Caņon City, is located at the mouth of the Royal Gorge in the foothills of the Rockies, 100 miles from Denver, 45 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, and 35 miles west of Pueblo. The Arkansas River extends the entire 60-mile length of Fremont County and flows through the City of Canon City. The Canon City metropolitan area has a total population in excess of 30,000.
Sheltered in a beautiful valley, Caņon City, elev. 5,343 feet, features a mild and hospitable climate year round. Canon City is said to be in the banana belt of Colorado, seeing very few days of extreme weather each year. The warm days are cooled by temperate evenings. Snowfall is usually light and quickly melts under the warm Colorado sunshine that prevails over 325 days a year. Humidity remains comfortably low throughout the year. "Indian Summer" reaches long into the fall, with warm, sunny days and cool, pleasant nighttime temperatures.
With all this going for it, you can understand why Shelf Road is one of the most popular Winter, Fall and Spring sport climbing destinations not only in Colorado but the country.
Also, one of the main sources of economy for the town is the penitentiary systems here. Beware of picking up hitchhikers!
The Royal Gorge has interesting potential (unclear access issues) with rock walls to 1000 feet and ice drips that drop to the river. At one point, there was a 1000 foot bolted 5.10 created for a specific competition.
Caņon City is located on US 50 west of Pueblo, Colorado, approximately 50 miles from Pueblo, 45 miles from Colorado Springs (1h) and 115 miles from Denver (2h).
Located on Rt. 50 by Burger King, right at the turnoff to Shelf Road. It's a nice, clean motel, with refrigerators in the rooms, HBO on TV, and an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna. In March, rates were $65/night for a room with 2 queen beds ($60 for AAA members).
There are lots of other motels in town (Super 8, Best Western, etc.)
Beer: You can buy beer and wine at Gateway Liquors located at, 3055 E US Highway 50 #A. They are situated across from Wal-Mart, about 2 blocks from the Budget Host Motel.
Breakfast places: Try the Waffle Wagon, a local place that's only open for breakfast and lunch. They are at 1310 Royal Gorge Blvd (US 50). Also the Bufmack Cafe, at 325 Main Street. Both places are decent, local breakfast places with good prices for egg, pancake, and waffle breakfasts. Just the sort of thing to stock up on before heading to Shelf Road and a day of pulling pockets!
Try the Wild West Steak House, at 3245 E US 50. They have good beer on tap, and free salted peanuts in the shell in a metal bucket; you throw the shells on the floor. Good for steak, prime rib, ribs, shrimp dishes. Has a salad bar.
Pizza Madness has good pizza, but it is limited for beer. Domino's Pizza is always an option as well.
There are good Mexican (El Caporal) and Italian (Merlino's Belvedere) restaurants in town. See the new Shelf Road guidebook for info.
Head Cheese lies to the right of the Crack of Dawn (the 10b bolted crack). It's a steep route for Shelf Road on mostly good pockets and crimpers. Facing mostly north, it doesn't get much sun. Trundle up 20 feet to the first bolt. The rock seems solid here but it's a little spooky soloing this far on Shelf Road rock. Move through two steep roof systems with a fairly good rest in between. There are 2 very closely spaced bolts midway up the route. I heard that a clipping jug fel...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
After living here five years, finally got to go climbing on the Contest Wall. Thank you Mike and Noah for letting a 48 year old grandma see she still has rock in her blood. Try Big Daddys on 50 for breakfast and Good Thyme Cafe on main and 5th, for great vegan. Visit me at Celtic Chrysalis (5th and Macon) if you're around. I gotta go out there again soon. That last climb I whiffed on is haunting me. lol
I don't know if that place west of Cotopaxi has a name. We always call it "the place near Cotopaxi". I believe these routes were put up by the rafting outfitter nearby called Rock and Row. They offer climbing/rafting trips and this little area is their climbing place. I believe there are 4-5 routes from the 5.9 to 5.10+ range. Literally right off US Hwy 50, this is a convenient place to do some quick climbs.
Bouldering near Canon...There are the boulders at Bootlegger, west up US Hwy 50. They are listed here under "Arkansas River Boulders". Also, heading out to Shelf, before the road crosses 4-Mile Creek, you'll see a little turn out on the left. Park here and walk across the road and up a little hill, there is a nice sized boulder near the top with a few good problems on it.
28 Sept 2013: May have dropped my wedding ring (white gold with 5 sapphires) and another ring (titanium with silver inlay) out the Trail to Menses Prow. Any booty finders, please contact me so I can get out of the doghouse.