Elevation: 7,585 ft
GPS: 40.378, -105.529 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 13,722 total · 622/month
Shared By: Mike A. Lewis on May 2, 2017
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Getting weather forecast...
Access Issue: Lead Only Area Details


Performance Climbing Park is a mostly sport climbing area that gets its name from Performance Park, the outdoor amphitheater that the cliff is a backdrop for. The overall rock quality is good (River Wall) to great (Amphitheater Wall) but definitely not excellent. The holds can be sharp. The climbs are short - 30-60 feet. Due to the accessibility and location of this cliff, as well as the easy grades, it is sure to become a popular destination.

The wall directly behind the amphitheater is the Amphitheater Wall. This South-facing wall, with concrete flooring, has multiple routes ranging from 5.3 to 5.7 to 5.11. The West-facing wall to looker's left, off the concrete and parallel to the river, is the River Wall. This wall has 5.9 and up.

Bouldering: the entire wall can be traversed. The looker's left end of the River Wall has many boulder problems.

First ascent information and history of the cliff (because many folks have been curious): being downtown and having a wall of decent rock and easy grades, it is highly probable that people have climbed on the cliff for over 100 years, all the way back to the times when Long's Peak was being climbed for the first time and folks were riding in wagons to Estes Park for summer vacations. Throughout the decades, the athletic teenager with a high risk tolerance and an adventurous spirit, and maybe even a couple of drinks in him/her, has probably climbed most of the routes 5.7 and under. In modern times with rock shoes and ropes, the easy slabs and naturally clean lines have been toproped and led by known and unknown climbers. Leo Paik is one such climber who has climbed most of the lines at some point before now, some of which may have been first ascents, or not. Who knows? The first ascent information on each individual route page may say "unknown" if it was most likely done before the modern climbing era, Leo Paik, who did some of the 5.8-5.11 routes in a traditional style or toprope, and/or the person who opened the newest version of the route, which is cleaned, equipped, and created to fit the vision of the Climbing Park.

I approached the Town of Estes Park around one year ago (5/2016) to ask for legal access for climbers. Elizabeth Fogarty (Visit Estes Park) discussed the reasons why the cliff should be opened with Travis Machalek (Town of Estes Park). Travis then went through all the legal issues - this step took the longest. Then I (Mike Lewis) met with Brian Berg, Maintenance Director for the Town of Estes Park, to talk about the safety issues with the cliff, how it would be developed and used, and timing of the project. After some cycles with all of the above mentioned folks, the Town and their legal team finally decided it was a good idea to open the cliff...as long as it was done in a way that was user friendly, minimized vulnerability to hazards and associated risk, kept the Town liability-free, and was in alignment with the direction of the Town's growth.

With the opening of the cliff and the subsequent development of the cliff as a Climbing Park, the cliff has taken on a facelift. With the help of Brian Berg and his maintenance crew, Max Lurie, Bernardo Beteta, Josh Burke, and myself, large boulders and many loose flakes have been cleaned off the walls. I am sure some flakes and crisp edges will still come down as the climbs are cleaned up with the natural traffic of climbing.

The cliff resembles the well-used and beloved cliffs of the Chamonix Valley. The routes are bolted for the climber of the grade. For example, a 5.5 is bolted for a 5.5 leader, not for a 5.11 climber. The first bolts are reachable with stick-clips and are not too far off the deck. Belay/rappel anchors are atop each route and are low enough on the cliff to keep folks from scrambling into the looser areas of the upper cliff, and to reduce poor communication, as well as reduce rope drag when toproping and lowering off climbs (a couple of routes have some drag).

The cliff offers educational opportunities. It is a great place to get those first outdoor sport leads in. There are anchors at the base of the cliff for folks to practice anchor building and cleaning before trying to figure it out at the top of the climb (one large eye-bolt anchor was already there before the cliff was developed for climbing).

Getting There

Park at Performance Park in Estes Park. From downtown Estes, continue west on Elkhorn Ave through the little shopping district and soon after passing the end of the shops, you will see Performance Park on your right (north). The Silver Moon Inn is adjacent to the climbing cliff.


So, digging through some old notes, faded photos, and an old log, here are some bits of names, ratings, and information that may be superceded by additional history if it ever surfaces. These lines went to the top of the climbing lines, which are above some of the bolts. There was evidence of slings bits above Shrek suggesting there was earlier climbing here before 2003.

River Wall

A-R. Low Traverse, 11.
B. Blustery Day, 10 or 5 A1 (short climbers).
C. Ape City, 10.
D. Scratching aka Jungle Book, 10-.
EG1. Bun's Up, 11-, 1p, 50', bolts.
FG1. Leyechen, 9-10, 1p, 50', bolts.
G1. And Now For Something Completely Different, 7+.
G2. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, 9, 1p, 60', bolts.
H1-2. Brother Bear, 10+, 1p, 55', bolts.
IJ. Alt. Start to Toy Story, 10-.
J. Toy Story, 10-11, bolts.
K. Bare Necessities, 10+/11-, 1p, bolts.
L. Vast Emptiness, 12, 1p, 60', bolts.

Amphitheatre Wall

M. Shrek, 11, 1p, 40-65', bolts.
N. Pin Me, 10+, 1p, 40', bolts.
OP. Alt start to To Infinity and Beyond, 10, TR or boulder.
P. To Infinity and Beyond, 6-8+, 1p, 35-65', bolts.
Q. Finding Nemo, 8.
R1. Exit Stage Left, 7, bolts.
R2. Roof, 10.
R3. Exit Stage Right, 8.
S. Unknown, 4, 1p, bolts.
T. Magic Earmuffs, 4 or 6 PG-13, bolts.
U. Hakuna Matata, 4 PG-13, 1p, 35-90', bolts.
V. Enjoy The Silence or a 5.5 variation to Hakuna Matata, 5, 1p, 65', bolts.
W. Rock Climber, 0-3 PG-13, 1p, 65-90', bolts.

18 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Performance Climbing Park Change
Type:  to 
Sort by:   then:

Classic Climbing Routes at Performance Climbing Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Performance Climbing Park »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


Ryan Nevius
Chiang Mai, TH
Ryan Nevius   Chiang Mai, TH
Interesting...did the town approve bolting/climbing here? Curious about access issues, if there are any.... May 3, 2017
Mike A. Lewis
Estes Park, CO
Mike A. Lewis   Estes Park, CO
Yes - see the Access Notes. The Town of Estes opened this cliff to climbing. Please read the Access Notes. May 3, 2017
#choss. May 4, 2017
Eli Helmuth
Ciales, PR
Eli Helmuth   Ciales, PR
Thought this was an April Fool's joke but then saw the May submission date so a month late. Good luck with all that! May 4, 2017
Dom R
Bend, OR
Dom R   Bend, OR
This place is actually pretty fun. I found all the bolted lines on the River Wall to be thought provoking and have good movement. The Amphitheater Wall routes are fun as well and generally quite clean. River Wall still needs a lot of traffic to clean up, especially the top of that 10a. I had a lot of lichen in my eyes, ha, took me back to my ADK days, but don't pass this place up, plus if you suffer through a bit of dirty climbing now it will be clean later because of it.
Was wondering if anyone has looked into bolting that steep/blocky arete to the climber's left of "Pin Me"? looks like it could be pretty fun if it's not too hollow/loose. Probably room for one more line in that corner to the left of that as well. May 12, 2017
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
It's ironic how this got developed with concern about the landowners above without anyone contacting us. We own the A-frame cabin and property abutting most of the top of the cliff. A bit on the East end abuts the joint condo property. We're climbers and have been playing here quietly since 2003. Oddly, we saw nary another soul climbing the rock here in the interim. I will talk to the Town of Estes Park about whatever their concerns are.

One suggestion after inspecting the bolts for the 1st time yesterday, I would recommend leaving a stick clip perhaps hanging from the back of the stage for most of the "Amphitheater Wall" climbs for safety. Many a low-end difficulty leader is less likely to have a stick clip of their own, the 1st bolts are high for a 5.3-5.7 leader. May 17, 2017