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Land that Time Forgot 
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Sheeprock Rock Climbing 

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Location: 39.18863, -105.33053 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Darren Mabe on Feb 28, 2007
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Sheep Rock, Acid Rock, & Baby Helen northwest face...


Deep in the inner platte lies Sheeprock. A sleeping giant. At around 500 feet high, and more than a dozen multipitch routes, this wall offers somewhat of a unique adventure experience. I would be surprised to find a rock climber who was NOT inspired by the ominous and imposing north face. Guidebooks have always been vague about the old routes here, and certainly no mention of the new ones.

In 2002 the biggest forest fire in all of Colorado history swept hard through this area. Flames crept up as far as 200 feet up the flanks of Sheeprock. While a terrible tragedy, leaving an ugly and dead hillside, I have found the beauty in the natural regrowth of the ecosystems in its aftermath. I was never fortunate to experience the area before the burn. In just almost 5 years, it is pretty awesome to see nature running its course. Sure the trees are gone and the hillside is grossly eroded, but this adds to the experience and reminds us of nature's power. It also makes you feel like you are way the hell up there. Ironically, the fire actually cleaned up much of the lower faces, burning away moss, lichen, and exfoliating some of its weaker skin.

The north face is often referred to as the Land that Time Forgot. The routes, along with their names, suggest almost a mystical feel. The friction on this granite is unmatched. You may find yourself sticking to stuff you wouldnt normally think you could. Therefore it turns out that most are fully bolted face and slab routes, largely established in ground-up-on-lead style. While many of them top out on the saddle, a few adventure to the summit. Some very old and very obscure aid routes exist as well as some newer trad climbs. The saddle is simply an awesome place and picnic paradise. From here, you can top out on the summit via one of the routes on Velcro Wall, the low angled slabs on the south face.

If you want a warm-up to the weekend, or don’t have much time, check out the Smoking Section. This was a definite hot spot of the fire, hence the name. Almost a dozen short one pitch outings are here, as well as a few hard slab and crack testpieces.

In the spring and fall months, the northern exposure can chill you to the bone. Along with gale force winds at times, prepare accordingly. However, in the heat of summer, at high noon shade is a luxury and almost non-existent. The routes are longer than you might think so bring some water. Speaking of water… when it rains here, it pours! The summit is no place you want to be in a lightning storm, either.

Gear: Bring a shit-ton of draws as the pitches are typically long and mostly well protected. Bring a second rope for rappels. Even though there are only a few established trad routes, they alone are worth the weight of the rack.

Descent: You can rap almost every route except for the traversing ones, however the recommended cleanest rappel off the saddle is down Jacob's Ladder (3 X double rope raps). The quickest way off the Summit is to rap Cloak of the Wolf.

Some recommended routes: SolArian (5.10+), Cloak of the Wolf (5.12), Knossos (5.10), Riders in the Sky (5.10), Oklahoma Princess (5.7), and Marlboro Man (5.11).

How ya get there 

Follow driving directions for Molly Gulch / Goose Creek.

Cross Goose Creek, head for the rolling hills. You will connect with a horse trail, (from here, its about 5 minutes to the Smoking Section) that makes a rising traverse to east (see approach photo). Once you are almost to the ridge, cut straight up the hill until you encounter a big expanse of slabs (see photo). From here, you can keep following the ridge to the base* of T19 and the Cloak, or traverse the hillside back to the west to the two-tiered base* of Knossos. *If you are really adventurous, there is room to bivy at either of these bases (see LTTF topo photo for location of these bases).

DO NOT try to cut straight up the hill. Even though the above trail descriptions seems arduous, the hillside below Sheeprock is heavily eroded, and large boulders can and do come down if you disturb them. Also, I have seen dead burned tree trunks knocked down in the wind. there is bad juju on this slope.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.2 miles from here

29 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',13],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sheeprock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sheeprock:
Acid Crack   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Velcro Wall
Bolted Route   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 2 pitches, 300'   Velcro Wall
Oklahoma Princess   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches   Land that Time Forgot
Knossos   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 4 pitches   Land that Time Forgot
Tour de Platte   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, 6 pitches, 900'   Velcro Wall
Nazca Line   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 5 pitches   Land that Time Forgot
Riders in the Sky   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R     Sport, 4 pitches   Land that Time Forgot
Solarian   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Land that Time Forgot
I Love a Cigar   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   Land that Time Forgot
Ankar Gate   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 3 pitches   Land that Time Forgot
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sheeprock

Featured Route For Sheeprock
Rock Climbing Photo: The yellow line is the approximate location of the...

Acid Crack 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a  Colorado : South Platte : ... : Velcro Wall
Sheep Rock. Maybe this is as close to a Half Dome as we can get in the Denver area. Now that the fire damage is fading a bit, Acid Crack is again an outstanding climb for novices who like to hike in rough terrain. A rappel is normally done to descend. Mark Roth climbing. Photo by Mountain Project contributor, Jay Eggleston. HISTORYColorado Mountain Club climbers where bagging hard summits at Chair Rocks in the 1950s. I used to think Sheep Rock was probably climbed back then, because Kevin and I found a single angle piton rap at the top of the ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Sheeprock Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Rise and shine. Bob Ross
Rise and shine. Bob Ross
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach trails to Sheeprock and the Smoking Secti...
BETA PHOTO: Approach trails to Sheeprock and the Smoking Secti...
Rock Climbing Photo: South Platte rock has this vibe/feel to it, like i...
South Platte rock has this vibe/feel to it, like i...
Rock Climbing Photo: burn area of the Hayman fire, 2002. Cheesman Reser...
burn area of the Hayman fire, 2002. Cheesman Reser...
Rock Climbing Photo: Velcro Wall and Sheeprock summit.
BETA PHOTO: Velcro Wall and Sheeprock summit.
Rock Climbing Photo: Log.
Rock Climbing Photo: Wintery conditions at Sheeprock, May 2010.
Wintery conditions at Sheeprock, May 2010.
Rock Climbing Photo: From the parking area.
From the parking area.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sheep Rock.
Sheep Rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sheep?
Rock Climbing Photo: On the summit.
On the summit.
Rock Climbing Photo: On the saddle above The Land That Time Forgot.
On the saddle above The Land That Time Forgot.
Rock Climbing Photo: Perfect seat on the Sheep Rock Saddle above The La...
Perfect seat on the Sheep Rock Saddle above The La...
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climb on the approach to Land That Time Fo...
Unknown climb on the approach to Land That Time Fo...

Comments on Sheeprock Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 7, 2017
By slim
Mar 3, 2007
I was lucky enough to stumble upon this place when the first of the new bolted routes were going up. This side of Helen's Dome had long been written off as being rotten and covered with lichens. It was pretty cool to climb routes and watch an old timer drill on lead, usually rope soloing. The routes are well-protected and took a lot of time and effort to create. Hopefully, people who brave the death march up the hill will enjoy these routes as much as I have.
By Adam Peters
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
May 18, 2007
Changed my mind, AGAIN!
By Bill Schmausser
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 30, 2007
Admins -- I am the FA for many of these routes, if I can get edit rights, I'll happily fill in the details that Darren was lacking.

By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
May 30, 2007
Bill -- the simplest thing to do is to go to each route in question and add the correct FA information as a comment. The area admins can then incorporate it into the route description.
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Aug 19, 2007
Your thinking of Sheep's Nose. The description's for this area are more or less correct.
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Aug 20, 2007
Sheeprock is the name for the entire mountain as given by the USGS maps.
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
May 3, 2008
Gosh what thin skin you have.
By Derek Lawrence
From: Bailey
May 3, 2008
Interesting jleining....

The copy of "Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer - Detailed topographic maps, Sixth Edition, page 49" sitting here on my lap, clearly labels the above formation as "Sheeprock"....
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Jul 28, 2010
The bountiful raspberries are worth the approach alone!
By "H" Lampasso
From: Manitou Springs
Aug 27, 2010
Raspberries are still going and the river is warm! I did the Nazca/Knossos link up (check it out in the updated Colorado Guidebook-Thanks, Stewart, for putting that together!).

Awesome granite, felt like a gecko sticking to the rock. Unfortunately got a late day start and didn't get up the Velcro Wall that would have made it even better.
By nicolas blair
From: Denver, CO
Aug 7, 2017
Sweet exposure, sweet isolation, sweet camping, nothing much more to say! Sheeprock is like a mini-Half Dome and has enough slab climbing for everyone. The long approach keeps people away (I was there 8/5-8/6 and saw no one).

Approach: if you can't find the old Molly Gulch campground (like me), just park in front of the feature, and cross over the river through a meadow (some faint climber-like trails exist). This will eventually hit a horse trail that leads SW to Sheeprock. Follow the horse trail until you're right in front of Sheeprock, and start scrambling towards the base. You'll be able to see the giant rock face the whole time, so it's hard to actually get lost. Plan on about an hour to get to the base.

There are so many raspberries on the approach trail, it's awesome.

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