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High Wire Crag

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
5th of July 
Ace in the Hole 
Contrarian, The 
Crack Swindler 
Cracker Jack 
Deuces Wild 
Everyday Struggle 
Full House 
Ghetto Activity 
Head Up Dirty 
Hip at the Lip 
Idiot Savant 
Idiot's Roof 
Indirect Savant 
Life After Death 
Machine Gun Funk 
Nickels and Dimes 
Passing Lane 
People's Choice 
Poker Face 
Pony Up 
Power Play 
Road Kill 
Road Rash Roof 
Road Warrior 
Slot Machine 
Stone Cold Moderate 
Via Comatose Amigo 
Wild Card 

High Wire Crag 

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Location: 39.7378, -105.3196 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 142,754
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Michael Komarnitsky on Jan 1, 2001
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You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area Add Route | Add Photo | Add Comment | Add Event
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BETA PHOTO: Better pic of where not to park and why.


This is a nice rock, easily seen from the road. There are a number of medium difficulty sport climbs well protected here. People's Choice always seems to have people on it, as well as the routes on the far left side. It is a great place for beginner sport leaders.

Note, this has become popular with large group outings.

Getting There 

Get on US 6 from Golden, going West. High Wire Crag is directly above east entrance to Tunnel 2, which is 4.9 miles from the FIRST TUNNEL. Park before the bridge, on either side. Be careful - the road shoulders are small, and there are always buses full of old people on their way up to Blackhawk. Walk across the bridge on the south side (a little sketchy), and walk south up the hill following the trail up to the rock. There is a bit of exposed 3rd to 4th class which has injured the less than wary.

To approach the right side of the crag, you ascend a gully off the north side of the road and cut back to these climbs.


The "NO PARKING ZONE" is on the SOUTH side of the road. The fine is at least $22. It has been that way since before the crushed car, ~2006. (Now that was an amazing photo!)

Parking is permitted on the NORTH side of the road, the side nearest the creek a few hundred yards to the east.


A. Pony Up, 8, 1p, 80', bolts.
B. Poker Face, 8 or 9, 1p, 80', bolts.
C. Arete, 9, 1p, 80', TR.
D. Stone Cold Moderate, 7, 1p, 85', gear or bolts.
E. 5th of July, 9+, 1p, 85', bolts.
F. Ace in the Hole, 10-, 1p, 85', bolts.
G. Crack Swindler, 6-8, 1p, 85', gear or TR.
H. Cracker Jack, 9, 1p, 80', gear or bolts.
IH. Bypass, 10, 1p, 80', bolts.
JH. Overpass, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts
KH. Passing Lane, 9 PG-13, 1p, 85', bolts.
KL. The Contrarian, 9-, 1p, 60', bolt & gear.
L. Deuces Wild, 10-, 2p, 135', bolts.
M. Via Comatose Amigo, 10, 1p, 125', bolts.
N. Jackpot, 10+ to 12, 1p, 110', bolts.
O. Road Rash Roof, 12-, 1p, 100', bolts.
P. Road Warrior, 12+, 1-2p, 130', bolts.
Q. Road Kill, 12-, 3p, 200', bolts.
R. In Between Days, 10, 1p, 60', TR.
S. People's Choice, 10+, 1-4p, 210', bolts.
T. Nickels and Dimes, 8+, 2p, 110', bolts & gear.
U. Slot Machine, 11+/12-, 1p, 85', bolts, (left of P3 of S).
V. Full House, 11+ or 12, 1p, bolts (left of P3 of S).
WX. Bouncer, 11+, 1p, bolts, (left of P3 of S).
X. Wild Card, 12, 1p, bolts (left of P3 of S).

Right of Tunnel (different approach)

Y. Power Play, 12 PG-13, 1p, 140', bolts.
ZY. Hip at the Lip, 12-, 1p, 140', bolts.
AA. Ghetto Activity, 10, 1p, 40', bolts.
BB. Head Up Dirty, 12+, 1p, 100', bolts.
above BB. Project, 1p, bolts.
CC1. Idiot's Roof, 11, 1p, 60', gear.
CC2. Machine Gun Funk, 13-, 1p, 80', bolts.
above CC. Everyday Struggle, 10+, 1p, 40', bolts.
DDEE. Indirect Savant, 12, 1p, 60', bolts.
EE. Idiot Savant, 11 or 12-, 1p, 60', bolts.
FF. Notorious, 13-, 1p, 40', bolts.
GG. Life After Death, 13, 1p, 80', bolts.

34 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',22],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for High Wire Crag:
Poker Face   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   
Nickels and Dimes   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Cracker Jack   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
5th of July   5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Ace in the Hole   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Deuces Wild   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 145'   
Via Comatose Amigo   5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 125'   
People's Choice   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Sport, 4 pitches   
Idiot's Roof   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Slot Machine   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
Overpass   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   
Wild Card   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Road Rash Roof   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Road Kill   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 3 pitches   
Indirect Savant   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Head Up Dirty   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Road Warrior   5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
Notorious   5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Machine Gun Funk   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Life After Death   5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Classics in High Wire Crag

Featured Route For High Wire Crag
Second pitch of Road Kill.

Road Kill 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a  CO : Golden : ... : High Wire Crag
Get ready for some variety!Slab climbing leads to the first difficult move, an 11c mantle problem to gain the ledge above the first big roof. Rest well and then launch into the overhung crux slopefest. Actually, there are some good jugs on this section, although the sequence is a little devious. Route finding on a sport route, who would have thought! Finish by going straight up the final smooth bulge (11b), or wimp out and escape to the right, although the hard part is over.This is a great route...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of High Wire Crag Slideshow Add Photo
The crag, from the road.
BETA PHOTO: The crag, from the road.
This is a very popular area. <br /> <br />Photo: Dave Fiorucci
This is a very popular area.

Photo: Dave Fiorucci
Pony Up & Poker Face on the face to the left of the bolts.  The bolted lines are Stone Cold Moderate, 5th of July, and Ace in the Hole (L=>R).
BETA PHOTO: Pony Up & Poker Face on the face to the left of th...
For all you nitwits that keep parking in the "No Parking" area under Evil, this could be you!
BETA PHOTO: For all you nitwits that keep parking in the "No P...
This is an updated topo of High Wire Right.  More routes are going in now, so I will update in the next week or two.
BETA PHOTO: This is an updated topo of High Wire Right. More ...
View of Clear Creek and the road.
View of Clear Creek and the road.
Drive slowly through the canyon, and watch out for the drivers who do NOT drive slowly!  Walk on the inside of turns and behind guard rails if possible.
BETA PHOTO: Drive slowly through the canyon, and watch out for...
Worn hardware removed by Bruce Hildenbrand and Dale Haas in October 2013.  This hardware was replaced by new quicklinks, chain, and rap rings courtesy of the American Safe Climbing Association (www.safeclimbing.org).  They appreciate your support.
Worn hardware removed by Bruce Hildenbrand and Dal...
Comments on High Wire Crag Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 26, 2012
By Anonymous Coward
May 1, 2002

The climb 2 bolted routes left of Peoples' Choice is harder than 5.7, like it says in the guidebook! More like 5.9 at the first bolt! The second pitch of Peoples' Choice is more like 5.6 than 5.8. The new line right of Peoples' is 5.10a or so if you don't grab the big layback flake to the right, 5.8 or so if you do.

By Jason Carter
From: Monument, CO
Jun 30, 2002

Any info on the route just to the right of People's Choice would be appreciated. How new is it? Is it named? It is a good line with great crimpers and edges up the face and a mental challenge to not go for the flake!!

By Clare Shemeta
Apr 13, 2003

We were up there climbing, and did the three bolt climb a few over from Nickels and Dimes (great route! Think 10a up the face, avoiding the flake?). Someone with a book told us it was 5.7, but we found the direct start to the first bolt quite a bit harder: skimpy hands, mininal feet, balancy. Maybe 5.9? I checked all the routes in here and could not find a 3 bolt one that goes up to the little ramp... any ideas? What is the climb, and what's the real rating?

By Chris Carr
Apr 15, 2003


The route that you were most likely on based on your description is indeed a 5.7 to the ramp. It is the first pitch to "Road Warrior" (5.13a). The 5.7 ends at a two bolt stance on the ledge. Hope that helps!

By Anonymous Coward
May 5, 2003

Anyone know what the 13-bolt line just to the R of Via Comatose Amigo and L of Road Rash Roof is? It felt like 10+ with the traversing moves L of 8/9th bolts or a 12 direct line between 8/9th bolts.

By Anonymous Coward
May 6, 2004

I know this sounds kinda odd, but i think i left my climbing shoes (boreal pyros resoled in C4) at the high wire crag just in front of the queen's slab area... if anyone has happened to find them email me at tomalari17@hotmail.com and i will be forever thankful

By Bruce Hildenbrand
Jun 29, 2004

On 6/23/04 Dal Haas and I performed the following anchor upgrades on this crag.

-added 4 quick links to the top anchor of Deuces Wild-reversed the quick link anchor (5/16" into bolt, 3/8" to rope) on Cracker Jack-replaced the smash (lap) links with quick links on Ace in the Hole-replaced the smash links with quick links on 5th of July-replaced the smash links with quick links on Stone Cold Moderate-replaced the smash links and quick links with new quick links and rappel rings on Poker Face

This work was supported by the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA). Visit their website at www.safeclimbing.org, they appreciate your support.

By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Mar 20, 2008

I recovered a few draws this evening (3/20) from High Wire Crag.

I will be very happy to return them to the owner.

By Chris C.
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 22, 2008

I am probably the last to find out, but Colorado State Patrol is ticketing all cars that park on the SOUTH (thanks for the correction, Casey) side of the road (on the left if you're heading uphill) right next to the bridge, closest to the crag. The signs are there, but they are planted facing the road, so if you're coming downhill early in the morning and pull off to the right, you can miss them. $22 mandatory, no sob stories. Got mine Sunday, July 20. I can understand, though, because the city got sued when a car got crushed by a big boulder, according to the officer I chatted with. Just FYI.

By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Jul 22, 2008

The "NO PARKING ZONE" is on the SOUTH side of the road. It has been that way since before the crushed car, about 2 years ago.

Parking is permitted on the NORTH side of the road, the side nearest the creek.

By B.P.
Aug 22, 2008

Someone left some double shoulder length runners and some nylon webbing by Overpass yesterday (Aug. 21). I picked them up, and would be happy to return them to the right owner. Just contact me through this post

By Jack Crockett
Sep 18, 2008

I left some Evolv climbing shoes up here two days ago and haven't realized until now. If anyone found them, it would be cool to know.


By Ralph Kolva
From: Evergreen, CO
Nov 9, 2008

Found a pair of well used Mojave slippers on Friday, November 7, 2008. TheCrankyMonkey at gmail dot com.

By Robbie Flick
From: Denver, CO
Apr 16, 2011

Found a helmet at the base of 5th of July. Shoot me an email with description if it's yours. robbie.flick[at]gmail.com

By MilkyTech
Aug 29, 2011

This area is popular for good reason. Almost all of the climbs here are fun. Early cruxes gets the hard stuff out of the way while your arms are fresh. Lots of varied moves and holds throughout an individual climb. Great starter 5.10s and great starter roof climbs.

By Michael Slater
From: Denver
Mar 26, 2012

Hey, I left an auto locking carabiner and a Mammut Smart belay device there yesterday. I think someone's German Sheppard was napping on my gear and I got most of it, but the gear I left must have been completely under the dog. Please let me know if you found it and I'll arrange to pick it up or have it sent back. Thanks!

By kzittle
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 26, 2012

Hiked up yesterday to find a top rope city set up! Went over to Highlander and and had it all to ourselves :)