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Echo Canyon (aka The Scoop)

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Echo Canyon (aka The Scoop) Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 8,700'
Location: 39.92925, -105.39779 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,743
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: chris harkness on Jan 14, 2014
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BETA PHOTO: Echo Canyon near the Wondervu Cafe in Coal Creek C...


This crag is known to the locals as Echo Canyon. It was originally called "The Scoop". It is about 200' tall, 2,000' long, and 45 degrees overhanging in parts. The entire crag and access to it are in the Roosevelt National Forest.

There are several bolted routes that appear to be in the 5.10-5.13 range. There are several more routes that could still be developed, along with potential for some traditional/mixed lines in the 5.6-5.11 range.

Possible L->R:

A. 13, 1p, bolts.
B? 12-, 1p, bolts.
C? 12, 1p, bolts.
D? 11+, 1p, bolts.
E1. The Tossilator, 12, 1p, bolts.
E2. ?, 1p, bolts & gear.
F. Crack, TR or gear.
G. Crack, TR or gear.
H. Crack, TR of gear.
I. Crack, 10, 2p, gear.
JI. Variation, 8, 1p, TR or gear.
K. Crack to Dihedral, 8 PG-13, 2p, gear.
L. Crack, 2p, gear.
M. Crack, 2p, gear.

Getting There 

From Boulder, drive South 10 miles or from Golden, drive north on CO 93, and go West on Coal Creek Canyon Road (CO Hwy 72). Go 11 miles to the Wondervu Cafe on the left. From the cafe, drive 0.9 miles further West on CO Hwy 72, and park on the right side of the road at a left switchback (no fences there).

From here, hike uphill for about 100 feet (north), and follow a now well worn trail East for about 10 minutes until you see the huge overhanging wall across the valley on the left. Follow a less worn trail North directly to it.


Eds. There have been some reports of slash tires from the locals. Note, however, that one of the parking areas is clearly marked as on National Forest land, and the trail in is also clearly marked as on National Forest land.

Access Issues 

This crag and access to it are in the Roosevelt National Forest. The surrounding neighbors have 1-2 acre lots, none of which abut the trail or crag itself. There are many offshoot trails that lead to private property, which is why a clearly marked trail is important here. The pink flagging you see are survey markers for the Gross Reservoir expansion project. Whether Denver water has intentions of buying this property, I don't know, but until then it is still public land. This is clearly marked at the road and throughout the forest. These are also verifiable facts open to the public on Boulder and Gilpin county's websites:

From our feedback: "your directions to access Echo Canyon (The Scoop) is instructing people to TRESSPASS (sic) on private property. ANY land past the Wondervu Cafe on CO Hwy 72 is marked Private and is fenced. You are telling people to break the law. The ONLY legal access is either from Gross Dam area or tresspass railroad property for access. Tell your lawnbreakers to take their trash with them, and do not curse at local propery owners. They just maybe they will be arrested if it is kept up."

Eds. Note that Gilpin County website maps clearly indicate there is legal, public land access to the crag from CO 72. Yellow signage along the way indicates the there is indeed National Forest land along the trail and at the crag. However, the crag is quite close to a good number of Wondervu homes near Wonder Trail, Ramona Rd., and Outlook Drive.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 2.4 miles from here

1 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For Echo Canyon (aka The Scoop)
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo of P1 and part of P2. Orange is the harder bu...

Crack to Dihedral 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13  Colorado : Coal Creek Canyon : Echo Canyon (aka The Scoop)
This is one of those trad lines on the right side of the crag. It appears easier than it climbs. There are places on this route from which you don't want to fall.P1. Start right of a tree near a crack beginning above the ground. The first bulge can be done directly, but it would be noticeably harder than the rating given here. I went right after placing a cam and feeling out the slopers above the bulge. Connect back left into the crack. Climb a trickier-than-it-looks-to-protect flare. Move up to...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Echo Canyon (aka The Scoop) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: This photo shows the trail in and the demarcation ...
This photo shows the trail in and the demarcation ...

Comments on Echo Canyon (aka The Scoop) Add Comment
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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jan 14, 2014
Some nice steep routes there, huh?
By Mark Rolofson
May 29, 2014
You need to take this posting off this website, Chris Harkness. You have done a real disservice to this area's climbers, by posting a crag that you know nothing about its name or routes. I know the cliff & route names, but I am not putting them on this website & nobody that visited here before you did either. I did not establish the 5 (not 15) bolted climbed, but I know who did. It should be up to them to decide when to first publish their climbs, not other climbers. The reason they haven't reported this crag is because the access is very fragile.

Secondly, you have done the entire climbing community a great disservice by painting hundreds of ugly blue dots on trees & rocks to mark the trail. Ever heard of a cairn? Now the access is really threatened. I know someone who was told to leave because they were trespassing or their car would be towed.

Now pink ribbons tied around trees appear to be survey markers. Most of the trail is on National Forest land, but some of it appears to be on private property. I am assuming you painted these blue dots, because they weren't there in Summer 2013. You seem to want to advertise these crag. No climber I know would stoop so low! I first found my way to the crag with very little info.

The best policy here is to keep a low profile! One of the equippers had his tires slashed while bolting. Some of the residents don't like climbers coming to the crag. There are homes 500 ft. away, & an old guy named Tony is very angry. Another couple has expressed concern of bolts damaging the rock but don't mind climbers visiting the crag. Therefore, climbers have refrained from bolting more routes.
By chris harkness
Jul 12, 2014
Since you have not responded to the pm I sent you, I'll post my response here. I don't mean to step on your (or your friends') toes by posting this crag. As a Wondervu local, it's a bit of a drive for me to get to any good climbing, so having this in my backyard has been a wonderful find for me. Needless to say, keeping access to this crag open is very important to me. My intention by posting it is to share this beautiful spot with other locals and to gather information on it. It seems to me that this is the whole point of having a venue like mountainproject. If I felt that this crag or access to it was fragile, I wouldn't have posted it.

I spent a year researching the area before posting it and have had the chance to speak with many of the neighbors surrounding the crag who have all seemed friendly toward climbers. I occasionally take groups of kids over there to climb and hike, and one neighbor commented that he was happy to see us over there. Another neighbor welcomed me to cut through their property if I would like. I can't imagine what neighbor of mine would have slashed someone's tires or have been so angry but certainly no one I have come across.

Regarding private property: this crag and access to it are in the Roosevelt National Forest. The surrounding neighbors have 1-2 acre lots, none of which abut the trail or crag itself. There are many offshoot trails that lead to private property, which is why a clearly marked trail is important here. The pink flagging you see are survey markers for the Gross Reservoir expansion project. Whether Denver water has intentions of buying this property, I don't know, but until then it is still public land. This is clearly marked at the road and throughout the forest. These are also verifiable facts open to the public on Boulder and Gilpin County's websites:

If those responsible for the first few climbs want to keep it from the public, then so be it. Meanwhile, I will be posting information on some of the climbs that I've been finding here.
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jul 14, 2014
It's great to know that there's a true Wondervu local enjoying those routes and getting to know some of the neighbors. As you found through your research, it is on public land and the access is too. We did have trouble some years ago with one of the locals, a guy who seemed to be late '40s or '50s, and he got really bent out of shape, especially when the drill came out. Everyone else was friendly, but the one guy was not a reasonable person to deal with and seemed to have a reputation with the locals. Hopefully he moved away or something.

We originally called the crag The Scoop, but I went there first with Will and let him take the lead on the naming, etc. The mixed route out the steepest part on the left was done by Matt Samet & seemed to be somewhere mid-5.13. From there, the routes are 12a, 12b or so, 11d, then 12c (The Tossilator - I had to dyno the crux). There may be some other trad or even newer routes.

I think the crag has a great ambience in the summer with the late evening sun making it feel like the Maine seacoast or somewhere in the far north. There are other crags in Coal Creek Canyon with tricky access, & it may be good to keep that in mind before posting. I'm a canyon dweller too, Blue Mountain, and will hopefully bump into you up there sometime.
By chris harkness
Jul 19, 2014
Thank you for posting some info on the area. I appreciate your contributions to the area and am sorry you've had to deal with a nasty neighbor up here. Some people just don't want to share (what's not even theirs to share in the first place), or feel the need to impose their values on others through reprehensible means. This has been a favorite destination for the family and I, even if we're not climbing. I hope to see you out there sometime.
By Mark Rolofson
Jul 24, 2014
Chris's info is very misleading. The crag is only 100-120 ft tall & probably not a half mile long. There are not 15 bolted climbs, only 5 (4 sport & one mixed)! Two routes share the same start to 6th bolt. So there is not enough independent climbs to keep more than 2-3 parties busy. Three parties would be a crowd.
By Mark Rolofson
Mar 11, 2015
Since July of 2014, many trees were chopped down, thus eliminating most of the blue paint dots & the pink survey tape. Many of the trees were along the trail, but even more were on the hill above & below it. A very significant number of pine trees were chopped down & left in big stacked piles as of August 2014. Is this just fire mitigation or is this the beginning of the Gross Reservoir expansion? It definitely made Chris's blue dots seem rather benign. The Gross Reservoir expansion is something we should all be fighting as it will greatly impact this region & Forsythe Canyon below. Great climbing & one of the most beautiful places on the Front Range.
Chris is correct about his approach being on National Forest land. It is lower of several switchbacks west of Wondervu. The trail begins just above the switchback & downhill of a driveway. There is a slight bit a notch the trail starts leading uphill through. You can also park on the other side of the road to the east (uphill) in a large pullout. Good luck to anyone bolting new routes. The area could use more routes. The big problem is one crazy old guy named Tony.
By TSluiter
From: Holland, VT
May 16, 2015
I remember staring at this cliff when I lived up in the area CC/Wondervu a few years back. I had no idea if anything was developed, but it looked like there was a lot to work with and a well worn trail off the pulloff (I had seen cars there often). I checked the zoning and saw the approach and cliff were on public land and went to check it out but one time before I moved away.

Wish I had the info then that is up here now! Wouldn't have had to drive up to GGSP for some quick climbing.

Thanks for putting this up, Chris, it will help get more climbers to the area and have a bigger chance at preserving and developing the area. Unlike the other commenter's ridiculous (and selfish) attitude there, I will say your effort is appreciated, even from afar.
By George Bracksieck
Jul 10, 2015
The cut trees and gathered slash piles lie just across the signed National Forest boundary from private land and seem to be a fire-mitigation effort designed to protect the many nearby homes, which ironically have little defensible space to retard fire. The trail to The Scoop has been used by the people doing the fire mitigation and is easy and smooth. It has offshoots and continues to the west of the longitude of the parking pullout, suggesting that the trail was there before climbers started using it. The approach takes about 20 minutes from the second (western) of the two left-turning hairpin curves — if you are driving toward Pinecliff. Once on the trail, it contours east to a shallow mini-valley that lies beneath the crag.

Conclusion: The parking pullout, the entire approach, and all of the rock and its walk-off lie completely on public land.

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