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The Watermark

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Dark Tower T 
Glennevere S 
Lothlorien S 
Memory of Trees, The S 
Minas Tireth S 
Road to Isengard S 
Twin Cracks Left T,S 
Twin Cracks Right T,S 
Twin Peaks S,TR 

The Watermark Rock Climbing 

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Location: 39.9983, -105.413 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Zach Roth on Jan 1, 2001
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BETA PHOTO: The Watermark; photo taken from Animal World.

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


The Watermark is a small west-facing crag just above the creek, between Avalon and Vampire Rock. It is a cool spot to climb on a hot summer day. Moderate sport routes with slabs and a few roofs characterize the climbing here.

Many of these routes are around 5.8 and are good for first outside leads. Bring a 60m rope, because two routes in the middle of the crag need it (Memory of Trees and Road to Isengard).

The routes L->R:

A. Dark Tower, 6, 1p, trad. Arete.
B1. Twin Cracks Left, 9-, 1p, 85', bolts & gear.
B2. Twin Peaks, 10-, 1p, 90', bolts.
B3. Twin Cracks Right, 9-, 1p, 90', bolts & gear.
C. Glennevere, 8, 1p, 65', bolts. Slab, overhang, & headwall.
D. The Memory of Trees, 9, 1p, 100', bolts. Slab to overhangs.
E. Road to Isengard, 7, 1p, 100', bolts.
F. Minas Tireth, 10-, 1p, 60', bolts. Slab to overhang.
G. Lothlorien, 8, 1p, 80', bolts. Center of slab.

Getting There 

On the left side of the road, across the creek, about 100' above the creek. As you are going up Boulder Canyon it is between Avalon and Vampire Rock.

Park at the small pullout for Avalon at 8.2 miles on the right, or continue up to the larger pullout for the Boulderado and Animal World at 8.4 miles on the left. If you park at the Avalon pullout, cross the road and walk 45 yards upstream to the Avalon Tyrolean. If you park at the upper pullout, you'll have to walk downstream about 300 yards to reach the crag.

There are several ways to cross the creek to reach the crag:

1. Cross the creek using the Avalon Tyrolean, then head upstream (right) across the talus to a climber's path which leads to the crag.

2. If the water level is low enough, cross the creek using a handline which may be present a little ways upstream from the crag.

3. If the water level is really low, cross the creek at a convenient spot below the crag and find a climber's path up the hill to the crag.


Please stay on trails when wandering about at this crag. The popularity of this crag has led to erosion of unforseen magnitude. There is now a trail going eastward above the cliff to connect with Avalon at the Second Tier level. Hard work on the part of concerned climbers has helped mitigate this erosion. Thanks!

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.7 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Watermark

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Watermark:
Lothlorien   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Twin Cracks Left   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
The Memory of Trees   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Watermark

Featured Route For The Watermark
Rock Climbing Photo: Minas Tirith.  Start with Road to Isengard, then b...

Minas Tireth 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  Colorado : Boulder Canyon : The Watermark
This is a short route that climbs an arete and a roof between Road to Isengard and Lothlorien. About 15' of hard climbing on slightly crumbly rock. Start in the same spot as for Road to Isengard. Move up and right to a slab. It's a long way to the first bolt, but the climbing is easy. You might want to clip the first bolt on Road to Isengard and then move right. Clip two bolts on the slab and continue up to a steep headwall. Work up the left arete and move right on...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Watermark Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Avalon Tyrolean.
BETA PHOTO: The Avalon Tyrolean.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rachel leading The Memory of Trees -- gutsy young ...
Rachel leading The Memory of Trees -- gutsy young ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Closeup of routes on the left side of The Watermar...
BETA PHOTO: Closeup of routes on the left side of The Watermar...
Rock Climbing Photo: Routes on the left side of The Watermark.
BETA PHOTO: Routes on the left side of The Watermark.
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard working on the chain gang, rebuilding the ...
Richard working on the chain gang, rebuilding the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pebby getting an arm workout on the High Trail fro...
Pebby getting an arm workout on the High Trail fro...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Watermark at dusk. Taken from across the creek...
BETA PHOTO: The Watermark at dusk. Taken from across the creek...

Comments on The Watermark Add Comment
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By Doug Redosh
From: Anchorage, Alaska
May 19, 2002
There are now 5 bolted lines. From the right, they go at 5.7 (though listed at 5.8 in Rossiter), 5.8 (dirty at the bottom, better up top), 5.9- (listed as 5.9), then around the corner on the face to the left, a 5.9+, then a 10b(?) or so. All bolts are new, with hangers. The water level today (May, 2002) was low enough you can cross without the Tyrolean.
By Ray Snead
Jun 3, 2002
This is easy to find, but the description above could be a bit clearer. Cross the tyrolean as described above (or wade just downstream) to a talus slope. Follow talus up and right, and catch a trail on the right and just below a chossy buttress. The trail contours around to the Watermark.

Note that right above the talus is a cliff with a single bolt route - this is not the Watermark.
By Kreighton Bieger
Jun 6, 2002
A little more beta on the approach...

Rossiter suggests parking just past Practice Rock. If you do this, the walk is shorter to the 'lower' tyrolian, but you have to cross the road. Drive just over 1/10th of a mile past Practice Rock, park on the right at a small pullout. Cross the road, cross the barrier, and locate the tyrolian. It deposits you onto a large talus slope.

Turn right after getting off the rope, walk about 20 meters staying 25 feet or so above the water. Enter the trees at a faint path just above the water and walk another 25-30 meters before turning uphill to arrive at the Watermark. The arete that is Memory of Trees is fairly obvious.

If you park at Animal World/Boulderado, walk creekside for a ways (5-10 minutes) downhill, until you get to the second, or lower, tyrolian. Longer walk, but probably safer.
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 13, 2004
There is a hand line across the creek just upstream of the Watermark. On 7/12/04, we were able to wade the creek 30' downstream from the hand line. A climber's path leads up to the rock from this point.

The Watermark is a nice, shady spot for late afternoon climbing on hot summer days.
By Richard Rossiter
Aug 14, 2006
There are two ways to go from Avalon to Watermark: The Low trail and The High Trail. The Low Trail is only useful to reach Watermark from the Tyrolean traverse for Avalon or from the bottom of the First Tier. This trail goes upstream (south) beneath a cliffband that eventually merges with Watermark and arrives at a platform beneath Twin Peaks and Glennevere.

The High Trail is beautiful and was recently rebuilt. It provides easy access to Watermark from the Second Tier of Avalon. Depending on which way you are going, it starts just above the junction on the approach to Avalon where you can go left to the Tarot Wall or straight up to the Free Fall area and Wall of the Dead. Go right just above a big Douglas fir (well below Goat Rock) and follow a beautiful trail that leads south to the top of Watermark. From the top of Watermark continue south, then down to the west and arrive at the bottom of Lothlorien.
By aaron voreis
Aug 16, 2008

One small Sportiva Mythos W's. Lost 8/08. Call Robin @ 970.596.3191. Thanks
By Armin Colorado
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 11, 2008
To R.R. and J.J.: thanks for your hard work in this area!
By Eckhard
From: Denver, CO
Dec 29, 2008
Great, shady summer climbing! However, maybe it's my height, maybe the climbs are a bit soft for they're rating, or maybe it's that the lines are a bit contrived, but of the ones I've climbed Twin Peaks seemed to be the only one that felt like its grade.
By Ben Weisman
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2012
I found a red Nalgene at the base of Twin Peaks yesterday (4/23). Looked like it had been dropped from the belay spot for Twin Peaks, but it could have rolled there from anywhere. Come pick it up in Boulder if it's yours.
By Gary Johnston
From: Boulder, CO
May 24, 2016
There is a large, recently fallen dead tree across the creek that makes for a fairly easy crossing. It's directly across from Watermark, below the hand line and above the Avalon tyrolean. It's been nicely trimmed with handhold length branches (thank you, whoever did this!). Use at your own risk, especially in high water season when a swim would be very dangerous!

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