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Top 10 Denver Climbing Trips

Updated: Feb 16


Rock climbing the Third Flatiron in Boulder
Taking in the views on the Third Flatiron

Tired of the cold? Can't feel your fingers? Summer is rapidly approaching and it's time to dust off the climbing shoes and chalkbag and round up a good partner. I know you've been chomping at the bit to get back outside after a rough year and climb warm sunny rock, so here is a list of the top 10 climbing trips near Denver you have to check out.


Here are the top 10 Denver Climbing Trips:


1) Clear Creek Canyon Cragging

Located just a few minutes west of Denver, this awesome rock climbing spot is a great destination or after work getaway. 13 miles of sport climbing with short hikes make it really easy to climb a number of different routes and still make it back to Denver for the nightlife. A few of my favorite crags in Clear Creek Canyon are:

-The Little Eiger (lots of moderate routes between 5.9 and 5.11)

-The Mission Wall (some of the best multipitch climbing in Clear Creek Canyon)

-Wall of the 90's (home to a few of the canyon test pieces such as Reefer Madness and 10-Digit Dialing)

-East Colfax (stacked with 5.10 and under routes with great routes for kids or beginners)

Clear Creek Canyon rock climbing on the Mission Wall
Enjoying the Nice Ride, 5.10b

2) Rewritten - Eldorado Canyon State Park

A fantastic moderate multipitch trad route! Eldorado Canyon State Park is less than 45 minutes from Denver and is the local climbing mecca with thousands of different routes of all different grades. Rewritten ascends Redgarden Wall in 6 pitches of stellar 5.7 climbing. An optional start on the Great Zot bumps the difficulty to 5.8. Don't miss the arete on pitch 5 with mega exposure!

Crux traverse pitch of Rewritten in Eldorado Canyon
Crux Traverse on Rewritten, 5.7

3) Climb a Flatiron

Absolutely classic climbing! The First, Second, and Third Flatirons dominate the skyline over Boulder. A trip up the Flatirons normally entails a 30 minute hike to the base and anywhere from 6 to 10 pitches of roped climbing. The Third Flatiron does close seasonally (February 1st to July 31st) for raptor nesting. If I had to choose a favorite climb off this list, it would definitely be the Direct Route (5.6) up the First Flatiron! I have climbed it well over 200 times and it never gets old.

Climbing Fandango on Boulder's First Flatiron
Hanging on to the First Flatiron

4) Playin' Hooky

The uber-classic, multipitch sport route in Clear Creek Canyon. For the most enjoyable experience, and to skip the weird and awkward normal first pitch, check out Black Gold to Playin' Hooky instead. This is hands down the best linkup on the Creekside Wall and a great way to play hooky from work in Downtown Denver.

Multipitch sport climbing in Clear Creek Canyon
Climbing Black Gold to Playin' Hooky, 5.8

5) Introduction to Rock Climbing

An introduction to climbing course is a great way to meet other climbers, learn the ropes, and just have an enjoyable day out in the mountains. Topics taught should include knots, belaying, rock climbing movement and resources as you progress as a climber.

Introduction to rock climbing classes near Denver
Intro to Rock Climbing in Eldorado Canyon

6) The Yellow Spur

Arguably the most famous route in all of Eldorado Canyon State Park and most definitely lives up to the hype. Six pitches of crack climbing, jug hauling, and technical moves requiring precision balance lead to the famous exposed knife edge in the sky. Awesome exposure and rad climbing! This is a must climb route if you are in the Denver area.

Climbing the Yellow Spur in Eldorado Canyon State Park
Pitch 2 of the Yellow Spur, 5.9+

7) Longs Peak Hiking Trip

While not necessarily a rock climbing objective, hiking Longs Peak is sure fun and a great rest day for your fingers! Lots of exposed scrambling, high altitude, and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains make for a special experience. Don't underestimate this mountain though...almost 5,000 feet of elevation gain and 16+ miles of hiking up the standard Keyhole Route make for a long day and unforgettable accomplishment. Make sure you get an early start to avoid afternoon storms and to get a coveted parking spot.

Hiking Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park
Great views of Longs Peak from the Chasm Lake Trail

8) Climb the Maiden

Without doubt, this formation is one of the wildest pieces of rock close to Denver! Climbing here will test your route finding and mental fortitude as the exposure is immense, both while climbing and rappelling. The North Face (5.6), East Ridge (5.10c), and West Overhang (5.11b/c) are all phenomenal and make a great day trip.

Climb the Maiden in Boulder Colorado
Descending the wild 2nd pitch of the North Face of the Maiden with the West Face looming above

9) Learn to Lead Climbing Course

Have you been top roping in the gym a bunch this winter? Are you ready to expand your climbing and start leading? A course with a professional is a great way to learn best practices, receive honest feedback, and have lots of time in the drivers seat. A good learn to lead class will teach skills such as lead belaying, bolted anchor construction, how to clean an anchor, how to clip quickdraws, and how to bail along with many other topics. With many climbing locations so close to Denver, it's astonishingly easy to make it a day trip, or heck, a weekend adventure!

Learn to lead sport climbing in Clear Creek Canyon
Getting the lead on!

10) The Petit Grepon