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The Twilight Zone

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Chaser, The S 
Execution S 
Freedom Fries S 
Mind and the Matter, The S 
Shadow Play S 

The Twilight Zone Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.7499, -105.2478 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 13,756
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Kirk Miller on Nov 26, 2008
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]

Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>

"The place is here, the time is now, and the journey into the shadows that we're about to watch could be our journey." 

In the spring and summer, the area stays shady and cool through the morning then bakes in the afternoon sun. In the fall, sunshine is as rare as slabs here. If steep, shady rock is your bag, consider making a journey into The Twilight Zone.

We've done our best to clean up the routes and surrounding rock, but these climbs are still pretty fresh, so care is in order.

Getting There 

About thirteen steps beyond the end of the cement retaining wall at the Canal Zone, head uphill by stepping onto a big boulder with a straggly pine tree above it. Scramble up to reach the beaten path uphill to the left. Third class into the red dihedral, exit right, and scramble up onto the trail. The approach is steep, exposed, and a little loose in spots...not for the faint of heart.

Eds. Note that rocks knocked off along this approach can go all the way to the level of the canal trail!


A. Desperado, 12+, 1p, bolts, 50'.
B. The Mind And The Matter, 11, 1p, bolts, 90’.
C. Freedom Fries, 11, 1p, bolts, 100’.
D. Shadow Play, 11+, 1p, bolts, 90’.
E. Execution, 11, 1p, bolts, 90’.
F. The Chaser, 11-, 1p, bolts, 80’.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.1 miles from here

5 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in The Twilight Zone

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Twilight Zone:
The Chaser   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Freedom Fries   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
The Mind and the Matter   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Execution   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Shadow Play   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Twilight Zone

Featured Route For The Twilight Zone
Rock Climbing Photo: Kirk workin' towards the crux (redpoint, FA).

The Mind and the Matter 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  Colorado : Golden : ... : The Twilight Zone
Climb a short slab past one bolt to the base of the roof. Move right through two bolts to the crux and ascend the dihedral. Step right onto the prow, move up and left using unique holds. Traverse left and face climb the left side of the large roof....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Twilight Zone Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Routes.

Comments on The Twilight Zone Add Comment
Show which comments
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 1, 2008
Kirk is on fire!!!
Way to go!
By Joby Spencer
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 4, 2009
Thank you for these excellent routes Kirk. I climbed The Chaser and Freedom Fries on my birthday last week. Both routes definitely added to a great day. The area is well worth the added effort to get up to them. I'm anxious to get back and tick-off the remaining climbs. The bolting is just right, and The Chaser and Freedom Fries were just plain fun routes. They will be on my list of good fun climbs (along with the entire Canal Zone area) to recommend to other climbers. Thanks again.
By Dan G0D5H411
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 18, 2009
Seems like the bottom of the routes is the worst in rock quality but should clean up with time (and luckily is the easiest terrain.) I was surprised to find how solid most of the roofs were and the top of the climbs (although lichen-y in spots) seemed really solid. The climbing here is really FUN.
From: Wherever we park!
Jul 18, 2010
"Eds. Note that rocks knocked off along this approach can go all the way to the level of the Canal Zone belays!"

That is a somewhat misleading statement. While it is possible to send a rock all the way to the trail (so be careful), it is not possible to send one into the belay zone for Canal Zone.
By aBove
From: Denver, CO
Aug 24, 2011
For folks visiting this area....

-MAKE SURE your belayer and climber is wearing a helmet!! Loads of friable rock make ripping grips off a very likely possibility (I personally had a brick size rock rip off a seemingly decent spot).

- BE SUPER CAREFUL of trundling boulders down. While the boulders aren't necessarily going to hit "belayers" at the canal zone, they come extremely close to the trail, if not on the trail, leading west away from the canal zone. And yes, people other than rock climbers use this trail.

-DO NOT bring a dog up there... its loose and 4th class in areas.

However, with a little more cleaning and possible trail maintenance this area has some nice lines worthy of pulling on!
By moby
Oct 3, 2013
Really fun! Consistent 5.11 climbing throughout.
By Adam Keifenheim
Jul 11, 2015
The furthest left line on the cliff appears to be newer and not listed on mountain project yet. Do not confuse this route with the five listed 5.11s. I didn't know much about the route, but the overall description of the crag above says it is "Desperado, 5.12+." I do not recommend this route. It had 5 bolts in the 45 degree overhang on very slopey holds. The crux comes right away and requires a very attentive belayer to avoid groundfall. There was also an abandoned birds' nest on a chockstone in the overhang. The overhang is more like a boulder problem, and everything above it is covered in lichen and loose. At one point, you have to shove your hand through a bush to get a jug while doing a kneebar.

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