REI Community
Glenwood Canyon

Select Area...
Airy Block, The 
Bypass, The 
Cruiser Gully/Buttress 
Dead Horse Crag 
East Canyon 
Fountain Buttress 
Grey Slabs 
Grizzly Creek Wall (aka Mudwall) 
Hanging Lake Slab 
Hanging Lake Trail Boulder 
Homestead, The 
International Buttress 
Many Bands Wall 
Neighborhood, The 
No Name Canyon 
Quartzite Wasteland 
Shoshone Power Plant Area 
Super Puoux 
Surgery Buttress 
Unknown Tower 

Glenwood Canyon Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.57474, -107.22249 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 87,141
Administrators: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Bryan Gall on Dec 16, 2003


52° | 33°

59° | 38°

61° | 41°

59° | 41°

61° | 42°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]


Glenwood Canyon, a spectacular Colorado River cut canyon exposing varying layers of limestone and Precambrian granite, is home to numerous rock and ice climbing opportunities throughout the main canyon and numerous side canyons. Hard sport routes, multi-pitch trad lines, stomach turning aid routes, fat waterfall ice, and silly mixed masterpieces, Glenwood has it all. While much of the rock and ice is found on the south side of the Colorado River, making it more difficult to access, nearly every exit of I-70 offers a climbing opportunity.

The following areas are described from Glenwood Springs west to east: Directly out of Glenwood Springs on the south side of the river (only a short distance from the Brew Pub) are found the thermal hot pots and hobo vapor caves. A few trad lines ascend the limestone cliff, as well as fixed lines into the higher caves. Beware of dead hobos! On the north side of the river before the No Name tunnel, where the water tanks are located, is Cascade Creek. A few short moderate sport climbs can be found here, and opportunity awaits in the larger cave for sick bolted routes. On the opposite side of the ridge, or west side of the No Name Tunnel, is the limestone sport area known locally as the Puoux. Often mistakenly called No Name, the Puoux offers a large number of sport climbs from moderate (5.6-5.10) to sick (5.13d). Located above the Puoux proper in a prominent cirque is the newer Super Puoux sport crag.

No Name Canyon extends north from the No Name exit towards the Flat Tops wilderness. The No Name cragging is on both sides of No Name Creek less than a half mile from the Jess Weaver trailhead. A number of single pitch granite cracks offer a great day diversion. Further up No Name creek a number of crumbly granite buttress offer adventurous rock exploits. In cold winters a few small ice flows form as well. Heading east from No Name to Grizzly. Traveling north up Grizzly Creek one finds the east facing "Mud Wall", home to a few pug ugly "fraid" climbs. Layton Kor mentioned this wall in his classic book. As far as I know, no routes have topped out yet; an unknown party fixed a new line in the spring of 2003. Other walls of varying quality are found further north as well as a few short ice flows.

Opposite of Grizzly Creek on the south side of the river is the killer ice climb known as "Mystery Falls". Right at the Shoshone exit is a small granite outcrop offering a few short climbs. Directly across the river from Shoshone is the fabulous "Hidden Falls". This outlet of Deadman's Creek reliably offers sinker ice and, for those sick in the head types, rotten limestone. Between Shoshone and Hanging Lake is the vast majority of exposed granite in the canyon. The climbing here is on the south side of the river. During high water this makes it fairly inaccessible. Watch the dam at Hanging Lake. If it's open, get a boat or start swimming; if it's closed, hop across rocks (in a cold winter it is possible to cross the river ice). Many routes exist on these buttresses; the highest concentration is on the Fountain Buttress, Flag Buttress and the Hanging Lake Slab. The pronounced dark flat northeast face of the Fountain Buttress is home to the '60s test piece "Sucking Wind". For any route, bring a sense of adventure and extra slings (I'm sick of replacing them all). Also on the south side is the small estuary Devil's Hole Creek which offers the superb moderate ice climb "Ice Pole in the Devil's Hole". On the north side of things, a small pullout on the west bound lane shortly after Hanging Lake is home to the airy block. A few cracks and bolted routes offer some fun, but being right on I-70 detracts from the quality of the climbing. Directly above the Hanging Lake on ramp one finds the classic, though ethereal, Glenwood Falls. This ice (if it forms) falls into sunlight by ten o'clock, beware! To the right of the falls are a few mixed climbs across granite. Above and to the left of Glenwood Falls in the upper limestone is the modern mixed classic Deep Throat. Some very low angle ice (WI 1-2) does form up the Hanging Lake trail as well. Moving eastward from Hanging Lake one finds various layers of exposed limestone. While some traditional climbs have been done the rock generally is of poorer quality. A large buttress above the Bair Ranch rest area does look promising for sport development. One mile east of the rest area, a few sport routes exist on a limestone fin in a small slot on the North side of I-70.

Getting There 

A Colorado River cut canyon off of I-70, east of Glenwood Springs. It's kind of hard to miss....


Eds. Note, camping at No Name in the commercial campground is distinctly expensive. They'll charge $35 for 2 on the river ($5/add'l). They'll charge $26 for 2 for a "group campsite" with a shared firepit ($5/add'l). Note, they have internet access (with a fee). There is no legal camping at the Grizzly Creek exit.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.8 miles from here

215 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',8],['3 Stars',61],['2 Stars',93],['1 Star',48],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Glenwood Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Glenwood Canyon:
Second Dihedral   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   East Side : Pink Face area
Traditional Values   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Puoux : Lower Wall
Jungle Book (aka Graduation Crack)   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   East Side : Gray Face area
Electric Butterfly   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   East Side : Bridge area
Poison Ivy? (Garden Salad)   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   No Name Canyon : Poison Ivy Wall
Unnamed aka The Ironing Board   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   East Side : Gray Face area
Road Runner   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Puoux : Lower Wall
Pass the Ditchie   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Puoux : Lower Wall
Moral Decay (aka NoName 4)   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Puoux : Lower Wall
Roadside Distraction (aka NoName 5.1)    5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Puoux : Lower Wall
Pre Op   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Surgery Buttress : Main Wall
Lone Pine Tree Direct   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   East Side : Lone Pine Tree Wall
Lightning Bolt Crack aka The Sickle   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   No Name Canyon : Poison Ivy Wall
Sucking Wind   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 100'   Fountain Buttress : North Face
The Pink Face   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   East Side : Pink Face area
Stay True (aka NoName 3)   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Puoux : Lower Wall
Youth Warm-up   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Puoux : Main Wall
Kor's Corner   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Puoux : Main Wall
Urban Cowboy   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Puoux : Main Wall
The Birdman   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Puoux : Main Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Glenwood Canyon

Featured Route For Glenwood Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Youth at the Puoux, Glenwood Canyon.

Youth Warm-up 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  Colorado : Glenwood Springs : ... : Main Wall
This popular climb goes to the first set of three anchors. The complete Youth continues with 5.12c climbing to either of the upper two anchors. As it is, climbing to the first set of anchor is quality and enjoyable.Begin with engaging and slightly runout climbing (5.9) past the first couple of bolts on steep, slightly less than vertical terrain. Above, well-protected face climbing leads to a horizontal break where the steep, overhanging climbing begins. Navigate the first bulge on b...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Glenwood Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Mudwall in Grizzly Creek.
The Mudwall in Grizzly Creek.

Comments on Glenwood Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 18, 2003
Bryan, thanks for adding this area. I'm long been curious: what's the status of access to the granite climbs on the south side of the canyon (in the middle of the canyon), particularly regarding the railroad? It looks like there is some really good (and multi-pitch) climbing there.
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 18, 2003
There is also a very good boulder on the paved trail to Hanging Lake. I don't know of any names or grades for the problems but I have spent many an afternoon getting my butt kicked and giving my pad a workout. I have never been asked to leave either. The lack of chalk on this rock makes me wonder if any one else has been working these problems. ---Lee Smith
By Bryan Gall
From: New Castle, CO
Dec 22, 2003
Technically the railroad is private property; you can be charged with tresspassing if caught on the tracks. Realistically no one will bother you if you keep a low profile. I know of only one climber who was ticketed a few years ago, but I think he was very confrontational with the railroad workers. If you stay away from the tracks and are on the rock you'll be fine. Although I approach the climbs along the tracks, I generally duck out of sight if a train is coming. I tried opening a dialogue with the railroad a few years back about access but was told in so many words to flip off. Also, the multi pitch climbs are great. The rock is very similar to the Black Canyon but obviously much shorter. A few more difficult routes do pass the unconformity above the granite into the limstone. I've been told that back in the day Lou Dawson and Michael Kennedy did an eighteen pitch climb through the granite and limestone to the canyon rim. I've made a few short stabs at topping out on some of the limestone spires above the granite, but so far have only had the cojones (and partner) for one top out on a limestone fin just south west of the Hanging Lake exit.
By Tod Anderson
Dec 1, 2004
Isn't this where the climb Suckin' Wind is? That thing looks classic in Vertigo games.
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Nov 14, 2007
Here's a link to a blog post/trip report on of our recent ascent of the Mudwall in Glenwood Canyon. I thought some might enjoy it and appreciate some perspective on climbing in Glenwood Canyon.
By TylerVaughan Vaughan
From: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Jun 23, 2012
I have been looking at a prow of limestone to the left of No Name Arch forever. Has anyone ever touched this piece of rock? It is a massive, overhanging prow. I think No Name arch looks really cool also, would it piss anyone off (Utes, or city/state) if there were climbing on the arch?
By BJ Sbarra
From: Carbondale, CO
Jun 25, 2012
Tyler, a couple years ago someone went over there and left some fixed ropes on the arch. The residents of No Name complained to the sheriff about it. We never figured out who's stuff it was, but if you go over there keep a low profile and maybe don't leave any fixed gear.
By TylerVaughan Vaughan
From: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Jun 26, 2012
Good to know. I bet there could be some quality lines over there one day.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

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