The Arsenal Rock Climbing
Rifle's most popular venue for hauling jugs on a t...
The Arsenal is a thug's paradise, and with its park-at-the-base of-the-routes approach represents the finest in convenience sport climbing. While seemingly a total pile upon first glance, this enormous cave is actually very solid -- riddled with cracks, pockets and large blocky pinches that make the super-overhanging routes viable in the 5.12-5.13+ grade range. Many of the routes have succumbed to kneebar technology yet all are long and pumpy (The Colinator, the cave's longest and hardest line, has around 18 bolts of 30-35 degree overhanging climbing).
This is a good evening area, though in the summer the air can be a bit still and buggy at this end of the canyon, turning jugs into slopers and kneebars into torture. Nevertheless, this is one of the best "work-out" crags around -- the holds are big, kind, and the in-situ chain link draws make for a totally low-hassle experience.
Must-do's include: The Pollinator
(12c/d) and Pretty Hate Machine
Drive into Rifle Canyon. The Arsenal is about a mile up from the mouth of the Canyon on the left. You can't miss it. It's the huge cave on the left side of the road with the long-ass chain-link draws hanging from half the routes. Park either in the cave or back down the road at a designated pull-out next to the river (on the right going up canyon).
Weather station 13.5 miles from here
29 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in The Arsenal
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Arsenal
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Arsenal:
Lolanator 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 65'
Bobby Brown 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport, 1 pitch, 110'
Debaser 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Vitamin D 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Vitamin H 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport, 1 pitch
Rendezspew 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport, 1 pitch
Sprayathon 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport, 1 pitch
Featured Route For The Arsenal
Pretty Hate Machine 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Colorado
: Rifle Mountain Park
: The Arsenal
Super-mega-ultra-classic! It is possibly the best sport route in the universe.This route is rated 12b in the guides, but I think there is a broad consensus among everyone who climbs it that it is at least a letter grade harder than that. This line is on the far left side of the Arsenal. It can be easily recognized by the fixed, chain draws. The first difficulties are encountered early, where you do a series of 12a/b underclinging and sidepulling maneuvers to get past a small roof. The harde...[more] Browse More Classics in Colorado
By Garrett Keyser
Oct 4, 2016
Went to Rifle on my first visit last weekend and was impressed with a lot of the climbs, although they were somewhat difficult. Arsenal is my favorite crag, and I highly recommend trying Pollinator (5.12a) if you're looking for a fun, creative route.
Btw, last Sunday at Arsenal, I left behind a grey Black Diamond harness, LA Sportiva Solutions, a chalk bag, and a Nalgene. Please contact me at 301-606-2002 if you have any info regarding my lost items. Any help is greatly appreciated!