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The Cays

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Cays 1 
Cays 3 

The Cays Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 8,500'
Location: 40.16163, -105.47137 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,529
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on May 28, 2010
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View of the Indian Peaks and the second pullout/ca...


This is a small, obscure collection of granitic craglets that lie nestled in the trees just west of CO 7 near the Ironclads. Some of the craglets here are short enough to have only limited bouldering opportunities. One craglet, what I will call Cays 5 is tall enough to have close to a ropelength's worth of climbing. There are a smattering of routes that might appeal to the seekers of the less traveled who are tolerant of some oddities.

Note, this area has a history of use by ATV riders, motorcyclists, campers, and gun enthusiasts. You may/will find shotgun, rimfire, large caliber centerfire shells, bits of orange clay pigeons, and even large slugs in the area. Oddly, there have been shells and clay pigeons even at the base of some of these crags. Interestingly, even arrows and golfballs have been found partway up these routes. Beware!

In the spring and early summer, you can find a small water source with pleasantly cool liquids for your pleasure.

Primitive camping is available below the crags. Unfortunately, some of the previous campers have left evidence of a lack of understanding of the "Leave No Trace" ethic common to most climbers. So, consider bringing bags to help clean up the area if you visit. Thanks!

You get some nice views of the Southern Indian Peaks here.

Some of the routes here are mentioned in Gillett's Estes Park Valley guidebook; however, there does not appear to be listings of these climbs in the newer St. Vrain guidebook.

Addendum: new signage apparently indicates this is a designated shooting area. Apparently, this may have occurred after a shooting range proposal was turned down.

Getting There 

From Lyons, head up CO 7 15 miles to the intersection with the Peak to Peak Highway. Head south 0.6 miles. If you have a low clearance vehicle, park on the east side of FR 217's intersection with CO 7 in a wide pullout. If you have high clearance, you can proceed closer to the crags. The first pullout/primitive campsite on the right will put you within a short walk of the various craglets. The second pullout/primitive campsite places you just below what we will call Cays 3, one of the more developed (this is a relative term) craglets here.

Craglet Organization/Nomenclature 

To help with trying to keep these routes in a more organized structure, let's number them south to north, Cays 1-5, for now. If there is already a different naming of the craglets, let me know and I can fix it.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.2 miles from here

10 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For The Cays
Rock Climbing Photo: The Boardwalk.

The Boardwalk 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : Cays 3
This is a nice climb that utilizes some natural features for protection. Ascend a slab with nice edges past 2 bolts, then slot a wire on the left and possibly a purple TCU (#0) in a horizontal. Continue up past a bolt. You can stay left with a #1 Camalot on the left or clip the last bolt of the line to the right....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Cays Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cays 4.
Cays 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Cays 2 potential bouldering?
Cays 2 potential bouldering?
Rock Climbing Photo: Cays 5.
Cays 5.

Comments on The Cays Add Comment
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By Bruce Hildenbrand
Jun 14, 2015
I think it is very important to point out that this area is a *designated* area for gun enthusiasts with signs indicating that shooting is permitted. This isn't just an area where people come to party, congregate, or camp and sometimes someone brings a gun. This area is *designated* for shooting, so expect people to be there shooting, and since there is no specific gun range, expect them to be shooting near you and hopefully not at you!

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