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Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock)

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Buick Rocks and Hitler's Sex Life 
Entryway Slabs 
Old Yellar Dome 
River Wall II 
Tigers in Lipstick 

Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock) Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 6,032'
Location: 40.2291, -105.34545 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 37,084
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jesse Ryan on Nov 27, 2001


70° | 35°

49° | 33°

61° | 41°

62° | 34°

54° | 35°
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Patty Johnson bouldering at Buttonrock Reservoir.

CLOSED for 2014 MORE INFO >>>


Also located west of Lyons, this area is cousin to the South Saint Vrain (SSV). Like the SSV there are both trad and sport routes on a variety of features. Rock quality varies from superb to choss. One of Buttonrock's centerpieces is the classic River Wall. This steep wall has steep cracks alongside of both technical and pumpy sport routes. Well-known climbers from Boulder and around the Front Range developed this area in the last three decades. The best climbing season is whenever it isn't precipitating, possibly year-round as the aspect of the formations is diverse. River Wall in particular has midday sun, but is often chilly due to breeze off the river. The Falcon guide to Lyons area covers both Buttonrock and the SSV.

Getting There 

Drive to Lyons on CO 66, this can be reached via US 36 from Boulder. Continue past the junction in Lyons of US 36 and CO Hwy 7 (CO Hwy 7 takes one to the SSV) for about 3.7 miles. Look carefully on the left for a sign for Shelly's Cottages. Turn left here on County Road 80. One half-mile on the left are Entryway Slabs, another tenth of a mile are Buick Rocks and Hitler's Sex Life. About 2.3 miles further one reaches a steel gate and parking. One can hike along the road to reach River Wall, Old Yellar, and other formations.

Climbing Season

Weather station 10.2 miles from here

30 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock):
Tigers in Lipstick   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   Tigers in Lipstick
Green Slab   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport   Buick Rocks and Hitler's Se...
Livewire   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   River Wall II
Introducing Meteor Dad   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   River Wall II
Escape from Alcatraz   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   River Wall II
Surround Sound    5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   River Wall II
Pocket Hercules   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   River Wall II
Redneck Hero   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   River Wall II
Neurosurgeon   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   River Wall II
Big, Big, Monkey Man   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, 1 pitch   River Wall II
Big, Big Gunky Man   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   River Wall II
New Horizon   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   River Wall II
Old Yellar   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Old Yellar Dome
Brother From Another Planet   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   River Wall II
Le Diamant E'ternal   5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   River Wall II
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock)

Featured Route For Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock)
Rock Climbing Photo: Resting after the crux on Neurosurgeon.

Neurosurgeon 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Colorado : Lyons : ... : River Wall II
Neurosurgeon climbs the stellar fingercrack on the far right side of the 'central' River Wall (after the bouldering approach in from right), just right of the steep 'slab' Le Diamant E'ternal. The only reason this climb doesn't receive three stars in my book is the scary finishing options. One must either climb difficult to protect direct 5.11 PG/R finish or move right around the arete as the crack fades in and out and finish on loose scary 5.9 R climbing. The lower portion of the c...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Crack climbing at Buttonrock, photo: Bob Horan Col...
Crack climbing at Buttonrock, photo: Bob Horan Col...
Rock Climbing Photo: River Wall, Buttonrock. Photo: Bob Horan Collectio...
River Wall, Buttonrock. Photo: Bob Horan Collectio...

Comments on Longmont Reservoir Area (aka Buttonrock) Add Comment
Show which comments
By Stephen Allen
May 1, 2002
There is some great bouldering in this area, the Lion's Den is a mere 20 minute hike up the slope opposite the River Wall. Many unclimbed rock still remains in the vicinity with Twin Dinosaurs (only one established problem, "Snott the Mamma" V4, just across a meadow from the Den).
By Anonymous Coward
May 13, 2002
This was the worst area yet! Approaches are long, long, long and boring. Encountered hostile, beer-swilling fishermen at the parking area; our car was vandalized. This was definitely a 'never-again' experience for us. With so much great rock along the Front Range, why would anyone waste their time in Lyons?
By Stephen Allen
Jun 7, 2002
I have never found this to be the case, the Lion's Den area is very isolated (ok the approach includes hiking 1 1/2 miles up a steep draw), but the sheer quality and quantity of problems make for a great day of climbing.
By Anonymous Coward
Feb 25, 2003
I love climbing and fishing at Button Rock. Have had nothing but pleasant experiences here. Hopefully everyone else does also.
By Umph!
Nov 22, 2004
If you hike up the road to the fork (porta-potty), there are some good/okay routes and many topropes across the river (east side) - you can't miss the large crag. Cross the river just above the pipe-gate heading toward the dam/res; some new route potential as well. Great place if you want true solitude.
By Matt Richardson
From: Longmont, CO
May 9, 2009
The area mentioned by camerones looks like it has a lot of potential. But the slabs look as if they would need some fixed hardware.

EDIT: This section is referred to in the new Gillett guide as Below Price (as in below Price Dam).
By George Bracksieck
Oct 25, 2014
I'm going to echo most of the comments made under "Pinewood Rock." The correct name for "Pinewood Rock" is Button Rock, which is the name that has appeared on USGS and USFS maps for at least 60 years. In the '80s, climbers started calling the rocks (including the River Wall) by Longmont Reservoir "Button Rock." Longmont Res. lies a couple miles east of Ralph Price Res., which was originally named Button Rock Res., because it lies three miles south of and is in sight of Button Rock Mtn. and the real Button Rock. Perhaps climbers avoided using the name "Longmont" because it's French for Long's Peak, and they didn't want to confuse the River Wall with the Diamond. Go figure.

I recommend changing the name of this MP section from "Button Rock" to Longmont Reservoir Area and "Pinewood Rock" back to Button Rock.
By Matt Hodges
From: Berea, Ky
Jul 5, 2017
Just some input from a couple flatlanders who call the Red River Gorge home: we've been climbing in the Front Range for the last month and finding an escape on the weekends has been a challenge. We climbed here twice in the last week, once on a weekend, and again on the 4th of July, and had the place to ourselves! We topped out on Livewire and had easy access from the top to the rest of the climbs. Throwing down topropes was easy, and while we would have preferred to lead, it was more time efficient to TR. This allowed us to get plenty laps on the classics there, including Redneck Hero, before the sun started baking the majority of the climbs around 12:30pm. Awesome setting, classic (but slick) routes, and a great hideaway (but not from gawking hikers). Thanks to the people who took the time to develop this little gem!

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