This crag has dark granite (I think), and it is approximately 65' high and the same in width. There are two sport and four trad climbs with multiple TRs in between. There are two sets of two bolt anchors on the face, above the roof. It's a stretch to set up a TR on those, so be careful.
From US 6, take Lookout Mountain road 1.7 miles to a parking pullout on the right side. If that is full, go around the switchback and pull off on the left side. The trail goes East of the first pullout mentioned and puts you on top of the crag. From there you can go left and down to the base. The trail down is loose, so be cautious.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Lookout Mountain Crag:
At the base of the crag, this is the sport route on the left side. Like the other sport line, the first bolt is high up, but the climbing only about 5.6 to get to it. Progressivly harder moves as you get closer to the roof, but all are positive. Solid holds on the roof with a big step to get over it....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
I believe the granite here is metamorphosed. It creates interesting patterns in the rock that make the climbing interesting. It is definitely different than the South Platte and Boulder Canyon. The few routes here are short, so don't plan on making a day of it. But if you in the Golden area, have some quick burns and then head to the Golden City Brewery. Fun stuff.
And-keep your eyes open for rattlesnakes. My buddy Andy just about stepped on one last summer. These guys are about an inch in diameter and two feet long. When they coil up on the ground they look just like a little, dark green, cow pie. They are very hard to see.
Last year somebody placed a number of new unnecessary bolts on this crag. Several of the bolts were partially placed, then abandoned. Maybe the bolter was using his short little pr#%k as a depth-gage?
Anyway, I just removed several of these bolts, and filled in about ten partially-drilled holes. From now on, if you want to toprope this slab, sling a damn tree.
And don't let me catch you (whoever you were) practicing to be a Sport Park grid-bolter on this crag. If I do catch you, we will be having an unpleasant discussion about spreading your filth were others have been happliy climbing since before you were a glimmer in your dad-uncle's eye.
Golden climbers (and particularly students from the School of Mines) have been teaching people to climb at this crag for decades. It is small, but it is very special to a lot of people. We'd like to keep it that way. Please respect the area and the rock. Pack out your bottles and trash, and PLEASE leave the bolt kit at home. Thanks.
This is one of the greatest rocks I've ever had a chance to play on. It has just about everything. The approach is about thirty seconds to the top of the rock. Once there you can rap down (if there is an open anchor), or scrable down a nice gully. The climbing is great. Everything from cracks to thin face moves. Almost everything has a roof to work your way over. Long slings will enable you to TR just about every route on the rock. A little gear will make it even better. (Please don't plug every placement for one anchor...)
I too was shocked to see a bunch of new bolt anchors last summer. The new anchor on top of the easy slab furthest east was a nice touch. I was never patient enough to get a good anchor set up there. The others seemed redundant. I was also confused why the bolter didn't bother to retro bolt the bottom bolt on the western most sport climb. You can tell where the bolt used to be, and if you take the bottom most start to the route, it gets a little run out at the bottom.
By the way this rock is not granite it is gneiss. A very highly metomophosed rock. Just thought I would point that out since people seem confused about the rock type. By the way I agree with Matt keep your bolt kit at home.
Details: This area has just about everything: trad, sport, top rope, and aid. The rock is of ver high quality. The crag was a very short approach, 30 seconds off the road. It has very good beginner cracks to toprope, a 5.10 finger crack that you can clean aid at a very easy A1, a few sport routes in the 5.9-5.11 difficulty. This place has just about everything in a fairly small area, so it is a great place to take friends that climb at different levels.'
Get There: Follow 6th Ave into Golden and turn left on 19th St (at the stop light). Follow 19th as it winds its way up though the neighborhood and onto the mountain itself. The crags are on the north side of the Mountain, about 1.8 miles up the road. There are small pulloffs on both sides of the road and a path leading down to the crags, follow the path for 30ft to the top of the cliff. You can either set up a rappel from the bolts or walk down to the base. Note: If you go below the huge "M" on the mountain then you have gone to far.
Seems to me that some of the cold shut anchors up top could due with replacement...Would anyone be upset if I were to replace them. Most notaly, the cold shuts atop the 5.10a face climb. One is VERY rusted and the other is spun.
Was climbing last tues. morning at a large group of kids from the Colorado Academy. 8 12 year olds showed up to climb they set up a bunch of top ropes the two instructors were talking about placing a bunch of new bolts so it will be easier to set up top ropes. I told them that this spot didn't need any bolts but they really didn't care.
It's still there and open to climbing. I was there recently. There was a group from CMC there who had topropes set up on all the climbs except the 5.7 Face and Dihedral. They were friendly enough and offered to let us climb on their ropes so it wasn't too bad despite being crowded. I had a new climber with me and the 5.7 Face was great for teaching him to trust his shoes.
Several of the route descriptions on the list describe the same obvious routes, but with different ratings. A good photo of the entire crag, with numbers, would help narrow this down a bit. Sorry, I didn't bring a camera with me yesterday. Alan
Alan, I agree. How can a small crag with maybe 6 routes have 12 routes listed, all with different ratings?
I will take a camera and see if I can identify the routes better.
By M.Morley Administrator From: Sacramento, CA Sep 28, 2006
Fun "little" spot with surprisingly nice rock. Zero approach. In 2 hours' time, you can pretty much climb every variation possible.
By Allen Hill From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine Apr 19, 2007
I took my nephew up here today and I must admit it's a really great little crag. The rock quality is fantastic and for a 12 year old it's got it all. Easy trad leads, a stiffer sport climb, and a fun roof to boot. For some reason it reminded me of some climbs I've done in north Wales. Similar rock I would guess.
Climbing Sunday at Lookout Mountain, Golden, Alan stepped on what looked like good rock on the Hard Smear route, just left of the Hand/Foot Crack (this is "H" on the Mtn Project page). It broke off, sending a 'large piece of flake' about 20 feet into us. Amazingly it went between four of us and stopped after hitting a pack. Alan et al tapped the remaining rock flake and discovered a 12" by 4' or so section that is hollow underneath, just waiting for a hard smear step to break it off and nail a belayer.
Second rock problem is the large slab just right of the Hand/Foot Crack (again "H"). The reason there are slabs in the first place is 'years ago' the bottom part of the slabs have broken off, leaving a fun slab to climb up and over. Unfortunately the slab in question has had enough freeze-thaw cycles to begin to look like it 'might' break loose. In addition the top of the slab has a delta piece that John was able to rock when he grabbed it, so it is 'loose and balanced'. The delta piece is 2000-3000 pounds; the complete slab is 20,000 pounds, more or less.
Alan marked both the flake and the delta slab with chalk "X". But chalk washes off.
I hope to contact the county et al about taking my little 5# sledge and breaking the flake off. The delta 'might' be movable with a crowbar. The full slab is another problem. Remember some of the rock slides in Yosemite that buried camping climbers ?
Was there yesterday from about 10:30 till 3 and it is a great little area. We had climbers ranging from first time in a harness to a climber who has a guide service and all had a blast. The approach can be a bit sketchy as you have to climb down some steep rocks, bring some approach shoes. The area is shady in the morning and even late in the afternoon there are places to get out of the sun.
WARNING, on the 5.10a face there were two loose bolts. I think they were the second and fourth. The climber was able to finger tighten them and continue (not recommended). We didnít have a wrench, so please consider bringing one if you are headed up shortly.
Was here today. PLEASE be very aware and careful and bring a snake bite kit. Had a run in with a HUGE and AGGRESSIVE rattlesnake today. Luckily, no one was bit, but he was chillin' in a bush on the main trail down from the road to the top anchors. He was rattling like crazy and attempted a strike on my leg. Please be safe.