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Palisade Mountain

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Unknown Crag at Palisade Mountain 

Palisade Mountain Rock Climbing 

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Location: 40.43666, -105.31171 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: allen simons on Jan 24, 2005
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Saddle Tower and Fairview Wall.


Palisade Mountain is the same mountain that Nancy's Rock (a.k.a. Rio Bravo and Cyclop's Slab), Becker Wall, and Skull Rock are located on. This is a huge mountain with some established routes and possibilities for 100s of other routes. Many slabs and crack systems exist. With the exception of Nancy's Rock, everything requires steep approaches and navigating through difficult rock bands, pine needles, and vegetation. The rock here is however very solid and potential for multi-pitch routes exist. There are some brief descriptions in the Estes Park Valley Guide by Bernard Gillett, but locating these routes is difficult in reality and even more difficult to explain.

Getting There 

Palisade Mountain is located on US Highway 34 west of Loveland. From the Beige Siphon tube in the Narrows it is 6 miles, just a mile short of the town of Drake. The mountain is the obvious rocky crag hundreds of feet up the north side of the road. Park in the paved lot at Nancy's Rock and start on that trail. After 100 feet break off right and trail blaze up and right. I recently discovered some quartz cairns midway marking a pseudo trail.

Poison Ivy Alert 

Eds. Note, there is much poison ivy for the sensitive.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.1 miles from here

90 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',9],['3 Stars',29],['2 Stars',31],['1 Star',20],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Palisade Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Palisade Mountain:
Chance   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 55'   Nancy's Rock
Glue Factory   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Horseshead
Ponyboy Arete   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Horseshead
Pearly Burly Brooke   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Jewel of the Nile Wall
Heng Chuan Corner   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 170'   The Temple of Tao
Sea Biscuit   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Horseshead
The Middle Man   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Subskull
Neighsayer   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 225'   Horseshead
Salonpas   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Subskull
Kentucky Derby   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Horseshead
Goverment Mule   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Horseshead
Eagle's Beak   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 200'   Horseshead
Breeder's Cup   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Horseshead
Funky Gold Patina   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Horseshead
The Temple   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Skull Rock
Tijuana Donkey Show   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Horseshead
Annie's Knotty Fingers   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Mikey's Island
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Palisade Mountain

Featured Route For Palisade Mountain
Rock Climbing Photo: This shows the route as seen from below from a sho...

Dragon Enters the Corner 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : The Temple of Tao
The first pitch is 4 stars with outstanding friction stemming. The second pitch has a little dirty, spicy funk for 20' or so and then becomes 4 stars as well. Outstanding rock quality on this one.P1. (10d) Climb up a left-facing corner and clip a bolt out right. Work your way up into the corner. Friction stemming (10+) with bolt protection takes you up the first half of the corner. The second half of the corner is laybacks and finger locks (10+). The angle of the corner eases and takes you to a ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Palisade Mountain Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Rocky Mt.
Rocky Mt.
Rock Climbing Photo: Palisade Mountain from the Round Mountain Summit A...
BETA PHOTO: Palisade Mountain from the Round Mountain Summit A...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cat in the Hat, El Tigre, 5.11c PG-13.
Cat in the Hat, El Tigre, 5.11c PG-13.
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach map for Becker, Ivy League Rocks, and Nan...
Approach map for Becker, Ivy League Rocks, and Nan...

Comments on Palisade Mountain Add Comment
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By Tom Griffiths
Apr 20, 2008
In 1965, Kenyon King and I climbed a distinctive ridge or arete from the road to the summit of Pallisade. We stayed on or near the arete as much as possible to make it interesting. I do remember having to get off the ridge a little and go up a chimney of sorts. At the time we graded it II 5.6. You can probably make it as easy or hard as you want. The rock wasn't bad.

Tom Griffiths
Kenai, Alaska
By denise 911
From: fort collins, co
Aug 15, 2008
Note 'vegetation' involves forests of poison ivy. Can't really speak for quality of rock towards the top, but we encountered a lot of loose rock and decomposing granite on the approach up from Idlewilde Dam (on Hwy 34).
By allen simons
Aug 19, 2008
Yes yes, there is poison ivy in the Big T. It is the Rocky Mountains. And, although there is loose rock, there is an abundance of solid rock.
By westy
From: Loveland, Co
Aug 29, 2008
Stay high (out of the valley) and it'll be alright. Denise is right with the poor quality of rock where we were. The actual location in reference to Palisade was the false summit face right of Palisade. We were there for a different type of climbing. From the dam, it's a long venture to get to the actual possibility of route climbing.
I agree Allen. There is an extreme amount of ivy in the Big T.

Climb fast, safe and Fun!

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