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Crystal Freeway

Select Route:
Bad Saturday T 
Exit Ramp T,S 
Grunt Lieback T,TR 
Kitchen's Delight 2 T 
Mr. Chimp T 
Northeast Cutoff T 
Orange Christmas T 
Strawberry Jam T 
Strong Love T 

Crystal Freeway Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Aeon Aki, Mike Snyder, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Skip Harper on Nov 30, 1999


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21° | 7°

27° | 9°

20° | 9°

24° | 16°
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The Crystal Freeway is one of the hidden wonders of Vedauwoo. Its a large, flat and upturned slab of granite that forms the north face of the Friction Tower. It appears smooth from a distance, but when you get there you realize it isn't. Its literally peppered with feldspar crystals of all sizes. The bolted routes take advantage of the crystals and will test your toes. However beware, the cracks (like the 5.8 hands testpiece 'Strawberry Jam') are armed with teeth - bring tape! This place is usually sunny, quiet and seemingly remote. These features impart a high degree of uniquness to the area and make it an adventurous place to climb in.

Getting There 

Take the Box Canyon Trail past Old Easy (and MRC) to the next formation on your right - this is the Friction Tower (Crystal Freeway is the north face of this formation). Continue along the trail (which is now gravel) until you see a small bridge. You will now be just past Friction Tower. Ahead you will see the third formation on your right, Turtle Rock. You need to negotiate the upwardly tilted, smooth slabs of Turtle Rock eastward (up and right) to the saddle between it and Friction Tower. Continue along between these two formations about 100 yards and you will see the Crystal Freeway on your right. Go down towards the base sooner rather than later. Access to the routes is easiest along the base of the wall. I know it sounds difficult, but try it! It's worth it.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.5 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Crystal Freeway

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Crystal Freeway:
Northeast Cutoff   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad   
Kitchen's Delight 2   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad   
Strawberry Jam   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches   
Grunt Lieback   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Mr. Chimp   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Crystal Freeway

Featured Route For Crystal Freeway
Rock Climbing Photo: Strong Love as viewed from the Box Canyon Trail.

Strong Love 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  Wyoming : Vedauwoo : Crystal Freeway
Strong Love ascends a left-leaning finger to thin hand crack. Climb a few strange moves to get established onto a horizontal, place gear, and crank through the crux - the first five feet of the crack. After this, the climbing eases up a little. This is an awesome route....[more]   Browse More Classics in Wyoming

Comments on Crystal Freeway Add Comment
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By Brian Weinstein
Sep 16, 2003
If anyone knows, can they describe what the bolted routes (#2 and #5) on the pic are. We were curious, they were not in Heel & Toe. Cheers!
By johnny benson
Apr 17, 2010
On, I read of two routes on the Crystal Freeway that are bolted and begin to the left of the starts of Northeast Cutoff and Kitchen's Delight. Both of these lines are bolted and are listed as unnamed. We climbed them and are fun and a little easier than the given rating of 5.7. Since they are both unnamed, I would like to call the far left route Dharma Nubs. If and when the F.A. folks read this post and want to rename their routes, I can live with that. I just feel these two fun routes need names and if you give these lines a go, you sure can dig the nubs.
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Apr 18, 2010
Just post the routes. If the FA shows up to claim them, they'll get renamed. Or I can talk about the one I climbed, although it's been years. Make it clear that these aren't the original names though. When they show up in a guidebook, people tend to get upset.
By Tom Kelley
Jun 7, 2010
Sorry about not being dilligent about disseminating information in a timely manner. Tom Kohlman and I added the two routes on the left side of the rock a few years back. I'd been eyeing that stretch of rock for the past twenty years or more, thinking it would be a great place for some more moderate routes on good, clean rock. Initially we were thinking of climbing the rain groove that rises straight above the start of Kitchen Delight but noticed an old Leeper hanger about halfway up. Also another odd bolt up really high. Not wanting to infringe on the existing route, we decided to climb the two lines farther left.

We never gave much thought to names because we didn't figure that anyone willing to walk this far cared about such things. I guess we just referred to the first line (the right one) as ATR (for A Tom Route). The second one we also refer to as ATR. We placed all of the bolts on the lead, carrying my 20-odd pound Hilti drill on our harnesses, so I never was sure about the ratings, probably somewhere between 5.5 and 5.7 according to other folks who've climbed them. My youngest son thinks they're easier than Cold Fingers and about as hard as E.O. Friction, so he says they're 5.5. Other people say he's a miserable sand bagger.
By Rodger Raubach
Jul 25, 2012
As an historical note: The original climb on this face was named the "Crystal Freeway" by Bob Stevenson in 1968. The name has subsequently been applied to the entire face, and not his original route. The first known line was an unprotected "5.7." It was very "old school" 5.7, and protection was entirely lacking. I remember doing it in Spring, 1969.
By Brendon Smith
From: Park Hills, MO
Jul 24, 2013
Just got back to the parking lot after doing this thing. Did it in one pitch with some dude's single rack that I wasn't used to with nothing bigger than a #3. It was run out and a bit sketchy at times but overall lots of fun to be had on the off width section. I also did the whole thing left side in, so racking on the left was a big mistake on my part, but I still made it with more struggle for gear than I would have preferred. Definitely recommend getting on this thing!

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