North of the prominent central buttress on the lower great face lies a severely overhanging alcove and an array of tall, beautiful slabs. This area has been recently developed into a fresh single pitch sport and trad climbing destination in the Estes Park Valley. The Wizard's Gate lies at above 10,000 feet and thus can feel very alpine at times (aka bring an extra layer and prepare for heavy breathing). The slabs remain in the shade until late afternoon and the alcove never sees sun, making it a perfect summer area. Dubbed 'The Wizard's Gate' for good reason, one should expect to find some truly magical climbing here along with exceptional views and brilliant summer conditions.
Across CO Highway 7 from Lily Lake, just south of Estes Park, there is a dirt road that eventually dead ends. Park somewhere along the right side of this road. Follow the Twin Sisters Trail until the 3rd switchback, where you should continue straight (north-northeast) and look for a moderately well-traveled climber's trail. The trail winds through the forest and occasionally through small boulderfields until you reach the base of the Lower Great Face. Shoot for the protruding Central Buttress and continue around to the north side.
Once you hike the trail correctly, you will find your way every time, but until you do, you may very well get lost. If all else fails, head uphill and towards the giant granite face. The hike is 30 minutes at a steady pace, knowing where you are going. It is 45 minutes at a normal pace.
A. Fantasia, 12- R, 1p, 60', gear.
B. Dark Horse, 10, 1p, 60', bolts.
C. Witchway Arete, 9, 1p, 60', bolts.
D1. Variation, 11, 1p, 95', TR.
D2. Ravenclaw, 9+ or 10+, 1p, 1p, 95'.
E. Riding With The Ravens, 11, 1p, 95', bolts.
F1. G3, 10+, 1p, 95', bolts.
F2. Crystal Staircase, 9, 1p, 50', bolts.
G. Dead End, 9, 1p, 50', gear.
H. The Guillotine, 11, 1p, 50', bolts.
continuining above H. Afterlife, 12+, 110', bolts.
IJ. Merlin's Magic Corner, 10, 1p, 90', gear.
J. Wizard's Path, 11-, 1p, 90', bolts.
K. Take Me To Your Leader, 11+, 1p, 90', bolts.
L. The Gatekeeper, 12- PG-13, 1p, 90', bolts.
M. Magic Carpet Ride , 13+, 1p, 90', bolts.
MN. Magic Dagger, 13-, 1p, 90', bolts.
NM. Black Magic , 14-, 1p, 100', bolts.
N. Cloak and Dagger, 13, 1p, 100', bolts.
O. Book of Spells, 12-, 1p, 100', bolts.
19 Total Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Wizard's Gate
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Wizard's Gate:
Dark Horse 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII E2 5b Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
G3 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b Sport, 1 pitch, 95'
Afterlife 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b Sport, 1 pitch, 110'
Featured Route For Wizard's Gate
Magic Carpet Ride 5.13d 8b 31 X E8 7a CO
: Estes Park Valley
: ... : Wizard's Gate
This is a stunning line. To reach the Magic Carpet Ride, float a little ways up a 5.7 slab and clip the first bolt. Turn a corner and continue on steepening ground (5.11) until you reach vertical and your final, somewhat restful position. From here, a very cryptic and powerful move sequence begins and does not let up (not even really to clip) until you exit the incredible Magic Carpet panel. Some exotic and uncharacteristic granite grips bless this powerful climb. Finish on the same chain anchor...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
News and Events For Wizard's Gate
Latest Regional Forum Messages
B-Real be Belaying at the Wizard's Gate.
Wizard's Gate - Cloak and Dagger.
View from Wizard's Gate.
Jonathan Siegrist making it all happen.
The Face Area of Wizard's Gate with climbers on Th...
BETA PHOTO: General location map.
Topo of the Face Area
BETA PHOTO: Topo of the Cave Area.
|Comments on Wizard's Gate
|By Jonathan Siegrist|
From: his truck
Aug 23, 2009
Truly magic up here.. Big thanks to Dr. Bob, Ben 'B-Real' Randolph, Phat Kat and Ron Lenz, Al and Peg Czecholinski and Kurt 'Hard Rock' Krueger. We have all had a ball running laps on these brilliant routes- hope you do to!
You can expect a number of additions within the next few weeks, but in the mean time there is plenty to sink your teeth into. Enjoy!
|By Theo Colameco|
Aug 24, 2009
Thanks for posting the new routes!! My partner Bill and I saw y'all heading up there last Thursday after we did the Kor Route on the LGF!! Now we can crag the crags!!
|By Kelly Cordes|
Aug 27, 2009
What an awesome crag -- many thanks to Jonathan and his crew for putting up some terrific routes here (and thanks for the tour!). Though currently not a ton of routes at this particular spot, it's possibly the best single-pitch crag (i.e. not including Lumpy, the Park, etc) around Estes, IMO. Really cool rock and great climbing, in a truly gorgeous setting. Well worth the visit, and hopefully more routes will go in -- seems there's plenty of potential for more.
|By Hard Rock|
From: Missoula, MT
Sep 8, 2009
Can I go by "Hard Rock" rather than Diet Coke. That's the pen name I used when I did some writing in the '80s.
|By Jim Redo|
Sep 27, 2009
Just a note. Dogs are not allowed up there. Found out the hard way. Drove all the way up there and didn't realize this crag is in RMNP.
|By jason seaver|
From: Estes Park, CO
Sep 27, 2009
The Crags are actually in Roosevelt National Forest, but when you access them from the Twin Sisters trail you have to cross National Park land. If you approach from the Baldpate Inn, across Rt. 7 from Lily Lake, you stay on National Forest land the entire day. The Wizard's Gate, being on the southern end of the Crags, is probably most efficiently approached from the Twin Sisters trail but it's not that much faster than the Baldpate approach. I suspect the route and bolt counts would be much lower if they had to drill by hand.
From: Estes Park, CO
Jul 3, 2010
We had a great time climbing up there today...psyched on the route/rock quality. Very well done with bolts/pro always where you want it. Thank you Seigrists, Benny, all you guys...you've inspired me to climb in the Crags. Can't wait to get back up there!
From: Estes Park, CO
Aug 11, 2010
Is there a map or the routes? Planning to go up Friday morning if anyone wants to join. Thanks, B
|By Joe Collins|
Jul 13, 2012
What is the Baldpate Inn approach beta? Thanks.