OverviewPuoux (pronounced "pukes") is a climbing area at the far west end of Glenwood Canyon, on the north wall, and not far east of Glenwood Springs. It was one of the first sport climbing areas developed on the Western Slope of Colorado (beginning in 1989), but there are many possible trad climbs here as well. This was actually one of the main hangouts of Layton Kor, so you know the climbing is good.
The rock at Puoux is limestone that is rather good for climbing. Some sources say that the area has a reputation for chossy rock, but I actually found it to be refreshingly solid compared to say, the rock around climbing areas such as Moab.
The accessibility of the climbing area is both a blessing and a curse. One one hand, the crags have one of the shortest approaches in Colorado, but on the other hand the Freeway noise is a serious distraction.
The area is popular for climbing, but not as popular as places like Wall Street around Moab. You shouldn't have to wait in line to do a climb.
There are trad and sport climbs of almost all levels of difficulty here, from 5.5 to 5.14b, so there should be something for everyone.
In addition to the main Puoux Crag, there are crags known as the Cascade Creek Crags, Super Puoux, Sugar Slabs, and East Canyon Crags. Right now, I am only familiar with the main Puoux Crag, so that will be the main focus of the page.
Getting ThereThis is one of the easiest crags in Colorado to get to.
From the West
From Glenwood Springs, drive east on I-70 into Glenwood Canyon. Take the No Name Exit/Exit 119 and U Turn back onto the Freeway so you are heading Westbound. Park at the huge pullout get before the Freeway enters the Tunnel.
From the East
From the East, travel I-70 through Glenwood Canyon and park at the huge pullout just before the Freeway enters the tunnel west of No Name/Exit 119.
All crags mentioned on this page are approached from the parking area above, with the exception of East Canyon Crags, which are approached from right at the No Name Exit (Exit 119).
Main Puoux CragsThese are the crags closest to the Freeway. The Freeway noise is a distraction, but there are some good climbs here and this is the most popular place to climb in the area.
These are a little quieter climbs than the Roadside Slabs, but are still a bit noisy.
From the parking lot, head west. The main trail takes you to the base of the Roadside Slabs. From the Roadside Slabs staging area, head east along the base of the cliff around a corner and up to a small amphitheater that contains the climbs.
Climbs here range from 5.5 to 5.12a. Most are bolted, but some can be done as trad routes.
This is the most popular and noisiest climbing crag in the area.
From the parking lot, head west. The main trail takes you to the base of the Roadside Slabs.
Climbs here range from 5.5 to 5.11b. Most climbs are bolted, but some of the bolted climbs (such as Traditional Values) can be done with trad gear. Original Route still remains a trad climb and is not bolted.
From the parking lot, head west. The main trail takes you to the base of the Roadside Slabs. From the Roadside Slabs, follow the trail west around the corner to the tall west facing wall. This wall is a little quieter than the Roadside Slabs, but there are no climbs here for beginners.
Climbs here range from 5.9 to 5.14a. Most climbs are in the 5.12 and 5.13 range.
The Boulders are a really fun climbing area. The Incisor is a mini-tower of sorts. From the parking lot, head west. The main trail takes you to the base of the Roadside Slabs. From the Roadside Slabs, follow the trail west around the corner to along the tall west facing wall and to the huge boulders near the west side of the Wall. The two biggest rocks are The Incisor and The Molar and each contains some fine routes.
Climbs here range from 5.5 (though 5.5 is a sandbag on Bert) and 5.12.
Other Puoux Area CragsCascade Creek Crags
This area is in a small drainage west of the Main Puoux Crags. Access is a little harder than some of the other crags in the area (the advantage is that you will likely have the crags all to yourself). The easiest way to get there is to follow the bike path from Glenwood Springs for one mile to the crags. You can also scramble up the Fault Wall at the upper end of Puoux itself, but this is a challenging scramble.
Climbs here range from 5.7 to 5.11d.
Super Puoux is what the name describes. It is a more extreme version of the Main Puoux Crags. It is also removed from the noise and popularity of the Main Crags.
To access Super Puoux, follow the main trail west from the parking lot, but about 1/2 way to the Main Puoux Crags, locate a steep cairned trail through the oak brush (watch for ticks in Spring!)a and up to the crags, passing a weird telephone pole and and old aqueduct along the way.
Climbs here range from 5.10b to 5.13d.
Sugar Slabs (Mountain Project calls these "Grey Slabs") is a great climbing area, but is seldom visited because of the approach. You can see the slabs from the parking lot and they are located far above the canyon floor.
The first part of the approach shares a route with the approach to Super Puoux. Once you reach the aqueduct however, turn right and follow the defunct aqueduct east to a small cave. Exit this and pass below a slab with a wooden door before getting on top of the aqueduct and then make your way along a primitive trail to the slabs. There is some exposure on the approach.
Climbs here range from 5.5 to 5.12a.
East Canyon Crags
These are the eastern most crags in the Puoux Area. Unlike the other areas above, the crags are
Red TapeThere is no red tape here, so please treat the area with respect.
When to ClimbMost of the wall gets full sun in the middle of the day, making Spring and Fall the ideal times to climb here. The Boulders get more shade than the other areas.
If you go in summer, climb the shaded area of The Boulders in the late evening or the other crags in the early morning.
Since most of the crags face south, winter climbing is also possible.
CampingThe Glenwood Canyon Resort just to the east of Puoux has camping. There is also an RV Park in Glenwood Springs that has tent sites during the busy season.
The following book mentions 73 different climbs at Puoux (there are actually several other climbs at Puoux that aren't in the book, but this is the best and most comprehensive climbing source on the area):
Puoux on Mountain Project
Super Puoux on Mountain Project
Sugar Slabs on Mountain Project
East Canyon Crags on Mountain Project
Mountain ConditionsCLICK HERE FOR WEATHER FORECAST
Weather and climate data for Glenwood Springs is below. *National Weather Service Data 1893-2012. Glenwood Springs is only a few miles from Puoux.
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