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Big Wash

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Big Wash Rock Climbing 

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Location: 39.1808, -108.2735 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Jesse Zacher, Jared LaVacque, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Cragophilia on Mar 6, 2011
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Big Sandy right out of the creek bed.


Here is a fun, little-known side canyon that offers some surprisingly quality, easy bouldering in a cool, desert environment. I had originally posted this canyon as Little Wash, because this is what the people that first took me up here called this place, but after looking more closely at the topo myself, I am certain that this canyon is called Big Wash. Regardless, Big Wash is an awesome canyon, one that is worth exploring regardless of whether you go climbing or not. An explorative class 3 scramble up this canyon leads to a box canyon and a cool waterfall about 2 miles back. In the winter, this spot is surrounded by elegant ice cascades. In the spring, it is a muddy plunge pool.

There are boulders and trad possibilities all along this 2 mile hike, but the best bouldering area lies just after the parking lot. Unfortunately this area is also popular with low-lifes, tasteless graffiti "artists" (vandals), and other characters of nefarious sorts. As a result, there is a large amount of broken glass, garbage, and other strange and disturbing detritus in this area. We once found a dead cat in a grocery sack here.

The other downfall to this almost-excellent area is the rock. The sandstone of Debeque Canyon is strange compared to nearby Colorado National Monument or other GJ climbing areas. It is brittle, sharp, and often times questionable. This can add an interesting dynamic to even the easier problems. Fortunately, some of the better boulders (i.e. the Tiffany Boulders) do not suffer from this issue.

Getting There 

From Grand Junction, head east on I-70. In Debeque Canyon, take exit 49. Follow CO Highway 65 for 0.8 miles to a big pulloff on the right at the mouth a large side canyon. This is Big Wash.

Climbing Season

For the Grand Junction Area area.

Weather station 6.9 miles from here

12 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Big Wash
Rock Climbing Photo: Working through Finals Week (V2-3).

Finals Week V2 5+  Colorado : Grand Junction Area : ... : Entrance Exam Boulder
This is one of the best problems in the area! Start low on the right side of the boulder and traverse up and to left along the overhanging diagonal ledge until you reach the left corner. Top out. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Big Wash Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Wash Away Boulders.
Wash Away Boulders.
Rock Climbing Photo: Back side.
Back side.
Rock Climbing Photo: More fun.
More fun.
Rock Climbing Photo: Another nice boulder 30 minutes up Big Wash.
Another nice boulder 30 minutes up Big Wash.
Rock Climbing Photo: Boulder 30 minute hike up Big Wash.
Boulder 30 minute hike up Big Wash.
Rock Climbing Photo: Some of the better boulders in Big Wash.
BETA PHOTO: Some of the better boulders in Big Wash.

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