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"Parachute Rock"
Mountain/Rock

"Parachute Rock"

 
"Parachute Rock"

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.17948°N / 105.01912°W

Object Title: "Parachute Rock"

County: Douglas

Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 9310 ft / 2838 m

 

Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Aug 30, 2011 / Feb 12, 2013

Object ID: 742345

Hits: 2777 

Page Score: 81.18%  - 13 Votes 

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Overview

 
 Parachute Rock
"Parachute Rock" from the south


“Parachute Rock” is a neat little crag nestled into rolling terrain in the Rampart Range east of Rampart Range Road. The crag features dynamite views from the top, including Pikes Peak and neighboring Almagre Mountain to the south, the northern Colorado Springs area, including the Douglas County buttes, to the east, the Lost Creek Wilderness to the west, plus the Puma Hills to the southwest and the Evans Group, reaching 14,240 feet into the sky, to the northwest.

“Parachute Rock” has two summits:

•The lower, southern summit (with a given elevation of 9,302 feet on topo maps and approximate coordinates of 39.17719 | -105.01919) supplies climbers with multiple 1- to 2- (or even 3-) pitch routes on the south face. The racking/belaying area is well-shaded and, despite its southern exposure, stays surprisingly cool on summer mornings. This is where most of the activity on “Parachute Rock” occurs and what most folks focused on rock climbing mean when they mention “Parachute Rock.” The actual top of the southern summit is several vertical feet above the highest South Face belay station.

•The higher, northern summit (no elevation given on topo maps but estimated to be at least 9,310 feet). This summit can be attained either by a Class 3 scramble from the west or by descending the southern summit and crossing a fun and spicy ridge (Class 3 with consequences) to reach the large boulder jumble of the northern summit. While known primarily for its rock routes, “Parachute Rock” offers something for scramblers, too!

Relatively convenient to both Denver and Colorado Springs, and quite close to Woodland Park, “Parachute Rock” is one of those outings that can provide several laps on various rock routes, a pleasant scramble to claim a summit, and drop-dead views, all in time to get back home at a reasonable hour and relax with friends or family.

Speckled granite
Speckled granite
Approaching the northern summit
Approaching the northern summit

Getting There

 
Finding  Parachute Rock
Finding "Parachute Rock"


Standard access to “Parachute Rock” is via FS 300 (Rampart Range Road) to FS 327. Here are details on reaching FS 327:

From Mount Herman Road: Follow FS 300 (Rampart Range Road) northbound for about 10.5 miles
From Woodland Park: Follow FS 300 (Rampart Range Road) northbound for about 15.5 miles
From Hwy 67: Follow FS 300 (Rampart Range Road) southbound for about 21 miles

The microwave and other communications towers provide a good landmark to find FS 327. Turn east on FS 327. Continue through a small drainage, then keep your eyes open for a pull-out on the left with a rustic campsite. Park here. A short hike through pleasant woods carries you from the parking to the base of the south wall of Parachute Rock. Alternately, if you wish only to scramble to the northern summit, continue around the western edge of the formation to the saddle between the two summits and select a scrambling line to the top of the northern summit.

Note: FS 300 is suitable for all passenger vehicles, merely winding and wash-boarded. FS 327 is rougher and you will appreciate having higher clearance plus 4x4 if the road is (or gets) wet.

Rain moving in over Pikes Peak
Rain moving in over Pikes Peak

Red Tape

Ascending the headwall 2
 
Ascending the headwall 3
 
Ascending the headwall 1
 

Some gumby ascending the headwall near the top of the south face

 
Taking a break in the shade
Taking a break in the shade
 
Southern summit from west side
Southern summit from west side

There are no user fees to access this area and no permits are required, nor are any special regulations placed upon climbing this formation.
  • Do not litter and dispose properly of human waste.
  • Much of Rampart Range Road is a “no shoot” zone. That means: Shoot only in designated target ranges.
  • Operate motor vehicles only on designated roadways.
  • For everyone’s safety, the National Forest officials segregate street legal, licensed motor vehicle traffic from OHV traffic. Adhere to posted placards managing this traffic. (In plain English: Keep your Jeep off the trails and keep your dirt bike / quad runner off the roads.)

Camping & Lodging

 
At the top of the headwall
At the top of the headwall
 
Southern summit from west side
Southern summit from west side
 
Lichen covered rock
Lichen covered rock
 
Southern summit from northern summit
Southern summit from northern summit
 
Low angle, small features
Low angle, small features
 
Scramble to the southern summit
Scramble to the southern summit

Rustic car camping and backcountry camping can be found in the adjacent Pike National Forest. Be forewarned that the proximity of this area to the urban I-25 corridor means that crowding can be an issue, especially in the summer, and that unsavory characters are known to frequent this area. Be prepared for heavy ATV use, large crowds, drunkenness and casual firearms usage.

The nearest semi-developed US Forest Service campsites would be in the Rampart Reservoir area.

Meadow Ridge Campground
  • 19 campsites
  • 9,200 feet elevation
  • Season: Generally early May through September
  • $15 per night, per site
  • Amenities include tables, fire grates, drinking water, latrines, and trash collection


Thunder Ridge Campground
  • 21 campsites
  • 9,200 feet elevation
  • Season: Generally early May through September
  • $15 per night, per site
  • Amenities include tables, fire grates, drinking water, latrines, and trash collection



Hotels, Cabins & B&Bs



Manitou Springs
Manitou Springs lies at the foot of Ute Pass. The Barr Trail trailhead lies within this community. This colorful, eclectic town offers a wide range of lodging options including old-style motor cottages and cabins, retro family-run motels, charming B&Bs and modern chain hotels. Shopping and dining are within walking distance of most Manitou lodging. Visit the a href=http://www.manitousprings.org/Default.aspx >Manitou Springs Visitors Website for more information on lodging in the area.

Colorado Springs
The hotel options in Colorado Springs are virtually limitless. If you are the 5-star luxury type, be sure to check out The Broadmoor.

Weather & Seasons

 
Ascending easy terrain toward headwall
Ascending easy terrain toward headwall



•IMPORTANT: This section of FS 300 (Rampart Range Road) is closed from roughly 1 December through 1 April annually. Exact closure dates can vary year-to-year, so please check with the Forest Service (Pike National Forest) prior to heading toward “Parachute Rock” during the transition period.

•During the summer months and into early fall, the Rampart Range Road area is very, very busy. It is a popular area for OHV enthusiasts and target shooters. While “Parachute Rock” is relatively secluded in its own little nook, expect to climb with the background noise of ATVs and live fire.

•In the fall, the days would be cooler and crisp, the aspen turning golden and the likelihood of afternoon thundershowers decreased significantly.



Climbers on the southern summit
Climbers on the southern summit
Pikes Peak to the South
Pikes Peak to the South


Images