Climbing in Eldorado Canyon

Location Colorado

Season Spring, Summer, Fall

Difficulty Varies

Duration 1 Day

Overview

Located at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, Boulder offers world-class climbing. There are thousands of routes to climb, and sunny Colorado allows us to climb almost any time of the year.

Eldorado Canyon has slabs, thin face, cracks, corners, and big overhangs, mostly on beautiful, bullet-hard sandstone. Some walls in Eldo reach 700 feet in height. While some approaches can take as little as a minute, there are others that take a little hiking and reward the effort with amazing solitude. The setting is dramatic and inspiring, surrounding the climber with steep, complex cliffs towering high above South Boulder Creek.

Season Spring, Summer, Fall

Trip Planner

Itinerary

Level I Guided Climbs are a series of short routes, a medium length multi-pitch climb, or some similar combination that can be completed in eight hours or less. Routes are chosen based on your ability and goals. Prior climbing experience or prerequisite instruction is required.

For climbers seeking more advanced routes with significant technical approaches and complex descents, or just a longer day of multi-pitch climbing, we offer Level II Guided Rock Climbs. Many climbs on Redgarden Wall fall under this designation, as well as other select climbs in the Boulder region. Previous multi-pitch climbing with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and/or significant previous multi-pitch climbing experience is prerequisite.

Level I: $400 private; $275/person for two
Level II: $450 private; $$325/person for two

Please note that this trip cannot be booked directly online – please fill out the inquiry form and we will contact you shortly.

Please read through our policies by visiting this page.

TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR BOULDER

Boulder is located 25 miles northwest of Denver, and about 43 miles from Denver International Airport. Meeting locations vary depending on the time of year and the class/trip, your guide will provide you with this information. There are plenty of accommodations and amenities located in Boulder, however camping is not readily available. If you have any additional questions your Colorado climbing adventure, please contact our call (303) 532-5184.

 

TRAVEL

Boulder is located 25 miles northwest of Denver, and about 43 miles from Denver International Airport. There are two main highway routes to Boulder: a northern toll route (E-470) – a few minutes quicker and more scenic; and a toll-free southern route using Peña Blvd and US-36. While often referred to as DIA by locals, the FAA and IATA identifier is DEN. Car rentals, shuttles, taxis, charters/limousines, and public transportation (RTD SkyRide, “Skyride AB” route) are all available from the airport. Nearly every rental company is represented at DIA. Although there are peak periods that affect drive time, driving to Boulder is recommended because it provides opportunities to see many more nearby attractions during your stay.

If driving to Boulder from another location, there are numerous routes.

Following are general suggestions using Google Maps:

From the west, going through the mountains on I-70, it’s usually best to head north through Golden on CO-93.

From the north, if driving I-25, taking exit 240 for CO-119 W is preferred.

From eastern Colorado, on I-70, follow I-70 W, to I-270 W, to US-36 W; at Denver rush hour, E-470 N may be faster.

From southern Colorado, if driving I-25, take I-25 N to US-36W

 

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION

Please note that JHMG guides cannot provide transportation. Please arrange independent transportation to and from JHMG activities. Once in Boulder, Boulder Yellow Cab is one option to get to and from the trailheads and meet points. Make sure to confirm drop-off and pick-up times with the dispatcher.

 

ACCOMMODATIONS

Numerous options exist for lodging around Boulder. Following are some examples from the many options available.

Lower cost accommodations range from choices like the Boulder International Hostel near campus and the Foot of the Mountain Motel, located at the mouth of Boulder Canyon about one mile from the Dome climbing area and one mile from Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall via the Boulder Creek Bike Path.

More intimate and upscale lodging exists, including the centrally located Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast and The Bradley Boulder Inn, situated just off Pearl St with a variety of nearby dining options. The St Julian Hotel & Spa is an ultramodern luxury hotel, while the hundred year-old Hotel Boulderado shows classic Victorian and Wild West character.

 

 

An attractive option for those climbing in the Chautauqua area of the Flatirons (e.g. 1st Flatiron, 3rd Flatiron, Gregory Canyon Amphitheater) is to stay in one of the 60 Chautauqua Cottages. You can walk to and from many of the Flatirons most popular climbing objectives. These cottages are located in the Chautauqua Park, a National Historic Landmark, at the foot of the Flatirons. Numerous chain Motels and Hotels are located around Boulder. For example, the Boulder Marriott, the Boulder Creek Quality Inn, the Best Western Golden Buff, and the Boulder University Inn.

 

While Boulder has plentiful hotel rooms, there is no camping readily available anywhere near the city. Numerous options are available in US Forest Service campgrounds near Nederland. However, the distance from the climbing areas (45min to more than an hour) suggests that these are best used as single overnight stays before or after climbing with JHMG.

 

MEETING TIME & PLACE

Our standard meet time for full day climbs and classes is 8:00am. However, weather conditions and route aspect commonly suggest alternate meet times. Please consult with our office for further detail regarding your specific class or objective. Our meeting locations vary depending on the class or climb. Following is a short list of possible meeting places:

Chautauqua Park – first lot after entering the park at Grant Place and Baseline Road

The Dome/Elephant – large lot on left about 1 mile into Boulder Canyon

Eldorado Canyon State Park – large lot located just beyond the entrance kiosk

 

WEATHER & CLIMATE

Conditions can be favorable for climbing at nearly any point during the year, but for most objectives, better climbing conditions occur in spring, summer, and autumn. Spring has a higher likelihood of precipitation. Summer afternoon temperatures can climb into the 90’s and isolated afternoon thunderstorms are common. In the autumn, climbers tend to find the most reliable conditions. Winter has many spells of great climbing weather, but it is difficult to plan in advance, as the Front Range can also receive full Rocky Mountain snowstorms and cold fronts. Because cliffs are dramatically affected by sun and wind exposure (or lack thereof), please refer to your JHMG guide for route or area recommendations. Suggestions are to provide our guests with the most enjoyable experience.

 

During summer months, even if the day dawns clear, all climbers should pack a rain jacket for the occasional surprise afternoon thundershower. Synthetic clothing is strongly advised at many times of the year, and is almost always preferable to cotton. Comfort levels can vary quite a bit depending on where you are climbing within a given climbing area, so please ask us for our clothing recommendations based on your planned climb/class and if you are unfamiliar with the area. It is common for us to suggest an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

VIEW PDF

Conditions can be favorable for climbing at nearly any point during the year, but for most objectives, better climbing conditions occur in spring, summer, and autumn. Spring has a higher likelihood of precipitation. Summer afternoon temperatures can climb into the 90’s and isolated afternoon thunderstorms are common. In the autumn, climbers tend to find the most reliable conditions. Winter has many spells of great climbing weather, but it is difficult to plan in advance, as the Front Range can also receive full Rocky Mountain snowstorms and cold fronts. Because cliffs are dramatically affected by sun and wind exposure (or lack thereof), please refer to your JHMG guide for route or area recommendations. Suggestions are to provide our guests with the most enjoyable experience.

During summer months, even if the day dawns clear, all climbers should pack a rain jacket for the occasional surprise afternoon thundershower. Synthetic clothing is strongly advised at many times of the year, and is almost always preferable to  cotton. Comfort levels can vary quite a bit depending on where you are climbing within a given climbing area, so please ask us for our clothing recommendations based on your planned climb/class and if you are unfamiliar with the area. It is common for us to suggest an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

For your safety and comfort, bring synthetic and or natural fiber clothing for insulation. Cotton is NOT recommended and down must be kept dry. Clothing should be able to layer without encumbering your movement.

Footwear

Objective Dependent – Salewa footwear is available at Jackson Hole Mountain Guides for rent. JHMG also carries a selection of Five Ten Rock shoes for rent.

  • Sticky Rubber Approach Shoes or Hiking Boots. Trips before mid July and those with extensive snow require a lightweight mountaineering boot (not a plastic boot). Guide Pick: Salewa Mountain Trainer or Salewa Firetail
  • Rock Shoes for technical rock routes
  • Socks: 1 – 2 pair: sized for your boots and blister prevention
Upper Layers
  • Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Top
  • Synthetic T-shirt – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Wicked Light T
  • Insulating Jacket: lightweight down or synthetic – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic Jacket, Zonal Jacket, Compressor Jacket
  • Soft Shell: fleece or pile
  • Rain Jacket: waterproof/breathable with hood. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Plasmic or Epic Jacket
Bottom Layers
  • Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Bottom
  • Hiking Short or Pant for approach – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear  Men’s Mesa, Women’s Corsica convertible pants
  • Synthetic Climbing Pant – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Pant
  • Rain Pant – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Pant
Accessories
  • Hat: lightweight to medium weight warm hat – sleek enough to be worn under a helmet
  • Gloves: one lightweight to medium weight pair – synthetic or fleece material. If snow route, shell also recommended.
  • Gaiters: only until mid-July

On the Trail

  • Back Pack: internal frame  35 Liter capacity (2000 cu in) Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Via Rapida 35
  • Water Bottles (2-3 L/Qt.) Or H2O Hydration system
  • Dark Sunglasses
  • Extra Pair Contact Lens
  • Sun Hat or visor
  • Sunscreen (35+SPF)
  • Lip Balm
  • Insect Repellent (until early August)
  • Headlamp, Fresh batteries
  • First Aid: minimal – blister care, analgesic, etc.
  • Lunch and Snacks
  • Bear Spray (if advised)

Optional Items

  • Trekking Poles
  • Camera

Cold Weather Considerations:

Early and late season temperatures require warmer clothing. You may consider additional clothing if you get cold easily or if it is unusually cold or windy.

  • Down Jacket
  • Vest
  • Medium weight long underwear

**Jackson Hole Mountain Guides supplies all the rock climbing gear, harnesses, helmets, locking carabiners & belay/rappel devices, crampons, and ice axes. However, you are welcome to bring your own equipment. Please coordinate with our office for gear checks. Backpacks, rock shoes, and boots can all be rented & purchased in our Jackson office.

For a printable version of this list, please click below:

VIEW PDF

Testimonials

  • Wow! What can I say? Thank you! I never thought I’d climb again and you guys gave me the confidence and encouragement to do it again. Today’s hike was long, but the view well worth it. Thanks for sharing a part of your life with me. Thanks again.

    — Liz
  • If you want to climb safely with confidence and learn about WHAT you are actually doing and climbing…Pick JHMG.  Hands down the best guys for the job!  YEARS of experience and professionalism are very obvious from the moment you step inside the shop.  Nice guys, well trained and fun to climb with!

    — Darren Davis
  • Thank you for taking us on the climb. It was such a blast! Being on the Grand was really neat and I hope to do more climbs like it. Thanks for teaching me many things!

    — Heather Berch, age 15 (recipient of Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship)
  • My experiences with JHMG have been uniformly outstanding.   Each guide that has worked with me over the years has taken a genuine interest in helping me advance my climbing.  The levels of professionalism, expertise, and interest in teaching among the guides I have worked with has been top-notch.

    — David Matthews

Talk To Us

Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with JHMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.

By Phone 800.239.7642

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