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The Fang

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The Fang Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 7,417'
Location: 40.1654, -105.3906 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,826
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Jan 1, 2001
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BETA PHOTO: Map shot from 'Raymond, CO' quadrant map; ...

Normal access is closed. MORE INFO >>>


The Fang is undoubtedly the premier sport crag in the SSV canyon. It presents some of the most difficult climbing in the canyon on flawless, solid granite. The main walls of The Fang face West and North, so the crag does not get the best year-round sun. The crag itself looms over the SSV canyon like some dark guardian gargoyl, more ominous than inviting. It looks like a good place to find Count Dracula hiding out from the summer sun. But don't be put off, The Count is no big deal, and the climbing is great. The hike in takes about 40 minutes, but is well worth the hump to pull down on some superb granite in a nice mountain setting. Just pick a warm day to climb at The Fang.

Getting There 

The Fang is situated about 9.1 miles up SSV canyon on CO Highway 7. There is a large, paved pull-out for parking. Hike down the road about 100 ft to a bridge that crosses the river (South). Follow the road around to the South side of the hill upon which The Fang sits. After about 1/2 mile, a faint climbers trail will take off to the right. The goal, if you can't find the trail, is to approach the West edge of the crag, and move around North to find the routes.

Update: per Bernard Gillett: the owner of the parcel of land through which the Barking Dog Trail runs has closed his private property to the public. The Barking Dog Trail is the normal approach trail to The Fang, described on this webpage and described in Gillett's St. Vrain guidebook. The landowner has been generous for many years in allowing people to traverse his land to reach The Fang and other destinations, but due to recent vandalism on his land, he is no longer willing to allow access. The landowner has notified the Boulder County Sheriff's Office of the closure, and they've been asked to follow a zero tolerance NO TRESPASSING policy.

The Fang itself does not reside on this landowner's property.

Boulder County MAY have purchased this parcel of land a couple years ago.

Climbing Season

Weather station 7.9 miles from here

6 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in The Fang

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Fang:
Belligerent Buttress   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Perfect Stemetry   5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Goldfinger   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Fang

Featured Route For The Fang
Rock Climbing Photo: Enjoying the excellent 5.10+ start of Goldfinger. ...

Goldfinger 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c  Colorado : Lyons : ... : The Fang
This lengthy route climbs the center of the immaculate stone to the right of Stiletto. A rock climber with even the slightest attraction towards aesthetics will be magnetically drawn to this line. Climb through a ~20 foot band of choss to a small ledge and your first bolt. Continue up the just off-vertical face on five star stone for ~55 ft, moving between good edges and flakes (10d). Clip the bolt above the small roof from a slopping rail, then catch your breath before a series of ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Fang Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Courtesy of Bernard Gillett. Showing property owne...
BETA PHOTO: Courtesy of Bernard Gillett. Showing property owne...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Fang from the paved parking area.
BETA PHOTO: The Fang from the paved parking area.

Comments on The Fang Add Comment
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By Jonathan Siegrist
From: his truck
Jun 13, 2007
I think it is worth mentioning that THE HIKE into The Fang is no longer than 30 min. Honestly, if you motor at all, it is closer to 20-25. Enjoy.
By Ben Randolph
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 15, 2007
It's a real mellow hike, too. Great chunk of stone.
By Jonathan Siegrist
From: his truck
Jun 19, 2007
Sorry, but I have to further encourage my point.
I did the hike, car to crag in 15 MINUTES with my dad yesterday.
By George Bracksieck
Jul 30, 2012
At the south end of the bridge, a sign says "Private Land Next 2.3 Miles." It doesn't say to keep out, but, for the first quarter mile or more, someone has gone to a lot of trouble to discourage passage, having felled trees across the old double-track, making it an obstacle course. After about a half mile, a sign is nailed to a tree and states that trespassing will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Afterward, the double-track bends to the southwest and is overgrown with vegetation, as if few have used it for years. Eventually, a saddle becomes visible on the northwestern skyline. The side trail up to the saddle is invisible.

The Fang's routes face northwest. After climbing a couple routes, dark storm clouds approached from the southwest, flashing brightly and soaking everything. From a cairn by the southwest end of the cliff, we traversed slippery talus west, then headed north, down shrubby, mossy slopes, to the creek. A good trail traverses a hundred or more meters along the bank, to the bridge. Given the status of the traditional approach, reversing our descent would be a better way to approach the Fang.
By Bernard Gillett
Feb 7, 2013

When I wrote my guide to the St. Vrain Canyons, I met the owner of the parcel of land through which the Barking Dog Trail runs; this is the normal approach trail that is described on this page and described in my book. The owner contacted me recently asking for my help in getting the word out that the trail is no longer open to the public. He has been generous for many years in allowing people to traverse his land to reach The Fang and other destinations, but due to recent vandalism on his land, he is no longer willing to allow access. The landowner has notified the Boulder County Sheriff's Office of the closure, and I'm told they've been asked to follow a zero tolerance NO TRESPASSING policy.

Some clarification on George's 6/30/12 post: I believe the landowner was responsible for the "obstacle course." 4WD vehicles tore up his meadows further up the trail often enough in the past that he had to resort to drastic measures to keep the 4WD crowd out. He allowed foot traffic on the trail for several years thereafter, but, again, recent events have compelled him to close the property to all comers.

There is some possible good news in all of this. The Fang itself does not reside on the landowner's property. As stated in my guide, I came to the conclusion (based upon my best-guess reading of NFS maps) that The Fang likely resided on another private inholding. According to the Barking Dog landowner, Boulder County purchased this parcel of land a couple years ago; it's apparently called the Belle Vagoy parcel (named after the old mine that resides somewhere on the property). As George noted in his post (and as I suggested in my guide), the best approach at this time appears to be along the river for a piece, and then up to the crag. Please understand that I have no idea whether this approach crosses private property, nor whether Boulder County wants people on its allegedly newly acquired parcel (I say allegedly only because I did not confirm the landowner's assertion that BC purchased the land in question).

Final word: please do not use the Barking Dog Trail to approach The Fang; it's private property, and closed to the public. If you have the energy to ascertain whether BC owns the land on which The Fang resides, and whether said land is open to the public, go for it, and post up your findings.
By Joe Varela
Oct 11, 2015
We bushwhacked from the parking area at 9.2 miles. We headed pretty much straight up the slope from the east side of a concrete structure across the river. We did find the mine mentioned here. Working left a little we found a small ridge line that was not very vegetated and headed up then traversed through heavy brush when we got even with the crag. Not sure if we were on private land or not.
By Mathias
From: Loveland, CO
Mar 24, 2017

After reading the previous comments about access, I found my way to the Roosevelt NF website and the PDF maps they have available for download. 'Raymond, CO' is the map section that covers The Fang, and the current version (2012 revision) shows a triangle of NF land from the river to where I believe The Fang is located (see below). This also covers (just barely) the bridge. So I would assume that access via the bridge straight towards the formation, or trending climbers right upon approach would keep any visitors from violating private property rights. I added a couple screen shots (one with a reference to the map origins) so you can look for yourselves, and carry some measure of proof via the app contents.

Edited: after contacting Bernard Gillett to inquire further about access, he replied with a rather in-depth email including some screen shots and references to the interactive Boulder County Assessor Map I posted the screenshots which show clearly that The Fang is not within the triangular section of National Forest, but that section is abutted on the West side by land owned by Boulder County, and this parcel does include The Fang. The East parcel, however, is private property, roughly from the bridge South and East (seem image). I cannot confirm whether the bridge is public property (CDOT), nor can I confirm Boulder County allows climbing on these particular sections of land. But in my eyes it's a reasonable assumption.

Thanks to Bernard for taking the time to supply this helpful information.

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