If you want to climb great cracks, then Turkey Rocks is the place to be. Without a doubt, it has one of the finest concentrations of crack climbs in Colorado with a friendly southerly aspect and a quick approach. It is often possible to climb here during the winter, although a four wheel drive vehicle can come in handy to negotiate the snow that is sometimes found on the road and the walk to the base of the crags.
Turkey Rocks is as its name suggest is a collection of rocks. These include the Leftovers, Rightovers, Turkey Rock, The Turkey Perch, and Turkey Tail.
From Denver: Head south on US 285 to Pine Junction. Turn left at Pine Junction onto County Road (CR) 126 and follow the signs to Deckers. At the Deckers intersection, turn right onto CR67 and after approximately 8.5 miles turn right at the sign for Westcreek (CR73). Follow this road for about 1 mile and turn right onto CR68 (Stump Road - there's a fire station at this corner.) In about 2 miles you'll pass Sheep's Nose. After about 1 more mile, turn right onto Forest Road 51 (Cedar Mountain Road). This road is generally passable for 2WD as long as you're not driving a low rider! At about the 2 mile point you'll pass the abandoned Big Turkey Campground. You can either park here and walk about 30 minutes (uphill-not recommended) to Turkey Rocks or continue driving about another mile to the next road on the left. Take this road to its end (there are good camping spots along this road). The trail from here is good and it takes about 10 minutes to reach the saddle between Turkey Rock on your right and Turkey Perch on your left. Turkey Tail is to the left (north) of The Perch and the Leftovers are to the right (south) of Turkey Rock.
From Colorado Springs: Go west on US 24 to Woodland Park and then take a right on CO 67 towards Deckers. Approximately 14 miles from the turn left onto CR68 at Westcreek. See Denver description for instructions once at Westcreek.
Do not park in or approach the crags from Turkey Rock Ranch Estates. There is no public parking and the locals do not take this well.
The first pitch is long and stellar. Bring two ropes to rap of the first pitch at the shuts. You should know how to crack climb and have some endurance if you hop on this baby. You can't miss this thing, especially if you locate the heinous-looking flaring fat roof of For Turkeys Only. Our route is just to the right and has plenty of chalk on it (you don't need any). Look for a crack parallel crack system that starts off a small pedestal/ledge about 15-20 ft off the ground.It steepens and s...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Just got back from Turkey Rocks - great place. As for the road: we made it all the way to the main parking area in a Honda Odyssey just fine. A little bumpy and sometimes a bit sketchy, but if you look around, there's a way to make it through everything with no problems. If it's wet though, don't expect to make it.
It was quite windy at Turkey Rocks today. On the hike back to the car, there were several trees that had blown down across the approach trail while we had been climbing. On the drive out, there's now a large tree blocking the road about a mile before getting back to Stump Road. There's a sneaky diversion around it on an old path that's doable in a Subaru.
Addendum: I called the Forest Service this morning to let them know about the tree.
By JJ Calhoun From: Colorado Springs, CO Dec 28, 2013 CONDITION REPORT
FRIEND WAS HURT FOLLOWING ON DRUMSTICK DIRECT. HAD TO BAIL.
LEFT SEVERAL CAMS ON ROUTE.
PLEASE CALL (719)337-5485.
I WILL TRY TO RETURN ON SUNDAY OR MONDAY. [I LIVE IN THE SPRINGS].
By JenH From: Denver, CO Jan 16, 2014 CONDITION REPORT
The tree mentioned in 11/2013 post is still down. The diversion around is now well traveled with a relatively steep transition that requires higher clearance and suspension articulation than a Subaru. Overall the road is rough and snow packed. The roads turned slick and icy in the late afternoon.
So, when was Big Turkey CG abandoned? I spent the night there last night and, though the gate was closed and there were no signs posted, it looked to be in pretty good shape. The privy was unlocked and even stocked with TP. Looks like they just haven't opened it for the season to me.
Unfortunately, my inaugural trip to South Platte didn't net any climbing. 'Twas mighty cold and snowing/y, and I am insufficiently manly. Oh well, still had a dandy time scrambling around and seeing the sights.
I was in the area about a month ago. The road should be fully open by now. When we were there, the road was complete but the ROAD CLOSED signs were up, and we basically just drove around. All the dirt roads were severely eroded but should be passable with moderate ground clearance.
Also, here is a link to a Google Maps route that takes you almost there. Simply turn left where the route stops. If you zoom in with 'Hybrid' view on Google Maps you can see the dirt road to camping and the rocks. The route starts at US 285, so Colospringers might want a different route. We drove from Boulder.
...These directions above are confusing. You actually turn off of the highway where you see a sign for Westcreek (CO67) and then take a right. You will turn right onto Stump Road, or SR68, about a mile off of the highway.
By Stich From: Colorado Springs, Colorado Sep 2, 2008
This has to be some of the best crack climbing in the entire state. Even beginners with no success on cracks can find something that fits their hands and have a good time on.
Some GPS driving directions, courtesy of Dru Whitledge.
By John McNamee Administrator From: Littleton, CO Sep 3, 2008
I've tried to improve the description on how to find the place. Please let me know if it makes more sense and is correct. Dan's google map and description is probably the most accurate and thanks for posting it.
I wish we had read the Mountain Project directions before heading out. Once you hit the abandoned campground and eventually come to a dead end on the drive, it's only a 10-15 min hike until the saddle. The camping situation is great, you can sleep free and easy in your vehicle or pull a tent out in the pullout.
Everyone should climb here, so many perfect cracks.
We tried to get into Turkey Rocks today, FR 51 was signposted as a 4WD road or OHV route. The first part was manageable in my Civic , but we reached a downhill stretch that appeared to have been badly damaged by the rains last month. I think I could have gotten the Civic down there, but no way would we have made it back up. We opted to spend the day at Sheep's Nose, had a great time climbing Lost In Space, and we will try Turkey Rocks when we have 4WD or the road has seen some maintenance. Right now that stretch definitely requires a lot of clearance and probably 4WD.