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Ruxton Canyon, Manitou Springs

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Ruxton Canyon, Manitou Springs Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,229'
Location: 38.853, -104.936 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 6,065
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Larry C. Schubarth on May 8, 2008
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This are has Pikes Peak granite, mostly good to excellent.

Per David Hertel: The cog railway starts at the eastern-most point and heads up to the summit of Pikes Peak. There is a vast amount of wildlife, and is mostly national forest. Exceptional to the train tracks and the water supply for Manitou Springs (so don't piss in the creeks or streams).

There are many unexplored boulders and short trad climbs in the area. It is a bit difficult to climb in winter due to the massive amounts of snow dumped there from the sky. All rocks in the area are granite. Due to the fact that the area remains mostly unexplored in terms of climbing, the boulders and cliffs are generally covered in rich, sandy, and grassy moss. There is amazing hiking and spelunking here, but you have to bush-whack and explore with you eyes and ears wide open to find the caves, but they are there, so don't give up if that's what your looking for.

The terrain is steep like all canyons, but don't get it in your mind that it is all high walls towering over a raging river. It's within the Front Range and very much like walking between mountains (seeing as how that is what it is). There are some trails that take you to different washes along the base. I recommend exploring up the washes. There are tons of granite boulders spilled in the streams from the top of the peaks to the bottom of the creek.

This is a compilation of 2 entries for the same area.

Getting There 

Park by Cog Railroad or Barr Trail parking lot. Approaches vary. Most are fairly gnarly.

Per David Hertel: When you are in Manitou Springs, you need to go all the way up Ruxton Ave. (the street heading towards the cog railway). You park in the Barr Trail (incline) parking lot and head down the hill you just drove up. You will need to walk from there, because there is no parking any further unless you are a resident. You are going to turn right and head up the paved hill. Once you cross the gate, you're in the canyon, and there are many places to explore.

This is a compilation of 2 submissions for the same area.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.5 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For Ruxton Canyon, Manitou Springs
Rock Climbing Photo: "Arretion", the route.

Arretion V1+ 5  Colorado : Colorado Springs : Ruxton Canyon, Manitou Spri...
It's a nice, little V1+ problem. It is only a 3 move, low ball problem, but it's good for beginners to learn the basics of crimps and crystals. It starts out with obvious footing on the right, but the rest of the climb is generally smeary. Your hands start out with a small crystal in the middle of a slope on the right hand side. I found that it was easier to wrap my thumb around it and cup the slope. On the left, you have a gnarly crimp angled slightly to the left. After that, you just stick to ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Ruxton Canyon, Manitou Springs Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Here's a pic of Tall Boy, 5.14! Good luck!
Here's a pic of Tall Boy, 5.14! Good luck!
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on a classic climb in Ruxton.
Me on a classic climb in Ruxton.

Comments on Ruxton Canyon, Manitou Springs Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 6, 2011
By Patrick Manitou
From: Atlanta, GAAAAA
Oct 23, 2008
Speaking of climbing in Ruxton, I'd love to see updated Tall Boy info.
By David Hertel
From: Haines, Alaska
Oct 26, 2008
I would love to see updates on everything in Ruxton Canyon. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one who cares to explore it. Since I don't have a rack, I'll stick to the boulder problems... but I would definitely love some help officially establishing this place as a climbing destination.
By Patrick Manitou
From: Atlanta, GAAAAA
Oct 26, 2008
Check out Stewart Green's topo for Tall Boy crag (part of pikes peak topo download) on his website,

There's a bunch of hard stuff, including what are probably the only 5.14s in the region, and a really nice 5.8 squeeze chimney. I'd post them here, but I never got the chance to climb any of the routes so someone else should get to that.

My old buddy Dave C. used to climb in Ruxton, and he's a super nice guy, if you ever run into him in Manitou I'm sure he'd help you out with more info. Or, really, just wander into Kinfolks and ask around.

If I still lived in the area I'd love to help do some more exploring. If I'm around for any length of time this winter I'll let you know.
By freeheel12
Dec 24, 2008
There is a really cool bridge on the west end of Manitou, with a bunch of grafiti and a waterfall, this place also has some cool routes bolted up on the bridge.

1. Does anyone know how safe the bolts are?
2. Does anyone know anyone whose finished it?
By Stewart M. Green
Dec 27, 2008
Kevin Gonzales and Eric Harp glued up and bolted the routes in the early '90s. Kevin and Ian Green both climbed the routes many times as training climbs. Others also have climbed 'em. The main route is 5.13. I would be consider the bolts suspect. Inspect them first to make sure they're not rusted. I don't know if they used stainless or carbon steel bolts....
By Cody Cook
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Dec 29, 2008
A buddy and I were up there a couple of weeks ago, and it appears that both lines may have been chopped down low. We tried the leftmost route, but the lowest holds had been removed and the first bolt was sticking about an inch out of the wall. I had to boost my buddy on my shoulders just so he could reach the first hold. We didn't attempt the right route, but we couldn't figure out how one could even start it. The first hold was way up the pillar, and well out of reach. We figured you would need a ladder to even begin that line.
By Kurt Ross
From: Boulder, colorado
Apr 11, 2009
I have not done the graffiti falls routes, but I know there are some chipped crimps on the left route to start it. I did put up a tire swing there though, but I guess someone didn't like it because it disappeared.
By Unassigned User
Mar 3, 2010
I was at graffiti falls the other day and there was a finger crack above the water fall just up the creek, does anyone know anything about this route. It looks super fun!
By Patrick Manitou
From: Atlanta, GAAAAA
Mar 3, 2010
I've heard the same name and grade. Aided this last summer then freed it. Made for a great first clean aid climb. The crux of freeing it is short but pumpy, good finger locks with no feet. There's one fixed pin on top and lots of gear options if you feel like top-roping. If only this were longer!
By Unassigned User
Mar 28, 2011
Thanks for the beta, Ben and Patrick! Super sick climb! 4 stars!
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on TR. Escape from New York.
Me on TR. Escape from New York.
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Mar 31, 2011
I've always thought Bryan Becker did Escape from New York first. It's actually a stout lead.
By Unassigned User
Apr 1, 2011
Thanks, Ben! The right crack is next! (maybe)
By Culver
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 4, 2011
So, Ruxton basically has no established boulder problems or sport routes? Is it worth wandering around here with a pad? I'm looking for areas that are new to me in the springs, and I'm now working at Cave of the Winds and have been wanting to get on some new stuff relatively close by. Any info is appreciated!
By Unassigned User
Jun 6, 2011
I put up a few boulder routes there but didn't get to finish then (due to some one stealing my tools). Most of the good ones are in the creek. I work for the Cog, so I've seen just about every thing up there. The boulders just kinda suck. There are some trad routes about a mile up on the right, 5 or 6 right next to each other, but the creek kinda sucks there, too. Not that this has anything to do with climbing, if you go up a little more, there's a 20 foot waterfall underground. Pretty cool!

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