Planning my first climbing trip to colorado from NC

Original Post
Jay W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 30

My wife and I are taking a climbing road trip through colorado all the way to montana and back from North Carolina for our honeymoon and plan to spend 3-4 weeks living out of the back of my truck. We love bouldering/sport climbing and easy trad and will be there from jun 13th probably until like june 20-24th (colorado) depending on weather and what not. We really just want to climb and hike and take the shredder down the rivers on bad weather/rest days, however I am curious about a couple of things.

1) We have a national parks pass that we got for christmas, does that cover entry fees to most places? we definitely want to go to mt evans/RMNP and camp/boulder for a few days if weather permits.
2) is there free camping to kinda station near or at mt evans? is hiking in with gear the only option? we can do that with crashpads but sometimes like to car camp too.
3) if we wanted to spend a few days in RMNP and boulder there (which we do), what is the best place to base out of if looking to possibly car camp for free?
4) how is the weather at some of the more front range bouldering/sport climbing sites this time of year?
5) are there any easy/chill front range spots that are particularly easy to camp at and climb most days (preferably free camping)? Keep in mind I'm coming from a Joshua tree perspective where you literally camp and walk 50 feet and hit a boulder to climb on, if there's not many places that work this way in Colorado that's fine, we can adjust, I'm just curious if there are and what people's opinions are on them?

Basically I'm asking for local beta on best places etc. After living in California for several years and learning what spots to camp/climb at all the time near Joshua Tree/san bernadino, I know there are local ethics/things people do that make great camping/climbing situations, especially car camping. Thanks for any and all help to these questions.

p.s. a little background about us, v5 bouldering or lower with occasional v6 is comfortable for me, wife v3-v4, and sport climbing 5.11a or lower and trad 5.9/5.10a depending on features/styles. Thanks for any help! Even if you just want to point me towards excellent reading material I'm always game to do more research.

KevinRTR · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 0

So in short no, there are not places to camp for free and walk to bouldering in RMNP. Closes thing we have is Indy Pass( bouldering, sport, and Trad ) close by camping but you would benifit from having a car. Also Guanella Pass free camping and sub alpine bouldering.

First off the weather in late June should be good to go, you may have some residual snow, given the amount we are getting this year. Most likely some one will dig out boulders covered in snow by late June. I would still recomned bouldering in the alpine

As Far as RMNP or estes park goes maybe someone else can weigh in, i very rarely stay the night. I would recomend Camp Dick campground semi close by and nice bouldering in itself.

Mt Evans, however, you can bring in gear to stay the night right to the bouldering areas in area A,B, and D you just need to follow fire and camping regulations. There is also a camp ground close by at the Hells Hole trailhead, and free primitive camping nearby off of a side road above the trailhead.

As far as other lower elevation Front Range stuff, during the end of june it can be great weather or to hot. In june i head to alpine stuff and chase better temps and better rock quality. But I will say Newlin Creek (west of CO Springs, Free camping/ climbing) is one of the best spots in the state but its a treck from RMNP.

I would recomend buying Jamie Emersons Alpine bouldering book. Most climbing is Free except for RMNP which your pass covers. Dont expect bad ass free camping, and get in shape for long approaches is my advice, have fun and PM me if you have any questions

Dharma Bum · · Glen Haven, Co · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 585

If you leave Estes Park on McGreagor Ave and drive past Lumpy Ridge you will drive down a series of switchbacks after a few miles into Glen Haven. On the left hand side of the road about a quarter of a mile below the switchbacks there is a pullout below a power pole with transformers. I see people car camp there all the time. It is close to the road and no campfires are allowed. There is a General Store down the road about another mile further that has a few basic supplies and awesome cinnamon rolls.

Jay W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 30

Awesome thanks for the tips! Yea my brother and sister in law actually got us that guidebook for Christmas so we are actually planning a lot of our trip off of that(at least the Colorado portion). We are looking to make rmnp the latter portion of the Colorado section and then heading nw to vedauwoo.
Any other advice out there is more than welcome and I'll definitely probably pm you with some questions in the future! Thanks.

mike freischlag · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 0

Try looking for one of Benningfeilds guides.There are many other places to camp and boulders elevation other than RMNP and Evans,especially at the grades you are looking for.Supposed to be a new edition covering the high country out this spring.Independence Pass,Redcliff,Hagerman Pass to name a few.Free camping,dog friendly,less restrictions,easier access.

Jay W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 30

nice I am definitely looking into the benningfield front range bouldering one. any ones in particular on some single pitch sport?

C Travis · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 60

Howdy Jay. Just stumbled across this thread and noticed you're in CO for a couple more days, according to post. Wanted to help out a fellow NC climber if possible. If you're still looking for area info, let me know and I'll be glad to TRY (depending on whereabouts you're climbing) and point toward some good stuff.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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