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Lime Park (a.k.a. Lime Creek)

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Lime Park (a.k.a. Lime Creek) Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 9,100'
Location: 39.4073, -106.6555 View Map  Incorrect?
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Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Looking up canyon from the rim. Camping areas are...


This is great limestone sport climbing in the high central mountains! The routes are on primarily bulletproof limestone reminiscent of Ceuse, Shelf, or Rifle, dependent upon the wall. This area is nowhere near tapped out, so bring your Bosch, and throw in quality-only routes down canyon. Camping can be had right at the entrance to the canyon within forty yards of the first routes. Bring food and beer, since the nearest stores are 45 some minutes away in either Eagle or Basalt. There are some great 5.12ish routes to either side of the camping and parking - cave to the left, prow to the right. Cave-side the climbs are mostly stellar with great protection and lowering bolts, rings, etc. Development began in the early to mid nineties and is ongoing with new routes continuing to be added. No road choss here.

Getting There 

From Eagle: Follow signage thru town towards Sylvan Lake State Park. You should eventually find yourself heading South on Brush Creek Rd. Ten miles from Eagle, veer right as the road turns to dirt. After approximately 15.5 miles from I-70, you will pass Sylvan Lake on the right. The road deteriorates somewhat at this point, but is generally fine for normal passenger cars the entire way.

Continue past the lake on Forest Service Road 400 for approximately 8 miles to FS 507. ~1 mile after the lake, stay left at the fork. ~3 miles past Sylvan lake, you will reach Crooked Creek Pass. Continue straight. 2 miles beyond the pass, you will pass Crooked Creek Reservoir on the left. 1 mile past Crooked Creek Reservoir, turn left onto FS 507. Turn right onto Burnt Mountain Road after 0.4 miles. This is a total of 9.1 miles past Sylvan Lake, or 24.6 miles from I-70.

0.2 miles after the right turn, you will see the canyon below and to the west. Turn right into the canyon. There is a road on either side of Lime Creek. The Punch Bowl is on the East side of the canyon, and all other crags are on the West side. The West Road is more suitable for low-clearance vehicles. If you're camping, the East Road provides more secluded camp sites.

According to my atlas this area can also be approached from Basalt.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.7 miles from here

79 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',26],['2 Stars',39],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Lime Park (a.k.a. Lime Creek)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lime Park (a.k.a. Lime Creek):
Drilla From Manilla   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   The Prow
Snail Trail   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Prow
Old School   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Prow
Corporate Greed   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   The Punchbowl
Daddy Didn't Need No Magnum   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Prow
Jug Run   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Team Wall
Pocket Protector    5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Team Wall
Let The Honeymoon Begin   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   The Punchbowl
Induced Labor    5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   The Prow
Behind The Fridge   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Team Wall
Drift Away   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Grove
The 16 Men of Tain   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Prow
Uckfay Ushbay   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   North Wall
Smoke on the Water   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Punchbowl
Swell   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   The Grove
Strategery   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 85'   Strategery Wall
Momentary Lack of Resin   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Punchbowl
Snipe Hunter   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Punchbowl
Punchbown Arch (Right Arch of Cave)   5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Punchbowl
The Honeymoon Is Over   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   The Prow
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lime Park (a.k.a. Lime Creek)

Featured Route For Lime Park (a.k.a. Lime Creek)
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Deulen in the midst of the traverse.

Smoke on the Water 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  Colorado : Eagle/Vail/Minturn/Red Clif... : ... : The Punchbowl
Currently the first route on the left of the overhang, this amazing 11c starts from a sketchy belay, going to a large block that may fall off in 50 years. There is a glued hold just above the first bolt. The 3rd bolt starts the move to the right. A jug seems to magically appear whenever the holds run out. You may find yourself pumped out and epic-ing by the time you get to the somewhat of a downclimb crux near the last two bolts. Gain a good side pull, then jug to the last two convenient open ga...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Lime Park (a.k.a. Lime Creek) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Yeah, it's gorgeous here.
Yeah, it's gorgeous here.
Rock Climbing Photo: Panorama.
Rock Climbing Photo: A look into the valley showing some of the cliffs....
A look into the valley showing some of the cliffs....
Rock Climbing Photo: The North Wall. Climbers on (L to R) Blood (11c), ...
The North Wall. Climbers on (L to R) Blood (11c), ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Strategery Wall topo
BETA PHOTO: Strategery Wall topo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Prow topo.
BETA PHOTO: The Prow topo.
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the Prow, Lime Creek
View from the Prow, Lime Creek
Rock Climbing Photo: Shot of the North Wall and the Prow.
BETA PHOTO: Shot of the North Wall and the Prow.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Prow.
The Prow.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Punchbowl and North Wall topo
BETA PHOTO: The Punchbowl and North Wall topo

Comments on Lime Park (a.k.a. Lime Creek) Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 6, 2017
By Lee Smith
Mar 26, 2005
Damn, I was hoping the Front Rangers would never find Lime Park....

That being said, this area is a very good weekend destination trip. You will probably have the whole place to yourself. You must bring everything you need because it is a long rough road back to town. The road over Crooked Creek pass is not open in the winter or early spring, unless you have a snowmobile.

This is a very cool and wild place. Let's try to keep it that way.
By Mike Lane
From: Centennial, CO
Mar 27, 2005
Hey Richard, errr, I mean AC;are there some moderate lines for big hens like me?
By B.J. Sbarra
Mar 28, 2005
Don't worry Lee. None of these people will actually make the trip. It's too obscure for most, even if you live close by. Rifle is much better.
By Anonymous Coward
Mar 29, 2005
It appears that the choss-starved Front Rangers have indeed found the place. I've heard rumors that a good majority of routes have been put in by Front Range Fiends who have run out of good stone. If you do go, bring your helmet and watch out for the limestone-dust-snorting choss-monkeys using backhoes, dynamite and other new route excavation equipment to trundle boulders into the scree. I've never been to Ceuse, but Shelf and Rifle are certainly not slagheaps like Slime Park. And the camping (in the cow shit!) is at your own risk, what with all the rednecks and yahoos drinking swill and blasting the hillsides full of lead till the wee hours of the morning. Sorry, no plug-ins for the EuroVans (if you manage not to rip your frickin' muffler off on the way in). I guess the gas sippin' Jetta is out - best just make it a Rifle weekend, 'less yer handy with oilpan repair. Oh, and the "moderate" lines seem to be loosely sprinkled with rusting coldshuts circa early nineties - musta' been put up by Old School Hardmen with balls as big as church bells and wallets as tight as a squirrels ass. If you slobbering Front Rangers (you know who you are) do come seeking your choss fix, don't camp in areas that ain't already camped in. You'll piss off the local cowpoke (Maynard), who's like as not to raise a stink with his buddies at BLM, who already view rock apes as rogues and miscreants, and would like nothing better to shut down all the crags on Uncle Sam's land. Your land? My land?.....
By Ben Bruestle
From: Pueblo, CO
Mar 30, 2005
This area also has some excellent caving. There is even an underground ice climb nearby that I've climbed in July/August.
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 3, 2005
Lime Creek is a beautiful place, especially in the Fall when the aspens are turning, but the routes are pretty lame....for now. The rock is no where near as featured as Rifle, and Ceause?...give me a break! There is a cave that stands to clean up OK and a couple of really nice lines (even moderate ones), but this is really a "check it out once and move on" area. Rifle and Shelf are better destinations. Chances are you will run into "developers" looking to make a name for themselves (jump on board if you missed out on Rifle). Even with aggresive development, you will experience maybe 1 out of 50 routes worth classic status.
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 14, 2005
As a long time climber and caver, I urge you folks to please be considerate of this beautiful semi-alpine location. There are many fragile caves in the area that cavers have been visiting for decades. Cavers have fought hard to save this place from loggers, miners and developers. There is plenty of rock here, so please don't put bolts or boulder in the caves or the cave entrances. Cavers and climbers alike have had many areas in the country closed because of inconsiderate bolting. Let's not let Lime Park suffer the same fate.
By SW Marlatt
From: Arvada, CO
Feb 8, 2006
As another long time climber and caver, I'd like to add my support to AC's comment - the caves in this area have been carefully protected for many years, and I'd hate to see them damaged by wanton bolting. Please, if you are going to climb here, be respectful of the setting and make every effort to minimize your impact!
By Rafal
Jul 20, 2006
If you're coming in the summer, I highly recommend bringing along some bug repellent (something that works against flies). It will make your climbing trip much more enjoyable.
By Aimee Rose
From: Bend, or
Jul 2, 2007
Just wondering how much sun the various areas get? Is it climbable now with this hot weather? Thanks...
By Nate Adams
Jul 9, 2007
I've updated the topos above.

Regarding sun, west-facing crags go into the shade early afternoon (1:30ish). The North Wall stays shady all day. East-facing crags are shaded by conifers, so you can climb on this side into the afternoon.

There are about a dozen lines left of the Punchbowl - I don't have good beta on these, but I hear there are a few decent routes. Anyone out there have beta?

There are miscellaneous routes popping up here and there, some look quite good. The projects that I'm aware of have red tags, I presume the rest are good to go.
By BJ Sbarra
From: Carbondale, CO
Jul 10, 2007
Hey Nate,
Left of the Punchbowl are some 10's/11's and then some harder stuff left of that. Luke Laeser bolted about 5 of the lines, not sure about the others.
By mike argueso
Jul 14, 2007
Nate, please contact me, I'm responsible for a lot of the F.A.'s in Lime Creek, it looks as if you have named a lot of my routes, I would be more than happy to give you the correct route name's and info. Thanks
By Nate Adams
Sep 4, 2007
Mike, I'd be totally psyched to know what routes you did, names, grades, approximate dates, etc. As I mentioned in the postings, I gave the mystery routes names only as a temporary measure (Un-named 09 is a pretty boring name, no?). There are a few routes popping up here and there - if you have the scoop on these lines, let me know. By the way, I sent you an email via Mtn. Proj. back in July - you may not have gotten it. Feel free to email me via mtn proj with beta. Cheers, Nate
By andy wellman
Jul 1, 2008
Lime Creek is included in the new guidebook Rifle Mountain Park and Western Colorado Rock Climbs. The author of that section of the book is Nate Adams, who contributed many of the routes to this site. As Nate, myself, and probably many others have found out, the history of Lime Creek climbing is not well documented. Apparently there are plenty of instances of people putting up routes in the woods, not really telling too many people, not really writing too much down about the routes, and then not really remembering too much about them when asked. For that reason, researching the history of routes at Lime Creek was very difficult, and the guidebook, and the info on this site, probably contains inaccuracies. But what is one to do? Not publish anything because the info is hard to come by, or publish what you know and hope that the "first draft" inspires others to remember the past and help fill in the holes that for now remain empty? I hope that over time the "picture" of the past at Lime Creek will become more clear, but for now please know that the information for this area is not really definitive.

If you have information that you would like to see in the next edition of the guidebook, or gripes about the current edition, feel free to email me at I will post corrections and updates at

Have fun out there!
-andy wellman
By monolith Lith
Jul 19, 2009
If you are making a trip here in the heat of summer and are coming along I-70, you should check out Fulford Cave. Lime Park can get hot and Fulford Cave stays around 40 degrees. There's some really cool huge rooms. It's maybe 20 miles away and a nice distraction and place to cool off. Be sure to bring a spare set of clothes, headlamp, helmet and gloves. Gets pretty dirty in there. I think a google search for Fulford Cave and/or Sylvan Lake can provide maps and info.

If you are camping and the main sites are full, there are two nice separate secluded sites if you make a right leaving either of the two roads leaving the canyon. You'll go over a cow grate then up a slightly rocky hill the sites are on your right after you crest the hill. No more than 5-10 minutes away from the canyon. I think this is south of the canyon. Or you could do what we did and ask to join the climbers you saw at independence pass the week before to join their site. Small world. Thanks guys and ladies.
By Aimee Rose
From: Bend, or
Jul 22, 2009
Can anyone tell me how long it takes to get here from Avon? Thanks. How are conditions now? We're making a trip to Avon in August and wonder if we should try to climb here.
By C Darke
Oct 1, 2009
Wow, I'm glad to see sport/trad climbers are still such immature douche-bags. Front Rangers ? really ? This isn't a turf war you imbecile, it's climbing. No wonder there aren't any hard routes up yet, If it's being hoarded by a bunch of rednecks who can barely struggle up 5.12.

To those concerned about the caving and preserving the beauty of the canyon, how would a few bolts on choice overhangs effect you or the integrity of the canyon. Honestly, it seems like the hatred is going to be its downfall!

My opinion of the canyon (and I've done every route there worth its salt) is that it has vast potential. With the exception of the first hundred yards or so of the canyon, the rock is far cleaner and more beautiful than Shelf Road and most of Rifle, which tends to be blocky and ugly. I have explored a great deal of the gorge, and have found SUPERB overhangs (or caves, if you want to use a misnomer) with excellent feature that are much steeper than the Punchbowl. The east rim wraps around for a couple miles after the canyon opens up, and I know there is a great deal of potential there for those who are willing to make the hike.
By Kirsten KDog
Aug 16, 2010
Just visited for the 1st time this past weekend (8/14/10.) The road from Sylvan Lake IS closed, it's probably about a 1 1/2-2 mile hike from where you need to leave your car, but the walk is all mainly on flat road. The area is absolutely GORGEOUS----it's worth going just to camp and hike, but the climbing didnt blow my mind by any means. I don't think the route quality (rock & actual lines) are nearly as good as Shelf (eek, there I said it!! But this is also totally different limestone). Lots of the rock looks good from afar but is pretty sketchy once you're climbing on it. Maybe once it cleans up things will get better, but I do think some of the stuff I saw probably wasn't worth bolting. That said, it's still a great place to visit, explore and to do a little climbing in a pretty setting :)
By T.Dailey
From: Avon
Jun 28, 2011
I drove a good bit of the road a couple weeks ago and the only thing stopping me was a two foot deep 50 yard stretch of snow. Going back this afternoon to try again. Will post detail upon return.
By T.Dailey
From: Avon
Jul 1, 2011
All is good, Bob. The waterfall in the Punchbowl is going off right now, so nearby climbs were getting misted. Road in is good to go. Watch out for trenches!
By T.Dailey
From: Avon
Jul 6, 2011
Also, if anyone does head out there and finds a green Kavu hat, consider it my gift to you.
By Ryan Byrn
Jul 21, 2011
Thank you whoever left the Jack Daniels bottle in the crag by Evil Empire. I saw you wrote on the bottle, but all I could make out was 6-14-2006. Well-aged Crag Whiskey. Delicious. Needed a shot before Evil Empire. This was a great find since we opened up sLime Creek this season to cars. Forest Service told us not to drive through the snow or they would have to actually DO SOMETHING and pull us out and they left. One shovel, 4 people, 1.5 hours later we opened the damn road this season, and a victory whiskey for everyone!
By vimmerstedt
Jun 17, 2012
Anyone have any beta on the new route on the corner between the prow and the north wall. I liked it a lot and was just wondering what it was rated?
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the new corner route between the prow (lef...
This is the new corner route between the prow (left) and the north wall. Cool line but I can't find a rating. It's not in the Rifle guidebook.
By Craig Childre
From: Lubbock, Texas
Jun 27, 2012
Access question: How bad is the road? I'm in a VW Golf and wondered how close I can get, or if I can make it to the camping?
By Rob Culbertson
Jun 30, 2012
As someone else mentioned - that "new" (it was there last summer) corner route seemed 9+/10a.

There's another way to get there. You can drive up from Rudei Reservoir. Road is paved from Basalt to FR 512, then it's a much shorter dirt section than coming up from Eagle.
By Johnny MacKinnon
From: Leadville, CO
Sep 4, 2012
I think both those routes on the prow go at 9+/ 10-. This place is rad -- fun limestone sport climbing in a remote and scenic spot. Hard to beat!
By Jack Sparrow
From: denver, co
Sep 28, 2013
I've added a couple routes and an area to the database. I have no idea what there names are or who did them. I'm adding them on Mountainnproject for a more complete picture of Lime Creek today. If the developer of these climbs and area sees this and wants to help make the info correct, just pm me and I will change it. I'm adding these routes specifically because the guidebook for Lime Creek is no longer in print, and the new addition has not come out yet, so any info on the area is limited toMountainnproject. Thanks.
By E Johnson
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 7, 2014
What is the crag on the immediate right when you turn into the canyon? It has trees around the base and climbs. There is a trail to the rock and then a bit of a bushwhack along the base (at least 1-2 years ago anyway). There were some climbs that had ratings at the marked bottom of the rock. I can't figure out from this site if it is listed and detailed or not.
By Jack Sparrow
From: denver, co
Jul 10, 2014
He, E. Johnson, it is not listed on Mountain Project. I haven't been able to find any info on who put up the climbs or what the crag is called. Some of the routes are decent for Lime Creek though.
By mkclimb
Aug 16, 2014
I believe what you are referencing is Team Wall, and all the routes were put up by Larry Moore (pretty much anything w/ a name-rock at the base at Lime Creek).

There is a more established trail there than eliminates the need to bushwhack up to it.
By BJ Sbarra
From: Carbondale, CO
Aug 16, 2014
Team Wall has about 11 routes from 5.5 to 11a. Many have name rocks at the base. This is a good sunny spot later in the year.
By Daniel Kay
May 29, 2015
Anyone have information to give on the road conditions? Thinking about heading this was for a weekend camping trip, but it might be a bit early in the year, especially with all the moisture lately.

Any info is appreciated! Thanks.
By Alvaro Arnal
From: Aspen, CO
May 30, 2015
Daniel - there's probably still a lot of snow up there. Lime Creek is more of a July destination, especially given the late-season snow we've had lately.

Kudos to you if you do get up there to check it out though, and let us know what you find!
By Bob Neuman
Jul 28, 2015
Can anyone tell me if there is a guidebook for Lime Park?

Thank you
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Jul 30, 2015
There is a guidebook by Wolverine Publishing that includes all kinds of Western Colorado climbing, but the last edition was released in 2008, and you'll probably have a hard time finding a copy. The next edition should be out later this year.
By Just This Guy You Know
Jul 5, 2017
I just got back from this beautiful area after camping over the 4th of July weekend. If you're going to camp in the main area, PLEASE pack out or bury your sh*t properly!

Walking through the main campsites to access the crags multiple times with the stench of human feces is an unpleasant experience. It's a simple problem to fix, and it is important to keep these beautiful areas clean!
By Sydney Droegemeier
Aug 19, 2017
Does anyone know when this road closes? I'd like to go the final week of October.
By Baumer
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 6, 2017
BRING WAG BAGS!!! It's nearly impossible to dig a properly LNT cathole here (the whole valley is within 200 feet of a stream), and the entire campsite stinks.

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