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North Fork of the St. Vrain River

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Big Elk Meadows - Boulders 
Buttonrock 
Coulson Gulch 
Kenny Mt. North 
Palace, The 
Pinewood Boulders 
Pinewood Rock 
Raven's Roost 
Tomato Rock 

North Fork of the St. Vrain River  


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Location: 40.24453, -105.33163 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John McNamee on Oct 13, 2012
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Bob Horan on 3rd ascent of Randy Leavitt's Animal ...

Description 

US 36 is a popular through road connecting Denver to Estes Park and continues into Rocky Mountain National Park. Along the stretch from Lyons to Estes Park is a canyon littered with rocks that draw the eye. Many of these crags lie on private property or are only reasonably accessed through private property, so check first.

The rock here varies from granitic to harder, metamorphic, igneous varieties that are more challenging to characterize. Crags here may range from micro routes to perhaps 1000 feet.

Some of these crags include the River Wall (once called the best crag in Colorado) at Button Rock Reservoir, other scattered crags near Button Rock, boulders at Big Elk Meadows (east of Estes Park along FR 118). There are some scattered crags in the area of Pinewood Springs which have had less-heralded ascents.

North St. Vrain

Lyons Area
Buttonrock
Tomato Rock

Big Meadows Area
Raven's Roost
Coulson Gulch - 2.9 mile hike from Johnny Park off CO 66.
Pierson Point - approached from CO 7.

Pinewood Area
Pinewood Boulders
Pinewood Rock

Getting There 

Some of this can be accessed from CR 41 off of US 36 between Lyons and Estes Park. Some of this can be accessed from Johnny Park off of the Little Valley Rd. from Fish Creek Rd. going south from Estes Park.

To get there from the west, you can go east from Estes Park along US 36. To access this area from Denver, head north on I-25, go NW on US 36 through Boulder to Lyons. No access this from the NE, you can go west on US 66 into Lyons, and then go west on US 36.

Other Activities 

There is a Ciatano Winery located along the St. Vrain River at the Rock'n River just outside of Lyons with wine tasting from grapes grown from the Western Slope. Nice Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and Viogner. $3 for 5 tasting. They have a picnic area with large trout in their pond. 11-5 F-M in Winter & 10-6 daily in Summer. 303.823.5011. Nice for apres climbing or early rainout days.

Climbing Season



Weather station 10.0 miles from here

76 Total Routes

['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',22],['2 Stars',26],['1 Star',17],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',4],['5.7',5],['5.8',4],['5.9',6],['5.10',13],['5.11',7],['5.12',8],['5.13',5],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',4],['V2-3',10],['V4-5',7],['V6-7',2],['V8-9',1],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',3],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for North Fork of the St. Vrain River:
Sinister Minister   V3 6A     Boulder, 16'   Big Elk Meadows - Boulders : The Sanctuary
Devil's Face   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   Big Elk Meadows - Boulders : The Sanctuary
Get Over It   V10 7C+     Boulder   Big Elk Meadows - Boulders : The Double Trouble Boulder
Initial Route   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad   Buttonrock : Buick Rocks and Hitler's Se...
Tigers in Lipstick   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   Buttonrock : Tigers in Lipstick
Green Slab   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport   Buttonrock : Buick Rocks and Hitler's Se...
The Buick   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Buttonrock : Buick Rocks and Hitler's Se...
Livewire   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Buttonrock : River Wall II
Introducing Meteor Dad   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Buttonrock : River Wall II
Escape from Alcatraz   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Buttonrock : River Wall II
Pocket Hercules   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Buttonrock : River Wall II
Redneck Hero   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Buttonrock : River Wall II
Neurosurgeon   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Buttonrock : River Wall II
Big Big Monkey Man   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch   Buttonrock : River Wall II
New Horizon   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Buttonrock : River Wall II
Old Yellar   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Buttonrock : Old Yellar Dome
Brother From Another Planet   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   Buttonrock : River Wall II
Le Diamant E'ternal   5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Buttonrock : River Wall II
Browse More Classics in North Fork of the St. Vrain River

Featured Route For North Fork of the St. Vrain River
Bob Horan on 1st ascent of New Horizons.

New Horizon 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b  CO : Lyons : ... : River Wall II
New Horizon is everything a sport climb should be- beautiful, natural, aesthetic, and challenging. Slap the arete and hug the crack past fairly positive, yet widely spaced holds until it is no longer possible to span between the two features. At this point commit to the arete, lieback past the last bolt, and then traverse left to the anchors. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Local Information for North Fork of the St. Vrain River
Photos of North Fork of the St. Vrain River Slideshow Add Photo
Mike F. at Pierson.
Mike F. at Pierson.
BH on south overhang of the House Block, Allen's Park area, Even Flow Blocks/Deer Ridge aka Pierson Park.
BH on south overhang of the House Block, Allen's P...
Bobby B. at Pierson Park.
Bobby B. at Pierson Park.
BH on the classic hand-crack, Conquer Crack, House Block, Allen's Park area, Even Flow Blocks/Deer Ridge, aka Pierson Park.
BH on the classic hand-crack, Conquer Crack, House...
Ryan F. at Pierson.
Ryan F. at Pierson.

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