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
Pump-O-Rama 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Colorado
: Rifle Mountain Park
: The Arsenal
Pump-o-Rama climbs straight out the imposing middle of the Arsenal and is one of the steepest, longest cave routes in the Canyon. Besides a funky kneebar crux at mid-height, this route is a total jug haul, albeit a very strenuous one at a consistently roofy angle. But the holds are great -- giant underclings, incut rails, slopers, jug huecos and even a crimp or two -- and the climbing stays with you all the way to the anchor.This route can be recognized by its position in the very center of the ...[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!