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Best Summer Ever! Boulder
Big Thompson Canyon
Box Prarie Boulders and Climbs-Dragon Scales Rock
CO Hwy 7 & Tributaries
Deer Mountain South Side
Devil's Gulch and Dry Gulch Roads
Fall River Road (US 34 West)
Fish Creek Road/Hermit Park
High Drive Boulders
US 36 (between Estes Park & Lyons)
White Pines West
Estes Park Valley has a good variety of granitic, gneiss, and schist crags scattered along the hillsides and in the forests surrounding this small town of approximately 7,500 people located at 7,550 feet above sea level. The crags in this area lies primarily in the 7,000-11,000 foot altitudes. While much of the climbing here is done during the warmer months, it is possible to climb year round with good weather and warm clothing.
Estes Park is the gateway community to the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. This small town can be reached from Denver via US 36 through Boulder & Lyons with an hour plus drive. You can access it from further N of Denver (like Ft. Collins) via US 34. You can access it from the S via the winding CO 7 (Peak to Peak Hwy) from communities like Nederland & Allenspark. Finally, you can access it from the W on US 34 (aka Trail Ridge Rd) during summer months. Once in town, the hillside N of town is the classic Lumpy Ridge. Other various crags can be accessed via smaller roads described in the specific areas.
Eating options are quite varied in this popular town. Summer months may make it challenging to eat expediently. New as of late 2009, Tulum's at the corner of US 36 & 34 may present the best option for inexpensive, satisfying, expedient, $5.75 burritos or fish tacos. Probably at the top of the list is, on the main drag (Elkhorn aka US 36), Ed's Cantina (climber-owned), decorated with climbing photos, serving Tex-Mex food, burgers, and good margaritas. For great pizza, consider House Special or Pesto (?take out) at Sweet Basilico's now near the big slide (it moved). For the economically-minded, consider Safeway's deli or the Mountaineer's (540 S Hwy 7) or The Wapiti Bar & Grill (for smaller appetites). Nepal's Cafe (near the Subway on the River Walk off Elkhorn) is great especially if they have the buffet for the Subcontinent palate. Notchtop (in the Safeway shopping center 457 E Wonderview) has good sandwiches & bakery goods with wireless access for the breakfast & lunch. Smoking Dave's BBQ and Taphouse has tasty BBQ sandwiches & even tasty Kona Pipeline Porter. Estes Park Brewery (off US 36 W of town) has big, cheap burritos M-F for lunch (try to get some salsa). The Bald Pate Inn provides an English style meal along CO Hwy 7 near Lily Lake during summer months. Chicago's Best offers sandwiches, calzones, and pizza. Dunraven's (original on Spur 66 or downtown on Elkhorn) has classic Italian. Mary's Lake Lodge & the Stanley Hotel may appeal to the well-financed palate.
Estes Park Mountain Shop (US 34 near the dam on Lake Estes) has discount prices and decent selection and a small, indoor gym. Trail Ridge Outfitter's is another climbing shop located downtown on Elkhorn near Ed's Cantina with a small gym as well.
You can try checking NOAA.
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Browse More Classics in Estes Park Valley
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Estes Park Valley:
The 37th Cog in Melvin's Wheel aka Melvin's Wheel 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c Trad, 3 pitches Lumpy Ridge : The Bookmark
The Brown Palace 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c Sport, 6 pitches, 450' Mary's Bust Area : Mary's Bust - main buttress
Featured Route For Estes Park Valley
Orange Julius 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a R CO : Lumpy Ridge : The Bookend
This is one of the classic climbs at Lumpy, it has varied spicy climbing the whole way. The first pitch begins at the southeast corner of the Bookend. Look for an obvious corner capped by a large triangular roof 40 feet up. P1. Lieback up the 5.8 dihedral to the bottom of the roof and undercling the entire length of the roof, .10a or b. The holds on this section are all really positive, but the feet suck, make sure to place pro after the crux for the second. Belay at a bolt anchor by an obvious...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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