The Ironclads outside of Allenspark have a large collection of sport and trad climbing along with some top ropeable climbs. Its concentration of routes in a nice high altitude setting is unbeatable. There are short sport climbs, longer sport and trad, and tons of unclimbed bouldering spots. The parking, camping, and climbing is all free and easily accessed. If the rednecks don't bother you, the camping is nice and the weather is cool in the summer.
From Boulder: take US 36 to Lyons, Take CO 7 up past the Peak to Peak Highway, about 1/2 mile past on the left is Bunce School Road (dirt road, unmarked). Drive up that for about 1 mile and take a right uphill turn. The turn is noticed as being the "crest" of the dirt road, an aspen grove on the left and two ways going uphill. You'll see Mt. Boner and Punk Rock from this road, and it can be a good starting point.
37 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',24],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]
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Shelly on Ironsides.
Smooth lead by Shelly.
|Comments on The Ironclads
|By Darin Lang|
Nov 2, 2001
A couple of comments: (1) while I made it up once in my passenger car, most times you will need a high-clearance vehicle to make it much past the Bunce School. There is a large pulloff about 1/4 mile up the road which is a convenient spot to hop in your friends' pickups; (2) free camping can be had in the immediate Punk Rock/Mt. Boner vicinity. There are several fire rings but no amenities. Be prepared to be awakened to the sound of 2-stroke engines.
|By Michael Walker|
From: Loveland, CO
Nov 2, 2001
This area has become quite trashed over the years as every high school it seems has a party every weekend along the Bunce School Road. Do not expect a wilderness experience. I could show you a good camping spot away from it all, but then I'd have to kill you. ;-). Let's just say that a 4X4 will get you away from the low-riders....
|By Charles Vernon|
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 5, 2001
Actually, you see quite a few "town cars" up there. I used to drive mine all the way up quite a bit but ended up damaging my radiator. The road has become a bit washed out recently, also.
This area gets serious traffic on week-ends. Punk Rock is a good definition of grid-bolting. Also, there are many ORVs and motor bikes using the area, and one often climbs to the steady accompaniment of gun-fire. I have been nearly run over by a bike, and a stray bullet hit the rock once while a friend of mine was climbing on Punk Rock.
That said, the routes offer nice granite edge climbing, and I've made several visits.
|By chris hall|
Nov 21, 2001
There is good bouldering right off Bunce School Road. Go past the sandflats and the little parking loop on the right. The hillside has a nice roof with exits to the left and right. They go at v blah-blah. Then continue down the road and turn the corner to the rocky oil pan killing rocks. Look up to your right, you'll see a big boulder with a crack and a piton in the top of it. The boulders offers a lot of variations, most have been done. The two overhanging walls to the north and west also offer a lot. Check it out, and be nice to environment; it's one of the few places the 2 strokers don't go into. Please help by picking up glass and trash, we don't want to see this place closed.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Nov 10, 2004
All I can say is that I have not been to the Ironclads since 1995 when I spent many fine weekends with a couple of friends who were putting up new routes.....and to read that the place is crawling with 2-strokes, gunfire, trash and a higher degree of human traffic is a bit depressing.So, to those of you that enjoy the Ironclads as much as I once did.....please respect the land so that you can continue enjoying access.....Aloha Y'all.
Jun 22, 2005
This place turns into an Urban Assault Area on weekends, thanks to it's inclusion in a popular Front Range Topropes book. Go mid-week if you can.
Oct 6, 2005
I wish the Urban Toprope [Assault] was the problem here. . . Really it's the urban lead and mud slingers. There are some nice pitches, no doubt, but the area has been torn up a bit by partiers, off-roaders and not-so-sharp-shooters. Fortunately they haven't tracked into the crags up above (where all the good climbing is). I haven't personally had a problem with anyone or thing on my trips, but I can see how one might. The views from atop the climbs are great, and midweek climbing is exceptional (very peaceful). (many new lines are still available for FA's, but don't bolt the trad lines (refering to the climbs in the Ironclads proper). . . . much thanks).
|By Brendan Leonard|
From: Denver, Hollarado
Sep 28, 2006
I've been here a couple of times and enjoyed it -- all the bullets seemed to be aimed away from the crag, which was nice. There were a couple moments where the guys with the ATVs and guns looked at us and wondered why we'd waste a day climbing up rocks, and we wondered why they'd waste a day shooting guns into the side of a mountain. There was quite a bit of broken glass scattered on the ground around Punk Rock, but all in all, it was fun.
|By Seth Zastera|
Jul 10, 2007
If anyone knows of the bouldering in this area and its V scale, could you be so kind to post a note on here...thanks.
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 18, 2009
I had a bit of trouble finding Punk Rock because there were dozens of pseudo-roads (serious, steep 4-wheeling) to the right of the aspen grove. The one to follow is 216.
|By Scott McMahon|
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 19, 2009
Does anyone have beta on the LOWER section of the Ironclads (left at road split)?
|By Matt Novinger|
From: Erie, CO
Aug 23, 2010
Note, if you are using the Bernard Gillett guidebook he says the 4x4 road is FR 115, but it is in fact FR 105. The Bunce School landmark is accurate as is the Hilltop Guilde. There's a point of interest sign on the main highway at the turn off for the road.
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 7, 2013
No posts here for years, so I'll just update...not much of an update since it hasn't changed. The clearance of an Outback is totally adequate for getting in on the road - although it dumped a huge amount of water on us at the end of our visit - I'm sure clearance requirements change depending on when it was last graded.
Lots of off-roaders, expended ammunition strewn about, plenty of bits of trash to carry out with you - mainly from the camp areas, not in the climbing areas (good job, all!).
Automatic weapons sooth your nerves as you scrape up the rock towards anchors of safety.
|By Blake C|
From: Estes Park and Gunnison, CO
Jul 14, 2013
Pretty easy to find, look for Bunce School road off the CO Hwy 7, once you drive up a bit you will see Forest Service road signs 105. Should be about 1.4 mi till you reach some parking at Punk Rock just like the guide says. Watch out for broken glass at the base of Punk Rock. It is possible to scramble up the back to set top rope anchors.
|By Wayne McIlwraith|
Aug 10, 2013
Josh and Emily, I understand you have my camera that I left at Ironclads ..thanks for retrieving it. Could you call me at 970 218 6855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how to retrieve. Thanks!! Wayne