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Routes in The Ledges

Bashful S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Big Thompson Yard Sale, The S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Classic, The T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Corbel S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Counting Sheep S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Domino Theory S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Everybody Pushes a Broom S 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Green Hornet S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Hard to Reed S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Indifferent S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Love Again S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Monoped S 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Pedestal, The S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Rainbird S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Redbird (aka Ladybird) S 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Sitting Pretty S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Tenacious S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
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If you like adventurous, sketchy, and watch your every step climbing, you'll love The Ledges. These moderate trad lines were once stomping grounds for Layton Kor in the early '60s. The rock here is very solid as a macro structure, but they can seem rather loose the whole way. Watch your belay stations as each ledge has a lot of loose scree and talus. Note: there are overhanging bulges to belay under; to protect from rockfall.


A. The Big Thompson Yard Sale, 8, 1p, 80', bolts.
B. Rainbird, 9, 1p, 115', bolts.
C. Redbird (aka Ladybird), 10+, 1p, 130', bolts.
D. Tenacious, 10-, 1p, 60', bolts.
E. Sitting Pretty, 10-, 1p, 115', bolts.
F. Domino Theory, 10, 1p, 110', bolts.
G. Monoped, 11-, 1p, 115', bolts.
H. The Pedestal, 10, 1p, 110', bolts.
I. Bashful, 10-, 1p, 115', bolts.
J. Love Again, 9, 1p, 110', bolts.
K. The Classic, 8+, 2p, 320', gear. 

Getting There

Go west on US 34 to the Narrows of the Big Thompson. Park at the pull off for the Practice Wall, and the guard rail trad line (US Highway 34 bypass). Continue east jumping the rail and scrambling down a horizontal ramp to the base of the ledges just infront of the river bend. Pick a line. The approach is only 5 minutes from the car, but the descent is a bit tricky, I wouldn't rap off, due to a lot of loose rock and possibly a stuck rope. Head west at the top of the canyon to find a west decent gully, you might have one rappel if you're lucky.

NOTE: to access the middle tier routes (Yard Sale, etc.) it is recommended that the large gully approach is used. If used, keep in mind that this is a Class 3 gully, some hands will be used to get over a spot or two. This is not recommended for those unaccustomed to such approaches, since the ever shifting scree in the gully is just that, ever shifting, sliding, rolling, tumbling, etc. (step lightly and gingerly, and try not to drop/push rocks onto your downhill partner).

The typical approach in the gully heads up trending pretty much straight up (other small gullies head off to the left and right). Scramble over a couple of bouldery spots until one reaches two large pines a hundred or two feet up. A somewhat obvious slot to the side of the first pine (on your right) gets you to the bottom of the start of the western edge of the cliffline. Follow this cliffline east to the climbs.

Also, the bottom of the middle tier cliff is mostly narrow ledges and sloping scree that lead directly to the 75-100' lower cliff that drops into the river. There is very little room (and a lot of personal exposure) for a pit stop.... Also, who doesn't love dogs (and kids)?, but like many spots in the BTC, sheep frequent the area actively and have been known to simply saunter by while humans are climbing and belaying. Combine this with the looseness of the approach and the narrowness of a few spots, and you might think twice before bringing Fido, toddler Junior, or that new partner who hasn't had to deal with such things? Just a thought.

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Scott Matz
Loveland, CO
Scott Matz   Loveland, CO
I've always wondered about the climbing here, but it is in fact solid in a lot of places. Apr 13, 2009
Came here just last weekend to get on a less popular crag due to crowding in Lumpy. The first pitch had a massive water streak running down it, so we scrambled up to the ledge with the large tree from the right. While we were approaching the ledge, we noticed at least 6 brand new bolted chain anchors. Once we got there we found around 10 sport routes, all freshly bolted. Bailed down a trail to the left, since we don't enjoy climbing sport anymore, and were disappointed with seeing the flash of metal all over the wall. This area desperately needs to be updated by the developer of this new sport crag. May 9, 2018
Ken Duncan
Ft Collins, CO
Ken Duncan   Ft Collins, CO
There are 16 sport routes up to 5.10+. A 70m rope is needed for several. Aug 22, 2018
I posted up info on the completed bolted routes so far. I recommend at least a 70m rope be used, since most routes are at least this long when rapped or lowered by a single rope (tie knots just in case). Loose rock is always a hazard, and helmets are a good idea at all times here. Oct 4, 2018

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