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Burro Wall

Colorado > Glenwood Springs > Main Elk Creek


Burro Wall is a south-facing and sunny limestone cliff sitting several hundred feet above Main Elk Creek. As you drive into the Main Elk area, you see a large cliff arcing across the hillside just above the Clinetop Road. The Burro Wall is the lower end of this band.

Full disclosure: starts here can feel chossy, but bolting is friendly, and the upper 3/4 of the routes are on excellent limestone. The routes are 20 to 35 meters in length and range from 5.10 to mid-5.12.

The cliff is named for the burro living on the ranch below the cliff. It's braying serenade was heard daily as we developed the cliff.

Getting There

Park as for Main Elk Cliff, and walk up the main gravel road for approximately 1/2 mile. Look for a small cairn on the left that shows the access to a primitive trail through the oaks. If you pass a good-sized boulder on your left or hit a parking area on your right, turn around. The approach from off the road is about 20 minutes. If you lose the trail, just head towards the cliff as best you can. The routes start about 200 yards up from the very toe of the cliffband.

Routes from Left to Right

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Mado climbing Boxelder.
[Hide Photo] Mado climbing Boxelder.

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[Hide Comment] Five star winter sun at the Burro Wall. The best routes are Mexican Radio 10b, Nothing Comes Between Me and My Calvins 11b, Boxelder 12a. Approach beta: walk from Main Elk parking, walk up road 0.5 mile trail on the left, further away from cliff/ up the road than you would think. Making for a nice gradual approach back left to the Burro Wall. Jan 6, 2018
[Hide Comment] Finally checked out this cliff yesterday after being curious about it for the last 10 years. It's unlikely I'll revisit it, but I am glad I invested a sunny winter day to check out the classic lines with a buddy. The position, sun, and solitude were great. The routes are long, and the top of the cliff offers beautiful stone, which compensates for the hollow, rotten rock down low. The main reason I don't plan to go back anytime soon is because the style seems rather monotonous—vertical crimping and pimping; fingertips and toes pretty much do all the work—and it seems like once you've done a handful of the best routes here, you've pretty much had the experience that the cliff offers. Thus, postholing through snow at the start of the approach (likely if you're visiting in winter when the cliff sees the best conditions) and route-finding up the loose talus (the whole slope appears to be constantly shifting from runoff, so any trail work probably doesn't last long), combined with mostly uncomfortable staging areas, makes it less appealing for a return visit. The hollow rock down low probably wouldn't sustain a lot of regular traffic anyway, so maybe it's best for each visitor to enjoy it once at move on. I'd say this crag is most ideal for local climbers who are confident onsighting up to mid-12 and are looking to mix it up from the normal Main Elk routine on a day that might be a bit too short/cold at other areas. We were concerned about it being too cold on Feb. 24, but we had direct sun and fairly comfy temps here all day. Thanks to the first ascensionists for giving us a nice diversion! Feb 25, 2019