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Phantom Canyon

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Phantom Canyon Rock Climbing 

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Location: 38.4953, -105.11007 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Reggie Slavens on Apr 6, 2016  with updates from Taketaketaketaketake ....take and 1 more
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This is a sport climbing area on metamorphic granite. Phantom Canyon (CO Hwy 67) can be thought of as the sister road to Shelf Road. Like Shelf Road, Phantom Canyon runs basically North-South but is well east of Shelf Road and Canon City. The road eventually empties out in the tiny mountain town of Victor. This dirt road is commonly used by people from the Pueblo and Canon City areas that work in mining in the Victor area or in Cripple Creek casinos. It is also popular with tent campers on nice weekends.

By chasing the sun or shade climbing can be comfortable year round; however, the peak Summer months can be on the hot side. It has sunny Winter days. Late Fall and early Spring are prime seasons.

There is a large amount of rock, but unfortunately most of it is crumbly and broken up. The scattered pockets of solid rock have yielded many easily accessed, fun routes. There is also a handful of longer and multi-pitch routes available.

If 5.10 is a warm-up for you, then head to Shelf, but if you're looking for fun routes from 5.7 to 5.11, roadside access, and a much shorter drive from Colorado Springs, then you might find Phantom to your liking.

There is a nice public bathroom (pit toilet) just past the Vatican area approximately 3.0 miles from the end of the pavement.

An inexpensive mini-guide for the area can be purchased online at

As of early Spring 2016, Phantom Canyon contains approximately 60 bolted sport routes. Only the first half of those (as driving up the canyon) have been documented here in Mountain Project. The remaining routes, i.e. those past the public bathroom, will be documented at a later time. In the interim, route info on all Phantom Canyon sport routes can be found in the above mentioned mini-guide available at

There are also three 2014 vintage trad routes from another Mountain Project posting that will be investigated and incorporated into this posting as appropriate.

Getting There 

From Colorado Springs, head south on CO 115 to the tiny town of Penrose. Turn right on US Hwy 50. About halfway from Penrose to Canon City, there will be a lone stop light on US Hwy 50. Turn right at this light, and you'll be on Phantom Canyon Road/CO 67.

Head north on CO 67 towards the foothills. When the pavement ends, you'll be at the mouth of Phantom Canyon and very near the beginning of the mostly roadside crags.

Per John Acker: it appears the GPS map is not correct by 2+ miles. Be cognizant of that until we can adjust the GPS site. Thanks!

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.3 miles from here

36 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',17],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Phantom Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Phantom Canyon:
Between The Lines   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Bud Wall
Donahue   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Tall Green Wall
Tiffany's   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Creek Side
Doc Denman   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 2 pitches, 300'   Tall Green Wall
Ripple   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Tall Green Wall
Carrie's Protest   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Bud Wall
Francis   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Vatican
III   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Tall Green Wall
Cross Guard   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 110'   Tall Green Wall
Two Shot   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 110'   Tall Green Wall
Li'l Abner   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Roadside
Wall Street   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Roadside
Question Mark   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Bud Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Phantom Canyon

Featured Route For Phantom Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Cross Guard, 5.10c.
 We climbed this twice: once...

Cross Guard 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  Colorado : Canon City : ... : Tall Green Wall
This is probably the best route on the Tall Green Wall.Both pitches are 5.10c. The first pitch has a poor belay stance. The second pitch goes to the highest point on the wall. The two pitches can be combined with a 70m rope....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Phantom Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Great crag! Made for a great day!
Great crag! Made for a great day!

Comments on Phantom Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By Daniel H. Bryant
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 3, 2016
I asked about Phantom Canyon a few years ago, this is the response I got:

forum post from 2013
By Travis Provin
From: Boulder CO
Oct 3, 2016
Is that still the general consensus of this area? I'm looking for a Shelf Road alternative for winter sport climbing and camping but don't want to be dodging falling rock all day....
By Daniel H. Bryant
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 3, 2016
Tanner Dome
By Byrne
Aug 13, 2017
Tanner Dome looks cool, and I intend to go check that out as well. *However*, don't write off Phantom Canyon just based on others complaints. I've not had a ton of falling rock on the tall, green wall and virtually none on Phantom Menace. Tanner is closed from April to August (maybe not such a bad thing anyway as it gets hot).

The grades are soft, but there are some fun climbs in the canyon.

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