Maps and Overview
It is important to be familiar with technical rock climbing regulations before beginning a climb. While technical climbs do not require registration, it is your responsibility to make sure someone reports your absence if you happen to be overdue.
The Park closes at sunset, no night climbing is permitted.
Bolts, pitons, and other fixed gear are not maintained by the Park.
A valid State Parks pass is required to enter the Park every day. Passes may be purchased at the self-service station at the east end of the park or at the Visitor Center at the west end of the Park.
Commercial use (climbing instruction, photography, filming, etc.) requires a permit. Call 303-494-3943.
Warning - Rock Climbing is Dangerous! In case of serious injury call 911 and report the incident to Park staff at the entrance station or visitor center (telephone 303-494-3943).
Substantial risk of serious injury or death exists. Risks include, but are not limited to, falling, falling rock and other objects, equipment failure, human error, adverse weather, slippery surfaces, and negligence of other users. Colorado Parks and Wildlife does NOT maintain fixed anchors or other aspects of climbing routes. Loose rock, unreliable fixed anchors, and other hazards can exist on any route. Climb at your own risk.
The Park and the Action Committee for Eldorado
make no representations or warranties regarding the safety, reliability, or suitability for use of any fixed anchors or other hardware currently existing or installed in the future.
Climbers, Reading this Could Save Your Life:
Always have someone tied-in to each end of the rope or tie a knot in the free end of the rope. Serious falls have occurred while top-roping or lowering a climber when the free-end of the rope pulled through the belay device.
Always double-check yourself and your partner (harness buckle double-backed, tie-in knot, belay rigging and technique, and rappel set-up).
Always formulate a plan of action that everyone in the climbing party understands. For example, after leading a pitch, will the leader lower, rappel, or belay from above?
Always inform someone of your climbing plans.
Don’t rappel off the ends of your rope. Always make sure the ends are even with knots tied at each end.
Beware of loose rock. Avoid standing or climbing beneath others. Check your holds. Warn others if you dislodge rocks.
Fixed gear may be unreliable. Use fixed gear at your own risk and back it up when possible.
Eldorado is a traditional climbing area, not a sport climbing area. Fundamental gear placement skills are mandatory.
Never have only one piece of protection between you and a catastrophic fall.
The roaring creek and high winds can make communication difficult. Be prepared.
The sun sets sooner than you think. Allow adequate time for your climb and descent. Bring a headlamp, extra clothes, etc. Be prepared.
The weather can change in an instant. Severe thunderstorms, high winds, freezing temperatures and snowstorms can sweep in without notice.
A helmet can save your life.
Get professional instruction.
REMEMBER, YOU ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SAFETY.
Route Condition Reports
Eldorado Canyon State Park will post notice when informed of new and potentially more dangerous conditions along climbing routes. To understand the nuance of this policy, it first must be understood that rock climbing is dangerous. Loose rock, suspect/difficult protection placements, and many other objective and subjective hazards have historically been part of the rock climbing experience. Although this policy provides a mechanism for climbers to report and be informed of potentially hazardous conditions along climbing routes, it is primarily intended to help document and inform climbers about conditions along a rock climbing route that have changed since the first ascent or from ascents in recent years. This could include flakes and blocks of rock that have loosened over time, dying trees that serve as rappel anchors, fixed hardware that is outdated or deteriorating, etc. Such conditions that are reported to the Park will be posted at trailheads.
Key Regulations Affecting Climbers
- The placement or removal of fixed climbing hardware requires a permit.
- Chipping, gluing, manufacturing holds and removal of vegetation is prohibited.
- Be aware of and abide by all posted seasonal raptor closures.
- The Park closes at dusk. Plan accordingly.
- Pets must be leashed and under control at all times everywhere in the park, including along access to climbing areas and at climbing staging areas. Pets can’t be left leashed and unattended at the base of climbs. If one climber is belaying from the ground with a leashed dog nearby, the dog may be considered under control. If both climbers have left the ground or immediate area, the dog will not be considered under control. Pets can’t be left unattended in vehicles.
- Commercial use (photography, filming, climbing instruction/guiding, etc.) requires a permit.
Make a conscious decision to minimize your impact every time you climb.
- Use care to stay on hiking and climbing access trails to minimize erosion. Do not short-cut trail switchbacks.
- Use the park's restroom facilities whenever possible. If this is not possible, it is your responsibility to be prepared with Waste Alleviation and Gelling (WAG) bags to pack out human waste or bury human waste and pack out toilet paper. If you must, bury feces and paper in an 8" deep hole and at least 200 feet from water runoff areas and trails.
- If slings must be left in place to facilitate a rappel, use slings with earth-toned colors.
- Use chalk sparingly. Brush it off when possible.
- Climbing routes are available on a first come, first served basis.
- Bring a plastic bag. Pack out all of your empty bottles, wrappers and cigarette butts. Pack out all trash - yours and others’.
- Be prepared to pick up and dispose of pet waste promptly (don’t leave waste-bags trailside). This is required by regulation at developed areas such as picnic areas.
- Pets must be kept on a six foot leash and under control at all times. Pets may not be left at the base of multi-pitch climbs! Don't allow pets on loose slopes where scrambling causes erosion and rock slides.
Eldorado Canyon is noted for multi-pitch, traditionally protected, sandstone rock climbs on cliffs up to seven hundred feet high. Routes typically involve intricate and devious face climbing, interspersed with dihedrals and discontinuous, irregular cracks, where traditional removable gear placement skills are mandatory. A standard rack consists of an array of nuts and cams, from small RP’s up to about four inch cams, along with a dozen or more quick draws and longer slings.
Only a few bolted sport routes (starting at 5.11d) can be found in the canyon. Top roping opportunities exist but are somewhat limited and generally require gear to rig. Supremacy rock has the most accessible top roping and a few of the routes (5.0 – 5.5) have bolted anchors.
Fixed Hardware Process
Climbers wanting to replace bolts with bolts in the same or close to the same location can contact the Park directly (303-494-3943) to inquire about obtaining a permit.
Climbers wanting to remove fixed hardware, replace pitons with either pitons or bolts, relocate bolts or pitons, or place new bolts, must first apply with the Action Committee for Eldorado (ACE) at www.aceeldo.org
. ACE is a nonprofit group that assists Eldorado Canyon State Park management with rock climbing management. ACE reviews applications and makes recommendations to park management to approve or deny the applications.
Top Roping and Sport Climbing
Top ropes and exclusively bolted leads are rare in Eldorado. Eldorado sport routes start at 5.11. Top ropes can be set on the north face of Supremacy Rock (5.6 - 5.9). The south side has a 5.11 crack that can be top roped. Other top ropes include: Kloof Alcove routes (5.11 - 5.12); Breakfast of Champions (5.11) at the lower west side of Redgarden Wall; the lower east side of Redgarden Wall to the right of The Bulge (5.9 - 5.11); and NIC to Over and Out on Rincon Wall (5.6 - 5. 10). Several of these routes can be top roped from trees with long slings; others require gear for anchors. The first pitch of March of Dimes (Bastille) can also be top roped from fixed anchors.
A nearby top rope alternative is the Brick Wall (5.9 - 5.11), four miles up Boulder Canyon. Sport climbing (5.7 - 5.12) can be found at Golden Cliffs on North Table Mountain, 18 miles south on Highway 93 off First Street in Golden. For more information consult one of the area's many guidebooks available for sale at the Visitor Center or in local climbing shops.
The Action Committee for Eldorado (ACE)
is committed to protecting Eldorado Canyon State Park and promoting environmentally responsible climbing. ACE is a non-profit corporation comprised of climbers from local and national climbing organizations as well as other volunteers.