Climb Eldorado Canyon State Park with The Mountain Guides Colorado. Located at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, just minutes away from Denver and Boulder offering world-class climbing.
Known as “Eldo” by the locals, the towering sandstone cliffs of Eldorado Canyon State Park provide some of the most unique traditional climbing in the entire country. Eldorado Canyon also has a deep root in climbing history with legends like Layton Kor who pioneered these walls decades ago paving the way for modern day “trad” climbing. With over 600 routes and walls up to 700 feet high wall, Eldo offers something for every climber.
Eldorado Canyon has slabs, thin face, cracks, corners, and big overhangs, mostly on beautiful, bullet-hard sandstone. With approaches between as little as a minute to as long as no more than an hour, Eldo has not only some of the best climbing in the country, but the most accessible. The setting is dramatic and inspiring, surrounding the climber with steep, complex cliffs towering high above South Boulder Creek.
Our full day itinerary offers something for everyone. It includes everything from climbing single pitch routes to multi-pitch routes up to 700 feet, for up to 8 hours of climbing. Routes are chosen based on your ability and goals. No prior experience required. Some multi pitch routes require a full day to complete.
Swanson Arete: 5.6, 5 pitches: One of the best moderate routes in Eldorado Canyon Swansons Arete is a perfect route for the budding multi pitch climber. Offering a variety of climbing styles from chimney features to knife edge aretes, Swansons will provide a memorable Eldo outing.
Rewritten: 5.7-5.8, 6 pitches: Possibly the most popular route on all of Redgarden Wall, if not the entire canyon, Rewritten offers the quintessential Eldo outing. Every pitch has something memorable from the famous exposed rewritten traverse to the beautiful knife like Rebauffat’s Arete.
Gambit: 5.8, 5 pitches: High atop the highest point in all of Eldorado Canyon sits Shirt Tail Peak. Gambit follows next to the peaks aesthetic arete towards the summit offering exposed and sustained crack and face climbing in a more alpine setting. Gambit is a great route not only for its climbing, but for its objective based motivation to reach the canyons highest views.
Ruper: 5.8+, 7 pitches: Yet another Eldo classic, Ruper provides a variety of climbing techniques. Techniql footwork to wide crack technique. Once the upper reeaches of Regardens wall has been reached, one can get excited for the famous Ruper traverse. Ruper embodies the beaty of Eldo style climbing.
The Yellow Spur: 5.9+-5.10, 6 pitches: For those looking to experience Eldo’s famous Redgarden Wall, Yellow Spur offers a little more spice than some of the other popular moderate routes in the area. From the burly start on pitch one to the famous “piton ladder” on pitch 5, Yellow Spur provides a more difficult challenge for the experienced multi pitch climber.
For those looking for a morning warm-up or after-work climb, we offer half day climbing trips in Eldorado Canyon. Trips run for 4 hours with flexible meeting times throughout the day. Half day itineraries include top-rope climbing on single-pitch climbs or quick multi pitch routes in areas like the Bastille and Wind Tower.
Calypso to Reggae: 5.6-5.8, 3 pitches: Possibly the most famous route on all of the Wind Tower is Calypso. Providing the quintessential Eldo experience, Calypso requires thoughtful movement through cracks and on its face. Don’t be fooled by the 5.6 rating, Calypso packs a punch. Link it into the popular Reggae, 5.8 for some extra spice.
Wind Ridge: 5.7, 4 pitches: Wind Ridge is perhaps the perfect introduction to multi pitch climbing. Thoughtful climbing takes one through crack climbing to tricky overhanging holds to the summit of the famous Wind Tower.
The Bastille Crack: 5.8, 5 pitches: 100-feet from the parking lot, this is truly a sub 60 second walk to one of the most visible, historic, and popular routes in not only Eldo, but all of Colorado! Boasting some of the best crack climbing in the canyon, the Bastille Crack exemplifies what Eldo has to offer.
West Ridge: The West Ridge has hundreds of routes to choose from. Segmented into 3 sections, lower, middle, and upper, West Ridge has some of the most condensed single pitch routes in the canyon. From classic moderates like Duh Dihedral 5.6, 1 pitch and Chianti 5.8, 2 pitches to tougher routes like Chockstone 5.10a, 1 pitch and Break on Through 5.10b, 2 pitches. West Ridge also offers some of the best multi pitch routes in the canyon like Long John Wall 5.8, 4 pitches and Handcracker Direct 5.10a, 4 pitches.
For your safety and comfort, bring synthetic and or natural fiber clothing for insulation. Cotton is NOT recommended and down must be kept dry. Clothing should be able to layer without encumbering your movement.
Objective Dependent – Scarpa footwear is available at Jackson Hole Mountain Guides for rent. JHMG also carries a selection of rock shoes for rent.
- Sticky Rubber Approach Shoes: required for all mid-summer climbs. (mid-July through Sept) – Guide Pick: Scarpa Crux or Scarpa Kalipe (Available for rent)
- Mountain Boots: Trips before July 15, require a crampon compatible mountain boot – Guide Pick: Scarpa Zodiac Tech (Available for rent)
- Rock Shoes for technical rock routes (Available for rent)
- Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Top
- Synthetic/ Wool Sun Hoody – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Ghee Hoody
- Synthetic T-shirt
- Insulating Jacket: lightweight fleece or synthetic
- Soft Shell: fleece or pile
- Rain Jacket: waterproof/breathable with hood.
- Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Bottom
- Hiking Shorts
- Synthetic Climbing Pant
- Rain Pant
- Hat: lightweight to medium weight warm hat – sleek enough to be worn under a helmet
- Gloves: one lightweight to medium weight pair – synthetic or fleece material. If snow route, shell also recommended.
On the Trail
- Back Pack: internal frame 30 Liter capacity (2000 cu in)
- Water Bottles (2-3 L/Qt.) Or H2O Hydration system
- Dark Sunglasses
- Extra Pair Contact Lens
- Sun Hat or visor
- Sunscreen (35+SPF)
- Lip Balm
- Insect Repellent (until early August)
- Headlamp, Fresh batteries
- First Aid: minimal – blister care, analgesic, etc.
- Lunch and Snacks
- Trekking Poles
Cold Weather Considerations:
Early and late season temperatures require warmer clothing. You may consider additional clothing if you get cold easily or if it is unusually cold or windy.
- Down Jacket
- Medium weight long underwear
**Jackson Hole Mountain Guides supplies all the rock climbing gear, harnesses, helmets, locking carabiners & belay/rappel devices, crampons, and ice axes. However, you are welcome to bring your own equipment. Please coordinate with our office for gear checks. Backpacks, rock shoes, and boots can all be rented & purchased in our Jackson office.
TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR BOULDER
Boulder is located 25 miles northwest of Denver, and about 43 miles from Denver International Airport. Meeting locations vary depending on the time of year and the class/trip, your guide will provide you with this information. There are plenty of accommodations and amenities located in Boulder, however camping is not readily available. If you have any additional questions your Colorado climbing adventure, please contact our call (303) 532-5184.
Boulder is located 25 miles northwest of Denver, and about 43 miles from Denver International Airport. There are two main highway routes to Boulder: a northern toll route (E-470) – a few minutes quicker and more scenic; and a toll-free southern route using Peña Blvd and US-36. While often referred to as DIA by locals, the FAA and IATA identifier is DEN. Car rentals, shuttles, taxis, charters/limousines, and public transportation (RTD SkyRide, “Skyride AB” route) are all available from the airport. Nearly every rental company is represented at DIA. Although there are peak periods that affect drive time, driving to Boulder is recommended because it provides opportunities to see many more nearby attractions during your stay.
If driving to Boulder from another location, there are numerous routes.
Following are general suggestions using Google Maps:
From the west, going through the mountains on I-70, it’s usually best to head north through Golden on CO-93.
From the north, if driving I-25, taking exit 240 for CO-119 W is preferred.
From eastern Colorado, on I-70, follow I-70 W, to I-270 W, to US-36 W; at Denver rush hour, E-470 N may be faster.
From southern Colorado, if driving I-25, take I-25 N to US-36W
Please note that JHMG guides cannot provide transportation. Please arrange independent transportation to and from JHMG activities. Once in Boulder, Boulder Yellow Cab is one option to get to and from the trailheads and meet points. Make sure to confirm drop-off and pick-up times with the dispatcher.
Numerous options exist for lodging around Boulder. Following are some examples from the many options available.
Lower cost accommodations range from choices like the Boulder International Hostel near campus and the Foot of the Mountain Motel, located at the mouth of Boulder Canyon about one mile from the Dome climbing area and one mile from Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall via the Boulder Creek Bike Path.
More intimate and upscale lodging exists, including the centrally located Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast and The Bradley Boulder Inn, situated just off Pearl St with a variety of nearby dining options. The St Julian Hotel & Spa is an ultramodern luxury hotel, while the hundred year-old Hotel Boulderado shows classic Victorian and Wild West character.
An attractive option for those climbing in the Chautauqua area of the Flatirons (e.g. 1st Flatiron, 3rd Flatiron, Gregory Canyon Amphitheater) is to stay in one of the 60 Chautauqua Cottages. You can walk to and from many of the Flatirons most popular climbing objectives. These cottages are located in the Chautauqua Park, a National Historic Landmark, at the foot of the Flatirons. Numerous chain Motels and Hotels are located around Boulder. For example, the Boulder Marriott, the Boulder Creek Quality Inn, the Best Western Golden Buff, and the Boulder University Inn.
While Boulder has plentiful hotel rooms, there is no camping readily available anywhere near the city. Numerous options are available in US Forest Service campgrounds near Nederland. However, the distance from the climbing areas (45min to more than an hour) suggests that these are best used as single overnight stays before or after climbing with JHMG.
MEETING TIME & PLACE
Our standard meet time for full day climbs and classes is 8:00am. However, weather conditions and route aspect commonly suggest alternate meet times. Please consult with our office for further detail regarding your specific class or objective. Our meeting locations vary depending on the class or climb. Following is a short list of possible meeting places:
Chautauqua Park – first lot after entering the park at Grant Place and Baseline Road
The Dome/Elephant – large lot on left about 1 mile into Boulder Canyon
Eldorado Canyon State Park – large lot located just beyond the entrance kiosk
WEATHER & CLIMATE
Conditions can be favorable for climbing at nearly any point during the year, but for most objectives, better climbing conditions occur in spring, summer, and autumn. Spring has a higher likelihood of precipitation. Summer afternoon temperatures can climb into the 90’s and isolated afternoon thunderstorms are common. In the autumn, climbers tend to find the most reliable conditions. Winter has many spells of great climbing weather, but it is difficult to plan in advance, as the Front Range can also receive full Rocky Mountain snowstorms and cold fronts. Because cliffs are dramatically affected by sun and wind exposure (or lack thereof), please refer to your JHMG guide for route or area recommendations. Suggestions are to provide our guests with the most enjoyable experience.
During summer months, even if the day dawns clear, all climbers should pack a rain jacket for the occasional surprise afternoon thundershower. Synthetic clothing is strongly advised at many times of the year, and is almost always preferable to cotton. Comfort levels can vary quite a bit depending on where you are climbing within a given climbing area, so please ask us for our clothing recommendations based on your planned climb/class and if you are unfamiliar with the area. It is common for us to suggest an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.VIEW PDF
Talk To Us
Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with JHMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.