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Full Metal Jacket T 
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Glacier Gorge Traverse T 
Godfather, The T 
Ithaca T 
Lost Arrowhead T 
Rain Dance T 
Ramp Tramp T 
Refugium T 
Ripsaw/Northeast Ridge T 
Shaft, The T 
Shoshone T 
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Arrowhead Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 12,642'
Location: 40.2683, -105.65 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 32,180
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Kurt Johnson on Dec 22, 2001  with updates from Ken Duncan
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Cloud glacier in Glacier Gorge.

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Arrowhead is the name given to a collection of spires in the Spearhead Cirque attached to McHenry's via its northeast ridge, directly above Black Lake. Up until a few years ago not many routes had been put up here, probably due to the long approach and relatively short climbs (most are 4 to 5 pitches in length). Recently, however, the abundance of clean, aesthetic lines compacted into a relatively small area has drawn droves of first-ascentionists looking for virgin rock in an otherwise mostly climbed-out Park. The rock here is quality granite, and if the entire formation were picked up and moved to a place like Lumpy Ridge there would already be 100 named routes on it.

Getting There 

To get there, park or take the shuttle to the Glacier Gorge lot and follow the trail that goes to Black Lake via Mills Lake. Once at the lake, skirt around the right side and scramble up directly underneath the long prominent fracture which leads straight upslope to the base of Arrowhead. Once at the beginning of the fracture, work your way diagonally left up grassy ledges until you're up in the cirque near the base of the rock. From here, you can either head up and left to access routes along the ridge connecting Arrowhead to McHenry's, or scramble up and right for the routes above Black Lake. You can also head up the left side of Black Lake as if you're going to Spearhead, but it's farther and takes more time. For routes on the far right side of Arrowhead, bushwack up and right from Black Lake.

Climbing Season

Weather station 7.8 miles from here

24 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Arrowhead

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Arrowhead:
Glacier Gorge Traverse   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 5000'   
Rain Dance   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, Grade III   
Warhead   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 700'   
Ripsaw/Northeast Ridge   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1300'   
Arrowplane   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   
Airhead   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'   
Ithaca   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Arrowhead

Featured Route For Arrowhead
Rock Climbing Photo: The East Buttress (Point 12387) of Arrowhead viewe...

Full Metal Jacket 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  Colorado : Alpine Rock : ... : Arrowhead
Begin from Ledge 1 about 10 feet right of the Inside East Buttress route.1a. Climb the crack on the right and bridge up through a slot into the main crack (a short squeeze chimney at first). Jam fists and hands to a good stance behind the Bullet (10a, 80 feet).1b. Climb a wide crack on the left as for Inside East Buttress, then work up and right to the top of a pinnacle (the Bullet) in the main crack (10a, 80 feet).2. Continue in the same crack (mostly hands) into an awesome overhanging wide cr...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Arrowhead Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Arrowhead.
Rock Climbing Photo: Arrowhead from the Arrowhead Arete on McHenry's.
Arrowhead from the Arrowhead Arete on McHenry's.
Rock Climbing Photo: Arrowhead East Face on 3/3/05
BETA PHOTO: Arrowhead East Face on 3/3/05
Rock Climbing Photo: Alpenglow on the Arrowhead.
Alpenglow on the Arrowhead.
Rock Climbing Photo: Arrowhead from Long's Peak's Keyhole Ridge.
Arrowhead from Long's Peak's Keyhole Ridge.
Rock Climbing Photo: [Arrowhead] near Black Lake.
[Arrowhead] near Black Lake.
Rock Climbing Photo: Possible FA? Looking up the prominent LFD on pitch...
Possible FA? Looking up the prominent LFD on pitch...
Rock Climbing Photo: Proposed new route.
Proposed new route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Seeking info vs. possible FA.  We climbed a direct...
Seeking info vs. possible FA. We climbed a direct...
Rock Climbing Photo: Morning mist.
Morning mist.
Rock Climbing Photo: S face of Arrowhead, seen from Dog Star on McHenry...
BETA PHOTO: S face of Arrowhead, seen from Dog Star on McHenry...
Rock Climbing Photo: Arrowhead
Rock Climbing Photo: Arrowhead from the top of the valley on the approa...
Arrowhead from the top of the valley on the approa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Arrowhead.
Rock Climbing Photo: S Face (right) on 9/3/01
BETA PHOTO: S Face (right) on 9/3/01
Rock Climbing Photo: From left to right: McHenry's, Arrowhead, and That...
BETA PHOTO: From left to right: McHenry's, Arrowhead, and That...

Comments on Arrowhead Add Comment
Show which comments
By L. Hamilton
Nov 5, 2004
Yep, that's McHenrys at left and Arrowhead in the middle. The right-hand "mountain" in Ernie's photo is actually two mountains, I believe -- a low ridge descending from Thatchtop, at far right; and the higher, snow-streaked summit behind it, which is Powell Peak (see Powell Peak and Snark descriptions for photos of the E face of Powell).
By Josh Janes
General Admin
Aug 29, 2008
The two raps from the low point on the McHenry's-Arrowhead saddle can be done with a single 70m rope (despite the recommendations for having two 60m ropes in the descriptions for Ithaca, Airhead, and Arrowplane) and a little bit of very easy down climbing after the second rappel.
By Greg Sievers
From: Bozeman, MT
Jan 24, 2011
I'm seeking some input before I dare suggest we did an FA up here. Scott Kimball and I climbed a 3 pitch route (8-1-10 up a fairly plumb LFD on the shortest part of the Arrowhead south-facing wall. It's about 200' right of the rap line. It's such an obvious line that it seems hard to believe it wasn't already done. In fact, we thought we heard rumor that maybe Pete Takeda had done something in this area?? See photo for route. Most of the climbing was 5.9 with a few short moves of low-5.10. Community comment is welcome.
By Alex Shainman
Sep 4, 2011
I second the recommendation that one 70m rope does work well for the "low-point" raps starting under the big visor block, which is marked by a large cairn.

Be advised you will have to downclimb maybe 5.5ish terrain after rap #2.
By monkeyvanya
From: Denver, CO
Jul 3, 2017
Did the NE ridge from Solitude Lake on 7/1/17. We had some trouble on the way down after rappels from the saddle.

We opted to go down to the Black Lake at the base of Arrowhead, SE side. Although this way looked like an established trail, the snow was covering 10-20% of the slabs/hillside. It forced us to a technical traverse on wet slabs 20' above a 3' grassy ledge with steeper slabs directly below. Under a hanging, runny snowpatch.
Very bad idea, in hindsight, but we got lucky. We should've made a loop to Spearhead and down the normal Spearhead descent instead - longer, but safer and faster.

Looked like you can use SE descent safely later in the season, when all the snow is gone.

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