Discovering The Best Rock Climbing Spots In Colorado

When it comes to pursuing outdoor adventures, Colorado is a treasured destination. Offering an unparalleled backdrop of rugged and majestic mountains, Colorado has secured a spot on the map as one of the finest places for rock climbing in the world. In this article, we will explore Colorado’s most beloved rock climbing spots, detailing their prime features and why they should be on every climbing enthusiast’s bucket list.

Shelf Road

For those seeking to climb amidst uniquely spectacular formations, Shelf Road is a go-to destination. Situated in the eastern part of the state, just an hour’s drive from Colorado Springs, the limestone cliffs boast a staggering 1000+ routes. The area covers three miles of cliffs with varying degrees of difficulties, making it an ideal choice for both novices and expert climbers.

Garden of the Gods

Undeniably one of the most popular climbing spots in Colorado, Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is a must-visit location for both climbers and non-climbers. The towering red rock formations are nearly transcendent, and the park offers an extensive amount of climbing both with and without ropes. With over 1300 routes, the sheer variety and awe-inspiring views make this a destination that should be on every climber’s list.

Eldorado Canyon

For seasoned climbers, Eldorado Canyon is the destination. Located near Boulder, the park is renowned for its technical climbs, with close to 500 different routes graded from moderate to challenging. The park’s picturesque canyon and red rock outcroppings create memorable and challenging climbs.

Independence Pass

If you’re seeking a more secluded and serene climbing experience, head to Independence Pass. Located between Leadville and Aspen, the Pass features unique routes etched into the towering granite walls. While the area is not as well-known for climbing as other places in Colorado, the lack of crowds and picturesque beauty is unbeatable.

Ouray Ice Park

As the name implies, Ouray Ice Park specializes in one type of climbing: ice. Ouray is famous for its ice climbing, with the park providing many different grades of ice to climb up and descend. Situated in the Southwest Colorado Mountains, Ouray remains a bucket-list item for many climbers.

Rocky Mountain National Park

For the more adventurous, Rocky Mountain National Park is the place to go in Colorado. Situated about an hour’s drive from Boulder, Rocky Mountain occupies several peaks with more than 500 rock climbing routes graded from easy to hard. The park offers unparalleled scenic beauty and grand vistas, making the park a much-coveted bucket-list destination for climbers worldwide.

Black Canyon

Finally, northern Colorado’s Black Canyon is a beautiful site for traditional (meaning the climber brings all their protection gear with them) free climbing on large vertical cliffs with intricate routes that require allowing the rope to hang loose in specific sections. The intimidating and monstrous walls of the Black Canyon generate awe and respect among its climbers.


In conclusion, Colorado’s beautiful parks and scenery, paired with diverse and engaging climbing challenges, make it a top destination for climbers worldwide. With its rich and varied climbing history, Colorado’s peaks and routes are an integral part of the world of climbing. From the stunning natural beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park to the unique granite formations of Independence Pass, any climber visiting Colorado will undoubtedly have an unforgettable experience.

Scroll to Top