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The Sanctuary

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Arete, The 
Devil's Face 
Dihedral Crack 
Feel The Wetness 
Go Feed the Dogs 
Layback Crack 
Layback Problem 
Sinister Minister 
Threat Condition Delta 
unknown [The Sanctuary] 

The Sanctuary Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Oct 25, 2002
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The Sanctuary, Big Elk Meadows.


The Sancturary is host to some of the best problems at BEM, and what makes The Sanctuary Wall so interesting is the diversity of problems that have been put up. There is a long traverse (hard to link up but probably still low in V scale), some fine straight up edge problems (V2, V3, V4), cracks (did not try), and some crossed link-ups (?V5 to V7?). At 20 feet, the top-outs seemed a bit high for my taste, or hips. If The Sanctuary has any draw-back, it would be the lack of significant angle. I found that even after an hour of on and off bouldering, while it was possible to build up a real forearm burn, I was still looking for a tree limb where I could go and crank off a slew of pull-ups just to finish the upper body pump. However, the landings are nearly perfectly flat, the rock solid, and the problems interesting enough to making the hike in well worth the effort. Now, if we could just get a bulldozer behind the thing and get the angle tipped back a bit more....

Getting There 

Hike along the creek trail for 20 minutes or so passing the turn off for the Dragon's Den and the Traverse Wall. The Sanctuary is five to ten minutes beyond the Traverse Wall.

Climbing Season

For the North Fork of the St. Vrain River area.

Weather station 7.8 miles from here

10 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Sanctuary

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Sanctuary:
The Arete   V3 6A     Boulder, 15'   
Sinister Minister   V3 6A     Boulder, 16'   
Devil's Face   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Sanctuary

Featured Route For The Sanctuary
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing Sinister Minister - V3.

Sinister Minister V3 6A  Colorado : Lyons : ... : The Sanctuary
A very good eliminate. Sinister Minister climbs the line of crimps between Threat Condition Delta and Feel The Wetness without using the holds in the seams. Finish up on good holds at the top. Long reaches between excellent smooth crimps mean fun for everyone!...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Sanctuary Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Sanctuary, Big Elk Meadows.
BETA PHOTO: Sanctuary, Big Elk Meadows.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Sanctuary at Big Elk Meadows.
The Sanctuary at Big Elk Meadows.

Comments on The Sanctuary Add Comment
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By Andrew Ryder
From: Flagstaff
Jul 20, 2008
I loved this place. The thick trees provided enough shade to keep it fairly cool until 1pm, even when it was pushing 100 down in Longmont. There are tons of problems all in a row and lots of holds to make stuff up if you get bored, and all of it is nestled in a peaceful, secluded setting with a quiet creek nearby. Moderate boulderers should not miss out.
By Bob Robinson
From: Lone Tree, Colorado
Jul 25, 2011
I agree. I've been visiting this place for the past couple of years, and it is a very peaceful, very fun moderate area. Simply beautiful stone next to a beautiful creek in a beautiful forest. What more could a boulderer want?
By Ethan Little
From: Longmont, CO
May 12, 2017
I think the flood has increased the approach times. For me, boulder hopping up the creek, the approach was closer to 15-20 minutes from the Traverse Wall. It's right next to the water, however, so you can't miss it. Just keep hiking if in doubt.

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