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Cascade Canyon

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Canyon Entrance 
Free Tibet Sector 
Pool Area 
Roof Area 
West Side 

Cascade Canyon Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 9,000'
Location: 37.65774, -107.80962 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 28,066
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Monty, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: eDixon Dixon on May 25, 2006
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Cascade Canyon in the fall.

Description 

Cascade Canyon is another nice piece of the Durango climbing scene. This scenic little canyon is host to a good selection of limestone sport routes. Most are in the 5.11 - 5.12 range. There is only a handful of easier routes (5.10 and under). This is a nice summer climbing spot, as it is at a higher elevation and receives a nice mix of sun and shade. Some of the routes can be wet and dirty at times. Most of the climbing is on the east side of the canyon - divided into the Canyon Entrace, Roof Area, Free Tibet Sector and Pool Area. The West Side has a small selection of climbs as well.

Per Larry Morton: there were 4 original developers that started back in the early '90s, myself, Steve "Booner " Price, Jay Pezbolt, and Terry Parrish.

Getting There 

From Durango, drive north on US Hwy 550 towards Purgatory Ski Area. Continue north past the ski area for a few more miles to where the road makes a sharp U-turn to the right. Take a right on Old Lime Creek Road and park after a short distance at a small pullout on the right. Look for a climber's trail heading down into the canyon.

Rock Climbing Photo: Cascade Canyon map.
Cascade Canyon map.


Per Luke Mehall: there is now a Tyrolean traverse so that the West Side can be easily accessed from the Main Side. This eliminates the need to trespass on the water treatment plant above the West Side. Big thanks to Eric Dixon who installed the anchors, who has also been adding some sweet routes over there on the West Side! The Tyrolean can be accessed by hiking downstream from the waterfall for a couple hundred feet.

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.8 miles from here

53 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',32],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',4],['5.10',5],['5.11',17],['5.12',16],['5.13',8],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',1],['V12-13',1],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Cascade Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Cascade Canyon:
Worthy aka GoGo Ibari   V9-10 7C+     Boulder, 10'   Pool Area
One Summer's Eve   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Pool Area
Colorfest   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Pool Area
Genesis (aka Face)   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Canyon Entrance
The War Has Started   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   Pool Area
Close To The Edge   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Pool Area
The Red Sea   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Canyon Entrance
30 and Dirty   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Canyon Entrance
A Gentlehoe   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Roof Area
Night Moves   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Free Tibet Sector
Peace Crack   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   West Side
Reverse Cowgirl    5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Free Tibet Sector
Tibet Arête (originally submitted as Track Team)   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Free Tibet Sector
La Cantina   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Roof Area
El Rancho    5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Roof Area
Huffy   5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Roof Area
Hammer and a Carrot    5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Free Tibet Sector
Buffy   5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Roof Area
El Jefe   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Roof Area
Sweatpants in Public    5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Roof Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Cascade Canyon

Featured Route For Cascade Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Nathan Price working the topout moves.

Worthy aka GoGo Ibari V9-10 7C+  Colorado : Durango : ... : Pool Area
This problem starts sitting on obvious good edges and breaks right towards the arete via tiny crimps underclings, and toe hooks....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Cascade Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Drew on the main flow, Cascade Canyon.
Drew on the main flow, Cascade Canyon.
Rock Climbing Photo: Close to the Edge can be seen on the right.
Close to the Edge can be seen on the right.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Pool.
The Pool.

Comments on Cascade Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ben Griffin
From: Durango, CO
Sep 4, 2012
Who the hell is bolting routes at Cascade? Doesn't everyone know that they are just bolting choss. I've already looked at those lines years ago, and they look like they are screaming trash. I mean climbing is here for us, we shouldn't be disturbing the balance of nature. Keep your bolts to yourself, because all the other bolted lines were natural.
By s.price
From: PS,CO
Sep 13, 2012
Glad to see new routes going in. As one of the original developers, we always knew there were a few gems left. Gotta get over there and try the new stuff. Thanks to those making the effort.
By Erik Durgin
Oct 25, 2012
There are a handful of routes in the canyon with draws hanging on them. They were not abandoned or left by accident. People are projecting these routes and the draws are intentionally left in place to ease the process.

Feel free to climb on them, but PLEASE leave them in place!
By Nolan Robertson
Jun 14, 2013
If you find a dog here, please contact me, my number is (local)-7494416
By s.price
From: PS,CO
Jun 17, 2013
Doesn't the sign say Lime Creek on the highway? It is Lime Creek road.
By Luke Mehall
From: Durango, Colorado
Aug 19, 2016
There is now a Tyrolean traverse so that the West Side can be easily accessed from the Main Side. This eliminates the need to trespass on the water treatment plant above the West Side. Big thanks to Eric Dixon who installed the anchors, who has also been adding some sweet routes over there on the West Side! The Tyrolean can be accessed by hiking downstream from the waterfall for a couple hundred feet.
By Larry Morton
Dec 15, 2016
After looking at the route list, it's funny how time "changes" history. The local guidebook authors didn't respect others hard work, poached their routes, renaming others, and completely got lost in the history that really took place in the canyon, sad really.

There were 4 original developers that started back in the early '90s, myself, Steve "Booner " Price, Jay Pezbolt, and Terry Parrish.

Steve put up Cherub (Tim Kuss chopped it), In the Beginning, Wind of Change, Colorfest, and a really nice thin face left of Babel.

Jay put up Rozenkranz, Gildenstern, Gardening at Night, and Babel.

Terry put up Respecting the Law (crack), Free Tibet, and Still Waiting.

I bolted Cut Loose, Revelation, Red Sea, Genesis, Book of Life, Noah's Ark (aka Peer Pressure), Pulling Teeth, By Tor and the Cur Dog, Billy Manilly (unfinished, hangers stolen), Wicked Sensation, God of Thunder, Answer to the Master, The Temptation, One Summer's Eve, Close to the Edge, Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree, Cafe Cascade, The Red Snapper, and The Oaks.

Walking into the canyon, the walls were named Friendship Wall (small wall with 2 chopped routes, Cherub, and Cut Loose), Genesis Wall from Revelation to Noah's Ark Arete, Futurescape Wall (aka Roof Area) which is from Respecting the Law crack to the upper cave. Headbangers Wall (aka Free Tibet area) from By Tor and the Cur Dog down to Colorfest, Garden of Eden Wall from The Temptation (left of Colorfest) to Close to the Edge at pool. Accros the river that whole wall was called Restaurant Row.

There was one other dude named Jason who put up about 3-4 routes as well, and Tim Kuss put up a crack down by the waterfall. I think Track Team that started just left of Free Tibet, bolts and gear.

So there you have it, a small history lesson on Cascade Canyon. I visited recently, and there are many new routes, some lines we looked at back in the day, but they were super hard looking, so we left them alone for better climbers than ourselves. So good job, people! I just hope that CC doesn't get over bolted where the routes become contrived, it's a beautiful place.
By Matthias Holladay
From: Durango, Colorado
Dec 17, 2016
Obviously, your original nomenclature must be reinstated, running the whole gamut of this lovely gorge once again.
By Erik Durgin
Dec 19, 2016
Larry,
thanks so much for the comment. I think it's really important to understand and respect the history of a climbing area. Thank you for your hard work, I have enjoyed your routes for years.

I share your concern with Cascade becoming over bolted. Recently some serious squeeze jobs have been added, and it would be a damn shame if this continues. To anyone considering adding a new route to the canyon, please keep the lines independent. If your potential route is within arm's length to an existing line, please DO NOT bolt it!

It would be great if an administrator would change the names of the walls to what the original developers had given them.