Rock Climbing

In the Pikes Peak Region

The Pikes Peak region offers some of the best and most varied types of climbing in the country all within an hour or so drive from Colorado Springs. Within the city limits of Colorado Springs, there are four climbing areas managed by the parks department, Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon openspace, Cheyenne Canon and Ute Valley Park. All of the parks in the city offer different types of climbing from Sport to Traditional with a bit of Boudering. With a short 1 hour drive, the visiting climber can reach the world class sport climbing of Shelf Road to the south or the traditional multi-pitch alpine granite spires on Pikes Peak! The climbing in and around the Pikes Peak region can be accessed year round with Spring and Fall being the best time to hit any of the areas. Summertime on the Peak cannot be matched with its beautiful alpine meadows below the bullet hard alpine granite. Warm winter days at Shelf Road offer perfect sending temps for the climber chasing the hard sport climbs there.

Getting Started

To get started rock climbing in the Pikes Peak Region, consider taking a beginner’s climbing course or hiring a local guide who can provide instruction and guidance, and help you navigate the area’s climbing routes safely and effectively. There is also indoor rock climbing to better understand what you’ll be doing outside. Indoor rock climbing provides a great opportunity to learn and practice climbing techniques in a controlled environment. Check out local climbing gyms where you can find a variety of climbing walls, routes, and experienced staff to assist climbers of all skill levels.

Pro Tip

Thoroughly research and plan your routes in advance, ensuring you have the appropriate gear and knowledge to tackle the specific challenges presented by the region’s diverse and sometimes rugged climbing areas.

Be Prepared

To best prepare for rock climbing, ensure you have a solid foundation of climbing skills and techniques, familiarize yourself with the area’s climbing routes and their difficulty levels, and pack essential climbing gear while being aware of the high-altitude conditions that can impact your climbing experience. Some places require a permit or check-in, so do your homework before setting out.

Be sure to pack
  • Climbing Helmet
  • Additional Climbing Gear
  • Sunscreen
  • First Aid Kit
  • Water and Snacks
   

Outdoor Ethics for Rock Climbing

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are reprinted with the permission of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. For more information, visit www.LNT.org.

  • Plan Ahead And Prepare
    • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area where you plan to climb.
    • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies.
    • Schedule your climbing to avoid times of high use.
    • If you are climbing with a group, communicate your expectations.
    • Bring the appropriate equipment for the route(s) you intend to climb.
    • Acquire the necessary technical skills including first aid knowledge.
    • Check local regulations and ethics regarding the installations and use of fixed protection.
  • Travel and Camp on Safe, Durable Surfaces
    • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock gravel, dry grasses or snow.
    • Always use durable roads and trails to access climbing routes.
    • When unpacking gear at crags, choose a durable location for your staging and belay areas.
    • Use existing anchors when available.
    • Protect water sources by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
    • Good camp sites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
    • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your camping and climbing areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, tape and litter.
    • Carry out abandoned or forgotten gear and webbing.
    • Minimize the use of chalk when possible. Keep chalk bags closed when not in use to minimize spills.
    • Consider packing out solid human waste using an approved method.
    • If allowed, deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
    • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • Leave What You Find
    • Preserve the past: observe, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
    • Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.
    • Avoid developing new routes near archaeological or historical sites, or critical wildlife habitat.
    • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
    • Do not build structures, furniture or dig trenches.
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
    • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Consider using a lightweight stove for cooking and bring a headlamp for light.
    • Where fire are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
    • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
    • Don’t bring firewood with you. It may be contaminated with tree killing insects or diseases. Instead, buy local wood near your destination or gather it upon your arrival.
    • Burn all wood to coals and ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
  • Respect Wildlife
    • Learn about seasonal route closures and be prepared to back off a route if you disturb wildlife.
    • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach wildlife.
    • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
    • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
    • If bringing dogs to crags, ensure they’re under control or consider leaving them at home.
    • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times. Mating, nesting, raising young or winter.
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors
    • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
    • Larger groups should try not to monopolize popular climbing routes, especially during times of high use.
    • Maintain a cooperative spirit by being courteous to other users on the trails and at crags.
    • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises unless necessary for communicating with your climbing partner(s).

Gear & Services

Rentals

Classes

Guided Adventures

Featured Places to Explore

Curated trails & experiences

South Platte – Elevenmile Canyon

Elevenmile Canyon is home to unparalleled beauty and a great source of beautiful trout.  Rock climbing, biking, and camping available. Parks pass required.
Climbing AreasRivers

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Red Rock Canyon Open Space is one of the best local hiking spots for families with small kids all the way to the serious hiker. Located…
Public Parks

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. Imagine dramatic views, 300′ towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak…
Public Parks

More Climbing Actvities

More Information

Helpful Links

Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance
Pikes Peak Hours and Rates
Shelf Road Sites
Rock Climbing in Parks

 

Content for this page provided by Front Range Climbing

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