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Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Little on the Ugly Side 
Automotive Supply House 
Baldwin's Chimney 
Banana Hammock 
Bat Guano Crack (mistakenly aka B-G Crack) 
Bat Heaven 
Bombs Away aka B52 
Bug Squad 
Captain Nemo 
Central Scrutinizer, The 
Cool Hand Luke 
Deep Throat 
Drunken Redneck Rappellers 
Easy Jam 
Etude For The Left Hand 
Etude For The Right Hand 
Failure to Communicate 
Father 1 
Final Cut, The 
Flare Thee Well 
Flying Buttress 
Folded, Spindled, and Mutilated 
Friday the 13th 
Friday the 13th, Part 2 
Ghost Dance 
Grand Traverse, The 
Gravity's Rainbow 
H & H Grunt 
Hamburger Crack 
Harder Than Your Husband 
Hesitation Blues 
In The Dark 
In the Groove 
Jim Jam 
Knee Grinder 
Left Torpedo Tube 
Lower Progressive 
Lower Slot and Upper Slot 
Lower Slot Left 
Lucky You 
Max Factor 
Middle Parallel Space 
Mother 1 
Nemo's Nemesis 
Nemo's Toad 
Nitrogen Narcosis 
October Light 
Old Eyeful 
Par Four 
Petite Tarsalation 
Piton Perch 
Popcorn Farce 
Postman, The 
Republic, The 
Right Parallel Space 
Right Torpedo Tube 
Right Winger 
Sitdown Seam 
Slab Stealer 
Slick and Superficial 
Soak'em In Cider 
Stand and Deliver 
Straight 4 Ward 
Sun Up To Sundown 
Ted's Trot 
Thin Lizzy 
Twinkle Toes 
Upper Progressive 
Upper Slot Left 
Vedajuicer, The 
Vulture Direct 
War Zone 
Where the Sidewalk Ends 
Whipping Boy 
Unsorted Routes:


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Location: 41.15478, -105.37467 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Aeon Aki, Mike Snyder, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Ben F on May 2, 2002
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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: Northwest side of the Nautilus with Baldwin's Chim...


You can't miss this area. The Nautilus is named for the large feature on its top, forming a large roof, that looks like - you guessed it - a Nautilus shell. Trust me, if you can't find it, you're not looking. The approach to the nearest climbs from this lot is a mere 2 minutes.

Getting There 

Keep driving past the main area where you turn for the fee camping to the next parking area, also on your left. This is the dirt parking lot with the restroom/latrine (visible from the road). See the description above.

108 Total Routes

['4 Stars',19],['3 Stars',41],['2 Stars',41],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Nautilus:
Cupcake   V1 5     Trad, Boulder, 25'   
Soak'em In Cider   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   
Sun Up To Sundown   V7 7A+     Boulder, 20'   
Cornelius   5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Lower Slot and Upper Slot   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   
Mother 1   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   
Finally   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   
Middle Parallel Space   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   
Lower Progressive   5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   
Flying Buttress   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
Captain Nemo   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 80'   
Father 1   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch   
MaxiLash   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c     Trad   
Bat Guano Crack (mistakenly aka B-G Crack)   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Hesitation Blues   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c     Trad, 2 pitches   
Ghost Dance   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch   
Max Factor   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a     Trad, 2 pitches   
Crankenstein   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Friday the 13th   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a     Trad, 3 pitches   
Automotive Supply House   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII E4 6a     Trad, 2 pitches   
Browse More Classics in Nautilus

Featured Route For Nautilus
Tom wrestling an alligator at the start of Middle Parallel Space.

Middle Parallel Space 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a  WY : Vedauwoo : Nautilus
This line follows the wide crack (crux) up to a spacious ledge before chimneying behind the huge pillar.P1. Chimney while jamming and protecting in the lovely handcrack. Surmise the difficulty of the line if the pillar were not present, then easily surmount the pillar for the first belay.P2. For pitch two, step across the pillar back into the hand crack and ascend to a horizontal crack, pull the small roof via another crack to the right. Easier, unprotected slab climbing gains the rappel anchor....[more]   Browse More Classics in WY

Photos of Nautilus Slideshow Add Photo
Climbers escaping The Nautilus moments before a thunderstorm.
Climbers escaping The Nautilus moments before a th...
Yet another parking lot pic of the Nautilus.
Yet another parking lot pic of the Nautilus.
Rappelling off the Parabolic Slab on the Nautilus Formation.
BETA PHOTO: Rappelling off the Parabolic Slab on the Nautilus ...
View from the Nautilus, of the balanced rock.
View from the Nautilus, of the balanced rock.
The Nautilus.
The Nautilus.
One of the many moods of the beautiful Nautilus.
One of the many moods of the beautiful Nautilus.
Late night photo fun.
Late night photo fun.
Little slice of heaven....
Little slice of heaven....
Tough not to fall in love with a place like Vedauwoo.
Tough not to fall in love with a place like Vedauw...
The Nautilus.
The Nautilus.
Nautilus approach.
Nautilus approach.
Easy Jam and Cornelius area on Nautilus Formation.
Easy Jam and Cornelius area on Nautilus Formation.
Nautilus from the parking lot.
Nautilus from the parking lot.
Nickie rapping off the parabolic.
Nickie rapping off the parabolic.
The Nautilus. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
The Nautilus.
Photo by Blitzo.
Comments on Nautilus Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 26, 2012
By Anonymous Coward
May 3, 2002

The Nautilus is one of the best crags in the Front Range. On it are a wide variety of climbs- both crack and face- at all levels of difficulty. It is a very popular crag, and some areas (in particular the Friday the 13th alcove) can get congested on the weekend with climbers taking turns on the classics. Weekdays you still can have the place to yourself. From the highway the crag looks like a giant submarine emerging from the depths (hence the "Torpedo Tubes"). It is possible to follow sun or shade around the crag throughout the day. The shaded N side can be buggy, but a breeze is usually enough to keep them down. Try to stay on the trails, since the area was reseeded after the fences were put up (you used to camp under the boulders)- I know, there are cows in there at times, and it may seem pointless, but try. There is excellent bouldering to be had in the boulders surrounding the crag, but be prepared to do some crack climbing. Some of the descents are walk-offs, but for many climbs you will need to rappel. Around the W/SW side of the crag (near the outhouse/parking area), there are various tricks for scrambling off of certain climbs, but be prepared to rappel anyhow. One of the local entertainments is to rappel the prominent fin which caps the high point of the crag in this area. At the E prow area (by the Torpedo Tubes) the standard rap route from the "summit" of the prow is down Middle Parallel Space to the top of the large block which forms the Right Parallel Space chimney, then to the ground. One rope only. Many of the other climbs in this vicinity have rap anchors or lowering stations. There is a 3rd/4th Class descent left of the the Friday the 13th alcove (when viewing the crag); this is obvious and requires a short section of downclimbing. The area above this descent is interesting to explore. I can't even begin to list the classic climbs to do- for the most part you get what you see. Look under Baldwin's Chimney and some of the other easy-moderate climbs (5.4-5.8); I put together a fun little tick-list for wide cracks, kind of a "Intro to Wide Cracks 101" course. In the 5.9-5.10 range there is Middle Parallel Space, Lower progressive, Flying Buttress, Baalbek, and many other good routes. 5.11 is a great grade on this crag, and most of the 25+ routes in this grade are worth doing. Look for Friday the 13th, Ghost Dance, Max Factor, Crankenstine, and many others. A double set of cams to #4 Camalot, a few 5" to 6" pieces, and a handful of wireds, TCUs, and QDs should keep you out of trouble, but it's usually pretty obvious if you need more (especially bigger) gear. Have fun!

By Anonymous Coward
May 11, 2003

Actually, the Nautilus is named after the submarine in Jules Verne's novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". Hence the referential route names like Captain Nemo (who piloted the sub in the book), the Torpedo Tubes (which are perfectly placed on the prow of the "ship"), etc. The thingy on top really doesn't look much like a nautilus shell, but the whole formation really does look a **lot** like a submarine surfacing when viewed from a distance.

Anyway, the Nautilus is a great crag; probably the best at Vedauwoo, with many, many high-quality routes on all sides. My personal fave is Flying Buttress -- short but super aesthetic and fun.

By Anonymous Coward
Nov 11, 2003

Whipping Boy - 11C, a good OW over by Hello Stupid. Thrust your body wholeheartedly into the overhanging squeeze chimney to get to some hand and fist stacks that are followed by a sorta rest, then do some fists and then hands in a tight corner. Cool route and has not seen a second ascent that I know of. Good fun.

By angry
Jan 20, 2006

Whipping Boy was actually climbed a number of years ago by Mike Johnson and Steven Alderman. It's still a quality route. What really ticks me off is some of the bolting that locals have tolerated. I noticed this fall that an an old toprope/headpoint project in the Three Sisters Area has become a sport route- bolts next to a handcrack up high. What happened to locals policing each other?

By davebks
From: Louisville, Co
Sep 10, 2008

Any good photos out there with routes marked? Nautilus specifically?
I see a good pana shot but nothing with the routes marked. Of course if there was a good shot with routes marked, it would probably be on here, huh? Well, never hurts to ask.

By davebks
From: Louisville, Co
Sep 11, 2008

I am heading out to this area for the first time tomorrow. I have some friends guiding up the climbs but anyone know how the bouldering is in this area? I have heard good things about Vedauwoo in general for bouldering, but how about in the Nautilus area? Worth bringing the pad?


By Brian Scoggins
From: Eugene, OR
Sep 11, 2008

There's some pretty good stuff out there. The easiest to find stuff is on the interstate side, along the trail. Soak'em In Cider, Cupcake, and a few others will jump right out at you. The rest you'll find with just a little bit of exploring. On the other side is the Dungeon, which can be hard to find if you don't know what you're looking for. Most of the good problems at Nautilus are cracks, or bloody hard. So bring tape, or be rad.

By davebks
From: Louisville, Co
Sep 12, 2008

Thanks for all the info. Bringing tape but still might want to try and be rad anyway. Who knows...anything can happen :)

By Jeremy Franz
From: Berthoud, CO
Jan 6, 2009

Steve Levin's Wide 101 course offered at the Nautilus:

Easy Jam 5.4
Baldwin's Chimney 5.4
Right Parallel Space 5.5
Piton Perch 5.6
Hamburger Crack 5.7
Candlestick 5.7
Lower Slot and Upper Slot 5.7+

Brian Scoggins has offered the following additional selections for extra credit:

Horticulture 5.6
Handjacker 5.8-

And to graduate, you head over to Walt's Wall
Satterfield's Crack 5.8+

By Brian Scoggins
From: Eugene, OR
Jan 7, 2009

I dunno, if you consider Satterfields to be 5.8+, you'll be in for a rude awakening on Handjacker (which I think is 7+, but that's just cause I have the beta). Handjacker is definitely amongst the final climbs for any Nautilus OW101 course, although I feel Lower Slot Right is harder. It feels similar to Mother #1, both good routes to get your wide on. After that, you can graduate to some truly interesting climbs.

The crux on Satterfield's is NOT wide though, so while fun, it really has no business there. The wide stuff on Satterfield's is about 5.7 or so, and made a lot easier with copious face features.

By parchman
Sep 26, 2012

If anyone has been out to the east end of the Nautilus this week, you will have noticed that someone painted a retarded bit of vandalism all over the bottom of grand traverse. I have watched Vedauwoo become increasingly abused over the last 6-7 years, but this really takes the cake. There will be efforts underway soon to clean this up, and complaints have been filed to the appropriate agencies. Nonetheless, I would warn anyone with knowledge of this that local Vedauwoo climbers are going to start getting really short tempers about this kind of shit. Of course, I would have to assume this is not the work of climbers but rather some dumb shit hikers or road side tourists. However, it is becoming increasingly common for large groups of partially clueless climbers to show up at the Nautilus and to treat the area with no respect, so I am losing the ability to give climbers the benefit of the doubt. When you show up at the Friday the 13th alcove as a group of 15 people, with multiple dogs, and gang bang top rope routes all day (and leave behind cigarette butts and bottles of red stripe), you should realize you are wearing out your welcome. Groups with 2 competent leaders and an army of toprope heroes should go somewhere else.