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Rainbow Rock

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Rainbow Ridge T 

Rainbow Rock Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 10,000'
Location: 40.38911, -105.59258 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 185
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Oct 20, 2014
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This is the north face of Deer Mountain. The larg...


This is a fairly obscure crag for being so close to a trail. It is on the north side of Deer Mountain in RMNP. It faces north and gets limited sun at best.

In the older guidebooks, Gillett's 2001 RMNP: The Climber's Guide, Estes Park Valley p. 274 and Rossiter's 1996 RMNP: The Crag Areas p. 70 list 2 routes on this 400'+ chunk of rock to the west of Deer Ridge Buttress. Note: Rossiter's photo on p. 67 may mislead one to think this is the crag just above Deer Ridge Buttress, but these crags are separated by hundreds of yards.

There is a decent amount of terrain for the exploring types here, and the crag is a little bit bigger than the 400' described. You will need to clean the rock to establish new routes here.

Note, you may spook a dusky grouse here, so if you hear a sudden burst of wings flapping sounding like a little helicopter, it's a grouse.

Getting There 

There are probably 3 ways to get to this crag.

For the easiest approach, start at Deer Mountain Junction in RMNP either from the Beaver Meadows entrance or better from the Fall River Road entrance (so you can see the crag on the drive). Hike up to the end of the 8th switchback (see the topo photo), ~650' elevation gain. You can just make out the crag's right edge from here. Hike a short way, ~100 yards east and scramble down to the base.

For a more challenging/aerobic approach, one could go up more or less cross country from the Aspen Glen Campground just inside the Fall River Rd. entrance to RMNP after taking a good bead on the crag before being engulfed in the forest. You cross a trail perhaps halfway up. Expect an hour.

For a non-fee associated approach, one can go on US 34 to Fish Hatchery Rd. Go past the Harmony House and the cemetery. Hike up and slightly right to this crag after taking a bearing on the its location before going into the forest. You cross a trail perhaps halfway up. Expect an hour and probably 1500'+ elevation gain.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.0 miles from here

1 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For Rainbow Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the approximate line of the route.

Rainbow Ridge 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : Rainbow Rock
This is a quick route for end-of-the-roader types. It probably gets very little traffic and starts in the shade. The description from guidebooks may be a bit hard to follow, but the route essentially travels the right side of this modest crag in 2-3 pitches. The description here may be a variation of the actual line, but it works.P1. Ascend a slab with light protection opportunities. Perhaps 50-60 feet up, you have to choose to go up lichened slab or traverse right to the edge of the crag. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Rainbow Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the map at the Deer Mountain junction trai...
This is the map at the Deer Mountain junction trai...

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