|GPS:||40.227, -105.347 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||COEveryman on Jan 23, 2010|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionThe Lion's Den is one of Boulder County's premiere moderate bouldering areas in a beautiful and remote setting in the mountains outside of Lyons. The area is home to 40-70 odd boulder problems ranging from V0-V6/V7, with a hand full of absolute classics like Cheeseburger, Hyperion Probiscus, Ben Slab, and the Center Route in the Corridor. Located on the top on an unnamed mountain and facing roughly southwest, this is a great place to spend and afternoon pretty much year round. A moderate but beautiful hike all but assures that you will have the area to yourself, so get out there!
Bernard Gillett's new "Rock Climbing St. Vrain Canyon" from Sharp End Publishing has all of the older established lines for the area in the back of the book.
Getting ThereFrom Lyons, continue on US Hwy 36 towards Estes Park. Approximately 4 miles up the canyon turn left at "Shelly's Cottages," but take the road to the left of Shelly's driveway, and follow it to its end at a parking lot (approximately 1.5 miles). From here, hike the road past the gate, the river wall, and the reservoir. About 250 meters past the reservoir on the left is the beginning of the trail, which is faint off the road, but is well worn in the trees. The trail switchbacks about 5 full (right/left) times (there is a yellow Forest Service Marker (eds. which may be gone) at the end of the switchbacks and the Prow stands proud about 50 meters behind the marker) before heading towards the summit and the main area.
Per JP Whitehead: look for a faint social trail dipping to the left (South) as you head up the dirt road. The trail starts about 250 yards or so downstream from the "Sleepy Lion" trailhead, which is well-defined. If you see this trail, turn back, you've gone too far.
The trail takes off into the woods and parallels the dirt road uphill for a little before ascending a series of switchbacks. As the grade begins to level off at a jumbled cluster of rocks (there may be a bunch of cairns at this point), follow it to the left, through one more switchback and eventually onto a gentler slope above the cluster.
The trail continues through open woods before you arrive at a fork with an overlook on your right. Here, take the left fork. You'll pass a sign reading "NO DOGS AT HALL RANCH" and a Forest Service Open Space Boundary marker. Past the sign, the trail parallels a rocky ridge and gully before the woods open up at a small hill with a pile of boulders. This is the Lion's Den.
The profile of Hyperion Proboscis is immediately visible on the left side of the hill, and Big Cat is the most prominent vertical wall facing the trail near the summit of the cluster. The Egg Boulder forms an alcove with the Big Cat Wall. Hall Pass and other warm-up options can be found behind and above the Egg. Continuing back along the ridgeline brings you to the Hamburger and Cheeseburger Boulders. I didn't explore much, but I'm sure more bouldering probably exists further down the hillside past the Cheeseburger.
If you know where you're going, the approach shouldn't take longer than 15-20 minutes. It is moderately steep but pretty.
Per suffrage: there is a "No dogs allowed at Hall Ranch" sign right before the boulders came into view
Classic Climbing Routes at The Lion's Den
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season