Elevation: 7,000 ft
GPS: 39.744, -105.242 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 89,550 total · 1,622/month
Shared By: Josh on Nov 6, 2014
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac


The Tiers are hidden high on the northwest face of Mt. Zion. If you had x-ray vision, and you stood in downtown Golden looking through the big white "M," you would see the Tiers. Several layers of cliffs rise from a wooded slope, offering surprisingly good rock quality and a secluded, beautiful setting. This is a unique place for the Golden area, with mostly moderate slab and face climbs leading to airy perches over quiet woods full of willows, wildflowers, and lots of wildlife. Ravens, vultures, and even golden eagles circle overhead along with the paragliders, and in the spring and summer you will be buzzed by hummingbirds as you climb. The views to the west overlooking Clear Creek Canyon are expansive and distinctly backcountry, not a city or house in sight. It feels worlds away from the traffic down in the canyon and the hustle of downtown Golden, despite being so close you can almost see it from the center of town. Please tread lightly and leave the place wild.

The climbing is northwest-facing, at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet and starts in the trees, so it is generally cooler, shadier, and more lichenous than the routes down in Clear Creek Canyon. Some climbs also stay wetter for longer after rain or snow. The Tiers are made of the same fine-grained gneiss as the Clear Creek Canyon crags below, and while there are patches of rotten rock here and there, the established routes are mostly quite solid and offer good friction and the same positive edges and jugs as other Clear Creek Canyon locations. The upper reaches of Mt. Zion frequently hold snow longer than does the canyon bottom, especially in the somewhat hollowed-out northwest face. Thus, the climbing season on the Tiers may start later and end earlier than at other CCC/Golden areas, but it offers great relief in the heat of the summer and a very different feel than the dusty roadside crags in the canyon.

The Lower Tier gets direct sun only in the afternoons, but in the summer, the sun can break over the ridge line above at midday and shine directly down the lines of ascent, making it hard to look up at your next holds when you're climbing or at your partner above you when you're belaying. It is a bit of an annoyance, but the effect only lasts for an hour or so. A perfect time to break for lunch.

The area generally has decent cell phone reception. The Lower Tier has a narrow strip of terrain that hugs the base of the walls, but after that the ground drops off steeply. Thus, it is not the safest place for bringing small children. The Upper Tier is even less friendly to parties hanging out at the base of climbs, as there are fewer trees, more scree, and even less level ground.

The Tiers' modern climbing development history begins in 2013, when two parties independently began setting anchors and cleaning lines around the same time. After a note taped to a freshly drilled anchor connected the two groups, a small band began working on new routes together over the next several seasons. However, the area has a much longer climbing history than that. The modern route developers, while finding no evidence of regular use of the cliffs, have discovered several fixed pitons and one old ¼" bolt head at the top of the Lower Tier, as well as a cordolette rap station on a tree and even a classic Chouinard Crack-N-Up rusting in the dirt. If anyone has more information about earlier use of the area, please contact us or post info here. We would love to give a shout out to the earliest vertical explorers of the Tiers.

This place is wild: animals abound here, so be both sensitive and careful. There is a mule deer herd on the slopes of the lower approach hike many mornings, and climbers have encountered mountain lions on the approach trail and weasel nests in the cliffs. Rattlesnakes have been spotted on the approach hike and at the base of the cliffs. Remember, you're just visiting for the day, while for the animals, this is their home. Please leave no trace.

There is now a wag bag station at the trailhead sign (thank you, JeffCo Open Space, Boulder Climbing Community, and Foothills Climbing Community for making this happen!). Also, dogs stay on leashes, please, as per JeffCo Open Space regulations (the Tiers are within the Windy Saddle Open Space Park).

The Tiers break naturally into two main layers, Upper and Lower, and each of those break into several distinct faces. Both are approached from the main trail. Scrambling in between them is not recommended - it is better to walk back to the trail junction if you're at one tier and want to get to the other.

Getting There

Follow the Lookout Mountain Road / Lariat Loop for 2.2 miles past the intersection with US Highway 6 as it curves around the front / east side of Mt. Zion and begins to switchback up the north side above Clear Creek Canyon. At mile 1.8, you will pass Lookout Mountain Crag. Beyond this are some switchbacks. At the third switchback, where the road once again turns east, park in the large pullout inside the switchback (with a garbage can chained to a road sign) or in the smaller pullout on the right. From here, you can see the Tiers of Zion above you.

Cross the road (watch for descending cyclists and longboarders), and look for the trail sign and wag bag station. Please stay on the main trail, which ascends a bit and then crosses a broad gully. The Upper Tiers trail breaks off this main trail at a signed junction.

The Upper approach (approximately 15-20 minutes):

Only use this approach if you want to start at the top of the Upper or Lower Tiers.

Continue up Lookout Mountain Road and park at the Windy Saddle Park lot. Take the obvious trail from the parking lot up Mt. Zion to its summit, and continue east along the ridge line, passing over a lower false summit on your way to the next high point along the ridge. If you start counting at the true summit (the first high point you come to), you are headed for a point just beyond the third summit on the ridge. Look for a flat sandy spot in front of a rock outcrop. You are directly above the Second and Third Triangles. To reach Jericho from above, continue on to the next (and final) high point.

It's a good idea to pack a trash bag and use your hike out to clean up a little from the partiers and unenlightened hikers who leave a lot of trash on the summit trail. Let's show JeffCo how climbers are responsible users....


A. Jericho (Left to Right):
- Mike's Dihedral, 6-7, 1p, 35', gear.
- The Horns of Jericho , 5.5, 1p, 45', bolts.
- Fit the Battle , 5.6,1p, 45', gear.

B. Upper Tier (Left to Right):
A. First Triangle
- For Whom the Cap Fits, 9, 1p, 65', bolts.
- Three Little Bats, 5.9+, 1p, 100', bolts.
B. Second Triangle
- A Pretty Gneiss Route, 8, 1p, TR.
- Undisclosed Location, 5.9-, 1p, 80', bolts.
- Three Little Roofs, 5.8, 1p, 65', bolts.
- If Your Well Runs Dry, 5.8-, 1p, 70', bolts.
C. Third Triangle
- Bloody Lady Di, 8 PG-13, 1p, 75', gear.
- The Joy of My World (is in Zion), 5.9+, 1p, 75', bolts.
- Allrete, 8, 2p, 280', bolt & gear.
D. Fourth Triangle
- Takin' it Easy, Takin' it Slow, 5.6 or 5.7+, 1p, 65', bolts.
- Best Hamster Ever, 5.4, 1-2p, 220', gear.
- Poofie, 4th Cl, 1p, 65', solo.
E. Front Triangle
- Reggaeton, 5.9, 1p, 55', bolts.
- Kinky Reggae, 5.9, 1p, 50', bolts.
- Get Up, Stand Up, 5.8, 1p, 60', bolts.

C. Lower Tier (Left to Right):
A. East Wall
- Trenchtown, 4, 3p, 195', bolts.
- Dig Your Own Hole, 5, 1p, 135', gear.
- Irie, 5.7, 1p, 50', bolts.
- The Burning Bush, 5.7, 1p, 55', bolts.
- Catch That Train, 5, 1p, gear & bolts.
- Zion Train, 5.10-, 2p, 215', bolts.
B. Recessed Slab
- Don't Rock My Boat, 5.7, 2p, 205', bolts.
- My Feet is My Only Carriage, 5.7, 1p, 60', gear & bolt.
- Cornmeal Porridge, 5.7+, 1p, 60', bolts.
C. Middle Wall
- Buffalo Soldier, 5.10c, 1p, 65', bolts.
- Lyin' Like a Lion (in Zion), 5.10c, 1p, 65', bolts.
- The Belay Brothers Bounce Back, 5.8+, 1p, 70', gear.
- Please Pick Up Your Trash, 12, 1p, 70', gear & bolts.
- Offwidth Corner, 8-9, 1p, 40', gear.
- Blunt Arete to Exit, 9 PG-13, 2p, 80', gear.
D. West Wall
- Small Axe, 5.11d, 1p, 75', bolts.
- Old Pirates, 5.11a, 1p, 75', bolts.
- Three Little Birds, 5.9, 1p, 65', bolts.
- Back on Track, 8 PG-13, 1p, 65', gear.


Per JeffCo Open Space: no dogs off leash, please.


Beware of rattlesnakes in the area.

39 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Tiers of Zion

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
The Burning Bush
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Don't Rock My Boat
Sport 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Three Little Roofs
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X
Beauty for Ashes
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Belay Brothers Bounce Back
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Undisclosed Location
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Three Little Birds
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
The Joy of My World (is in Zion)
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Zion Train
Sport 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Three Little Bats
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Buffalo Soldier
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Old Pirates
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Small Axe
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Trenchtown C. Lower Tier > A. E Wall
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Sport
Irie C. Lower Tier > A. E Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
The Burning Bush C. Lower Tier > A. E Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Don't Rock My Boat C. Lower Tier > B. Recessed Slab
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport 2 pitches
Three Little Roofs B. Upper Tier > B. First, Second, & T…
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Beauty for Ashes C. Lower Tier > A. E Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X TR
The Belay Brothers Bounce Back C. Lower Tier > C. Middle & W Walls
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Undisclosed Location B. Upper Tier > B. First, Second, & T…
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Three Little Birds C. Lower Tier > C. Middle & W Walls
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
The Joy of My World (is in… B. Upper Tier > B. First, Second, & T…
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Zion Train C. Lower Tier > A. E Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 2 pitches
Three Little Bats B. Upper Tier > B. First, Second, & T…
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Buffalo Soldier C. Lower Tier > C. Middle & W Walls
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Old Pirates C. Lower Tier > C. Middle & W Walls
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Small Axe C. Lower Tier > C. Middle & W Walls
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Tiers of Zion »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
A. Bandos
Broomfield, CO
A. Bandos   Broomfield, CO
This place may not have all the great climbs of Little Eiger or Wall of the '90s, but it is definitely one of my favorite crags in CCC. Such a nice change of pace from busy traffic noise. It's so natural and serene. Please keep it that way people. :) Apr 5, 2015
Golden, CO
Josh   Golden, CO
Our first public trail work event for the Lower Tiers was a huge success! We had more than 25 people out working on June 27th and got a lot done! A great big thank you to all of you who helped out and to Jefferson County Open Space for organizing the event and to Bentgate shop for supporting the volunteers with coupons and prizes aaand to Snarfs Sandwich Shop for hooking us up with tasty lunch.

There is still some more to do on the west end (below the West Wall climbs) and on the stone steps leading up to the East Wall and Recessed Wall, but the trail in the woods is now much more stable, and many of the belay areas are larger and more stable.

There will be a few more opportunities this season to help us finish up the trail work, so stay tuned for details as soon as the dates are set. If you are interested in helping out, feel free to PM me, and I'll make sure you're on the list when the time comes. May 20, 2015
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Found a cam. ID & I'll get it back to you. Jul 25, 2015
Kev V
The mitten
Kev V   The mitten

Beware of rattlers up here! Around to the right of that 5.9 where the trees end is where my dog stumbled back from, so save yourself the few grand of vet fees and keep 'em leashed or in the woods! Aug 22, 2015
Golden, CO
Josh   Golden, CO
Just a reminder for everyone visiting the Tiers that JeffCo Open Space regulations ask for dogs to remain on leashes except in specific designated areas. Since the Tiers of Zion are within the boundaries of the Windy Saddle Open Space Park, this means no dogs off leash, please. Given the amount of wildlife in the area (and rattlesnakes), this is a sound approach anyhow. That said, I'm very sorry to hear your dog got bitten, Kev. Aug 31, 2015
Paul Deger
Paul Deger   Colorado
On a hot day, hard to beat. Short approach, beautiful view of CCC from anchors, shade, and comfortable belay area. Clean rock, not much lichen, on route. Jun 12, 2016
Golden, CO
Monty   Golden, CO  
@2chains. Check your facts. New routes have legally gone in at Tiers of Zion since the new climbing management plan. There are several people still active in the canyon and elsewhere on JeffCo land. Notice that The Tiers were not affected by any of the recent nesting closures.... Aug 2, 2016
two chains
Fucken Zion
two chains   Fucken Zion
Ya got me. Sound more legit then what the gym climber at the Crag told me. Will delete upper message. with that said. there's better Rock in the canyon :-) Aug 21, 2016
First time at this place and thought it was a wonderful find. Decent length slab climbs with good summer shade. Access to the lower walls was super easy.

Trail from lower tier to the upper tier needs work. A bit of bushwhacking and scrambling up a scree pile gets you to the second wall. We did not see access to the Front Triangle.

If the trails to the upper portions were more laid out, it would be a fantastic area. Jul 8, 2017
Golden, CO
Josh   Golden, CO
Travis W.: You can help! That "trail" to the Upper Tier is not actually completed yet, but a large group of volunteers has been working this season to finish the connector trail to the Upper Tier. The next work day is THIS SATURDAY. You can sign up here: offero.jeffco.us/ActivityRe… Jul 16, 2017