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Areas in Lemon Reservoir

East Side 2 / 21 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 23
Lemon Reservoir Boulder Area 0 / 0 / 0 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
West Side 12 / 20 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 24
Elevation: 8,400 ft
GPS: 37.465, -107.678 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 41,402 total · 362/month
Shared By: e Dixon on Aug 20, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Lemon is another nice piece of the climbing in Durango. This scenic little canyon lies to the north of Lemon Reservoir and is split by the Florida River. The rock is a mildly coarse and fractured granite that makes for a nice contrast to the sandstone and limestone that characterizes most of the climbing around town. Routes are found on both the East Side and West Side of the river and can require different approaches (depending on water level). Most of the climbs are protected by bolts, but some require gear. Climbing has been going on at Lemon for years now, but there is still development occurring. New routes are being established on both sides of the canyon. A 70 meter rope can be useful for lowering off some of the longer climbs.

Probably the best season is fall. It is possible to chase the shade, depending on the time of day, which makes climbing at Lemon in the summer months nice as well. During much of the spring and winter the canyon can be wet and dirty from runoff.

Getting There

From the intersection of CR250 and Florida Road (Bread), follow Florida Road east for about 12 miles. Stay left at a signed intersection and continue on CR243 for about 5 more miles to reach a gate at the north end of Lemon Reservoir. For specific directions on how to approach the cliffs, see East Side and West Side descriptions.

55 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Lemon Reservoir

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Finding Forester
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Warmup 3 aka Fred Flintstone
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Vertical Alluvium
Trad, Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Lemon Peel
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Chucky Bill
Trad, Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
We The People
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Via Manolo
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Holy Grail
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Brady's Route
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Rasta Man!!
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c PG13
5.13 8a 29 X- 30 E7 6c
The Sand Dollar
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Hotness W Side 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Finding Forester W Side 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Warmup 3 aka Fred Flintstone E Side 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Vertical Alluvium W Side 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Sport
Bonsai W Side 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Lemon Peel W Side 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Chucky Bill W Side 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport
We The People E Side 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Via Manolo W Side 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Holy Grail E Side 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Brady's Route E Side 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Rasta Man!! E Side 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
NoJo W Side 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Sport
Simonizer E Side 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c PG13 Sport
The Sand Dollar E Side 5.13 8a 29 X- 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Lemon Reservoir »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


Basically every anchor on the east and west side of the main area has either Climbtech Mussy hooks or Cypher steel biners. Please use them to lower and/or TR on. If you notice them getting grooved let me know, and I'll replace them. I'm hoping people like the Mussy hooks. They are easy to clip, and I think they'll last a lot longer than the steel biners.

Please don't take them! Communication between climber and belayer is very hard when the creek is up. Hopefully these will make things easier and safer. Nov 5, 2017
Found a helmet on Saturday, September 2nd. Message me with details, and I'll get it back to you. Sep 2, 2017
Caution for dog owners: access for our K9 friends in this area is fairly difficult no matter how you spin it. You have three options for bringing your pooch to the crag:

1. Buy a dog hoist/vest and rappel your dog (seen this done multiple times).
2. Ford the river and hike an extra 20-30min on the approach.
3. Scale the North end of the crag (not recommended as Rover will certainly dislodge a few of the loose rocks, and it is incredibly steep).

If anyone has some better K9 beta, please add to the comment. I'd love to find some better ways to get my crag dog to the wall. Jul 30, 2017
Fritz Nuffer
Durango, CO
Fritz Nuffer   Durango, CO
If you're putting up a new route at Lemon, hit me up, and I'd be happy to get you some Mussy hooks for the anchors. Jul 18, 2017
Climbed Finding Forester, Hotness, and Bonsai on April 3rd 2016 with two friends.

At this time of year, still a good amount of snow on the ground and as such the road is closed on the approach. Hiked in about 40 minutes from the gate, past the first campground to the Transfer Campground, accessing the wall from campsite 21. Leave early in the morning to avoid any mud, and walk on top of the snow and frozen dirt.

The walls were warm in the morning and early afternoon sun, belayed Forester and Hotness from on top of a big snow pile. The place was empty, it was perfect. Hiked out by picking our way along a trail on the East Side after hopping some rocks to cross the stream. Eventually let out at the gravel pit, then followed the road down to the right until we reached the gate.

Amazing time out there. Apr 6, 2016
mike coyle
durango, co
mike coyle   durango, co
Just climbed Lemon Peel and really enjoyed it. Found the crux to be in the 10+ range, it helps to be tall. Thanks for this addition, fun route! Jun 27, 2014
The new climb that was put up next to Bonzai is great addition to the west side climbs at Lemon. There are definitely some tricky spots, but the overall movement on the route is great. Once this route cleans up, it will be even better. I would say that the route is on the hard 5.10 side, and probably would be considered 5.10c or 5.10d. I would encourage everyone to get on this route if you are in the area. Jun 23, 2014
Hey Ian, I just climbed that route today. I hadn't seen it before, so decided to check it out. Great line, super fun moves, and like you said, it will get better the more it is climbed. That prow is a cool feature, I'm surprised it hasn't been bolted before now. I'd give it a 5.10 rating. Thanks for putting it up. I'd recommend this climb as a must do for people coming to the crag. Thanks again. Jun 19, 2014
Bayfield, CO
Harold   Bayfield, CO
Todd, you say not to use hostility yet you threaten some poor unfortunate soul with a bb gun. Is that what you do in Ignacio, hunt for the greatest game? Anyway, we top-roped and free-soloed most of the easy routes decades ago making those who equipped the routes here the actual perpetrators. Hunt and sodomize, but witch hunts are ignorant and outlandish. Aug 15, 2012
Todd W. B.
Fort Collins, CO
Todd W. B.   Fort Collins, CO
Ben -- don't encourage such hostility! And Harold, I'll bet a hanger in your butt would hurt more than you think! Max - let's hunt the bastard down. I'll bring the bb gun! Aug 9, 2012
David Heerschap
Lander, WY
David Heerschap   Lander, WY
Hey Harold, remember rule #1. Don't be a jerk. Aug 6, 2012
Bayfield, CO
Harold   Bayfield, CO
If you spent less time watching then you could afford to equip the routes better, then you wouldn't have to watch. Also, have you had a hanger in your butt? It really isn't that bad, just sayin'. Aug 4, 2012
Were these routes bolted ground up on lead? Jul 31, 2012
Ben Griffin
Durango, CO
Ben Griffin   Durango, CO
Nice, Max. Way to lay down the LAW! Jul 31, 2012
To the punk who added bolts to my route: take you f-ing drill and shove it! If I ever catch you adding bolts to established climbs, you'll have to remove the hangers from your ass! We're watching.... Jun 29, 2012
Brototype Winkler
The Bay Area
Brototype Winkler   The Bay Area
It should be known that this area's warm-ups are HORRIBLY sandbagged. Even the guidebook puts the grades of warm-ups 1, 2, and 3 well above the suggested grades on here. Also, the bolting on the first three routes could be considered dangerous. A blown clip on any of these at the third bolt would most likely result in a groundfall. The climbing at this area is fun and interesting, but I do not recommend following the written guides on here as they may put you in dangerous territory. May 29, 2012
Tim Kuss
Durango, CO
Tim Kuss   Durango, CO
The bolts leading right from Brady's were installed by Jared Ogden a few years ago. I don't know how much work they put into climbing it though, or much else for that matter. Looks pretty hard.

The other line of bolts is definitely a great line. Jim Symans bolted it back in the Lemon heyday. I have toyed with it, really hard for sure, maybe 13+ or so. You should work on those, get 'em done. I'll give you a belay, man. May 19, 2011
Does anyone have information on the two projects on the main face of the East Side. One traverse hard right off of Brady's Route and follows a prominent, arching seam. The other climbs straight up off the ledge directly above Dirt Track to the same anchor. Has anyone been trying these, or has either been redpointed? The one off the ledge has an old tag that is sun-bleached white making me think it is someone's very old (maybe abandoned) project. May 18, 2011
Daniel E. Hopper
Daniel E. Hopper   Hesperus
Jim Something was the FA for both of those. There is a .13a to the left of Rasta Man, and he was the FA on it as well. May 31, 2010
Ben Griffin
Durango, CO
Ben Griffin   Durango, CO
Does anyone know who did the FAs of Rasta Man or Jack Frost? Jun 10, 2009

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