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Routes in Mill Creek Crag

Big Dreams S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Bulge to Groove T,TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Chimney T,TR 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
Deflator-Mouse T,S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Dihedral T,TR 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Dirty Boulevard, The S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Eye of the Tiger S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Face T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Face (left of Freeway) TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Feline Antics S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Freeway T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Groper S,TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Honey Pot S,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Joint Therapy S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Jug Haul T,TR 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Lou Reed T 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Pit of Despair, The T,S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Scantily Trad T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Slot Machine S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Smokin' John (submitted as Roof Rack) T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Sweet Petite S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Turning Point S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
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Elevation: 9,500 ft
GPS: 39.784, -105.624 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 16,317 total · 181/month
Shared By: Harald Harb on Jun 20, 2011 with updates from Dave Clark 5.10
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Description

Drive up Mill Creek Rd, from Dumont. The National Forest boundary is well marked. Look for a big rock outcrop on your right high above the road. There are some trails that lead to the first wall, which is parallel with the road. All the way to the right side is a deep corner with two routes.

This is a secluded area with few climbers. I have put up four routes. There are chains at the top. They are trad routes, running from 5.7 to 10a. They are an easy 60m rope length.

There are 4 main routes from left to right, in order, Freeway, then by the dihedral, Honey Pot, Jug Haul, and Roof Rack. There is a bolt on "Jug Haul" to protect the first placement. If you miss the placement (flaired crack), it's a groundfall, so the clip is for safe keeping.

Since 2011, 20 new routes have been added. Most recent in 2013 October, Deflator-Mouse, 5.11b.

Getting There

Drive west on I-70 to the Dumont exit (exit 235 off westbound I-70), about 2.5 miles. If you come from the west, you must use exit 234, Downieville. Take a right before the post office, Mill Creek Road. up about 2.5 miles. This has easy climbing for introducing new climbers to the sport. It is South-facing and warm on sunny days. Approach time to the base of the climbs is ~5 minutes and 10-15 minutes to the top for TR.

Per the approach/driving beta as described isn't the best. 2.5 miles from the post office will actually put you in a little lot where the road turns from pavement to dirt, and with private land up the dirt road. And this is well past the cragging....

More accurately, it's about 2 miles up the road from the post office, right uphill from a steep, narrow section of road where you can see a cliff on the left, across the creek. The Mill Creek Crag won't be that visible as you're driving up because, well, it's right above you -- like only 100 feet above and back a little from the road, up and right (to the east) across from this aforementioned crag.

Addendum: look for the National Forest signs on the right after a sharp right turn. The crag is 200 yards up from there, look high on the right side of the slope.

L->R:

A1. The Dirty Boulevard, 8, 1p, 75', bolts.
A2. Dihedral, 8+ R, 1p, 60', gear or TR.
B. Face (left of Freeway), 9, 1p, TR.
C. Bulge to Groove, 10, 1p, TR.
D. Freeway, 8-10, 1-2p, 30'-60'?, gear or TR.
E. Face, 7, 1p, gear.
F. Deflator-Mouse, 11, 1p, 60', gear & bolts.
G. Big Dreams , 10, 1p, 50', bolts.
H. Slot Machine, 10, 1p, 60', bolts.
I. Feline Antics, 10+, 1p, 50', bolts.
J1. Joint Therapy, 9, 1p, 80', bolts.
J2. Groper, 10, 1p, 70', TR, now bolts.
K. Honey Pot, 9 or 10-, 1p, 70', gear or TR.
L. Chimney, 5, 1p, 70', TR.
M. Jug Haul, 10, 1p, 50', bolt & gear or TR.
N. Smokin' John (submitted as Roof Rack), 9+, 1p, 60', gear or TR.
O. Scantily Trad, 12, 1p, 65', bolts & gear.
P. Lou Reed , 12 A0, 1p, 65',bolts & gear.
Q. Eye of the Tiger, 12, 1p, 50', bolts.
R. Sweet Petite, 12, 1p, 60', bolts.
T. Turning Point, 11+, 1p, 70', bolts.
U. The Pit of Despair, 9, 1p, 55', bolts & gear.

Caring for our crag

This crag has turned into a destination for many out of town people and as many as 5 or 6 parties climbing are there at a time, especially weekends. As you would expect when this happens, there are those that respect the natural environment and those who are oblivious or even abuse it. Now that Dumont has become popular; we have also the consequences of popularity, "people".

Let's, as climbers and stewards of our beloved environment, respect our land so we can all have a good experience here. People and climbers bring their dogs, the dogs run around, and many are uncontrolled. Also, we find dog and human poop near and even on the trails and at the base of the climbs. The crag is on National Forest land. Please "take out with you what you brought, clean up after your dog, clean up after yourself (including toilet paper), etc. Let's be people who are courteous to each other. In other words, "please leave as little trace of your presence as possible."

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Classic Climbing Routes at Mill Creek Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Harald Harb
Dumont
Harald Harb   Dumont
This is good rock, fairly clean as well. I think Diana and I are the only ones climbing here. If more people climb it, the routes will get really nice and clean. There is some lichen in places, but no real rock falling off or that drops when you climb.
I didn't bolt the routes, because I like to have a real trad area around here that is moderate. If you want total peace of mind, top rope the routes.

These are red point ratings, so if you are not a regular 5.10 trad leader, be prepared for some spice, especially on the Jug Wall. Aug 26, 2011
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
This crag is easier to spot going downhill than going uphill for a first timer. It is not this crag at the top of the ridge:



Mill Creek Crag is close enough you could hit it throwing a rock. The creek is nice for a cool down/rinse off after climbing. Oct 4, 2011
Harald Harb
Dumont
Harald Harb   Dumont
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
I had the opportunity to check out most of MCC routes this last weekend. While I recognize Harald's request for a bolt free area, I ran a TR through the overhanging crack and corner system 20 ft right of the Freeway route, the main dihedral on the West-facing wall. This would make fine, difficult route (5.11+ give or take a bit), but it would require at least partial bolt protection. I won't put it in with bolts if that is the consensus; however, it could be a really good addition. Oct 15, 2012
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
RE: Drew Spalding "This is an area I climbed at many years ago in the early nineties. I first toproped this line "Roof Rack" in probably 1992 and within that next year I came back to lead it also. I remember thinking it was 5.9+/10.a and certainly remember that distinct roof crack! I never did give it a name, because I was surely convinced that someone had climbed this obvious line before I did (probably in the '60s, '70s, and '80s). Good to see there is more lines to climb up there now."

Interesting comment. I have been expecting to find evidence that others had climbed here as well. However, on neither the Mill Creek Crag nor the Mill Creek Dome has anything turned up. While I would not anticipate the trad lines showing any evidence of prior climbing, I have not found evidence of rap stations, fixed pins, pitons, slings, etc, etc. That has always seemed surprising. Harald mentioned climbing the Dome on its west side some years back. It would be useful to know if other things had been climbed and where these lines might be. Thanks Drew for letting us know of at least one prior ascent. Apr 4, 2014
Monomaniac
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
This is a worthy crag that offers some relief from the summer heat. It's only about 15 minutes further from Denver than the west end of Clear Creek, and it's easily 10 degrees cooler than those crags. The left side stays shady till ~10am, and the right side until 1pm. Short approach and beautiful setting. Kudos to Harald and Richard! Jul 2, 2015
Harald Harb
Dumont
Harald Harb   Dumont
If you are coming up to the Mill Creek Crag, I suggest you bring a stick clip. Most of the 10 and 11 level climbs have very challenging, off-the-ground moves, with hidden or not obvious beta. Be safe, the climbing is great. Jul 21, 2016
The approach/driving beta as described isn't the best. 2.5 miles from the post office will actually put you in a little lot where the road turns from pavement to dirt, and with private land up the dirt road. And this is well past the cragging....

More accurately, per Pinklebear: it's about 2 miles up the road from the post office, right uphill from a steep, narrow section of road where you can see a cliff on the left, across the creek. The Mill Creek Crag won't be that visible as you're driving up because, well, it's right above you -- like only 100 feet above and back a little from the road, up and right (to the east) across from this aforementioned crag.

Again, if you get to where the road turns to dirt, you've gone too far. Backtrack down canyon and look up and left for it, very close to the road, in the narrows. Aug 7, 2016
Harald Harb
Dumont
Harald Harb   Dumont
Look for the National Forest signs on the right after a sharp right turn. The crag is 200 yards up from there, look high on the right side of the slope. Aug 12, 2016

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