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Routes in Castle Rock

Hoot Owl TR 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
North Dihedral T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b X
Popomatic TR 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
South Dihedral T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a


This is the big rock formation above the town of Castle Rock that you can see from I-25. There's a huge star on top and usually an American flag blowing in the wind. The rock is chossy and I'm not sure if climbing is allowed here, but there are no signs saying no. Perhaps because the formation is all choss that climbing is not a concern. There is an easy 4th class scramble up the East side to access the top where a ladder once was, along with some remaining guard rails.

I kept seeing this monolith driving back from Colorado Springs or from Castlewood and decided to stop and check this thing out. Aside from novelty, it is probably not worth your time.

Getting There

Take I-25 to exit #182 to the town of Castle Rock. Head east to the formation and park on one of the side streets as the dirt road leading up to it is closed and you can't park along side of it.

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Mike Lane
Centennial, CO
Mike Lane   Centennial, CO
I can remember specifically back in the '70s, they were afraid the rock was on the verge of breaking in half and rolling down the hill. That's when and why climbing there was outlawed. The overhanging SW face under the flag is what they were afraid of. Nov 9, 2007
I think a few years back, well before the area all of a sudden needed "revegetation", I asked the parks about the rock, they said no problem, just don't fix any pro. I solo'd & rapped a couple of lines, the rock sucked ass! No loss here really.

We're a visible nuisance and there's nothing we can do about. We've been successfully singled out as a intrusive user group over the past five years all around this country to others' wilderness experience.

The best bet is to work with Tom & the Wood; the climbs and the scenic areas there are far far better. Nov 7, 2007
Mac - I admire your willingness to be bold; I just think this is one we should let the town have.
Boulder away, but the Rock proper I think climbers should view as "off limits" and call it a tragedy, if for no other reason than keeping good faith with the community before we need to have it (i.e. access issues). Nov 6, 2007
True, True. All of the others is true but when my older brother and tried to solo up the overhang at the top the trail and work our way to the star, it's some pretty crappy rock, but fun nonetheless.
No one told us anything because in the middle of week, there is no one on the trail, and the part we tried isn't visible from the road. Oct 16, 2007
The boulders surrounding the hillside below Castle Rock do offer a few fun problems. This is a convenient area when you find yourself in downtown Castle Rock with a short amount of time.

However, with the boulders of Mitchell Gulch, Willow Creek, Lost, and Castlewood canyons so close, it is hard to rationalize climbing within view of downtown Castle Rock with the interstate, railroad, and honking cops.

I feel the same frustration looking at Castle Rock as I do when I look at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Dang, looks like it was made for climbing, but it's against the law. It just doesn't seem right.
There is some awesome route potential on the north side, and north end of the west side. Dec 31, 2006
I agree that it is unfortunate that no climbing is allowed at the rock. As for the bouldering, I believe that the western face has better access to the boulders. Truthfully, it's up to those who want to boulder them and if they want to hike through brush. Dec 28, 2006
Sadly, there is no climbing allowed on Castle Rock, which is rather understandable, given the fact that it is our town's namesake. However, there is good bouldering on both the east and west sides. I have been known to park at the Zion Church at the base, and walk up to the boulders just off of Front Street.
Also, about two years ago, I rappelled, anchoring off the star atop Castle Rock, and backed up with a #4 and #6 Hexcentric, off of the east face (most visible and prominent from the highway) and was told by some of Castle Rock's Finest to get my "Ass off the rock" before he "kicks it off for me..."
All told, I've had very little trouble bouldering, although a police officer did honk at me as I was delicately balanced 15 feet up, and he didn't want me to get hurt. Although I informed him that honking at me while 15 feet up wasn't helping me not get hurt, his opinion didn't change. Win, some, and lose some. Happy bouldering! Apr 11, 2006

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