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Jurassic Park - Lily Lake

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Jurassic Park - Lily Lake Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 9,500'
Location: 40.3126, -105.5408 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 163,619
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jeff Lockyer on Dec 28, 2001


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This is a combination of descriptions. The date above predates the more detailed description.

This is a pretty area of short, moderate routes located near Lily Lake, South of Estes Park. Most of the climbing here is sport climbing, with newly developed routes that are not found in the Gillett guidebook. There are also some trad routes here, but for the most part, this is a sport climbing area. The views of the Diamond from this area are spectacular and so is some of the climbing here. 'Edge of Time' - pictured on the front cover of Gillett's Estes Valley guidebook is the super classic here and is a superb route. You will get lots of sunshine here as it faces west. Difficulty ranges from 5.6 to 12-.

Getting There 

Take CO Hwy 7 out of Estes Park until you get to the Lily Lake parking area on the right/west side of the road. (From Estes) Park here and look to the northwest to spot the crag. From Lyons, take CO Hwy 7 through South St. Vrain Canyon and finally reach the Lily Lake parking area. A number of the rocks are visible from the parking lot. The trail is pretty obvious to the crag, although the scramble up the hill doesn't seem to follow one distinct trail, please try to follow others paths. Enjoy!

Multiple social trails lead up to a saddle. There is now a trail called Lily Ridge Trail that switchbacks up just after reaching Lily Lake, perhaps 200 feet from the parking. Go up this trail, up switchbacks, then traverses/contours. Shortly after the trail begins to descend, there is a rising social trail angling toward the crag. You can also go further until nearly at the rocks and ascend loose, gravel to find a trail.


Note, this area is used by groups for climbing instruction and tyrolean experiences (between The Fin and Dinosaur Foot), so be forewarned.

Cell Phone Coverage 

Cell phone coverage is not good here.


A Google Map of the area can be found here courtesy of Jon Lachelt.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.1 miles from here

50 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',26],['1 Star',12],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Jurassic Park - Lily Lake

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Jurassic Park - Lily Lake:
Your Possible Pasts   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Long Wall
Coloradoddity   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   Big Ass Slab?
Mind Over Mantel   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Bulk Lunch Buttress
Lost Time   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Fin
Byrontosaurus   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   The Little Fin
Purgatorius   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Little Fin
Unknown   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Long Wall
Gilded Lily   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Left Hand Rock
Stout Blue Vein   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   Big Ass Slab?
Joint Venture   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Dinosaur's Foot
Middle Toe   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Dinosaur's Foot
East of Eden   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   The Fin
Edge of Time   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 85'   The Fin
CG's Naked Fun Time   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Fin
Critical Morass   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Big Ass Slab?
Copradelite   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Dinosaur's Foot
Slabbed Up-Side da Head   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   The Fin
Dynamometer   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Fin
Pocket Full of Cryptonite   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Dinosaur's Foot
Andrology   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch   The Fin
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Jurassic Park - Lily Lake

Featured Route For Jurassic Park - Lily Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Old guy Kent Lugbill cruising the exciting upper s...

Edge of Time 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : The Fin
Follow the trail to the highest point and turn around (right) to see the obvious sharp arete looking back towards the diamond, a beautiful line. Perhaps one of the most scenic climbs in the Estes Park area, without being on a wall somewhere. This route is photographed and is on the front cover of the Gillett guide book for the [Estes Park] valley areas. A spectacular line.... It is now a bolt lead only protected by 4 bolts and a pin. You can toprope this route by scrambling to the top of the wal...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Jurassic Park - Lily Lake Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Highline'in. The first step is a doosey.
Highline'in. The first step is a doosey.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tristan Hechtel leading Coloradoddity, 5.5, Jurass...
Tristan Hechtel leading Coloradoddity, 5.5, Jurass...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jurassic Park, showing the major formations.  Upda...
BETA PHOTO: Jurassic Park, showing the major formations. Upda...
Rock Climbing Photo: Falling on that highline will get the blood flowin...
Falling on that highline will get the blood flowin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Edge of Time from the north.
BETA PHOTO: Edge of Time from the north.
Rock Climbing Photo: The view of Long's Peak from Lily Lake. What a...
The view of Long's Peak from Lily Lake. What a...
Rock Climbing Photo: View from Jurassic Park.
View from Jurassic Park.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike on Andrology after a Highline session.
Mike on Andrology after a Highline session.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tristan Hechtel leading Coloradoddity, 5.5.
Tristan Hechtel leading Coloradoddity, 5.5.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tristan leading Coloradoddity, 5.5,
Tristan leading Coloradoddity, 5.5,
Rock Climbing Photo: Tristan leading.
Tristan leading.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lily Lake. Photo by Blitzo.
Lily Lake. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lily Lake in winter.
Lily Lake in winter.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lily Lake from the crags.
Lily Lake from the crags.
Rock Climbing Photo: 2/10/07, Lily Lake.
2/10/07, Lily Lake.
Rock Climbing Photo: This is a shot from the side on a climb up in Jura...
This is a shot from the side on a climb up in Jura...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Fin. Photo by Blitzo.
The Fin. Photo by Blitzo.

Comments on Jurassic Park - Lily Lake Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 8, 2017
By Jeff Lockyer
From: Canmore, AB
Nov 21, 2001
I know there are a lot of routes in this area that I have named 'Unknown' but this is because nothing is known about the area from my standpoint and I thought it was a nice little area and felt the need to add it to the site and get more people to this area for it's sheer scenic location if nothing else, this is a great spot for sunny winter afternoons as the gully will gather heat, quite enjoyable. Please feel free to add proper names to any of the routes I have marked as Unknown. Cheers !
By Rick Thompson
From: Mount Nebbiolo, CO
Jan 30, 2002
Jeff - Thanks for taking to time to post info about this beautiful and overlooked area. I'll post some additional information that will hopefully fill in most the blanks (unknown route names & related details, etc.) in hopes of sorting out any confusion. Regarding the routes you list as Unknown I through IV, these are located on a formation called the Big Ass Slab. cheers, - rico
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Jun 5, 2002
Make sure you take the obvious trail, heading up from the lake trail, right out of the parking lot. Follow this trail until you can see the rocks to the north. Follow a well worn trail up the hill. The approach trail that has been documented in the latest guide book has been closed.
By Anonymous Coward
May 25, 2004
This place has a good mix of sport, trad and mix climbing. Many of the routes have not made the guidebooks, so it can be hard to identify specifics. Many of the routes also leave a great view of Long's Peak from the top.
By Rob Migliore
Jun 25, 2004
Between the steep approach and the poor quality rock (for moderate routes anyway), I don't think I'll be returning anytime soon. Seems to have gotten worse over the couple of times I went. Had my first lead here on some sketchy 5.6.
By Stephan Greenway
Jul 31, 2004
I spent yesterday checking out the new development in this area. There are quite a few moderate routes that have been put in that are not covered on this site or the most recent guidebook.

I noticed that "The Edge of Time" has seen the addition of one new bolt.

Slow down there...before everyone starts slagging away let me add this; recently I was talking with the man most commonly credited with the first ascent of this classic and he mentioned that he wanted to retro-bolt this line. He had intended to for years but had never gotten around to it. Looks as if the deed is done!

Feel free to slag!
By Fred Day
Mar 19, 2007
Does anyone have the Beta on the new route at Jurassic Park? It is on the big face downhill from Big Ass Slab, starts around the right side of a big roof, and has nine bolts to rap anchors (about 80 feet total length). I did it with my wife Sunday and found it to be very enjoyable moderate face climbing. Stout gear and Fixe anchors.

Who put it up and how is it rated? It must have been put up pretty recently.
By Mark Griffin
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 28, 2007
Anyone know if this area within the nat'l park boundary?
By Leo Paik
From: Westminster, Colorado
Jun 29, 2007
From memory, I recall passing National Park Boundary signs in the vicinity. If unsure, you can check over at the Lily Lake Visitor Center.
By Kat A
From: Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
Jul 3, 2007
I called the Backcountry office (970-586-1206) to inquire if this area is within RMNP or National Forest (I have dogs I often bring climbing so I've been wondering about these boundaries). The woman I spoke to said all trails heading out from the Lily Lake Visitor Center are on RMNP land. This would include Lily Lake Trail. (Apparently there are a couple of "Lily" trails - Lily Mtn Trail is on National Forest land, departing from a small parking lot off Hwy 7 a short distance north of the Visitor Center). If anyone else has more information regarding the boundaries I'd appreciate your post.
By Bernard Gillett
Jul 4, 2007
I'm pretty certain that all of the climbs in Jurassic Park reside in the Natl Forest. As mentioned above, the standard access trail (around Lily Lake, and then up to the rocks) begins in RMNP.
By Kat A
From: Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
Jul 31, 2007
Bernard, thanks for the info regarding the crags being located on National Forest land. A question for you or anyone else familiar with the area: is there an alternate way to access Jurassic Park without passing through RMNP? (Lily Mtn trail?) Thanks.
By Bernard Gillett
Aug 1, 2007
Kateri: The Lily Mtn trail lies entirely within the Natl Forest boundaries (pretty sure that's correct), but it goes in the wrong direction if your goal is Jurassic park. A simple way to describe the trail: it's a big switchback that travels away from Lily Lake (north-ish) for the first 3/4 mile, and then cuts back toward the summit of Lily Mtn (about 2 miles to there). I've hiked to the summit, and then followed the ridge back through Jurassic Park to the Lily Lake parking area. The summit-to-climbing-area ridge has no trail, and it's about 3 miles just to get to Jurassic Park this way. I suppose you could start at the Lily Mtn trailhead and try to find a more direct route to Jurassic Park, but it would be entirely off-trail. Bottom line: there is no easy way into Jurassic Park of which I am aware that doesn't go through RMNP.
By Chris Michalowski
From: Granby, CO
Aug 1, 2007
Kateri you could probably bushwack straight to Jurassic from the Lily Mtn trail but that would be pretty steep. I'm at Jurassic a lot and have never seen any dogs. For all of the use that it receives, it's pretty free of trash. If you do bring dogs, make sure to pick up after them.
By jeremy rudolf
Nov 4, 2007
Great area! On 11/2, Bruno (5.4- Great Dane) and I (5.8+ Human) went on a scouting mission not knowing that the Crags and Jurassic Park are now fronted by National Park Land (no dogs, even on leash). The crags and Jurassic Park themselves are in the Forest Land, so we looked for a loophole. We started out on the Lily Mtn Trail (which has a NPS post on the left of the start of the trail) and hiked the trail for a few minutes. We took the first deer trail to the left that led up to a possible bouldering area and then charged straight up the hillside to a summit. It was over a mile. It also put us well north of Jurassic Park. We then had to hike south through a talus field and for about 1/2 mile before hitting the routes (the north end is open and flat). It took a lot out of the dog and my calves, and we had to take a break. We hiked out by going towards the lake and hung a left before the NPS sign (it's about 150yds below the rocks). When we popped out of the woods and onto the highway (1/2 mile north of the Lily Lake parking), there was another NPS sign, so we were in the wrong. It can be done but will take a few hours out of your day and maybe put you an Park land. GPS. When I return to climb, I will be sans Bruno. We didn't have time to check the crags, but I believe the south route is out of the park.
By - - -
Aug 3, 2008
There's another bolted route on a rock not listed here. I don't know the name of the route or the name of the rock, but its about 100 feet downhill from the walk off to the fin, on a gnarled, west-facing rock. There are two sets of anchors on the top, both of which are have easy walk offs and I believe neither of which have rap rings. The left (downhill) of the two anchors has a sport line underneath it that goes up through some big wild pockets. It's maybe 40ft and has three or four bolts. The difficulty is around 5.6.
By Richard
From: Durango, CO
Aug 25, 2008
It seems to me that may be new sport routes on Dinosaur’s Foot that are not documented on MP, that do not appear on the Beta ‘Bird’s Eye View’ diagram that shows the major formations, and that do not appear in guidebooks. I spoke with a few other climbing parties and got conflicting information. I did not have presence of mind to take good photos and try to sort it out, maybe next time. It sure would be nice to know what was what.
By Jon Lachelt
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jan 23, 2009
Here is a link to a Google Map of this area. Be sure to view it in "Satellite" mode. Zoom in and you'll notice that you can actually see the trail where it leaves the Lily Lake path.

I made the map editable. Please add pins to indicate new sections of JP that aren't identified in the bird's eye view found on MP.
By Brandon Nielsen
From: Brighton Colorado
Jun 26, 2009
I highly recomend this area for anyone who can take the approach I mean it's a great spot with plenty of sport for the person looking to get experience out side of the gym plus there is plenty of trad as well for someone looking for a solid day of fun! Everyone should check this place out Fo Sho!
By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 16, 2009
The access to this area has become very simple and easy as the original approach trail is open. I suppose it made a lot more sense than everyone creating rabbit trails all over the place. Just follow the path around the north side of Lilly Lake. Near a bench is a very obvious trail heading north. Follow it up to the crag! Takes about 15-20 minutes.

There seems to have been some route development, so be prepared to adjust your route finding accordingly. Very pretty area with lots of variety.
By Kevin Cossel
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 30, 2009
For those looking to get to Jurassic Park without going through Rocky Mountain National Park: as of August 2009, the Park Service does not charge admission to the Lily Lake area so you can park all day and hike in without paying park fees. Also, the Lily Lake Visitor's Center seems to be closed indefinitely. If you need park info, you can get it at the Wild Basin station (on the way in from Lyons) or at the Beaver Meadows Visitor's Center (the main center just outside of Estes Park, which you can also access without paying park fees).
By VTCurtis
Jul 5, 2012
Found a camera near the Fin on 7/4 left by another party. Tried to catch you on the way out with no luck. If it is yours and you want it back, let me know.
By Scott McMahon
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 21, 2012
I've always loved this place, but it's a gym now. Top ropes on most of the moderate lines. We try to lead then move on but everything was being occupied by huge groups.

Better mid week.
By justin dubois
From: Estes Park
Jul 21, 2012
@Scott, its a popular area for local guide services with big groups. Thems the breaks im afraid.
By Cory Barnes
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 15, 2012
Found gear here last weekend. Please describe and it's yours.
By George Bracksieck
Jul 24, 2013
Yesterday, the whole area was crawling with two big guided groups and other climbers. One guided group had three topropes set up on Big Ass Slab. When I led Critical Morass, I found their rope (for the route to the right) threaded directly through the factory rings on the Fixe anchor bolts. This made it hard for me to lower off, even when using my own slings and biners, because their rope ran directly across one of my slings. When I got down, I let their guide know what I thought about their big groups wearing out the rings and that they should toprope through their own slings and biners. He apologized and seemed clueless about doing so. And he's a guide? He said their group is there on Tuesdays. Other groups may be there on other weekdays. Good place to avoid until the off season.
By Luke Childers
Jul 28, 2013
By Russ Keane
Sep 17, 2014
Superb sport routes on gorgeous, high-quality rock. Too much fun!!!!
By Roz Reynolds
Jun 8, 2017
Did anyone happen to find a pair of white Native sunglasses at Jurassic? I left them there last Tuesday (6/6).

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