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Arch Rock

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Arch Rock Direct T,S 
Arch Rock Route T 
Blackjack T 
Cake Walk T 
Death by Drowning T,S 
Dorsey-O'Donoghue Direct T 
Haircase T 
Hollow Flake T 
In Two Deep T 
Kansas Honey T,S,TR 
Middle Dihedral T 
Middle Meanie Crack T 
Mighty Young Joe aka Captain Fist T 
Obscura T 
Obscura Direct T 
Persistence S 
Pride of Sweden S 
Right Meanie Crack T 
Smiley Face S 
Sprout Route T 
Staircase, The T 
Village Idiot S 
Waiting for Staircase 1-3 S 
Waiting on a Resolution aka Unknown S 
Waiting on the Staircase aka Unknown 2 S,TR 
Zamboni Man S 
Zendance S 
Zorro's Cave T 

Arch Rock Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 38.93784, -105.40579 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 30,409
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Dan Mottinger on Sep 10, 2001  with updates from cyclestupor
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Arch Rock is one of the more prominent rocks in Elevinmile Canyon, 4 miles up the road. A short approach will lead you to a slurry of fine moderate sport and trad climbs. The "sport" routes are typical of South Platte climbing, often mixed sport and trad, and hosting long runouts on easier terrain. Descent: The Routes can be descended from the top by heading to the SOUTH side of the rock and going down easier gullys and slopes past the dome. Expect morning shade, and afternoon sun.

Many classics abound including, the two pitch 5.5 trad adventure: "The Staircase."

Getting There 

This fine rock is 4 miles up the canyon and is easy to identify. Look for a dome with a series of unique grooves towards the north end. There are several turnoffs to park at below the crag.

Per cyclestupor: Arch rock is the huge unmistakable dome 3.8 miles from the pay station. It is directly north (downstream) of the foot bridge parking area on the east side of the road. so if you see the footbridge or if you go through a tunnel you went too far. There is parking on the west side of the road behind the big boulder, or a small pull in on the east side of the road upstream of the boulder. Be prepared to scramble up hill.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.4 miles from here

28 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Arch Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Arch Rock:
The Staircase   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 2 pitches   
Hollow Flake   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Middle Dihedral   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Waiting on the Staircase aka Unknown 2   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 90'   
Zendance   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Waiting for Staircase 1-3   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   
Mighty Young Joe aka Captain Fist   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch   
Arch Rock Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   
Persistence   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   
Kansas Honey   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, TR, 3 pitches, 115'   
Zamboni Man   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Death by Drowning   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 200'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Arch Rock

Featured Route For Arch Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Great climb!

Mighty Young Joe aka Captain Fist 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  Colorado : South Platte : ... : Arch Rock
To find this route, hike up to the hollow flake route on arch rock. From here, look right approximately 40 feet to the large chimney/corner formed by an enormous flake leaning against the wall. This is captain fist.Either slab or use a slab/chimney combination to pull up into the wide roof/slot (crux). Place your big piece here (#3 or #4 Camalot), and pull left out of the slot and into the corner proper. From here, climb up the corner on excellent jams and ledges. Great rest sta...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Arch Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Arch Rock from the summit of Turret Dome
BETA PHOTO: Arch Rock from the summit of Turret Dome
Rock Climbing Photo: The Stairway, Waiting for the Stairway, and Arch R...
BETA PHOTO: The Stairway, Waiting for the Stairway, and Arch R...
Rock Climbing Photo: The top of The Staircase.
The top of The Staircase.
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the Best Rocks in the Canyon (stays a littl...
One of the Best Rocks in the Canyon (stays a littl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Labor Day, 2001:  Arch rock has a great mix of spo...
BETA PHOTO: Labor Day, 2001: Arch rock has a great mix of spo...

Comments on Arch Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 6, 2002
Arch is one of the best pieces of solid granite I've climbed on. Gentle breezes help you cool off, river noise can interfere with long leads, so take care!
By Jim McGuire
Sep 17, 2003
Considering ease of approach/descent, quality of rock and abundance of moderate routes, Arch Rock is hard to beat.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 29, 2004
Fine easy to moderate routes but the rock is way too crowded - four(!) climbing parties on a weekday is a bit too much for a crag of this size.
By Larry Shaw
Jul 28, 2005
I'm posting this here because there isn't a section for spray rock. Does anyone have route information on the 4 or 5 slab routes just downstream from spray rock?
By Todd Miller
Jul 31, 2005
I think Shmausser put those up. I saw him climbing there with his wife a few weeks ago. He is working on a web based guide that should be out this summer.

His email is
By Larry C. Schubarth
From: colorado springs, colorado
Nov 14, 2005
I see a lot of "first ascents" being bagged/claimed on Arch Rock these days. Remember that the climbing that went on there in the seventies was CLEAN, meaning, i.e.,natural or nuts, hexes, knotted slings often times long runouts etc. and often without chalk, the only evidence that another party had been there before was the lack of loose flakes or vegetation having been cleaned out.Yes, there were climbers back then.
By Lordsokol
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2006
Back in 1997 I climbed in this area. I lead up Captain Fist and then top ropped Death by Drowning's first pitch. While playing around on the top ropped route I had a near death experience. I climbed the route and stood at the belay stance ready to come down. The person I allowed to belay me on top rope was a guy I had met that day as there was a large group of us on the rocks all being "buddy buddy". I had just watched him competently belay his son so had some confidence in him as a belayer. Though I didn't pay much attention to that. When I reached the top he asked if I was going to rappel or if he should lower me. I said "you can lower me". He responded, "OK, I have you".
I called out, "Loading rope! I'm coming down!". Again his replay, "I've got you!". AS I sat back in my harness, I realized there was no resistance on the rope. My first thought was, "geeze this is a fast belay" but that thought was soon replaced by "falling!". I grounded from sixty feet up. My "belayer" never had me. He was wearing belay gloves and never felt the rope slip through his hands once I loaded the system. I am alive and climbing today because there was a search and rescue team at Arch Rock that day practicing and they were on the scene in seconds. I was loaded into a flight for life helicopter and rushed to the hospital. I have since returned to the area and lead the climb I was dropped on. Why share this story here? Just to serve as a reminder that you can't ever be too careful. Always make sure you know your belayer. This is a great sport but people die when careless mistakes are made. I am lucky and very grateful to be alive. Final lesson: Burn your belay gloves!!!
By Buff Johnson
Mar 7, 2008
Anyone ever tried the P2 for Kansas Honey? What/where the heck is pitch-2 of the route?? We contrived ourselves just to stay out of the crappy, lichen covered rock, & runout with rope drag, too. 5.9 natural line, my ass.
By Larry C. Schubarth
From: colorado springs, colorado
Apr 1, 2009
Don't let the ratings fool scare you off of routes listed here. Many of them were put up in the B.C. (Before Cams) and may now be much better protected and hopefully safer. Have fun!

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