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South Gateway Rock

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South Gateway Rock Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 6,035'
Location: 38.8778, -104.88045 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 28,810
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Aug 30, 2001
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The beautiful South Gateway Rock.

2017 Seasonal Closures - Partial Closure Lifting MORE INFO >>>


The large rock formation just north of North Gateway Rock is called South Gateway Rock. There is a lot of good and very varied climbing here. The Drug Wall stays in the shade most of the time and has one easy and several hard slab routes of very high quality. There are also good easy to hard crack climbs up to 3 pitches long, and a nice toproping area.

Getting There 

Walk past North Gateway Rock from the main parking area. South Gateway is the very large rock formation just across the paved trail.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.8 miles from here

24 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in South Gateway Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for South Gateway Rock:
Silver Spoon   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Sport, 1 pitch   East Side
West Point Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, 3 pitches   West Side
Tutor   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   East Side
Credibility Gap   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 2 pitches   West Side
Crescent Corner   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 2 pitches   East Side
Sign Of The Times   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   East Side
Mighty Thor   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   East Side
Candyman   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   East Side
Cocaine   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   East Side
Rocket Fuel   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   East Side
The Deal   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   East Side
Kor's Korner   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   West Side
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in South Gateway Rock

Featured Route For South Gateway Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Pic taken from a bad angle but shows all of the pi...

Pure Energy 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a  Colorado : Colorado Springs : ... : East Side
It's the second climb over from the Mighty Thor. This has good climbing on small edges and a few pockets to a steep headwall. All in all, it's a great climb if you like slab. It really works your feet....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of South Gateway Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: West side of South Gateway Rock.  Climbing Credibi...
BETA PHOTO: West side of South Gateway Rock. Climbing Credibi...

Comments on South Gateway Rock Add Comment
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By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 31, 2001
Too much beer when I wrote this....

Switch North and South for the entire rock description. Thanks for correcting me, Darin.
By Darin Lang
Sep 6, 2001
Remember, Andrew - the crack comes AFTER posting, not before. ;)
By Stewart M. Green
May 23, 2004
In mid-May, 13 Colorado Springs climbers closed off several of the social trails that access the Drug Wall base on the northeast side of South Gateway Rock. The new access trail to the cliff-base is a short path that leads to the base of Crescent Crack. Follow the cliff-base east from here to Silver Spoon and the Slice bouldering area. The deeply cut trails below Silver Spoon were filled in with brush and rocks. Do not use these old trails so they can rehabilitate.

The Colo Spgs Park & Rec Dept wants less trails to access this and other climbing areas in the Garden. The trails will be designated with city signage in the future. Look for new access trails to the west side of South Gateway, including West Point Crack and Credibility Gap, as well as marked trails to the Finger Face and Cowboy Book Crack area.

If you are interested in giving some energy back to the climbing community, please contact me to get on the mailing list for the next Garden Climber Trail Day.
By Joel Bier
Sep 9, 2004
Does anybody know anything about the climb just right of the first pitch of West Point Crack? The line ascends an overhang and then up a fairly easy jug section to another steep crimpy section before pulling a final set of flakes to the single piton anchor - 4 bolts + the piton and link anchor.
By Bosier Parsons
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 24, 2008
Joel, it sounds like you're referring to the Indian Head route, which continues above the piton, hugging basically the left side of the white rock where the white rock meets the red rock. The upper portion climbs up sort of a groove, which you can see from below. The route is named after the formation of the Indian Head which is formed by the white rock, and shows the profile of an Indian looking to the north - obvious if looking from a distance. FA was done by Steve Hong, Ed Webster, and Earl Wiggins in the '70s. The climb has probably seen few ascents as the upper portion looks quite loose.

The bottom of this climb is also shared by the Pipe Route, which traverses right at the top of the first flake, belays on top of a pillar, then takes a second pitch up to the saddle in the white rock. I'll add this route description to the database.

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