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Punani Area/North Canyon

Colorado > Denver South > Castlewood Cany… > Bouldering problems
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


This cluster of river-polished boulders sits in the valley along the east side of Cherry Creek and is home to the classic problem Punani.

The northern-most developed bouldering area east of the road this area offers a few highly concentrated problems; however, outside of these few problems the area is sparse of established climbs. Apparently the area can be known for its heavy concentration of ticks in spring through summer months.

There may still be potential on many of the boulders that lay on the hillside above this area as well.

Please note that while it appears this area is nearby to the Nine Lives Boulder (which technically is just south along the creek), it is much more spread out then it first appears. You can reach Nine Lives and Central City from here by continuing along the Creek Bottom trail. Bushwhacking on the east side of the river is reserved for those looking for a challenge.

Getting There

Enter through the West Entrance (which is also commonly called the North entrance).

Location of major Bouldering Areas throughout Castlewood Canyon. This covers the major areas that have been developed and documented. Please let me know if anything is incorrect or needs updating. As of July, 2010.

Park in the 1st parking lot to your left just after you pass the ranger kiosk, this is called the Lucas Homestead Parking Lot (remnants of an old stone structure prominently stand over the parking lot).

Take the Homestead Trail down towards the creek for ~0.3 miles where you will run into a junction for Rim Rock trail or Creek Bottom trail. At this point, you can take either trail although the Creek Bottom is the easiest/most direct to use.

Creek Bottom: Head south (into the canyon) for another 250 yards or so until right before where the trail enters thick pine forest. Across the river you should be able to spot the clean-looking blocks of Punani (depending on time of year the river may be obscured by foliage along the trail). Cross the river (usually no issue of getting wet). Punani Boulder sits facing the stream in a large cluster of tan-colored boulders.

Rim Rock: Turn on Rim Rock trail and cross the bridge. On the otherside of the bridge, there is a field that you cross and keep an eye open for faint paths. Head towards the riverbanks, and follow that until you run into the cluster of Punani Boulders (there is also an old truck trail too that can be used). This way may not be best if the willows are thick. This way may be best if the river is running high.

Also, note a few other boulders sit in the area and will have specific descriptions on how to get to them.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Overview map of the Punani Area (North East section of the park). <br>
Green lines = social trails.<br>
Blue lines = established trails.<br>
Red = boulders.
[Hide Photo] Overview map of the Punani Area (North East section of the park). Green lines = social trails. Blue lines = established trails. Red = boulders.