Colorado’s Favorite Rock Climbing Areas

photo credit: Meridith Winkelmeyer

Colorado offers some of the best and versatile climbing in the country. For those seeking limestone cracks or granite slabs, single sport lines or long multi pitches, there are many climbing areas likely to suit your needs. The following are some of our favorite climbing areas in no particular order.

The Monastery
Find superb granite sport climbing just twenty minutes from Estes Park at the Monastery, where more than one hundred bolt protected sport climbs range from 5.6 to 5.14. Monastery’s location is considered remote, making it a well-kept secret… for now.

Independence Pass
Independence pass, between Twin Lakes and Aspen, is considered one of Colorado’s most scenic drives. As a climbing area, Independence Pass offers short approaches and an assortment of sport, multi-grade, and multi-pitch options. There’s great bouldering as well for climbers who want to chill in the stellar scenery

Rifle Mountain Park
Climbers from all over the world come to challenge their skills at Rifle Mountain Park, where more than 400 established climbs include some of the most difficult in the country. Perhaps the best climbing in Western Colorado, Rifle Mountain Park offers climbs for the novice to the professional.

Garden of the Gods
Located in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is not only convenient, it’s also made of red sandstone spires with Pikes Peak in the background, making for a beautiful climbing experience. The spires offer easy and difficult routes and can accommodate a variety of skill levels.

Shelf Road
Shelf Road area in Canon City is an easy drive from Colorado Springs. With large campgrounds and short hikes to dozens of bolted routes, Shelf Road is very popular with Colorado climbers. Canon City boasts mild winters, making year-round climbing possible. For climbers looking to get outside when other regions still have snow, Shelf Road is the place to go.

photo credit: Meridith Winkelmeyer

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About our extraordinary writer: Lindsay Diamond is a novelist and freelance writer living in the mountains of central Colorado. Visit to learn more.