REI Community
Castlewood Canyon SP

Select Area...
Allied Wall 
Anvil Tower 
Bouldering problems 
Cave Wall 
Coat of Arms Corner and The Rat Cracks 
Corporate View Block 
Corporate Walls, The 
Dungeon, The 
Falls Wall 
Five and Dime Wall 
Gargoyle Wall, The 
Grocery Store Walls, The 
Grotto, The 
Honeycomb Spire 
Juggernaut Area, The 
Morning Sun Wall 
Neanderthal Wall 
Norwegian Wood 
Playground, The 
Porky's Wall 
Project X Wall 
Realm of the Venusian Love Goddess 
Sea World a.k.a. Hanson's Wall 
Shakespearean Theatre & Revolution Buttress, The 
Sherwood Forest 
South Canyon Point 
Terminal Area, The 
Vulture Walls 
Wendell Spire 
Zoids, The 

Castlewood Canyon SP Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,614'
Location: 39.33111, -104.73864 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 260,189
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [6 people like this page.]
Along the canyon bottom trail in winter.

Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


Castlewood Canyon is somewhat of an anomaly on the plains SE of Denver. The Cherry Creek River cut out the shallow canyon. The rock varies from crumbly shale to conglomerate sandstone and quartz. All the cliffs are short and steep (under 25 meters), so they're perfect for toproping. Thomas Hanson's guidebook, "A Rock Climber's Guide to Castlewood Canyon State Park, Colorado," describes over 300 routes including 100 sport routes, but he also mentions that documentation exists for over 600 routes in the Canyon, not to mention the hoardes of bouldering development possibilities. Ice flows develop during certain times of the year also!

The canyon is an anomaly because so many different forms of wildlife exist in this small area. Deer, rattlesnakes, vultures, scrub oak, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, bats, bees and plenty of bee hives on the walls, wildflowers, etc. all live in this little area. Remember, that climbing access in the future depends on respect for the wildlife of the area and good judgement.

For top roping, very long slings or an extra rope are useful since not every climb is equipped with bolts on top, and the scrub oak isn't as solid as a fir or pine. Also, many 1/4" bolts still exist as the only fixed pro for some top ropes--always back up a single bolt. CWC is great for toproping and sport, but don't leave your trad rack at home. Their are MANY underclimbed trad lines here also, albeit a little more spicy on some because of crumbly or sandy cracks.

Ice Climbing 

What?!! Ice climbing on the eastern plains of Colorado? YES! Believe it--there's ice that forms every year in the Wood--you just have to be patient and observant to find it.

Regardless, ice will form at a small waterfall along the Cherry Creek and along the north bank of the creek just downstream from this fall. Also, you'll find very intermittent ice formations on the north side of the canyon just below the visitor center and along that South Rim.

Wait for enought moisture and snow melt, then some cold temps at night and voila! Ice climbing SE of Denver!

See the description in the rock database for more about The Wood....

Getting There 

Driving Directions: There are two entrances to the park--a West and East entrance. Depending on what areas you plan on climbing, one entrance may be a shorter hike. See the area topo to decide.

From Denver: Take I-25 South to Castle Rock and exit 184 to Founder's Parkway. Then take HW 86 East to Franktown (about 5 miles), but look for the park entrance (Castlewood Rd) to the South before the Franktown stoplight (yes, there's only one in the whole town). This is the West entrance.

If you want to enter from the Southeast, continue to the stoplight and turn South (R) on CO Hwy 83. Stay on this road until you see the sign for the E. entrance, which will be on top of the canyon rim. Look for the signs for the E. entrance. You can also take CO 83 all the way from Co. Springs if you want--it's a much more scenic drive.

New Fixed Hardware 

There is currently a ban on new, fixed hardware. The current situation is difficult at best in regard to replacing fixed hardware.

Please do not place new, fixed hardware at this time.

L->R for the subareas / walls 

This section is for your benefit and is arranged in a clockwise fashion starting from the southeast going to the south, etc.

South Rim

Visitor's Center (from CO 83/Parker Rd.)

The Grotto
The Terminal Area
Honeycomb Spire

Corporate Walls
Sherwood Forest

Realm of the Venusian Love Goddess
Anvil Tower
South Canyon Point

West Rim

South Entrance Station (Hwy 51)/Dam Ruins

Porky's Wall

Morning Sun Wall
Cave Wall
Allied Wall
Neaderthal Walls
Grocery Store Walls

North Entrance Station (from CO 86)/ Homestead Ruins

East Rim

Gargoyle Wall

The Dungeon
Falls Wall
The Zoids
Project X Wall
C-Section aka Hedgeclipper Area
Sea World aka Hanson's Wall
Vulture Walls

North Canyon Point
Coat of Arms Corner and The Rat Cracks
Shakespearean Theatre
Revolution Buttress

The Juggernaut Area
The Playground
Corporate View Block

Wendell Spire

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.8 miles from here

413 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',15],['3 Stars',72],['2 Stars',196],['1 Star',116],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Castlewood Canyon SP

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Castlewood Canyon SP:
Rocket Ship   V1+ 5     Boulder   Fountainbleau area : Fountain Lip Boulder
Fountain Lip Traverse   V3+ 6A+     Boulder, 20'   Fountainbleau area : Fountain Lip Boulder
Nine Lives Arete   V4 6B     Boulder   Central City area : Nine Lives Boulder
Cave Direct   V6 7A     Boulder, 15'   Fountainbleau area : Fountain Lip Boulder
Punani   V7 7A+     Boulder, 20'   Punani Area/North Canyon : Punani Boulder
Little Devil   V12+ 8A+ X     TR, Boulder   Bouldering problems : Miscellaneous Castlewood Bo...
Hot Fudge   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   The Grocery Store Walls
Rat's Nest   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch   The Grocery Store Walls
Licorice Stick   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   The Grocery Store Walls
Rain Dance Crack   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   The Grocery Store Walls
Hot Fudge (variation)   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   The Grocery Store Walls
Beta Slave   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   C-Section
Scandanavian Dreams   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   Vulture Walls
Bozo No No   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 45'   The Grocery Store Walls
Patrick Hedgeclipper   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   C-Section
Subterfuge   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Sea World a.k.a. Hanson's W...
Song of the Wood   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Wendell Spire
The Sub   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Wendell Spire
Rim Job   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Falls Wall
The Black Streak   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Wendell Spire
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Castlewood Canyon SP

Featured Route For Castlewood Canyon SP
Rock Climbing Photo: Pat Burwick launching The Sub.

The Sub 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  Colorado : Denver South : ... : Wendell Spire
Tom Hanson placed The Sub at the left end of the Wendell Spire area, in 1997. Subsequent to publishing his guide, close to a dozen new routes were established to the left, so the limit to this site is a little vague. From the top of the boulder pile at the left side of the area, you can see a neat little formation that looks like the Beatles Yellow Submarine.Climbing on The Sub begins on the sub's left tail fin, a crack. Swim up through some interesting and intricate climbing with a couple of lo...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Castlewood Canyon SP Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Summertime sunset over Castlewood Canyon. Photo ta...
Summertime sunset over Castlewood Canyon. Photo ta...
Rock Climbing Photo: Northwest Zone.
BETA PHOTO: Northwest Zone.
Rock Climbing Photo: Location of major Bouldering Areas throughout Cast...
BETA PHOTO: Location of major Bouldering Areas throughout Cast...
Rock Climbing Photo: East Rim, Central Quadrant.
BETA PHOTO: East Rim, Central Quadrant.
Rock Climbing Photo: East Rim, North quadrant.
BETA PHOTO: East Rim, North quadrant.
Rock Climbing Photo: Castlewood Canyon SP crags and boulders, minus one...
BETA PHOTO: Castlewood Canyon SP crags and boulders, minus one...
Rock Climbing Photo: Castlewood Canyon. Photo by Blitzo.
Castlewood Canyon. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Waterfall shot along trail.
Waterfall shot along trail.
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: At the trailhead into Castlewood Canyon.
At the trailhead into Castlewood Canyon.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rockfall at Castlewood Canyon. Just past the Morni...
Rockfall at Castlewood Canyon. Just past the Morni...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cracks. Photo by Blitzo.
Cracks. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sasquatch in her natural habitat.
Sasquatch in her natural habitat.
Rock Climbing Photo: Winter sunset.
Winter sunset.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset over Castlewood Canyon.
Sunset over Castlewood Canyon.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sasquatch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset over Castlewood. Taken from the awesome vie...
Sunset over Castlewood. Taken from the awesome vie...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is me in a nutshell.
This is me in a nutshell.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lots of prickly pear cactus. Photo by Blitzo.
Lots of prickly pear cactus. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Spanish Bayonet. Photo by Blitzo.
Spanish Bayonet. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Indian Paintbrush. Photo by Blitzo.
Indian Paintbrush. Photo by Blitzo.

Comments on Castlewood Canyon SP Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 5, 2017
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 26, 2001
There are no diamondbacks in Colorado, only subspecies of the Western Rattlesnake (sometimes called the Prairie Rattlesnake).
By Aaron Shupp
Feb 4, 2002
I've been climbing in Castlewood since I was 12 years old. I've had a fair number of encounters with the local snake population. So far, none of them have chosen to send me to the hospital. For the most part, these rattlers don't seem to be too aggressive. Most of the popular routes should be completely clear of any wildlife (with the exception of wasps and bees). If you are doing a less popular route, be careful near the top if there is a small cave or ledge that you can't see into very well. More than likely it will only be filled with bird poo and bat guano, not snakes. Never the less, I've been surprised on more than one occasion.
By Aaron Shupp
Feb 18, 2002
As I do not believe climbers are responsible for the majority of the garbage being flung all over Castlewood, I have taken it into my own hands to remind some ignorant folks on a few occasions that the canyon is not a landfill. Five years ago, I began a volunteer biannual cleanup project comprised of friends with grocery bags who cleared many of the walls and trails of rubish. To my dismay, the trash seems to continue to accumulate in some of the less conspicuous areas. As a favor to the Wood and to ourselves, please remove any trash you find while enjoying this beautiful place.
Oct 10, 2002
"Castlewood Canyon" very nice area to climb. It is good for beginner and expert skills. The Canyon is great for an all day climb. You can easily go from route to route with many topropes available. The only thing that isnt to cool about the canyon is it's not a deep canyon, therefore not many pitches. BUT! There is also some good bouldering. If you go into the park from the main entrance and then follow the trail into the canyon..., you cross a bridge right after the bridge there is a HUGE boulder calling you name. "Hey (put name here) over here come climb me". That is what the rock looks like. Overall, Castlewood Canyon is a must for a all day trip with your buddies. Don't forget what you pack in, come out with more. Please help in the process of cleaning the canyon. There are too many ignorant people out there trashing Mother Nature. Treat the earth like you would treat your own Mother.
1 - 10 WORST - BEST 8.5.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 22, 2002
Tried the area out a few weeks ago. It reminded me of a place that I had beed to before where a bunch of rednecks bought a bag of bolts and a drill and a had party. No anchors for some of the coolest looking routes. Definitely NOT a sport climbing area. A pile for sure.
By Luc Gruenther
Nov 17, 2002
To the dude who tried out Castlewood once and thinks it's "a pile for sure...."

I'd encourage you to check out some of the classics at Castlewood. While some of the routes are a bit loose or suffer from bad bolting, there are some really sweet routes in the Canyon. Give Castlewood another chance and when you do, try some of my favorites. I think all are listed on this website.

Beta Slave (10c), Patrick Hedgeclipper (11c), Korbite Maneuver (12a), Professor Plum (12a/b), Entry Level (8), Pay Homage (12a/b)...I still need the redpoint on this one Subterfuge (11d), Cobble Wobble (11a).
By Herb Roubidoux
Nov 24, 2002
Open letter to the serial tree rapist in Castlewood - I see you SAWED OFF yet another small tree, this time a little tree @ the base of a 5.7 climb on Vulture Wall. Was the little tree inconvenient, is that what the deal was, or did you sketch out 4 feet up then ping off your heinous cling and get your weenee tangled in the tree? I'll bet your girl(?)friend was really impressed. Then, after cursing & smoking a dog urine-soaked doobie washed down with a trendy microbrew, you decided the tree had to die, right? Well, guess what? The tree wasn't yours to kill.

Next time you're @ some nature-loving slide show wistfully nodding your head in agreement about how we all need to be stewards of the environment, it's the only earth we have, etc. etc., I hope the image of you feverishly sawing on that little tree flits through your brain. Can you spell hypocracy? Arrogance? Lameness? Poaching?

By the way, in addition to the carpenter's saw clipped to your harness, do you also carry a hammer and chisel to make the holds more convenient? Or a drill? I've noticed someone has been modifying holds and adding new bolts in CWood as well. Either seek the help you so desperately need or stick to climbing in your basement 2' above that pee-stained mattress.
By tobias Nitschke
From: CO
Dec 29, 2002
That boulder DINO mentioned above is called the Phallic Voulder, I think, (though whose-ever phallus it resembles must have been the butt of more than a few jokes in his life...). Continue down the same trail another few minutes and you will see more. Explore the side trails and you stumble on great problems. Bouldering here does require a bit of bushwhacking at times, but it's a real playground. And, to the dude that was dissing the area: whatever. The area definitely does have some great sport routes, and it's a nice change of speed from Clear Creek and Table Mountain. And without all the damn traffic and brewery noise. Remember that, if you come back, and help preserve the quiet of the area. (I agree there is a certain redneck factor, reminiscent of my days in Oklahoma: "HEY JOHNNY--WHERE THE HELL'D YOU GO BOY?!!! YOU GOTTA LOOK OUT FOR STRANGE CRITTERS AND ALL THAT DANG-NAB POISON IVY!")
Jan 8, 2003
For the guy that thinks a bunch of rednecks put the nuts in, why don't you set some nuts and cams in the wall yourself. No new permanent routes, but you can still get your groove on.
By Anonymous Coward
May 4, 2003
It's nice to see some people so passionate about Castlewood! I have been climbing there for fifteen years and am a local redneck that grew up in Castlerock. For all the people out there that love climbing Castlewood offers a large selection of climbing, with numerous routes. Good info on a great handful of the climbs in this forum. For all of you that are pruning, chipping, and bolting go elsewere like Kansas maybe, and for everyone who thinks The Wood is a pile, great! One less bozo for the rest of us climbers to deal with at one of our favorite crags.
By Scott Robertson
From: Portland, OR
Jun 10, 2003
The Wood is awesome. If it weren't for this place and a move to CO, I never would have started climbing in the first place. And thank God for all this rain, the canyon is looking as good as ever. Go climb there and see what this awesome area is all about. I love it!
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 16, 2003
They could belay a leader, if they can belay a toproper...just lead up the sport routes and use quickdraws at the anchor to toprope from.

Be safe.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 4, 2003
I have been bouldering here for about two years now, and today I went to a new area I had never been to and had a blast. There are so many quality lines buried in the scrub oak, you always wonder if you are the first person to find the stony treasure. Boulders in the creek bottom are especially high quality, with many featured overhangs. Just keep an exploritory mindset and you might come accros a classic problem.

4 stars out of 5.

Uh, my pad is getting beaten to hell.
By Mike Lane
From: Centennial, CO
Oct 7, 2004
Tom Hanson and I have made several references to how snaky C-wood can get at times in our guides. I was at the C-section wall last Sunday with Tom and another buddy, and we had a real snake epic. Heading south towards Sea Breeze, Tom skipped past a bush loaded with them, at least 4 different buzzes, we could see two of them. We carefully backed out of there, and while retracing our steps almost literally had to step over a 4' Western Diamondback. If you are heading there during October, you must be aware that not only are they out in numbers, but you will get right up on them. Big momma didn't even buzz, she just watched us nervously walk by. Be safe out there.
By Darin Lang
Oct 8, 2004
I'll second the snake warning. In addition to the C-section, I've seen quite a few in the Wendell Spire area, on the hike up to the Falls Wall, near the Dungeon, and on the south end of the Grocery Store Walls. It shouldn't prevent anyone from going to Castlewood (none I've seen have been particularly aggressive), but a heads up is well advised.

Whether you choose to fight, flee, or throw out a pocketful of gerbils like radar chaff, please, please don't shake the rattlesnake eggs.
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 4, 2004
Is is way too cold to climb at C-wood canyon in January? I always visit my folks in the Springs around Christmas, but we always go skiing. It seems like there might be a few good days to climb that time of year. Any comments?
By Chris Cavallaro
Nov 4, 2004
Whatever, dude. Castlewood ROCKS! Yes, climbing in the winter is great. C-section, Wendell Spire, Falls Wall all receive sun from late morning till evening. Go there!
By Mike Lane
From: Centennial, CO
Sep 25, 2005
Hey Tom: Just finished moving and I was offline for 2 months. Do you still have my number? (it's the same.) Now that you're down there, maybe we can work on the project. With October coming up, we can also organize the "Castlewood Fall Rattlesnake Festival". TTYL
By Mike Anderson
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 4, 2006
I thought I heard rumors that a new/updated guide for Castle Wood was in the works. Any truth to it?
By Tom Hanson
Jan 19, 2006
Norwegian Wood, Toms Trove, and B-25

From the intersection of CO Hwy 86 and Enderud Blvd in Castle Rock:
Enderud S to Mikelson Blvd.
Mikelson E to Mitchell St.
Mitchell E then N to where it dead ends. Park here.
Follow the dirt road north. The road dissipates to a trail as it approaches the rim, near the corner of the rim above the confluence of Mitchell Gulch and Willow Creek Canyon.
Tom's Trove is located at some boulders at the east end of the north rim above the mouth of Mitchell Gulch. The rocks will be found just west of where a faint trail descends into Mitchell Gulch. Please note: There is no rock climbing allowed down in the west end of Mitchell Gulch. This is posted at the trailheads off of Enderud Blvd and Mikelson Blvd, to the east.
However, up top, above the rim at the east end of the canyon, where this area lies, climbing has not been an issue.

Please use discretion when climbing here.

Caravan your party into one car to avoid any issues with parking at the end of Mitchell St.
Norwegian Wood is located on the flats above the rim to the west of Tom's Trove.

These routes have not been rated because they have only seen ascents by one person, so far and he is waiting for a general consensus prior to publishing them. A rough guess would estimate the difficulties of Toms Trove to be from V0 to V9. Norwegian Wood is a better warm up spot with lines from V0 to V5.

B-25 is named after the B25-Mitchell bomber from WWII, as it resides in a secluded section of Mitchell Gulch.
There are two cool traverses and some really sick straight-ups. The best problem there is called Ball Turret. It starts with an undercling of a smooth cobble. From this cobble, you have to work your feet up and then do a long throw for another cobble. The start of this problem overhangs about 45 degrees V7 Left of Ball Turret are two easier problems called Bombadier V3, and Doolittle's Raid on Tokyo V4. The two traverses are called Tail Gunner, and Waist Gunner, both about V3. There are several other straight-ups in the V0 to V6 range.
This new area is about 150 yards west of Norwegian Wood, and it is at the base of the south rim of Mitchell Gulch, in a very secluded area with easy access to the bottom. Please use discretion when climbing at the B-25 area. Lower down, and farther west, at the Mitchell Gulch Trailhead, there is a sign posted that states: no rock climbing.
The B-25 area is off the beaten path and removed from the park section of Mitchell Gulch, to which the sign applies, but nonetheless, keep a low profile to avoid any future access issues.
By Matt McMurray
From: Castle Rock, CO
Jun 20, 2006
I stopped in at the Grocery Store Walls on my recent trip through CO. This place is really aesthetic and reminded me a lot of eastern Washington and northern Idaho. =)
By Tom Hanson
Jul 13, 2006
I am interested in early Castlewood Canyon climbing history.
I am trying contact the following people:
Alan Mosiman
Steve Holonich
Fred Crowley
Alan and Steve co-authored the original climbers guide to Castlewood Canyon.
Fred is the guy they credit for many of the early first ascents.
Please point any of these gentlemen towards this forum so that I may get a dialog going.

Also, if you have info yourself, please respond.
FA credits and approximate dates, stories, legends, etc. are all welcome.
I'd greatly appreciate any response that will shed some light on the history of early climbing at The Wood
By John Peterson
Jul 13, 2006
Way back when the Colorado Mountain Club was active in Castlewood. All of these guys were part of the CMC climbing scene back in the early '70s. Have you gone through the CMC to find them? Larry Griffin was another active climber from back then. A lot of us didn't take the area particularly seriously - many routes were toproped without recording who or when the ascents were done. Have you looked into the old CMC records for the trip leaders that were making trips to Castewood?
By Buff Johnson
Jul 13, 2006
John & Tom -- I already saw that Tom got hooked up with Diane. These guys are hard to get a hold of, but are still around; any trip to J Tree or Ouray with the Wingers and you can learn a tremendous amount. Charlie's hard to pick out in a crowd -- he's got a big-ass American Flag on the back of his brain bucket. Most the other leaders are scattered, they usually come around Turkey in October & then a trip to J Tree sometime after.
By cstorms
From: North Bend, OR
Jul 16, 2006
Is there going to be an updated bouldering guide soon? Anybody know of some new/hidden stuff?
By Tom Hanson
Sep 19, 2006

There is a ton of unpublished bouldering in and around Castlewood Canyon. Too much to mention. Colorado Bouldering I & II only include a miniscule fraction of what is available. What, in particular, are you interesed in?
By Tom Hanson
Feb 2, 2007
Castlewood Canyon has acquired property east of Hwy 83 which will be designated a natural preservation area.
This new section of the park which extends east and south of the bridge on Hwy 83 will NOT be open for rock climbing.
This natural preservation area is home to several rare and unique plant species and archeological sites.
Please respect this area and climb only on the west side of Hwy 83.
By Tom Hanson
Mar 8, 2007

Hello fellow Castlewood crag rats,
I am keeping a log that lists all of the fixed anchors at Castlewood that may require replacement.
I am seeking help in the monitoring of the bolts and I would appreciate anyones input if they encounter any of the following:

OVERLY RUSTED BOLTS (make sure that it is not the washer that is producing the rust)
LOOSE BOLTS (not loose hangers, which can be easily tightened)

The following have not been encountered, but be on the lookout:
INADEQUATE HANGERS (homemade crap)
INADEQUATE BOLTS (diameter less than 3/8"
By Kaner
From: Eagle
Mar 11, 2007
What are the sport routes north of The Dungeon?

We did about 3 routes there and a bunch of exploring around The Dungeon. What an awesome canyon, West Rim cave trail was incredible hike/ scrambles and so many waterfalls! Even saw a bald eagle, 'cause I'm proud to be an American....
By Tom Hanson
Mar 12, 2007
Immediately north of The Dungeon is High Boltage and Helm Hammerhand. These reside on the walls outside of The Dungeon, and if you are on the slope outside The Dungeon, they would be to your left. If you are referring to the lines that are about 1/4 mi. North on The Dungeon, then the routes are Earthbound Misfit and Ranger Chicks. The diagonal line between these two areas is called Diagadoigt. Was this your first visit to The Wood? There are about 160 sport routes at The Wood.
By Kaner
From: Eagle
Mar 14, 2007
Thanks for the response, Tom! It was first time at The Wood and one hell of a day! Full of beautiful scenery and adventures, crazy that it is so close to suburbia.
I think you're right on about those routes but for clarification (and future safety), the route I think was High Boltage is missing anchors and the highest bolt has red tape on it, probably to indicate "end of the line".
Helm Hammerhand has a weathered purple sling on the top right anchor, we left biners in the hangers instead of using this and later retrieved the biners by leaning over the top of the wall.
Also, to arrive at this area, we rapped down right next to a waterfall, presumably off Diagadoight's hangers, awesome!
By Scott Rogers
From: Moab, UT
Jun 1, 2007
My buddies and I set up a highline out here this last weekend. It was 70 feet long and about 50 feet high. Does anyone know if there has been any previous highlining heritage here at Castlewood, or are we the first? I appreciate the info. And just in case you're wondering, we're straight with the anti-bolting thing and didn't place any permanent pro.
By Tom Hanson
Jun 1, 2007
Hi Scott,

I saw your pictures from your highlining adventure at The Dungeon.
It looks like you guys had some fun.
Does anyone in your crew do the highline without being clipped in?
I am pretty familiar with the history of climbing and climbing related activities at Castlewood. To my knowledge, you guys may be the first, but who knows?
Have you set up your line at The Vulture Walls yet?
The Vulture Walls are the highest crags in the canyon and there is a great spot to set up your highline. You could span your rope from the big overhang to the top of Pay Homage. I'm betting you'd like that one.
By cstorms
From: North Bend, OR
Nov 17, 2007
Still lookin' for new boulders at The Wood! Send me a message with any info.
By Dillon Calkin
Apr 4, 2008
Hey Tom, hopefuly you read this. I have a question about a part of the canyon and figured you being the person who's pretty much the commander and chief in the canyon, I'd ask you. There's a part around the Gargoyal Wall that has a fairly massive roof, you can see it from the road on the Hwy 86 entrance as soon as you enter the park, just wondering if that's off limits or good to go. For climbing. If you know what I'm talking about, please let me know. It seems to have some difficult lines involving some of the crack systems in it probably around the 5.13 ballpark. I don't know, I might be a retard for thinking this, but I just thought I throw that out there.
By Monomaniac
From: Morrison, CO
Apr 4, 2008
Dillon Calkin wrote:
i might be a retard

Your grammar, spelling & punctuation certainly have me wondering. I guess we can't blame Piz, he's not your English teacher!

(sorry to be mean; couldn't resist, please forgive me, etc)
By Dillon Calkin
Apr 4, 2008
Yeah, yeah, yeah, as long as it gets the point across. I don't really care. Haha wouldn't matter if he was.
By Jeremy Hakes
From: Golden, Colorado
Aug 14, 2008
The "Falls Trail", which is not indicated on the State Park map but is shown in Tom's excellent book, is pretty much gone from the east side of the waterfalls area. Looks like a big washout removed a couple of hundred feet of it. What is left can still be found and used.

Also, evidently people still think that all the holes and crevices are where their empty cheap beer, burnt out cigarettes, empty water bottles, and doobie ends go. I carried out a backpack full of trash (all recycleable) last night from the Dungeon area. PLEASE PACK OUT YOUR (and other's) TRASH. Feel free to remind people to not use the 'Wood as a dump.
By Tom Hanson
Aug 15, 2008
Jeremy makes two good points.
The old traditional Falls Wall Trail, while still somewhat navigable, has eroded into such a state of disrepair that the newer trail to the south has become the standard method of approach for east rim routes. The erosion was natural, since the gully up the mud embankment was/is a natural watercourse.
Trash is an ongoing problem at The Wood, though from my experience, I can say that there is actually less trash in the canyon today than there was twenty years ago, even though the numbers of visitors has increased tenfold.
By Chris Cavallaro
Jun 25, 2009
Mountain Gazette article on Castlewood:
By Joshua Balke
From: Colorado Springs
Aug 4, 2009
What's the score with missing TR bolt hangers? I seem to find 25% of them missing off of the bolts on Grocery Store Walls. Was this a park thing or just some jackass? If it's just some jerk I, assume it's ok for me to replace the hangers.
By Tom Hanson
Aug 5, 2009
Hi Joshua,

The issue you describe is very common at The Wood.
About four years ago I donated dozens of hangers to a local Eagle Scout, who worked with the park to replace many of the missing bolts and hangers at Grocery Store Wall as part of his Eagle Scout project.
Fixed protection (i.e. bolts) has historically fallen victim to vandals and thieves, most notably at, but not limited to, Grocery Store Walls.
This particular crag attracts more climbers than any cliff in the area. The short approach, easy access to the top and myriad fixed tr anchors seems to attract more than its share of inexperienced gumbies, pseudo-climbers, sport rappelers and gym rats.
All of this makes Grocery Store Wall a "high maintenance" crag.
To date, the park staff has never removed, added or replaced any fixed anchors within the park.
A special use permit is required to add new bolts, but merely replacing stolen hangers is a public service that is always appreciated.
Perhaps a bit of epoxy on the nut may discourage the vandals?
Personally, I would be thankful for anyone taking it upon themselves to donate their time and resources to replace those missing hangers.
Many of the original bolts throughout the canyon are aging beyond their usefulness and undoubtedly require replacement.
Most of the sport climbs within the canyon have bolts that are twenty years old or older.
Some of the older tr bolts on Grocery Store Walls are over thirty years old.
Castlewood is in dire need of anchor replacement. It is my hope that Colorado State Parks will finally see that this is an important issue and grease up the gears of bureaucracy, which move at a geologic pace, and work with climbers to replace the antiquated fixed gear.
By DavidHH
From: Parker, Colorado
Aug 5, 2009
I am climbing in this canyon on a weekly basis year round. I am willing to help replace aging anchors and have spoke with the ASCA about this. Problem is I have experience replacing 1/4" bolts but no experience replacing real bolts. I pretty much expect that I'm going to go through a large learning curve figuring out how to chop and replace real bolts (3/8"). I have a friend who is experienced at this, and we have talked through the process. I just want to do as little damage in replacement as possible. If anyone out there has the time and experience to help, I have the equipment and would be willing to do this one day in the evenings and full days on the weekend particularly when the alpine season is over. PM me on this site if interested. I was on Bozo No No yesterday, and I'm not sure the first bolt would hold a lead fall.
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Aug 5, 2009
A proposal for replacement of existing fixed protection has already been submitted to Jen Marten, the park manager for Castlewood and she is working with the State Parks bureaurocracy to consider the proposal. I currently have some ARI hardware set aside for the job ready to go. I think that any support that can be given to accelerating things with the State Parks authorities would be great. Jen is very friendly and will listen to your input. The rock at Castlewood is especially soft in places and with top anchors from trees hard to come by in places, replacement of the old hardware should be a high priority. It is unfortunate that the parks bureaurocracy works so slow though.
By Joshua Balke
From: Colorado Springs
Aug 5, 2009
Thanks for the reply. Next time I head out I'll bring some hangers and glue.
By Mike Lane
From: Centennial, CO
Feb 2, 2010
A few weeks back I spent an hour-plus working on yanking the spinner anchors off of the Entry Level. It was a breezy, chilly day and once the sun was just about gone it was time to admit defeat for the day and bail.
However, I later realized I left a 1/2" x 4" SS 5 piece bolt, hanger, quicklink and Fixe ring on top of the route behind a flake. It is no longer there. Tom told me some folks were climbing there a couple of days later. We have been given several anchor sets donated to us by the Anchor Replacement Initiative and if I were to get that unit back would simply install it where it belongs in one of the many CWC routes that need new anchors.
BTW, we have limited approval from the park to perform this work; with VERY specific limitations on who, what and where retrobolting can be done. Please don't take it upon yourselves to bring a drill out there. Likewise, if anyone cares to donate to the cause we'd be happy to hear from you.
By Tom Hanson
Mar 9, 2010
Castlewood crag closures for 2010 Spring and Fall season.

Shakespearean Theatre closed March, April and May.
Mind Meld closed March, April and May.
Porky's Wall closed March, April and May.
Vulture Walls closed March, April and May.
Morning Sun Wall closed March, April, May, June and July.
By Tom Hanson
Jul 5, 2010
All seasonal crag closures have been lifted.
There are currently no crag closures within the park.
By Mike Lane
From: Centennial, CO
Jul 14, 2011
Message for the guy climbing at the Dungeon/Argenine Dary Party on Wednesday, 7/13/11; here's where you can contact me.
By Vincent Z
Jul 17, 2011
Hi Mike, I sent you a pm yesterday.
By Kegan Minock
From: colorado springs
Oct 21, 2011
Does anyone know anything about the Creekside Boulders? Problem names/grades? Any info would be great!
By Dave Meyers
From: Golden, CO
Mar 4, 2012
If you left some gear at the C-section (Hedgeclipper) area on Sun. 3/4, I got it at the end of the day. PM me with a description, and I'll get it back to you.
By monkeyvanya Perevozov
From: Denver, CO
Jul 3, 2012
Had lots of fun climbing there by myself this winter:
By teece303
From: Highlands Ranch, CO
May 10, 2013
I love Castlewood, and I climb here all the time.

I think it's worth telling the uninitiated: many climbs here are quite sand-bagged.

I've climbed 5.8s here that would be called 5.10a in many other areas. There are many crags where I have a good chance of onsighting 5.10a -- in Castlewood, I have almost no chance of doing that.

There are 5.7 trad climbs that have spit me off here -- the only other place I've climbed 5.7 that hard is Eldo.

Maybe I just suck at Cobblestone pulling, but I doubt it (OK, I do suck, but jut not that much).

So have that in mind before you set out on things in this great climbing area.
By GeologyWiz
Aug 11, 2013
Found: 8/9/2013: blue, Black Diamond Half Dome helmet. If you can tell me the initials on it, it's yours! 720-563-7619
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Sep 22, 2013
Just to mirror Timothy's comments, this is one of the most sandbagged places I've ever climbed. Leader beware. This place makes the Gunks feel soft.
By Brogan Cheevers
Jul 1, 2015
Anyone have any recommendations of campgrounds close to Castlewood??
By Owen Shepherd
Jul 23, 2015
Note for anyone new to the area trying to find their way through the canyon: the recent, massive rains have caused a lot of growth in vegetation, and thus some trails have a bit more bushwhacking than usually required. Extra ingenuity is required to find some walls like Project-X and C-Section.
By Fred Knapp
Jan 25, 2017
Sharp End Publishing has recently released a new Denver Climbing Guide by Tod Anderson and Thomas Hanson that includes comprehensive coverage of Clear Creek Canyon, North Table Mountain, Coal Creek Canyon (the legal climbs) and Castlewood Canyon. It has many more routes than even the latest Clear Creek book.

If you own Darren Mabe's Clear Creek Canyon Climbs, you can upgrade to the new book for only $24 (including tax and shipping) by sending in a proof-of-purchase. See below for more info:
Rock Climbing Photo: Denver Climbing Guide.
Denver Climbing Guide.
By Mike Lane
From: Centennial, CO
Jun 5, 2017
The 3 toprope routes at the far south end of Neanderthal Wall (far north end of Allied Wall) have a nesting pair of Snowy Owls. Please stay off these routes until further notice. The park has been notified, and hopefully some signage will be put up. The route Rock Rat is included.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · Contact · About