Elevation: 5,323 ft
GPS: 38.447, -105.216 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,734,000 total · 9,306/month
Shared By: John McNamee on Feb 26, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Introduction

Cañon City, is located at the mouth of the Royal Gorge in the foothills of the Rockies, 100 miles from Denver, 45 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, and 35 miles west of Pueblo. The Arkansas River extends the entire 60-mile length of Fremont County and flows through the City of Canon City. The Canon City metropolitan area has a total population in excess of 30,000.

Sheltered in a beautiful valley, Cañon City, elev. 5,343 feet, features a mild and hospitable climate year round. Canon City is said to be in the banana belt of Colorado, seeing very few days of extreme weather each year. The warm days are cooled by temperate evenings. Snowfall is usually light and quickly melts under the warm Colorado sunshine that prevails over 325 days a year. Humidity remains comfortably low throughout the year. "Indian Summer" reaches long into the fall, with warm, sunny days and cool, pleasant nighttime temperatures.

With all this going for it, you can understand why Shelf Road is one of the most popular Winter, Fall and Spring sport climbing destinations not only in Colorado but the country.

Also, one of the main sources of economy for the town is the penitentiary systems here. Beware of picking up hitchhikers!

The Royal Gorge has interesting potential (unclear access issues) with rock walls to 1000 feet and ice drips that drop to the river. At one point, there was a 1000 foot bolted 5.10 created for a specific competition.

Getting There

Cañon City is located on US 50 west of Pueblo, Colorado, approximately 50 miles from Pueblo, 45 miles from Colorado Springs (1h) and 115 miles from Denver (2h).

Map of Cañon City.

Resources

If you are climbing at Shelf Road, there is plenty of camping available. However it can get pretty cold during the winter. If you want a real bed to sleep in check out these options:

Budget Host Royal Gorge Inn
217 N. Raynolds Ave.
Cañon City, CO 81212
719-269-1100

Located on Rt. 50 by Burger King, right at the turnoff to Shelf Road. It's a nice, clean motel, with refrigerators in the rooms, HBO on TV, and an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna. In March, rates were $65/night for a room with 2 queen beds ($60 for AAA members).

There are lots of other motels in town (Super 8, Best Western, etc.)

Beer:
You can buy beer and wine at Gateway Liquors located at, 3055 E US Highway 50 #A. They are situated across from Wal-Mart, about 2 blocks from the Budget Host Motel.

Breakfast places:
Try the Waffle Wagon, a local place that's only open for breakfast and lunch. They are at 1310 Royal Gorge Blvd (US 50). Also the Bufmack Cafe, at 325 Main Street. Both places are decent, local breakfast places with good prices for egg, pancake, and waffle breakfasts. Just the sort of thing to stock up on before heading to Shelf Road and a day of pulling pockets!

Dinner places:

Try the Wild West Steak House, at 3245 E US 50. They have good beer on tap, and free salted peanuts in the shell in a metal bucket; you throw the shells on the floor. Good for steak, prime rib, ribs, shrimp dishes. Has a salad bar.

Pizza Madness has good pizza, but it is limited for beer. Domino's Pizza is always an option as well.

There are good Mexican (El Caporal) and Italian (Merlino's Belvedere) restaurants in town. See the new Shelf Road guidebook for info.

Ice Cream:

There is still a Baskin Robbins on US 50.

Weather

You can try NOAA for info.

Bats - conservation

See a bat on a route, give a shout. Climbers for Bat Conservation is working with climbers to understand bat ecology and why bats choose certain cracks and flakes. If you see bats, and want to tell them, here is their email (climbersforbats@colostate.edu) and their website (climbersforbats.colostate.edu/).

Climbers for Bat Conservation is a collaboration between climbers, bat biologists, and land managers to understand where bats roost and where large populations may reside. They are interested in finding bats because a new disease, called white-nose syndrome (whitenosesyndrome.org/), has killed millions of bats in North America. This collaboration has identified bat roosts throughout the U.S., and as far away as Norway and Bulgaria. CBC was developed by biologists who climb and they are advocates for climbing access and bat conservation. If you see bats while climbing, please let them know by emailing them at climbersforbats@colostate.edu, or visiting their website to learn more (climbersforbats.colostate.edu/).

Rob Schorr

Zoologist, Colorado Natural Heritage Program (sites.warnercnr.colostate.e…)

Director, Climbers for Bat Conservation

Robert.schorr@colostate.edu 

1,294 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Canon City Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Canon City

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 159
Silverado
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 251
Lime Street
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 257
The Raw and the Roasted
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 172
No Passion for Fashion
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 213
Unusual Weather
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 338
Lats Don't Have Feelings
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 171
Gravitations
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 112
In The Morning, You'll Be Mine
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 132
The Gym Arete
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 200
Freeform
Sport
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 181
Heavy Weather
Sport
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 80
No Rest For the Wicked
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 118
Tits Up
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 125
The Hurricane
Sport
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 93
The Ejection Seat
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Silverado Shelf Rd > Sand Gulch > Contest Wall
 159
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Lime Street Shelf Rd > Bank
 251
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
The Raw and the Roasted Shelf Rd > Gym
 257
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
No Passion for Fashion Shelf Rd > Gallery > Menses Prow
 172
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Unusual Weather Shelf Rd > Bank
 213
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Lats Don't Have Feelings Shelf Rd > Cactus Cliff
 338
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Gravitations Shelf Rd > Cactus Cliff
 171
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
In The Morning, You'll Be Mine Shelf Rd > Gym
 112
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
The Gym Arete Shelf Rd > Gym
 132
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Freeform Shelf Rd > Sand Gulch > Free Form Wall
 200
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Heavy Weather Shelf Rd > Bank
 181
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
No Rest For the Wicked Shelf Rd > Bank
 80
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Tits Up Shelf Rd > Cactus Cliff
 118
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
The Hurricane Shelf Rd > Spiney Ridge
 125
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
The Ejection Seat Shelf Rd > Gym
 93
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Canon City »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos