Best Rock Climbing in Colorado
Are you looking for the best rock climbing in Colorado? With thousands of miles of Rocky Mountain trails and a plethora of mountains, including nearly 60 “14ers” (peaks that rise more than 14,000 feet above sea level), it’s easy to see why the Centennial State is among the world’s most popular destinations for rock climbing enthusiasts.
With hundreds of fantastic climbing routes scattered throughout Colorado, you certainly have plenty of amazing locations to choose from. Whether you’re a novice, an experienced climber, a fan of bouldering, someone who thrives on scaling red-rock wall formations, or an athlete who loves to test their personal limits by ascending cliffs, you’re sure to find your perfect climb in Colorado. Where should you start?
Rifle Mountain Park
If you love limestone sport climbing, Rifle Mountain Park should be at the top of your must-see list. Located in Rifle at the end of State Highway 325, this mountain park is popular with locals and visitors alike. The park offers more than 250 bolted climbing routes and a welcome variety of wall options. Overhangs are abundant, and several of them jut out extremely far, practically daring climbers to test their mettle. When you’re not climbing, the park offers hiking trails, horseshoe pits, a community house, and a group area. In addition, there are 25 primitive camping sites available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Nestled between Estes Park and Grand Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park features 266,714 acres of awe-inspiring outdoor opportunities for beginner, intermediate, and advanced climbers. There are places to rock climb, ice climb, or boulder, and guided tours are available to help novices strike the perfect balance of safety and adventure. Recommended climbs include Alexander’s Chimney on the Notch, Dreamweaver on Mount Meeker, the Spiral Route on Notchtop, and both the Diamond and the Keyhole on Long’s Peak. For those who want to take a break from climbing, there is a wide array of outdoor activities available, including birding and wildlife viewing, horseback riding, biking, fishing, hiking, rappelling, and snowshoeing. Campers are welcome and will find a slew of amenities awaiting them, like a visitor center, an amphitheater, a picnic area, a restaurant, and even a gift shop. A naturalist is on-site, and maps and brochures are offered.
Lost Creek Wilderness Area
Named for an enigmatic creek that plays hide and seek with fisherman and outdoorsmen by repeatedly disappearing underground and vanishing into rock piles, the Lost Creek Wilderness Area is part of the Pike National Forest near Bailey and Fairplay in central Colorado. While it’s a bit off of the beaten path, the combination of bizarre red-rock formations and a delightful mix of granite spires, knobs, and domes is amazing. This nearly 120,000-acre park provides a powerful lure for climbers as well as some of the best rock climbing in Colorado. The breathtaking views are courtesy of three mountain ranges: the Platte River, Kenosha, and Tarryall. All three feature peaks ranging in height from 8,000 feet to 12,400 feet. In addition to climbing, hiking and horseback riding are also popular with park visitors, and there’s a campground for those who want to take their time exploring the area’s many wonders.
Garden of the Gods Park
Not far from Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods is a natural paradise of sunset-colored red sandstone. The area offers a mix of mild and moderate terrain. However, not all of the rocks are designated for climbers, so it’s important to check with the rangers at the visitor and nature center before starting to climb. There are many routes to choose from, and gorgeous scenery abounds. In between climbs, you can take advantage of the paved hiking trails, explore the park by bike, car, or horse, shop in the gift and retail stores, dine in the restaurant, tour the museum, or view “How Did Those Red Rocks Get There?” in the Geo-Trekker Theater. While you’re at it, be sure to take in the famously picturesque view of nearby Pike’s Peak.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Designated a national park in 1999, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is often referred to as Colorado’s Grand Canyon, and it’s a challenging playground for experienced rock climbers. With more than 140 documented routes and other areas still awaiting a first ascent, few would argue that some of the best rock climbing in Colorado can be found here. The walls, which rise more than 2,700 feet above the rushing Gunnison River, are called black because of the deep shadows that cloak them. A geologist’s dream, they feature some of the world’s oldest exposed rock. This Precambrian rock, which is also referred to as basement rock, is almost 2 billion years old. When it comes to climbing, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park suits only skilled, experienced climbers. Others who visit enjoy hiking, fishing, and reveling in the natural beauty. A trio of campgrounds offers space for those ready to brave the canyon’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
While rock climbing is an awesome way to challenge yourself physically, few people can spare the time and energy to travel to an appropriate area, break out the chalk and gear, and scale a rock face every day. Besides, there are some days when unpleasant weather conditions mean climbing is inadvisable. How can you ensure that your body is ready for the challenge when you’re ready to tackle the best rock climbing in Colorado? Whether you are dreaming of your first climbing adventure or you’re an experienced climber working to stay fit between ascents, exercising at home with quality fitness equipment is a great way to get an effective workout.
Whether you’re looking for a treadmill, an exercise bike, an elliptical machine, or strength-training equipment, Fitness Gallery is here to help. We handpick each piece of fitness equipment sold in our stores, so you know that you’re getting high-quality products at a great value. Plus, we have top-of-the-line used equipment for those on a budget. To learn more, please visit our online store, or stop by our showrooms in Denver (CO) or Highlands Ranch (CO). Our knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect equipment for your fitness goals.