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Lemon Reservoir

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Lemon Reservoir Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 8,400'
Location: 37.4651, -107.678 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 38,727
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: e Dixon on Aug 20, 2008

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Beautiful, high altitude, Summer cragging.


Lemon is another nice piece of the climbing in Durango. This scenic little canyon lies to the north of Lemon Reservoir and is split by the Florida River. The rock is a mildly coarse and fractured granite that makes for a nice contrast to the sandstone and limestone that characterizes most of the climbing around town. Routes are found on both the East Side and West Side of the river and can require different approaches (depending on water level). Most of the climbs are protected by bolts, but some require gear. Climbing has been going on at Lemon for years now, but there is still development occurring. New routes are being established on both sides of the canyon. A 70 meter rope can be useful for lowering off some of the longer climbs.

Probably the best season is fall. It is possible to chase the shade, depending on the time of day, which makes climbing at Lemon in the summer months nice as well. During much of the spring and winter the canyon can be wet and dirty from runoff.

Getting There 

From the intersection of CR250 and Florida Road (Bread), follow Florida Road east for about 12 miles. Stay left at a signed intersection and continue on CR243 for about 5 more miles to reach a gate at the north end of Lemon Reservoir. For specific directions on how to approach the cliffs, see East Side and West Side descriptions.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.8 miles from here

47 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',23],['2 Stars',15],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Lemon Reservoir

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lemon Reservoir:
Hotness   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   West Side
Finding Forester   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   West Side
Tons of Fun   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   West Side
Vertical Alluvium   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   West Side
Bonsai   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   West Side
Lemon Peel   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   West Side
Chucky Bill   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   West Side
We The People   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   East Side
Cape of Good Hope   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   West Side
Hymanizer   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   West Side
Via Manolo   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   West Side
Slopestyle   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   West Side
Interfearon   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 105'   East Side
Holy Grail   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 105'   East Side
Brady's Route   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 105'   East Side
Gunslinger   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   East Side
Rasta Man!!   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   East Side
NoJo   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   West Side
Simonizer   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   East Side
The Sand Dollar   5.13 8a 29 X- 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   East Side
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lemon Reservoir

Featured Route For Lemon Reservoir
Rock Climbing Photo: Rasta Man climbs the seam through orange and black...

Rasta Man!! 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  Colorado : Durango : ... : East Side
This is one of the best climbs in Durango that I have ever been on. The climb starts up a slab. At the top of the slab, the climb turns into a slightly overhanging wall. The climber goes through a few steep, overhanging moves, to a confusing roof. Climb past the roof and climb the bolts that are in the rightward direction to the top. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Lemon Reservoir Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The tall cliff on the east side of the creek.  Thi...
BETA PHOTO: The tall cliff on the east side of the creek. Thi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber.
Unknown climber.

Comments on Lemon Reservoir Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 2, 2017
By Ben Griffin
From: Durango, CO
Jun 10, 2009
Does anyone know who did the FAs of Rasta Man or Jack Frost?
By Daniel E. Hopper
From: Hesperus
May 31, 2010
Jim Something was the FA for both of those. There is a .13a to the left of Rasta Man, and he was the FA on it as well.
By Christopher Barlow
May 18, 2011
Does anyone have information on the two projects on the main face of the East Side. One traverse hard right off of Brady's Route and follows a prominent, arching seam. The other climbs straight up off the ledge directly above Dirt Track to the same anchor. Has anyone been trying these, or has either been redpointed? The one off the ledge has an old tag that is sun-bleached white making me think it is someone's very old (maybe abandoned) project.
By Tim Kuss
From: Durango, CO
May 19, 2011
The bolts leading right from Brady's were installed by Jared Ogden a few years ago. I don't know how much work they put into climbing it though, or much else for that matter. Looks pretty hard.

The other line of bolts is definitely a great line. Jim Symans bolted it back in the Lemon heyday. I have toyed with it, really hard for sure, maybe 13+ or so. You should work on those, get 'em done. I'll give you a belay, man.
By Brototype Winkler
From: The Bay Area
May 29, 2012
It should be known that this area's warm-ups are HORRIBLY sandbagged. Even the guidebook puts the grades of warm-ups 1, 2, and 3 well above the suggested grades on here. Also, the bolting on the first three routes could be considered dangerous. A blown clip on any of these at the third bolt would most likely result in a groundfall. The climbing at this area is fun and interesting, but I do not recommend following the written guides on here as they may put you in dangerous territory.
By Max schon
Jun 29, 2012
To the punk who added bolts to my route: take you f-ing drill and shove it! If I ever catch you adding bolts to established climbs, you'll have to remove the hangers from your ass! We're watching....
By Ben Griffin
From: Durango, CO
Jul 31, 2012
Nice, Max. Way to lay down the LAW!
By slim
Jul 31, 2012
Were these routes bolted ground up on lead?
By Harold
From: Bayfield, CO
Aug 4, 2012
If you spent less time watching then you could afford to equip the routes better, then you wouldn't have to watch. Also, have you had a hanger in your butt? It really isn't that bad, just sayin'.
By David Heerschap
From: Lander, WY
Aug 6, 2012
Hey Harold, remember rule #1. Don't be a jerk.
By Todd W. B.
From: Fort Collins, CO
Aug 9, 2012
Ben -- don't encourage such hostility! And Harold, I'll bet a hanger in your butt would hurt more than you think! Max - let's hunt the bastard down. I'll bring the bb gun!
By Harold
From: Bayfield, CO
Aug 15, 2012
Todd, you say not to use hostility yet you threaten some poor unfortunate soul with a bb gun. Is that what you do in Ignacio, hunt for the greatest game? Anyway, we top-roped and free-soloed most of the easy routes decades ago making those who equipped the routes here the actual perpetrators. Hunt and sodomize, but witch hunts are ignorant and outlandish.
By Jackel
Jun 19, 2014
Hey Ian, I just climbed that route today. I hadn't seen it before, so decided to check it out. Great line, super fun moves, and like you said, it will get better the more it is climbed. That prow is a cool feature, I'm surprised it hasn't been bolted before now. I'd give it a 5.10 rating. Thanks for putting it up. I'd recommend this climb as a must do for people coming to the crag. Thanks again.
By Jeff Smith
Jun 23, 2014
The new climb that was put up next to Bonzai is great addition to the west side climbs at Lemon. There are definitely some tricky spots, but the overall movement on the route is great. Once this route cleans up, it will be even better. I would say that the route is on the hard 5.10 side, and probably would be considered 5.10c or 5.10d. I would encourage everyone to get on this route if you are in the area.
By mike coyle
From: durango, co
Jun 27, 2014
Just climbed Lemon Peel and really enjoyed it. Found the crux to be in the 10+ range, it helps to be tall. Thanks for this addition, fun route!
By Zach Clemence
Apr 6, 2016
Climbed Finding Forester, Hotness, and Bonsai on April 3rd 2016 with two friends.

At this time of year, still a good amount of snow on the ground and as such the road is closed on the approach. Hiked in about 40 minutes from the gate, past the first campground to the Transfer Campground, accessing the wall from campsite 21. Leave early in the morning to avoid any mud, and walk on top of the snow and frozen dirt.

The walls were warm in the morning and early afternoon sun, belayed Forester and Hotness from on top of a big snow pile. The place was empty, it was perfect. Hiked out by picking our way along a trail on the East Side after hopping some rocks to cross the stream. Eventually let out at the gravel pit, then followed the road down to the right until we reached the gate.

Amazing time out there.
By Fritz N.
From: Durango, CO
Jul 18, 2017
If you're putting up a new route at Lemon, hit me up, and I'd be happy to get you some Mussy hooks for the anchors.
By Rylan Hess
Jul 30, 2017
Caution for dog owners: access for our K9 friends in this area is fairly difficult no matter how you spin it. You have three options for bringing your pooch to the crag:

1. Buy a dog hoist/vest and rappel your dog (seen this done multiple times).
2. Ford the river and hike an extra 20-30min on the approach.
3. Scale the North end of the crag (not recommended as Rover will certainly dislodge a few of the loose rocks, and it is incredibly steep).

If anyone has some better K9 beta, please add to the comment. I'd love to find some better ways to get my crag dog to the wall.
By Cody Moore
Sep 2, 2017
Found a helmet on Saturday, September 2nd. Message me with details, and I'll get it back to you.

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