Although you're just across the canyon from the highway, it feels further away. Perhaps because the water is rushing over the cliff edge not far from where you are climbing, drowning out the highway noise.

This is a commiting wall to climb at since you will have to rap in and climb out. The alternative is to swim class 5 rapids. Located partway up Red Mtn Pass, storms can approach quickly at this location. The elevation here is likely close to 10,000 feet.

The location is just spectacular. There are other routes on this wall from 5.10 to 5.12. See the guidebook at Ouray Mountain Sports for more info.

The rock is a type of Quartzite and generally features lots of sidepulls and requires some balance.

Getting There

Drive S on US Hwy 550 from Ouray (maybe 5 miles?), pass the alpine loop/Engineer Pass turnoff on your left, go another mile and park at the second launcher site sign/pulloff on your right. Directly across the street is a mine shaft. You will be directly across the canyon from the wall and a waterfall. About 20 ft. up the road from the parking, a faint trail will lead down into the trees following a ridgeline. Do a tyrolean across the top of the waterfall, and hike up the other side. You can rap in on a ledge near a giant pine tree (watch for sharp edges! Rap 35m and some down climbing or with 2 ropes) or scramble (4th or easy 5th class) to the top of the wall up a gully (go around the corner at the first tree to a ledge). Do not continue up the broad buttress or you will be nowhere near where you want to climb. Walk around the tree and locate and bolted anchor with chains and rappel the route. These anchors are visible from the parking lot just above the steep part of the all and to the right of a small tree. You will do 3 raps with a single line to get to the base of the route. You'll want at least a 60m rope.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Waterfall Wall

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See The Misfits Wall and the Chunder Dome for routes (climber's) left of Princess Ella's. Oct 13, 2015
After crossing the Tyrolean and scrambling up the gully to said giant conifer, leave your packs, and traverse right along an exposed dirt ledge to reach a rappel anchor (two bolts with links). This rap is 45m, not 35m, although scrambling to the right in the slippery wet grass at the bottom may allow a rap shorter than 45m. Unless the creekflow is low, expect to be sprayed by the falls. Fixing a 45m rope to the anchor would allow an escape, using prussiks or ascenders, back to the giant conifer, in the event of failure to top out on your climb.

During high water, scrambling farther up the gully and ramp, then rapping down your route of choice, is a better choice and would avoid getting soaked by the waterfall. Aug 23, 2017
AJ Cohen
Fort Collins, CO
AJ Cohen   Fort Collins, CO
If someone would update the GPS coordinates or leave a comment with them to the location of the wall or parking spot, it'd be greatly appreciated. Can't seem to find the location using the description and Google maps. Thanks. May 27, 2018