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Areas in North Fork of the St. Vrain River

Big Elk Meadows - Boulders 1 / 0 / 0 / 25 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 26
Button Rock (aka Pinewood Rock) 7 / 11 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
Coulson Gulch 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Kenny Mt. North 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock) 17 / 15 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 30
Palace, The 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Pinewood Boulders, Tomato Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Raven's Roost 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Tomato Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Elevation: 6,022 ft
GPS: 40.245, -105.332 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 49,845 total, 795/month
Shared By: John McNamee on Oct 13, 2012
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

Description

US 36 is a popular through road connecting Denver to Estes Park and continues into Rocky Mountain National Park. Along the stretch from Lyons to Estes Park is a canyon littered with rocks that draw the eye. Many of these crags lie on private property or are only reasonably accessed through private property, so check first.

The rock here varies from granitic to harder, metamorphic, igneous varieties that are more challenging to characterize. Crags here may range from micro routes to perhaps 1000 feet.

Some of these crags include the River Wall (once called the best crag in Colorado) at Button Rock Reservoir, other scattered crags near Button Rock, boulders at Big Elk Meadows (east of Estes Park along FR 118). There are some scattered crags in the area of Pinewood Springs which have had less-heralded ascents.

North St. Vrain

Lyons Area
Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock)
Coulson Gulch - 2.9 mile hike from Johnny Park off CO 66

Further up US 36
Split Rocks
Animal Magnetism

Little Thompson drainage approach via US 36
Big Elk Meadows
The Palace
Raven's Roost
Kenny Mountain
Tomato Rock

Pinewood Area - between Little Thompson and North Fork of the St. Vrain
Button Rock
Button Slab
Pinewood Boulders, Tomato Rock

Off CO 7, via rough roads or Off US 36 through Johnny Park
Pierson Park
Pierson Point

Getting There

Some of this can be accessed from CR 41 off of US 36 between Lyons and Estes Park. Some of this can be accessed from Johnny Park off of the Little Valley Rd. from Fish Creek Rd. going south from Estes Park.

To get there from the west, you can go east from Estes Park along US 36. To access this area from Denver, head north on I-25, go NW on US 36 through Boulder to Lyons. No access this from the NE, you can go west on US 66 into Lyons, and then go west on US 36.

Other Activities

There is a Ciatano Winery located along the St. Vrain River at the Rock'n River just outside of Lyons with wine tasting from grapes grown from the Western Slope. Nice Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and Viogner. $3 for 5 tasting. They have a picnic area with large trout in their pond. 11-5 F-M in Winter & 10-6 daily in Summer. 303.823.5011. Nice for apres climbing or early rainout days.

90 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at North Fork of the St. Vrain River

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V3 6A
Sinister Minister
Boulder
V5 6C
Devil's Face
Boulder
V10 7C+
Get Over It
Boulder
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Green Slab
Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Livewire
Trad, Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Introducing Meteor Dad
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Escape from Alcatraz
Sport, TR
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Pocket Hercules
Trad
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Redneck Hero
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Neurosurgeon
Trad
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Big, Big, Monkey Man
Trad
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
New Horizon
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Old Yellar
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Brother From Another Planet
Sport
5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c
Le Diamant E'ternal
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Sinister Minister Big Elk Meadows -… > Sanctuary V3 6A Boulder
Devil's Face Big Elk Meadows -… > Sanctuary V5 6C Boulder
Get Over It Big Elk Meadows -… > Double Trouble Boulder V10 7C+ Boulder
Green Slab Longmont Reservoi… > Buick Rocks and Hitler's Sex Life 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Livewire Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Sport
Introducing Meteor Dad Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Escape from Alcatraz Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, TR
Pocket Hercules Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad
Redneck Hero Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Neurosurgeon Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R Trad
Big, Big, Monkey Man Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad
New Horizon Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Old Yellar Longmont Reservoi… > Old Yellar Dome 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Brother From Another Planet Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
Le Diamant E'ternal Longmont Reservoi… > River Wall II 5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in North Fork of the St. Vrain River »

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FWIW of all the areas listed on this North St. Vrain page, only the Longmont Res. area and Coulson Gulch are actually in the North St. Vrain watershed. Split Rocks and Animal Magnetism (of which there is one posted pic) are also and are found farther up US 36.

Big Elk Meadows, the Palace, Raven's Roost, Kenny Mtn., and Tomato Rock lie within the Little Thompson drainage and are approached from US 36, northwest of Pinewood Spgs. Access to Coulson Gulch BTW is easiest from the Johnny Park Road, which is accessed from the Big Elk Meadows Road. Gillett included most of these areas in his St. Vrain Canyons guidebook, because those are in the vicinity of the North St Vrain.

Button Rock and Button Slab lie high above Pinewood Spgs, to the west, on the divide between each watershed. These are also in Gillett's St Vrain guidebook.

Pierson Park and Pierson Point are most easily accessed from Estes Park, although you can get there via long rough roads from CO Hwy 7, through Meeker Park, or US Hwy 36, through Johnny Park. Aug 16, 2016

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