Lemon has been a nice addition to the climbing scene in Durango. This scenic little canyon lies to the north of Lemon Reservoir and is split by the Florida River. The rock is a mildly coarse and fractured granite that makes for a nice contrast to the sandstone and limestone that characterizes most of the climbing around town. Routes are found on both the East Side and West Side of the river and can require different approaches (depending on water level). Most of the climbs are protected by bolts, but some require gear. Climbing has been going on at Lemon for several years now, but there is still development occurring. New routes are being established on both sides of the canyon. A 70 meter rope can be useful for lowering off some of the longer climbs.
Probably the best season is fall. It is possible to chase the shade, depending on the time of day, which makes climbing at Lemon in the summer months nice as well. During much of the spring and winter the canyon can be wet and dirty from runoff.
From the intersection of CR250 and Florida Road (Bread), follow Florida Road east for about 12 miles. Stay left at a signed intersection and continue on CR243 for about 5 more miles to reach a gate at the north end of Lemon Reservoir. For specific directions on how to approach the cliffs, see East Side and West Side descriptions.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Lemon Reservoir:
This is one of the best climbs in Durango that I have ever been on. The climb starts up a slab. At the top of the slab, the climb turns into a slightly overhanging wall. The climber goes through a few steep, overhanging moves, to a confusing roof. Climb past the roof and climb the bolts that are in the rightward direction to the top. ...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Does anyone have information on the two projects on the main face of the East Side. One traverse hard right off of Brady's Route and follows a prominent, arching seam. The other climbs straight up off the ledge directly above Dirt Track to the same anchor. Has anyone been trying these, or has either been redpointed? The one off the ledge has an old tag that is sun-bleached white making me think it is someone's very old (maybe abandoned) project.
The bolts leading right from Brady's were installed by Jared Ogden a few years ago. I don't know how much work they put into climbing it though, or much else for that matter. Looks pretty hard.
The other line of bolts is definitely a great line. Jim Symans bolted it back in the Lemon heyday. I have toyed with it, really hard for sure, maybe 13+ or so. You should work on those, get 'em done. I'll give you a belay, man.
It should be known that this area's warm-ups are HORRIBLY sandbagged. Even the guidebook puts the grades of warm-ups 1, 2, and 3 well above the suggested grades on here. Also, the bolting on the first three routes could be considered dangerous. A blown clip on any of these at the third bolt would most likely result in a groundfall. The climbing at this area is fun and interesting, but I do not recommend following the written guides on here as they may put you in dangerous territory.
Todd, you say not to use hostility yet you threaten some poor unfortunate soul with a bb gun. Is that what you do in Ignacio, hunt for the greatest game? Anyway, we top-roped and free-soloed most of the easy routes decades ago making those who equipped the routes here the actual perpetrators. Hunt and sodomize, but witch hunts are ignorant and outlandish.