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First time in Estes Park...looking for advice


Original Post
Patrick Rose · · St. Louis, MO · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 65

I'll be in Estes Park for a long weekend later this month.  The trip is primarily to hike in RMNP but I was hoping to get in some climbing (sport) in the evenings.  I've never been to the area but was looking at Jurassic Park and Ironclads as options with a decent number of easy to intermediate routes with relatively short approaches. Any suggestions about these areas or other spots to check out?  I'm looking at getting the Gillett guidebook to supplement the MP database on these areas, unless there is a better option?  Also, my rental will be 2WD and I've read conflicting reports about access to the Ironclads in non 4WD vehicle? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Nick Thomas · · Fargo, ND · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 30

Jurassic Park is a great spot to check out and probably holds the best climbing and a high concentration of routes, plan on about a 20 minute steepish approach though.  One crag I enjoy that doesn't get much attention is Mary's Bust in Big Thompson Canyon.  It's about a 20 minute drive from Estes but the approach is hardly 5 minutes (pretty steep).  If you're strapped for time, you can get in a few climbs at Performance Park, literally in town, as long as there's no performance going on.  30 second approach haha.  Finally, Prospect Mountain has some fun sport routes (5.10 and up though) on the Needle and the Thumb, another short 5 or so minute approach.

GLD · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 89

avoid the brewery in town. even if they offer free samples

T G · · Colorado · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

The Monastery is another interesting area due to the type of rock and its history. Expect the climbing to be spicy.

JKeller · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0
GLD wrote:

avoid the brewery in town. even if they offer free samples

CORRECTION

Avoid the Estes Park Brewery.  Do support Longs Peak and Rock Cut brewing!

Ryan Nevius · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 904
JKeller wrote:

CORRECTION

Avoid the Estes Park Brewery.  Do support Longs Peak and Rock Cut brewing!

I think you mean Lumpy Ridge and Rock Cut. Both are quality.

Andrew G · · Silver Spring, MD · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 298

Swing by the Estes Park Mountain Shop. They were super friendly and helpful to me when I was visiting a couple years back. I asked if they rented out local guidebooks, they didn't but thought it was a good idea, so set it up on the spot.

Patrick Rose · · St. Louis, MO · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 65

Thanks for the suggestions. I was looking into the Monastery, but I thought I had read the approach hike was pretty lengthy?  I will definitely check out Mountain Shop, renting a guidebook I'll probably only use once sounds better than buying it. 

T G · · Colorado · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0
I was looking into the Monastery, but I thought I had read the approach hike was pretty lengthy?

The hike in is certainly more than a few minutes long, but 45 minutes overstates it -- that would be a leisurely pace.

Joven · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 15
Silverplume wrote:

The hike in is certainly more than a few minutes long, but 45 minutes overstates it -- that would be a leisurely pace.

Agreed.

And IMO, The Monastery is far more quality over Lily Lake or Mary's Lake. Similar approach but better climbing. Also second (third) on Rock Cut and Lumpy Ridge, but there's nothing wrong with hangin' at the local hole, Wheel Bar. Pool tables, shuffle board, and drinks - what more could you ask for?

Patrick Rose · · St. Louis, MO · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 65

It looks like I will need to check out the Monastery as well, thanks guys.  Thanks for the brewery suggestions as well, lots of good information here.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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