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High Wire Crag

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
5th of July S 
Ace in the Hole S 
Bouncer S 
Bypass S 
Contrarian, The T 
Cracker Jack S 
Deuces Wild S 
Everyday Struggle S 
Everything Rhymes with Orange S 
Full House S 
Ghetto Activity S 
Ghetto Head S 
Head Up Activity S 
Head Up Dirty S 
Hip at the Lip S 
Idiot Savant S 
Idiot's Roof T 
Indirect Savant S 
Jackpot S 
Left Long Moderate Dihedral (originally submitted as Crack Swindler) T 
Life After Death S 
Machine Gun Funk S 
Moderate Dihedral T 
Nickels and Dimes S 
Notorious S 
Overpass S,TR 
Passing Lane S 
People's Choice S 
Poker Face S,TR 
Pony Up S 
Power Play T,S 
Road Kill S 
Road Rash Roof S 
Road Warrior S 
Savage, The S 
Slot Machine S 
Stone Cold Moderate S 
Via Comatose Amigo S 
Wild Card S 

High Wire Crag Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,700'
Location: 39.7378, -105.3196 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 110,787
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Michael Komarnitsky on Jan 1, 2001

46° | 37°

47° | 35°

56° | 38°

58° | 39°

57° | 41°

61° | 42°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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BETA PHOTO: Better pic of where not to park and why.

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This is a nice rock, easily seen from the road. There are a number of medium difficulty sport climbs well protected here. People's Choice always seems to have people on it, as well as the routes on the far left side. It is a great place for beginner sport leaders.

Note, this has become popular with large group outings.

Getting There 

Get on US 6 from Golden, going West. High Wire Crag is directly above east entrance to Tunnel 2, which is 4.9 miles from the FIRST TUNNEL. Park before the bridge, on either side. Be careful - the road shoulders are small, and there are always buses full of old people on their way up to Blackhawk. Walk across the bridge on the south side (a little sketchy), and walk south up the hill following the trail up to the rock. There is a bit of exposed 3rd to 4th class which has injured the less than wary.

To approach the right side of the crag, you ascend a gully off the north side of the road and cut back to these climbs.


The "NO PARKING ZONE" is on the SOUTH side of the road. The fine is at least $22. It has been that way since before the crushed car, ~2006. (Now that was an amazing photo!)

Parking is permitted on the NORTH side of the road, the side nearest the creek a few hundred yards to the east.


A. Everything Rhymes with Orange, 9, 1p, 85', bolts.
B. Pony Up, 8, 1p, 80', bolts.
C. Poker Face, 8 or 9, 1p, 80', bolts.
D. Arete, 9, 1p, 80', TR.
E. Stone Cold Moderate, 7, 1p, 85', gear or bolts.
F. 5th of July, 9+, 1p, 85', bolts.
G. Ace in the Hole, 10-, 1p, 85', bolts.
H. Left Long Moderate Dihedral (originally submitted as Crack Swindler), 6-8, 1p, 85', gear or TR.
I. Cracker Jack, 9, 1p, 80', gear or bolts.
JI. Bypass, 10, 1p, 80', bolts.
KI. Overpass, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts
LI. Passing Lane, 9 PG-13, 1p, 85', bolts.
LM. The Contrarian, 9-, 1p, 60', bolt & gear.
M. Deuces Wild, 10-, 2p, 135', bolts.
N. Via Comatose Amigo, 10, 1p, 125', bolts.
O1. Moderate Dihedral, 7, 2p, 200', gear.
O2. Jackpot, 10+ to 12, 1p, 110', bolts.
P. Road Rash Roof, 12-, 1p, 100', bolts.
Q1. The Savage, 12+, 1p, 80', bolts.
Q2. Road Warrior, 12+, 1-2p, 130', bolts.
R. Road Kill, 12-, 3p, 200', bolts.
S. In Between Days, 10, 1p, 60', TR.
T. People's Choice, 10+, 1-4p, 210', bolts.
U. Nickels and Dimes, 8+, 2p, 110', bolts & gear.
V. Slot Machine, 11+/12-, 1p, 85', bolts, (right of P3 of S).
W. Full House, 11+ or 12, 1p, bolts (right of P3 of S).
XW. Bouncer, 11+, 1p, bolts, (right of P3 of S).
Y. Wild Card, 12, 1p, bolts (right of P3 of S).

Right of Tunnel (different approach)

Z. Power Play, 12 PG-13, 1p, 140', bolts.
AAZ. Hip at the Lip, 12-, 1p, 140', bolts.
BB. Ghetto Activity, 10, 1p, 40', bolts.
CCBB. Ghetto Head, 12-, 1p, 40', bolts.
CC. Head Up Dirty, 12+, 1p, 100', bolts.
CCBB. Head Up Activity, 12-, 1p, 50', bolts.
above CC. Project, 1p, bolts.
DD1. Idiot's Roof, 11, 1p, 60', gear.
DD2. Machine Gun Funk, 13-, 1p, 80', bolts.
above DD. Everyday Struggle, 10+, 1p, 40', bolts.
EEFF. Indirect Savant, 12, 1p, 60', bolts.
FF. Idiot Savant, 11 or 12-, 1p, 60', bolts.
GG. Notorious, 13-, 1p, 40', bolts.
HH. Life After Death, 13, 1p, 80', bolts.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.1 miles from here

39 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',24],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in High Wire Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for High Wire Crag:
Left Long Moderate Dihedral (originally submitted as Crack Swindler)   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
Nickels and Dimes   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Poker Face   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   
Everything Rhymes with Orange   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
5th of July   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Cracker Jack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Ace in the Hole   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Deuces Wild   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 2 pitches, 145'   
Via Comatose Amigo   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 125'   
People's Choice   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 4 pitches   
Slot Machine   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
Overpass   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   
Idiot Savant   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Road Kill   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Sport, 3 pitches   
Jackpot   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Road Rash Roof   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Head Up Dirty   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
The Savage   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Road Warrior   5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
Machine Gun Funk   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in High Wire Crag

Featured Route For High Wire Crag
Rock Climbing Photo: Just exiting the crux on the FA.

Machine Gun Funk 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c  Colorado : Golden : ... : High Wire Crag
Climb the giant roof that is visible from the road. Start with excellent 5.11a climbing to a rest at the roof, then bust a creative, upside down, V7 boulder problem out the 15 foot roof to gain a sweet hand wrap and a jug at the lip. Climb easy terrain to the anchors 15 feet above. FYI, there are no bolts above the lip leading to the anchors (there are anchors), I may go back and add some bolts later if people insist. The fall is safe.The routes grade may be quite subjective, if you love swingi...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of High Wire Crag Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The crag, from the road.
BETA PHOTO: The crag, from the road.
Rock Climbing Photo: Worn hardware removed by Bruce Hildenbrand and Dal...
Worn hardware removed by Bruce Hildenbrand and Dal...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is a very popular area.  Photo: Dave Fiorucci
This is a very popular area. Photo: Dave Fiorucci
Rock Climbing Photo: Pony Up & Poker Face on the face to the left of th...
BETA PHOTO: Pony Up & Poker Face on the face to the left of th...
Rock Climbing Photo: For all you nitwits that keep parking in the "...
BETA PHOTO: For all you nitwits that keep parking in the "...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of High Wire Crag from the highway.
View of High Wire Crag from the highway.
Rock Climbing Photo: This is an updated topo of High Wire Right.  More ...
BETA PHOTO: This is an updated topo of High Wire Right. More ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Drive slowly through the canyon, and watch out for...
BETA PHOTO: Drive slowly through the canyon, and watch out for...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Clear Creek and the road.
View of Clear Creek and the road.

Comments on High Wire Crag Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 7, 2016
By Anonymous Coward
May 1, 2002
The climb 2 bolted routes left of Peoples' Choice is harder than 5.7, like it says in the guidebook! More like 5.9 at the first bolt! The second pitch of Peoples' Choice is more like 5.6 than 5.8. The new line right of Peoples' is 5.10a or so if you don't grab the big layback flake to the right, 5.8 or so if you do.
By Jason Carter
From: Monument, CO
Jun 30, 2002
Any info on the route just to the right of People's Choice would be appreciated. How new is it? Is it named? It is a good line with great crimpers and edges up the face and a mental challenge to not go for the flake!!
By Clare Shemeta
Apr 13, 2003
We were up there climbing, and did the three bolt climb a few over from Nickels and Dimes (great route! Think 10a up the face, avoiding the flake?). Someone with a book told us it was 5.7, but we found the direct start to the first bolt quite a bit harder: skimpy hands, mininal feet, balancy. Maybe 5.9? I checked all the routes in here and could not find a 3 bolt one that goes up to the little ramp... any ideas? What is the climb, and what's the real rating?
By Chris Carr
Apr 15, 2003

The route that you were most likely on based on your description is indeed a 5.7 to the ramp. It is the first pitch to "Road Warrior" (5.13a). The 5.7 ends at a two bolt stance on the ledge. Hope that helps!
By Anonymous Coward
May 5, 2003
Anyone know what the 13-bolt line just to the R of Via Comatose Amigo and L of Road Rash Roof is? It felt like 10+ with the traversing moves L of 8/9th bolts or a 12 direct line between 8/9th bolts.
By Anonymous Coward
May 6, 2004
I know this sounds kinda odd, but i think i left my climbing shoes (boreal pyros resoled in C4) at the high wire crag just in front of the queen's slab area... if anyone has happened to find them email me at and i will be forever thankful
By Bruce Hildenbrand
Jun 29, 2004
On 6/23/04 Dal Haas and I performed the following anchor upgrades on this crag.

-added 4 quick links to the top anchor of Deuces Wild-reversed the quick link anchor (5/16" into bolt, 3/8" to rope) on Cracker Jack-replaced the smash (lap) links with quick links on Ace in the Hole-replaced the smash links with quick links on 5th of July-replaced the smash links with quick links on Stone Cold Moderate-replaced the smash links and quick links with new quick links and rappel rings on Poker Face

This work was supported by the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA). Visit their website at, they appreciate your support.
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Mar 20, 2008
I recovered a few draws this evening (3/20) from High Wire Crag.

I will be very happy to return them to the owner.
By Chris C.
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 22, 2008
I am probably the last to find out, but Colorado State Patrol is ticketing all cars that park on the SOUTH (thanks for the correction, Casey) side of the road (on the left if you're heading uphill) right next to the bridge, closest to the crag. The signs are there, but they are planted facing the road, so if you're coming downhill early in the morning and pull off to the right, you can miss them. $22 mandatory, no sob stories. Got mine Sunday, July 20. I can understand, though, because the city got sued when a car got crushed by a big boulder, according to the officer I chatted with. Just FYI.
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Jul 22, 2008
The "NO PARKING ZONE" is on the SOUTH side of the road. It has been that way since before the crushed car, about 2 years ago.

Parking is permitted on the NORTH side of the road, the side nearest the creek.
By B.P.
Aug 22, 2008
Someone left some double shoulder length runners and some nylon webbing by Overpass yesterday (Aug. 21). I picked them up, and would be happy to return them to the right owner. Just contact me through this post
By Jack Crockett
Sep 18, 2008
I left some Evolv climbing shoes up here two days ago and haven't realized until now. If anyone found them, it would be cool to know.
By Ralph Kolva
From: Evergreen, CO
Nov 9, 2008
Found a pair of well used Mojave slippers on Friday, November 7, 2008. TheCrankyMonkey at gmail dot com.
By Robbie Flick
From: Denver, CO
Apr 16, 2011
Found a helmet at the base of 5th of July. Shoot me an email with description if it's yours. robbie.flick[at]
By MilkyTech
Aug 29, 2011
This area is popular for good reason. Almost all of the climbs here are fun. Early cruxes gets the hard stuff out of the way while your arms are fresh. Lots of varied moves and holds throughout an individual climb. Great starter 5.10s and great starter roof climbs.
By Michael Slater
From: Denver
Mar 26, 2012
Hey, I left an auto locking carabiner and a Mammut Smart belay device there yesterday. I think someone's German Sheppard was napping on my gear and I got most of it, but the gear I left must have been completely under the dog. Please let me know if you found it and I'll arrange to pick it up or have it sent back. Thanks!
By kzittle
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 26, 2012
Hiked up yesterday to find a top rope city set up! Went over to Highlander and and had it all to ourselves :)
By Patrick Gillespie
May 9, 2014
Pulled the 2nd huge, loose hold off of what I think was Wild Card. It was the climb 2 to the right of the 3rd pitch of People's Choice. This was above the obvious, shaking, death chock. This hold had a ton of chalk on it and clearly was used. Landed on my belayer's leg, he was ok, but we had to rap down and leave a draw. BE CAREFUL! There was so much loose rock up there, those routes from that belay need more traffic, it was pretty scary.
By Kons Kourbatov
From: Aurora, CO
Jul 19, 2014
Found some webbing on the approach to High Wire on Thursday 07/17/04. If it belongs to you, send me a message, so I can give it back to you, or e-mail me at
By astrouth
Aug 13, 2014
I lost my climbing shoes (Scarpa Force - red / white) near Crackerjack on Aug. 5 around 8 am. Please contact me if you found a pair of shoes.
By Aaron Sefton
Nov 23, 2015
I'm pretty sure I left my climbing helmet at this crag about a month ago. It is a Gray Black Diamond helmet, size S/M. I probably left it over by 5th of July area. If you found it, please contact me. Thanks.
By evavrina Vavrina
Dec 4, 2015
Does anyone know when this crag gets sun in the winter? Thank you.
By Lauren Marie
From: Denver, CO
Nov 7, 2016
There is a climb just to the left of Pony Up that we climbed yesterday, Nov. 6th. It wasn't in the guidebook, and no one around seemed to know the name. It was a great climb with a decent roof at the second to last bolt before the anchors. Does anyone know the name of this climb? We enjoyed it. I would probably give it a 9 for the roof, but otherwise climbs similar to Pony Up and Poker Face.

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