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Steamboat Springs Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,000'
Location: 40.49102, -106.80473 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 83,878
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Matt Weisman on Nov 3, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Moose near Strawberry Park.


While Steamboat Springs remains known for its wealth of ski slopes it also contains some decent cliffs that while short are quality.

I wouldn't plan on climbing during the winter.

Getting There 

Northwestern Colorado, I wouldn't travel here just to climb but that's just me.

Climbing Areas 

Crags in the vicinity include: Box Canyon, Blob Rock, Hole in the Wall Canyon, Mt Zirkel Wilderness, Butcherknife, Blacktail Mt, Seedhouse Crag, & Sarvis Creek Domes.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.6 miles from here

113 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',37],['2 Stars',55],['1 Star',21],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Steamboat Springs

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Steamboat Springs:
The Needle   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Hole in the Wall Canyon : The Needle
West of Africa   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Seedhouse Crag : Lower Crag
Steel Nuts   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   North of Town : Box Canyon
Bat Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Sarvis Creek Domes : The Shield
Spotted Rose   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Rose Domes : Other Rose Dome
Butcher Knife Crack   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 25'   Town Area : Butcher Knife
Left Hand   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Seedhouse Crag : Upper Crag
Fat Lip   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Sarvis Creek Domes : The Dome
The Pillar   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Cougar : Main Amphitheater
NW Face   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 5 pitches, 400'   Sarvis Creek Domes : The Dome
MF'r   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Seedhouse Crag : Upper Crag
Something on the Shield   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Sarvis Creek Domes : The Shield
Daddy Duty   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Hole in the Wall Canyon : Stump Buttress
Climbin' Trees   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Rose Domes : Other Rose Dome
Nescafé Sandwich   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 200'   Hole in the Wall Canyon : Stump Buttress
Suzy Creamcheese   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Sarvis Creek Domes : The Shield
Wings of Steel   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Sarvis Creek Domes : The Dome
The Gnome   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Seedhouse Crag : Lower Crag
Bad Blood   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Hole in the Wall Canyon : Wall Mart
MPO (Mo's Pissed Off)   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   Hole in the Wall Canyon : Shield of the Titans
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Steamboat Springs

Featured Route For Steamboat Springs
Rock Climbing Photo: Erik heading up The Pillar about to pull the small...

The Pillar 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  Colorado : Steamboat Springs : ... : Main Amphitheater
This is the must-do at Cougar. Climb the right-facing side of the pillar through a small roof near the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Steamboat Springs Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Some opportunities for fun here. Big Agnes and the...
Some opportunities for fun here. Big Agnes and the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Perry Mansfield student on Butcher Knife crack ear...
Perry Mansfield student on Butcher Knife crack ear...
Rock Climbing Photo: Keith Leaman, Jay Harris, Hoxie Smith 'Cosmic Chim...
Keith Leaman, Jay Harris, Hoxie Smith 'Cosmic Chim...
Rock Climbing Photo: Phil Gleason Sawtooth summit. Left of chimney, 5.8...
Phil Gleason Sawtooth summit. Left of chimney, 5.8...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Zirkle,  Gilpin-West Face.
Mt. Zirkle, Gilpin-West Face.

Comments on Steamboat Springs Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 19, 2011
By Merk
Feb 28, 2007
Short Guidebook available at the Ski Haus in Steamboat.

Butcherknife: really short, can be very greasy, some bouldering right around there too. Easily Top-ropeable

Blob Rock: up by Fish Creek Falls, 5-7 short sport routes, not that great

Rabbit Ears Pass - The Domes: supposed to be the best climbing in the area but I haven't been there. Seasonal closures for bird nesting.

Off of Seedhouse Road:
Several sport crags that have some fun routes but nothing fantastic. Box Canyon - a little bit of a hike but some bigger walls with 1-2 long pitches. Mixture of sport and trad routes.
Mount Zirkle Wilderness - long approaches, some bigger walls, some established routes but probably lots of new route potential. I have only experienced marginal to sketchy rock but haven't explored much.
By matt j hartman
From: Leavenworth WA
Jun 1, 2007
The above info is only partially correct. Box Canyon is all single pitch and rather chossy. Hole in the Wall Canyon has some longer routes (up to 300 feet, trad), and is up the road from Box Canyon. Expect adventures.
By Merk
Jul 9, 2007
Do'h, Mike is correct. I meant to write about both places but rushed and screwed up.
By Doug Redosh
From: Golden, CO
Aug 15, 2007
There appear to be some basalt cliffs 100 feet in height, to the the NW of the Yampa, 0.5 miles below the dam for Stagecoach Reservoir.
Anyone know anything about this area?
Doug Redosh
By matt j hartman
From: Leavenworth WA
Aug 16, 2007
Doug, those cliffs are on Blacktail Mountain, and could be developed. Below them are two sport climbs on the river, on a quartz-granite type rock. They are about 8 bolts and around 5.10 to 5.11. the bouldering in Sarvis and Silver Creeks is great also. If you live in Steamboat or Routt County, there is plenty of other climbing, it is just a lot of work to get too. Contact me if you are looking for a partner or have any questions.
-matt hartman.
By Brady Neumann
From: Grand County Colorado
Jan 24, 2008
The Service Creek Domes have some great climbing on a quality 400' granite dome. Several other smaller rocks 1-2 pitches in area. The area is South of Rabbit Ears Pass-hung out there quite a bit in early '90s. Don't remember the name of the Forest Service road that you took south off of US Hwy 40 near the summit of Rabbit Ears Pass. There's also an excellent bouldering area called Harrison Creek, lower on the pass toward Steamboat.
By Paul Berry
Aug 5, 2008
I've heard of many domes in the Rabbit Ears/Sarvis Creek area. I.e. "Rose Domes" "The Domes" "Sarvis Creek Domes", etc. Are these different areas or do the names reference to one area in general? Thanks!
By Dustin B
From: Steamboat
Aug 9, 2008
"Sarvice Creek Dome" and "the Dome" generally refer to the same thing, the biggest most prominent dome. "The Rose Domes" refer to a cluster of crags around a short blob of a dome on the top of a hill. "The dome" (or "The Big Rock" according to the likely FA-Higbee) lies within wilderness and is under falcon closure for most of the season. "The Rose Domes" lie on NFS land. They are all in the same 'area' though.
By Greg D
From: Here
Sep 21, 2008
These areas are infested with poison ivy, rattlesnakes and mountain lions. Use caution!
By allen simons
Sep 28, 2009
Went into the local climbing shop hoping to contribute to the local economy and hoping to get a guide book of some sort to the area. Steamboat is a beautiful area, town, and the thought of camping and climbing there sometime seemed appealing. The climbing shop was a disaster. Very unorganized, discheveled, unclean place. When I asked the shopkeeper about a local guidebook she said there wasn't one at the store, maybe another store (not to be mentioned) would have a copy of the old pink guide. She continued stating , I quote; "the locals are pretty protective of thier crags", then interogated me as to the type of climbing i was interested in. I replied 1 or 2 pitch trad or sport climbs and she promptly gave me quick directions to the local top rope wall. I was somewhat offended by the attitude. Even my wife who isn't savy on all of the baggage and self-imposed climbing morals of the sport thought the information and attitude it was stated in knew something was weird.
1. Problem one. If you want my money, treat me like a customer.
2. Problem two. If your store condition is representative of your guide skills, I wouldn't hire you.
3. Protective of "your crag". Unless you actually own the rock and/or have never climbed at any other crag, then it's not "your crag".
I don't mean to sound like an ass here, but I was very offended by the attitude. I came to your town, to enjoy an atmosphere and countryside that I had not visited before, and to experience climbing in a part of the state that I had never climbed in. Instead I found attitude. Wonder what the Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce would think of this representation? Don't worry, I'm not going to narc on you. But I won't send any of my friends to your shop either. Sorry if this offends the owner, but it's easily fixed. Run a clean well kept shop and welcome the outsiders. Although I'm probably not one, some of them are actually nice people.
By Dustin B
From: Steamboat
Sep 29, 2009
As a "protective local" I feel the need to chime in. Steamboat has a small, very small climbing community. The rock is mostly choss and covered with lichen. Yes, there are some gems around, but it's not anything to write home about.

First, the shop in question doesn't offer guide services. The only local guide is unaffiliated with that shop. Patrick at Rocky Mtn. Ventures is the guide and runs an excellent service and has worked very hard to try and build a good business. So, no, the condition of that store does NOT reflect the local guide or his skills.

The local community cannot support much of a retail store for climbers, add to that the impacts of the internet, and the amount of business that is climbing related is very small. The shop you likely visited is the only place that will sell climbing gear. The organized, clean, and trendy other shop has all but quit selling climbing gear. The owner of the "unclean" shop probably loses money to be able to offer the equipment that he does, as more of a service to the climbers that are around, not to make money. The owner is also a very charitable man who gives many people who need a break great deals, donates untold time and money to many local causes, and I suspect that he doesn't make much through the store. This ain't the Front Range pardner. If you want a clean well stocked store, go to Neptune's or something. As for the attitude you received there, that's another story. You are right to be a bit bummed on that. The person who gave you the bum info and attitude probably doesn't even climb often, if at all, and isn't very in touch with the local climbers. All of the local climbers I know are more than open to meet and share with new people. I'm psyched every time ANYONE comes up to the crag. I have never seen nor heard any sort of secretive behavior to protect our crags because those who know, know that they aren't even worth being secretive about. Shit, we could use more traffic on the routes as the lichen is growing quicker than people are climbing them. I have been very open and informative to any inquiries I see on this site for info. That pink book is horribly out of date although it will get you to some crags, there is so much more and better climbing than is what's in there.

If you ever do decide to come back, or your friends are headed out, feel free to contact me through this site. I will give current, complete, and accurate info about any and all of the local climbing.
By Buff Johnson
Sep 29, 2009
Dustin - please farm some ice; I get tired of all that powder around there without an ice park!!
By allen simons
Oct 1, 2009
Dustin, I appreciate the response and answer. I just felt very unwelcome in the area. I should not have let the attitude of one person get to me but I did. And for the record, My home ground of the lower Big Thompson is a lichen infested choss haven, yet I love to climb there just as you love your crags. I would swear, however, that the shop did advertize some guiding/climbing classes/ect, but I have been wrong before. All I really wanted was a guidebook so that my wife and I could come back next summer and climb at somewhere new. I'll accept your explanations if you "all" will accept my apology. Perhaps I can meet some of you next summer, and if you're on the Front Range and want to climb on some of our choss, let me know. Allen
By Patrick Meyer
Jul 3, 2010
I have seen this before and have meant to chime in. My name is Patrick Meyer and I own/operate Rocky Mountain Ventures, the local climbing guide service. I do advertise at local establishments around town and understand your frustration in trying to obtain info. I know Dustin well and have tied in many times with him. I agree with everything he has said. As for the attitude, well, welcome to small mountain town. I do welcome folks to contact me through or Mountain Project to get info on any and all climbing in the Steamboat area. I have many hand drawn topos that I would be glad to photo copy for you. Allen, next time you are in the area, let me know...I will get you to some of our climbing areas. That goes for anyone else traveling this way! Cheers...Keep Climbing, Patrick
By David Taft
From: mostly Colorado
May 17, 2011
For anyone living around Steamboat, I just moved to the area, and if anyone is looking for a climbing partner, I'll be around town and itching to get on some rock this summer.

By Joyce T
May 22, 2011
Hi, I'm new and am also moving to Steamboat in August. I mostly boulder and sometimes do sport routes with people. My only equipment is two crash pads along with personal equipment. I also need a place to climb in the winter, and I know there is no gym.
By Matt S Smith
From: Steamboat Springs, CO
Sep 19, 2011
Smith Sunglasses found at Blob Rock area near Fish Creek Falls. Contanct me if they're yours.

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