Elevation: 6,368 ft
GPS: 39.542, -105.172 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 13,052 total · 169/month
Shared By: Lee Smith on Aug 16, 2012
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Urban? Alpine? This diminutive wall in Deer Creek Canyon has a uniquely North Face feel only seconds from a busy road. Urban – well-bolted, moderate, sport routes with interesting and cerebral climbing on fairly solid gneiss/schist with a Clear Creek feel and a 45 second approach. Alpine – said approach is horrendously loose and steep; lichen, moss, dirt, and a bad weather magnet give a distinctly un-sport crag appeal. Add in some rattlesnakes, unstable ground, and aggressive vegetation and you have the making of an adventure within sight of DTC. This little fin of rock will give you your money’s worth with some tenuous, inobvious climbing, and “thinky” routes. All the routes are short and as mentioned, very well-bolted. This is a great little crag for those after work burns on the Southwest side of the Metro.

Due to the nature of the rock and difficulty of getting above, most routes are not top-rope friendly with the exception of K2 and Morin a Minute. Plan on leading. All the routes can be easily done with a 60 meter rope. The very friendly nature of the bolt spacing makes these excellent first time leads at the grade. The starts are usually the most difficult section of the routes, and although the climbing can be tenuous, the rock is very well featured. Since this is a new crag, it still is being cleaned, and there are little pockets of loose rock. It is best to protect the belayer here. It is North-facing and shady even in the high summer.

Getting There

Deer Creek Canyon is far south and west in the Denver Metro. Make your way to the intersection of C-470 and Kipling Parkway in Littleton. Heading south from this intersection, make the first right turn onto W. Ute Ave. (heading west). Pass the Johns Manville plant and Xcel energy, round a couple of sharp turns and head into the Canyon proper. Set your odometer at the electric substation at the mouth of the Canyon.

From the substation, go exactly 3.0 miles up the windy Deer Creek Canyon Road keeping an eye out for the Canyon’s namesake. On the right (north) side of the road, you will see a graffitied garage. The parking pullout is on the opposite (south) side of the road. Hang a dangerous u-turn here or head up the road further and turn around at a safer spot and come back. The crag is a couple hundred feet to the west (up-canyon) of the pullout. Cross the road and head straight up to the base.


A. Gneiss Lee Done, 10, 1p, bolts.
B. Mike in the Fast Lane, 9+, 1p, bolts.
C. Hasbeen Done, 10-, 1p, bolts.
D. Morin a Minute, 10-, 1p, bolts or TR.
E. Roach Clip, 9, 1p, bolts.
F. K2 (Kerry Kell's Route), 7, 1p, TR.

6 Total Climbs

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Location: The Urban Alpine Crag Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at The Urban Alpine Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Mike in the Fast Lane
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Gneiss Lee Done
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Hasbeen Done
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Morin a Minute
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Mike in the Fast Lane
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Gneiss Lee Done
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Hasbeen Done
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Morin a Minute
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Urban Alpine Crag »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
Super fun half day of climbing! Thanks for putting in the work everyone. Aug 16, 2012
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
Nice addition, Lee/Mike/Mike et. al.! I've driven/ridden by this cliff countless times and thought it would make for a nice little crag.

Watch out for road bikes on the approach! Aug 20, 2012
Thanks, Mono. It is perfect for moderates after work. You are correct about the road bikes -- Tom Hanson was crossing the road and almost got T-boned by some Lance wanna-be going mach 9! Aug 22, 2012
Matt Pierce
Denver, CO
Matt Pierce   Denver, CO
We had this place to ourselves this morning. This is a really fun crag close to town. If you like very well bolted moderates, this is a good place. The approach is short and only a bit gnarly coming off the road. Belay stances aren't ideal. Nice work by those that put up the routes - thanks! Oh - and we were in the shade all day.... Sep 16, 2012
Brother Numsie   Nepal
Here in the early days of this crag, the routes can't get enough brushing. Feel free to pitch in on some. Blow tubes work surprisingly well too. Meantime, we'll keep working at it. It wouldn't hurt either to take a few minutes and help re-arrange the abundant flat stones into steps and landings. This is a work in progress. Sep 17, 2012
If you have a group of people and you want to set up TRs, you can use one 60m rope to set up 2 routes in most cases; i.e. K2 and Roach Clip, MITFL and GLD, etc. Disclaimer: Please only do this if you know what you are doing. Remember, these routes must be led first to set up TRs. Oct 17, 2012
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
The only parking I saw was on the right side of the road shortly after the crag. Nov 6, 2012
There is a small pullout on the right just after the crag, but the best option is the pullout opposite the Graffiti garage. It is bigger and shadier in the summer, plus you can see your car from the crag. Nov 26, 2012
I found a sling above K2. Any takers? Nov 26, 2012
Golden, CO
ErikaNW   Golden, CO
Super fun crag - thanks, Lee, for the tour! You guys have done an amazing job here - small crag, but every line is good quality. False advertising on that approach though... took me way longer than 45 seconds! Dec 1, 2012
Yucca Valley, CA
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
"I found a sling above K2. Any takers?"....

Lee, as you now know, that was mine. Just wanted to thank you for posting that you found it. So many wouldn't have, just figuring it to be "Booty" (which it was) and a piece of shit sling (which it is).

Cool of you!

Thanks, man!

Side note: It was the last of the DYNEEMA shit I had left, and I'm HAPPY to see it go....


And it is indeed a fun, albeit super LITTLE, crag.... Dec 13, 2012
Highlands Ranch, CO
teece303   Highlands Ranch, CO
This is a great little cliff. I've now climbed all 6 lines, and they are all high quality. Typical gneiss climbing: highly featured, but often with holds pointing slightly the wrong way. Good stuff, super short approach (but steep).

The lines are very generously bolted, which I really appreciate on a highly featured slab. Nobody likes to cheese grater down that stuff.

Be careful leaving: I often flip a u-turn, but visibility is limited.

Note: this crag never sees sun. We went there on a beautiful day in early April (65 degrees, no clouds). It was chilly at the base of this crag, there was about 8 inches of snow still, and the rock was FREEZING. So cold that I backed off of one route because of the pain/numbness in my fingers.

So save it for the warmer days. Apr 30, 2013
Jon Banks
Denver, CO
Jon Banks   Denver, CO
Really fun crag close to town and in the shade. All the routes are so generously bolted that I nearly Z-clipped a few times and also found myself skipping bolts without realizing it. The only thing "alpine" about this crag is the lichen. Other than that it's super plush. Aug 5, 2014
This is a fun little crag! Not busy and still fairly new. There is still some lichen covering the holds, but it is not as slippery as you'd think. You can still find some good footing when you need it. The approach is steep but short, and it can be hard to find a good belay position on some of the routes, but overall I think is a great place for quick outing, after work or when you don't want to battle crowds. Aug 30, 2014
Legs Magillicutty   Durango
Yeah, the Urban Alpine Crag name came about one year when Lee and I were climbing it in wintery conditions before we established the area. Being alpine partners, the cold conditions and lichen reminded us of our alpine climbing exploits. We joked about the name that day and declared that if we could get it bolted, we'd name it that. So we did. :-) Jul 7, 2015
Andrew Steavpack
Castle Pines, CO
Andrew Steavpack   Castle Pines, CO
Stopped by the Urban Alpine Crag, and the adjacent rock whose face is adjacent to the face of the UAC looked like it would have some great potential for some routes. I kept looking at it as we climbed and saw what I thought could be a bolt, went over to inspect and there was in fact a bolted route on a steep overhang with better looking rock quality than the UAC. Didn't get the chance to attempt the route due to getting rained out. In addition to this one route, there was a rope with knots tied into it to get to approximately the second bolt on this route and led the way between two rocks possibly leading to more routes over here. Anybody know about this area? Not on Mountain Project to my knowledge, but will be exploring this area again later this week. May 23, 2017
James Cobb
Centennial, CO
James Cobb   Centennial, CO
Hey Andrew, I saw that too and went up there to check it out. We rapped the route to check it out. It had a bees' nest on it, so when we went for it, we were halted by the bees as they started to sworn as we approached it. Let me know if you have any info on it. May go look at it again soon. Sep 9, 2017
Hey guys. In response to your questions about the mysterious bolted route up the hill, some pals and I bolted that a while back, and the bolts are solid! That sling underneath? Maybe. We call that area, THE TEMPLE... the roof is 12ish. Beware of loose rock in the crease below the roof though, it took a lot of cleaning.

The rope with knots was used for easier access into the "mountain lion cave" behind it, to scramble on top to access the bolted anchors on rappel. That rope has been gone for a while now though, due to animals chewing through it.

The rest of the hill has definitely been climbed before, but there's no other bolts... definitely some potential though! May 28, 2018