Route Guide    Partners    Forum    Photos    What's New    Journal        
Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
The Lion's Den

Select Route:
Ben (Beh?) Slab 
Big Cat 
Big Kitty Corner 
Center Route (Corridor) aka Hall Pass 
Cheeseburger 
Choss Boss 
Durango Smurfcock's Dilemma 
Egg Roof 
Hamburger 
Hyperion Arete 
Hyperion Proboscis 
Linoleum aka Center Route Sultry 
Mayo on the Side 
PW Traverse 
Right Arete (Corridor) 
Scrambled 

The Lion's Den Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 40.22683, -105.34736 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 7,549
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Monty, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: COEveryman on Jan 23, 2010
Forecast:
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]

Description 

The Lion's Den is one of Boulder County's premiere moderate bouldering areas in a beautiful and remote setting in the mountains outside of Lyons. The area is home to 40-70 odd boulder problems ranging from V0-V6/V7, with a hand full of absolute classics like Cheeseburger, Hyperion Probiscus, Ben Slab, and the Center Route in the Corridor. Located on the top on an unnamed mountain and facing roughly southwest, this is a great place to spend and afternoon pretty much year round. A moderate but beautiful hike all but assures that you will have the area to yourself, so get out there!

Bernard Gillett's new "Rock Climbing St. Vrain Canyon" from Sharp End Publishing has all of the older established lines for the area in the back of the book.

Getting There 

From Lyons, continue on US Hwy 36 towards Estes Park. Approximately 4 miles up the canyon turn left at "Shelly's Cottages," but take the road to the left of Shelly's driveway, and follow it to its end at a parking lot (approximately 1.5 miles). From here, hike the road past the gate, the river wall, and the reservoir. About 250 meters past the reservoir on the left is the beginning of the trail, which is faint off the road, but is well worn in the trees. The trail switchbacks about 5 full (right/left) times (there is a yellow Forest Service Marker (eds. which may be gone) at the end of the switchbacks and the Prow stands proud about 50 meters behind the marker) before heading towards the summit and the main area.

Per JP Whitehead: look for a faint social trail dipping to the left (South) as you head up the dirt road. The trail starts about 250 yards or so downstream from the "Sleepy Lion" trailhead, which is well-defined. If you see this trail, turn back, you've gone too far.

The trail takes off into the woods and parallels the dirt road uphill for a little before ascending a series of switchbacks. As the grade begins to level off at a jumbled cluster of rocks (there may be a bunch of cairns at this point), follow it to the left, through one more switchback and eventually onto a gentler slope above the cluster.

The trail continues through open woods before you arrive at a fork with an overlook on your right. Here, take the left fork. You'll pass a sign reading "NO DOGS AT HALL RANCH" and a Forest Service Open Space Boundary marker. Past the sign, the trail parallels a rocky ridge and gully before the woods open up at a small hill with a pile of boulders. This is the Lion's Den.

The profile of Hyperion Proboscis is immediately visible on the left side of the hill, and Big Cat is the most prominent vertical wall facing the trail near the summit of the cluster. The Egg Boulder forms an alcove with the Big Cat Wall. Hall Pass and other warm-up options can be found behind and above the Egg. Continuing back along the ridgeline brings you to the Hamburger and Cheeseburger Boulders. I didn't explore much, but I'm sure more bouldering probably exists further down the hillside past the Cheeseburger.

If you know where you're going, the approach shouldn't take longer than 15-20 minutes. It is moderately steep but pretty.

No Dogs 

Per suffrage: there is a "No dogs allowed at Hall Ranch" sign right before the boulders came into view

Climbing Season

For the Lyons area.

Weather station 10.0 miles from here

16 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',6],['V2-3',3],['V4-5',5],['V6-7',2],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Lion's Den

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Lion's Den:
Center Route (Corridor) aka Hall Pass   V0 4     Boulder, 18'   
Hyperion Arete   V3 6A     Boulder, 10'   
Cheeseburger   V4 6B     Boulder, 14'   
Big Cat   V4 6B PG13     Boulder, 20'   
Hamburger   V5 6C     Boulder, 12'   
Hyperion Proboscis   V6 7A     Boulder, 15'   
Egg Roof   V7 7A+     Boulder, 10'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Lion's Den

Featured Route For The Lion's Den
Rock Climbing Photo: Hyperion Proboscis, V7.

Hyperion Proboscis V6 7A  CO : Lyons : The Lion's Den
Climb out this overhanging block using both aretes....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Comments on The Lion's Den Add Comment
Show which comments
By mtoensing
From: Boulder
Nov 27, 2011
To get here, I followed a set of directions on this website and another website. The initial trail had one section that was tricky to navigate, but there is a good trail and cairns still present on the trail. I ended up passing the area and was told by horseback riders (fortunately) that I had passed it. I never encountered a yellow Forest Service sign. Once you find the area, it is really easy to find your way around and explore. Was decently warm for a sunny winter day also.
By Vaughne
Oct 12, 2015
I also got lost on the way here. The trail takes off to the left at the end of a left-right "S turn" in the road right after the reservoir. If you reach the Sleepy Lion trail, you've gone too far. Also, there was no yellow forest service sign. Continue straight up (Northwest) past the fifth right turn. If you reach the large meadow, you've gone too far.
By suffrage
Oct 16, 2015
I almost got lost as I reached the open space boundary and a "no dogs allowed at Hall Ranch" sign right before the boulders came into view, which isn't mentioned anywhere and threw me off. Has that sign always been there and, if so, have people been fined or anything for having dogs?
By JP Whitehead
Jun 28, 2016
DEFINITIVE DIRECTIONS TO THE LION'S DEN.

After spending half the day trying to find the boulders and getting thoroughly confused several times, I decided to take it upon myself to provide better directions to this little area.

Look for a faint social trail dipping to the left (South) as you head up the dirt road. The trail starts about 250 yards or so downstream from the "Sleepy Lion" trailhead, which is well-defined. If you see this trail, turn back, you've gone too far.

The trail takes off into the woods and parallels the dirt road uphill for a little before ascending a series of switchbacks. As the grade begins to level off at a jumbled cluster of rocks (there may be a bunch of cairns at this point), follow it to the left, through one more switchback and eventually onto a gentler slope above the cluster.

The trail continues through open woods before you arrive at a fork with an overlook on your right. Here, take the left fork. You'll pass a sign reading "NO DOGS AT HALL RANCH" and a Forest Service Open Space Boundary marker. Past the sign, the trail parallels a rocky ridge and gully before the woods open up at a small hill with a pile of boulders. This is the Lion's Den.

The profile of Hyperion Proboscis is immediately visible on the left side of the hill, and Big Cat is the most prominent vertical wall facing the trail near the summit of the cluster. The Egg Boulder forms an alcove with the Big Cat Wall. Hall Pass and other warm-up options can be found behind and above the Egg. Continuing back along the ridgeline brings you to the Hamburger and Cheeseburger Boulders. I didn't explore much, but I'm sure more bouldering probably exists further down the hillside past the Cheeseburger.

If you know where you're going, the approach shouldn't take longer than 15-20 minutes. It is moderately steep but pretty. Hope this helps!!!