REI Community
Picket Wire Canyon
Select Area...
Dino Overlook 
Lone Tree Bluff 
Misson Boulders 
Scorpio Crag  

Picket Wire Canyon Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.6365, -103.5831 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,851
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Furthermore on May 31, 2016  with updates from Avery Turman
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]


Famous for its high concentration of dinosaur tracks, Picket Wire Canyon offers a surprising amount of undeveloped, high quality climbing. Stretching for miles along the Purgatoire River, large boulders scatter the river valley creating countless boulder problems to be discovered.

Moreover, rising 300 feet above the river, cliffs ranging from 30-50 feet guard the canyon rim. These cliffs could yield, with careful development, quality sport climbing. The rock appears chossy in appearance but is actually quite decent. Varnished, featured sandstone provides excellent face climbing along with high quality, variable cracks.

There has already been some bolted development for moderate sport routes and top-rope anchors at the most accessible cliff, but there is plenty more room for exploration. Several trad routes have also recently been established. Avoid the crowds of Shelf and Front Range, and spend some time exploring this quiet, spectacular canyon.

Due to the rock art in the area, tread lightly, and don't climb on or around any art panels.

Per Avery Turman -

This climbing area is in the Comanche National Grassland which adjoins the Fort Carson military reservation on the Northwest boundary. The military reservation is closed for public use. The large tract of land holds many of the side canyons to the west. DO NOT go onto the military land.

This climbing area contains a large amount of historical artifacts from remnants of settlers to ancient petroglyphs. DO NOT climb on rocks with petroglyphs. Inspect every side of a boulder before climbing on it. DO NOT remove historical artifacts from the mission, the homestead, or any of the old rock walls.

This climbing area adjoins private property on several boundaries. This area became open for public use when the Federal Government purchased back land from homesteaders during the dust bowl. Due to this policy, the Grassland's boundary is jagged and patched and difficult to identify at times. DO NOT cross these boundaries and respect the property owners.

A climber can find beauty and solitude in Picket Wire Canyon. Following the aforementioned practices will help ensure that others may share the experience in the future.

Getting There 

From the Junction of 3rd Street and Adams Street (CO 109) in La Junta, dive 13.6 miles south and turn right onto David Canyon RD (County 802) where there will be signage for Picket Wire Canyon. Dive an additional 7.9 miles until the road dead ends. Turn Left (Co Rd 25) and drive 6.0 miles to a 4 way junction with a pit toilet.

Turn left, following the signs for Picket Wire Canyon, and drive 1.9 to a junction. Instead of going left to the signed Picket Wire Canyon trailhead, turn right and drive 0.8 mile to a parking area 150 feet from the edge of the cliff. This is the trailhead (N37.6435, W103.5838).

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 7.7 miles from here

26 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Picket Wire Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Picket Wire Canyon:
Crack Left   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 30'   Scorpio Crag
Crack Right   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   Scorpio Crag
Limon Layback   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   Scorpio Crag
Queen's Ride   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 45'   Dino Overlook
The Lord of La Junta    5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Scorpio Crag
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Picket Wire Canyon

Featured Route For Picket Wire Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Working the crux.

Gill's Other Crack V5 6C  Colorado : Vogel Canyon : ... : Luicita Boulder
Climb the finger to tight hand crack on the southeast side of the boulder. It is clean, stout, and fun....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Comments on Picket Wire Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About