
Dreadnought
North Ridge
Bear Creek Spire

All East Face routes on the following formations are closed 1 April to 1 October (routes on the North, South & West Faces remain open):
The Hand
Mallory Flatironette
Shark's Fin
Finger Flatiron

The following routes on Der Zerkle are closed from 1 April to 1 September:
Sunnyside One
East Face Left
East Face Right

South:

The following crags are closed 1 February to 31 July:
The Goose
Goose Eggs
East Ridge
Mars Block
Nebel Horn Ridge (including Onoclea & Pellaea)
Tower of the Moon
Jamcrack Spire
The Pyramid
Incognito Crag
Devil's Thumb
Shadow Fax
Isolation Rock
Sunset Wall
Devil's Wing (W. Face)
The Matron
Lost & Found
The Sibling
Toddler Rock

Details May 14, 2009
March 2010 new-route application (on the Slab) through the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

Please click on the above link to submit comments on the proposed climb; and to have a vote in the process, come to the FHRC public meeting on April 28, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. at Movement Climbing + Fitness, Boulder, CO. Mar 29, 2010
June 2010 new-route application through the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

Please click on the above link to submit comments on the proposed climb. The deadline closes June 15; this is the only route submitted this cycle. There will be a public meeting held June 23, Wednesday, at 7:30 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder. May 12, 2010
Three applications were received for the autumn 2010 cycle of the Flatirons Fixed Hardware Review Committee. One is for a new route on the Hand, another is to add a bolt to an existing climb on Frankenstein's Castle, and the third is for a new climb on the Maiden.

Please go here to leave comments: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

Date of the public meeting/vote to be announced shortly. Jul 24, 2010
The Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council will hold its public meeting Wednesday, October 20, at 6 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado, to discuss and vote on applications for the autumn 2010 cycle. Anyone interested is invited to come participate and cast votes for the three proposals, which can be found here: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… Oct 12, 2010
Adam Brink
on the road
Adam Brink   on the road
Hi Danielle- As the Third can be seen from almost anywhere in Boulder, I think poaching it would be a very bad idea. Also, the more we can work with the land managers and not against them the better off the whole climbing community will be. Feb 16, 2011
An application for a new lead climb on the North Face of Dinosaur Rock can be found here:

flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

It has been submitted for the Flatirons Climbing Council FHRC cycle ending June 15. Any other new-route applications must be in by that date to be considered for this cycle. More info here: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

Time and date of the FHRC vote and public meeting to be announced. May 28, 2011
The Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council will hold its public meeting Wednesday, July 6, at 7 p.m. at The Spot Gym, Boulder, Colorado, to discuss and vote on applications for the June 2011 cycle. Anyone interested is invited to come participate and cast votes for the three proposals, which can be found here: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo….
You can also leave comments on the proposed applications at the above link. Jun 10, 2011
Five applications have been submitted to the Fixed Hardware Review Committee (FHRC) of the Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC) for the September 2011 voting cycle:

•Two applications for new climbs, a 5.11 on the Slab and a 5.10 on Dinosaur Rock
•Two applications to add new, lower first bolts to the existing climbs Touch Monkey, a 5.11b on Der Zerkle, Dinosaur Mountain and to Short Attention Span, a 5.11d on Overhang Rock, Bear Canyon.
•One application to add an anchor to the existing climb Big Bob Cranks on Dinosaur Rock.

To view and comment on these four applications, please visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

The vote and public meeting for this cycle will be held Tuesday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Anyone interested in voting on and discussing these applications is encouraged to attend. Nov 7, 2011
Four applications have been submitted for the January 2012 cycle of the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee. (The new deadline applications are January 1, April 1, and August 1). Two are for new climbs, one is to replace an existing (but chopped climb), and one is to replace a chopped bolt on an existing climb.

To see the applications and leave comments, please visit: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

It's probably best to leave comments on each individual route by sending them to us via email for now: fhrc@flatironsclimbing.org.

The public meeting and vote on these applications will be held Thursday, February 2 at 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Anyone interested is welcome and encouraged to attend! Jan 2, 2012
There is an application for a new lead climb on Seal Rock at: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

This route has been submitted as part of the Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing's Council's spring 2012 cycle, which ends May 1. To submit applications, visit: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… or bouldercolorado.gov/index.p… for more information.

This (south) side of Seal Rock is pending opening to new-route activity as part of the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding between OSMP and the Flatirons Climbing Council. Other formations to be added include the Goose, Sacred Cliffs, and Fiddlehead. Stay tuned to flatironsclimbing.com for more information. Mar 23, 2012
The Flatirons Climbing Council's FHRC's public meeting and vote for the May 2012 cycle will be held at The Spot gym, Boulder, CO, Wednesday May 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Choose Life, on the South Face of Seal Rock, is the sole application for this cycle:
flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… May 8, 2012
As of today, July 24, the fire-closure boundaries have been moved west from the Mesa Trail, allowing access to many of the formations formerly affected by the Flagstaff Fire closure. More info here from OSMP: bouldercolorado.gov/index.p…

A reminder to everyone to stay well clear of the closure and burn areas as you head back in to climb. Enjoy! Jul 24, 2012
There is an application for a new climb on the south side of the Maiden, our only application for the August 2012 cycle of the Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council. Details can be found at the link below; the public meeting and vote will be held Wednesday, September 5 at 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym (thespotgym.com), Boulder, Colorado. The deadline for the next cycle is January 1, 2013, though applications should be submitted in advance if possible.

flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… Aug 6, 2012
Please note that the application for the Hueco Wall, south face of the Maiden, has been updated to include a possible third pitch, which would have been brought up at the public meeting in any case. You can still view and comment on the application at flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

The public vote and meeting is September 5, 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym in Boulder, Colorado. Aug 19, 2012
There is an application for a new climb on the south face of Seal Rock, the first application for the autumn 2012 cycle of the Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council (www.flatironsclimbing.com). Details can be found at the link below; the public meeting and vote will be held some time early next year, details to be announced. This cycle closes January 1, 2013, though applications should be submitted well in advance.

The application can be found at:
flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… Sep 10, 2012
A second application has been submitted for the Autumn 2012 cycle of the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee, this one for the west face of Overhang Rock. Please visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… to view the application in full, as well as comment on it. The public meeting and vote will be held 6:30 p.m. Wednesday January 16 at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Nov 23, 2012
There is an application for a second proposed new climb on the south face of Seal Rock, the final application for the autumn 2012 cycle of the Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Flatirons Climbing Council (www.flatironsclimbing.com), which closes January 1, 2013. Details can be found at the link below. The public meeting and vote will be held 6:30 p.m. Wednesday January 16 at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado.

The application for this route, American Nouveau, can be found at:
flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… Dec 12, 2012
Lost my harness including two ATCs, two slings, and three lockers on the back of the first Flatiron! Please give me a call (93six,twozero6,0onefour0) if they've been found! Thank you very much! Jul 31, 2014
Steve Annecone
boulder
Steve Annecone   boulder
There are three new route applications submitted for the May 2015 cycle of the FCC's Fixed Hardware Review Committee application process. They are located on the Hand, Der Freischutz, and the Slab.

Please visit flatironsclimbing.org/curre… to review the applications and leave any comments you have. The public vote and meeting is set for 6:30 pm on July 1 (Wednesday) at the Spot in Boulder, Colorado. May 29, 2015
Mark Roth
Boulder
Mark Roth   Boulder
All of the links to OSMP bird closure information on Mt. Project are broken. The city has changed their web site... Here is the current link:

bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/cl…

You can also check here for up to date closure information.

flatironsclimbing.org Jul 31, 2015
There are two new route applications submitted for the January 2016 cycle of the FCC's Fixed Hardware Review Committee application process. They are located on The Box and Seal Rock.

Please visit the FCC site (flatironsclimbing.org/curre…) to review the applications and leave any comments you have. The public vote and meeting is set for 6:30 pm on February 3rd (Wednesday) at The Spot in Boulder, Colorado. Jan 25, 2016
Has anyone lost a rope in the Flatirons around August 23rd, 2016? I found one hung up on the rock and would like to get it back to its rightful owner. Aug 25, 2016
There are three new route applications submitted for the January 2017 cycle of the FCC's Fixed Hardware Review Committee application process. They are located on Seal Rock, The Box, and the Matron.

Please visit the FCC site flatironsclimbing.org/curre… to review the applications and leave any comments you have. The public vote and meeting is set for 6:30 pm on February 2nd (Thursday) at The Spot in Boulder, Colorado. Jan 1, 2017
There are three new route applications submitted for the May 2017 cycle of the FCC's Fixed Hardware Review Committee application process. They are located on Seal Rock, The Slab, and the Third Flatiron.

Please visit the FCC site flatironsclimbing.org/current... to review the applications and leave any comments you have. The public vote and meeting is set for next Thursday at 6:30 pm on June 1 at The Spot in Boulder, Colorado. May 25, 2017
Hello everyone, OSMP in collaboration with Flatirons Climbing Council is hosting a trail repair event on Saturday, June 24 from 8am to 4pm. We are looking to have 25 volunteers on Saturday and five volunteers on Wednesday (8- 2pm) to prepare the work site.

The objective is to repair the area surrounding the Pebble Boulder:

mountainproject.com/v/pebbl….

On Saturday. we will meet at the New Vista High School (Baseline & 20th) to register and car pool to the Crown Rock parking lot. Lunches and FCC t-shirts will be provided to all volunteers. To register for the event go to:

eventbrite.com/e/flagstaff-….

Thanks for you help in preserving a treasured bouldering resource.

FCC Jun 9, 2017
Applications for bolting three new routes in the Flatirons have been received by the FCC for the August 1 cycle. The formations include the Devil's Advocate, Ridge 1 of Skunk Canyon, and the Finger Flatiron. Details of the proposed routes can be found here on the FCC site: flatironsclimbing.org/current-...

Please feel free to post any comments you have on the applications. The public meeting will be held at the Spot on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm, and everyone is welcome to join and vote there. Aug 2, 2017
Applications for bolting three new routes in the Flatirons have been received by the FCC for the January 1 cycle. The formations include the Devil's Advocate, The Maiden, and Seal Rock. Details of the proposed routes can be found here on the FCC site: flatironsclimbing.org/current-.... Please feel free to post any comments you have on the applications. The public meeting will be held at the Spot on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm, and everyone is welcome to join and vote there. Dec 31, 2017
Hi, so I know the Flatirons for some snow this past week. I'm coming in from MN this weekend and am wondering if there going to be dry/not snowy by then. Feb 28, 2018
2018 Flatirons Raptor Closures have been lifted as of May 15 for the following areas:

Skunk Canyon
Bear Creek Spire
Der Frieschutz

The closures were lifted due to absent or failed breeding conditions.

Skunk is traditionally golden eagle territory, and there was activity this year, but there was no egg laying or incubation. In Skunk Canyon, R2, 3, 4, Achean Pronouncement, and Dreadnaught are open as of today. On the south edge of the Skunk Closure is the Back Porch, and it remains closed for falcon activity. BCS and D. Freishutz closures are being lifted due to the lack of breeding activity.

We will be letting you know about the status of other closures as they happen. May 16, 2018

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