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Elevation: 8,426 ft
GPS: 40.3571, -105.51672
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 89,838 total · 423/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Sep 15, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Warning Access Issue: Temporary trail closure & Thumb and Needle Closures - resolved with The Thumb Open Space creation DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

This is a small mountain located in the middle of Estes Park. Its summit is 8900 feet and can be accessed via for a fee via a vintage cable car during warm months of the year. There is even a gift shop & snack bar on top. Note, there are a bunch of mountain lions known to frequent these slopes. Watch your kids and smaller climbing partners!

On its slopes, you can find a bunch of small crags, some of which have published routes on them, like the southern crags of Dihedral Rock, Shield Rock, The Fin, The Thimble, The Needle, and The Thumb. Apparently, some of these crags may be on private property. There are other crags on this mountain which have probably have been climbed by wandering souls. While this area can hardly be considered a destination for climbers, inclement weather, limited time, kids, when your kids are competing at the Hunter Jumper competitions, and short approaches might coax a wander in the area.

There are routes here which vary from 1-2 pitches, 0 to 2 stars, 5.0 to 5.13, gear to bolts, all on gneiss and granite outcrops. The north, west, & east faces do see a bit of moisture, so you may find healthy stretches of lichen on these faces.

You may find some guided groups in the area due to the ease of access, low-end routes, and general lack of competition for routes here. Close-in parking is quite limited (probably 8 cars maximum).

Consider bringing a trash bag to help pick up debris left by partiers in the area.

Getting There Suggest change

Access to the crags is gained from a signed trailhead and small parking lot on Peak View Drive just west of Curry Drive. Do not park on Curry Drive or access the crags from anywhere along Curry Drive. From the Peak View Drive trailhead, the trail is well marked and approximately 0.75 miles long with an elevation gain of about 400 feet. Expect about 20 to 30 minutes for the approach to reach the Thumb and the Needle.

The Town of Estes Park worked on purchasing the property with the Access Fund, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, GOCO, and The Estes Valley Land Trust. The goal is to keep this area public with climbing access, so please respect private property rights of adjacent landowners.

A map: https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/122809254/a-map-of-the-thumb-os-boundaries-trailhead-and-trail-as-shown-in-the-town-of-est.

Formerly: The Thumb and Needle were on private property and the gravel road part of Curry Dr. is a private road. There was no public access to the Thumb or Needle until the Thumb Open Space was created. The Town of Estes Park purchased the property with our partners the Access Fund, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, GOCO, and The Estes Valley Land Trust. The goal was to make this area public with climbing access...success.

Any questions?  Please contact me directly.

Brian Berg

Town of Estes Park

Park Supervisor

bberg@estes.org

(970) 577-3783

Formerly: The Thumb, Needle, and all of Prospect Mt. are on private property and the gravel road part of Curry Dr. is a private road. Currently, there is no public access to the Thumb, Needle, other crags/boulders on Prospect Mt. The Town of Estes Park is working on purchasing the property with our partners the Access Fund, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, GOCO, and The Estes Valley Land Trust. The goal is to make this area public with climbing access, but until then please respect private property rights.

Any questions? Please contact me directly.

Brian Berg
Town of Estes Park
Park Supervisor
bberg@estes.org
(970) 577-3783

Apparently, Shield Rock and Dihedral Rock are closed to the public, because they lie on the hillside directly above all the new homes on Curry Drive, and there is risk of rockfall from those cliffs onto the homes below.

More 2020 Access Information

Suggest change
Prospect Mt. has been owned privately, primarily by 2 landowners, for a long time. Over the years, these landowners have tolerated climbing presence on various crags. With an increase in visitation, perhaps due to COVID-19, these property owners have now become unwilling to allow climbers on their lands. In fact, no trespassing signs have been posted, and some unpleasant confrontations have occurred. The town of Estes Park has sought to purchase land that would include many of the climbing crags and boulders on Prospect Mt. The town of Estes Park has been working with the Access Fund, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, GOCO, and the Estes Valley Land Trust in an effort to provide legal access to the climbing on Prospect Mt. hopefully within a year. A new trail may be built, and a management plan would follow. While this process is ongoing, please avoid climbing on these crags so as to make these negotiations go as smoothly as possible. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

64 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Prospect Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1+ 5
 5
PPs For Life
Boulder
V4-5 6B+
 4
Flatanger
Boulder
V7+ 7A+
 6
Equalizer
Boulder
V8 7B
 4
Antithesis
Boulder
V9 7C
 4
Little Bear (subsequently called…
Boulder
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 16
Needle TR wall aka Uphill Slab
TR
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 10
Epic Sushi Party
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 15
Zig Arete
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 22
Suburban Hangover
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 21
The Damage Done
Sport, TR
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 18
Momentary Lapse of Ethics
Sport, TR
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 18
Confines of Power
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 18
Bustin' Move
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 9
Vapor Trail
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 5
Temple of the Dog
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
PPs For Life Bouldering Zones > Zone 2 > Da Big Cheese
 5
V1+ 5 Boulder
Flatanger Bouldering Zones > Zone 1 > Flatanger Boulder
 4
V4-5 6B+ Boulder
Equalizer Bouldering Zones > Zone 3 > Equalizer Boulder
 6
V7+ 7A+ Boulder
Antithesis Bouldering Zones > Zone 3 > Equalizer Boulder
 4
V8 7B Boulder
Little Bear (subsequently c… Bouldering Zones > Zone 2 > Cracked Boulder
 4
V9 7C Boulder
Needle TR wall aka Uphill Slab Needle
 16
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c TR
Epic Sushi Party Thumb
 10
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Zig Arete Thumb
 15
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Suburban Hangover Needle
 22
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
The Damage Done Needle
 21
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, TR
Momentary Lapse of Ethics Needle
 18
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport, TR
Confines of Power Thumb
 18
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Bustin' Move Needle
 18
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Vapor Trail Thumb
 9
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Temple of the Dog Needle
 5
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Prospect Mountain »

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