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"South Gateway Rock"
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Mountains & Rocks

"South Gateway Rock"

"South Gateway Rock"

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.87780°N / 104.8802°W

Object Title: "South Gateway Rock"

County: El Paso

Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 6660 ft / 2030 m


Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Dec 17, 2012 / Dec 17, 2012

Object ID: 830280

Hits: 1971 

Page Score: 82.48%  - 15 Votes 

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South Ridge of  South Gateway Rock
South Ridge of "South Gateway Rock"

The companion formation to Gateway Rock (“North Gateway Rock”), “South Gateway Rock” is a large, bulky outcrop holding numerous climbing routes in Garden of the Gods. From the summit, a good chunk of the Colorado Springs area is visible, and the top of “South Gateway Rock” yields a dramatic bird’s eye perspective of Garden of the Gods Park. Especially fine views can be had of the south ridge of North Gateway Rock, the east face of Montezuma’s Tower and the vista to the west of snow-clad Pikes Peak with a red sandstone foreground is especially fetching. The summit is airy, yet broad enough for a few folks to sit on to take in the scenery.

Rank: Unranked
Prominence: 200 feet
USGS Quad: Cascade
YDS Class by Easiest Route: 5.easy

Rank & Prominence: Lists of John

Approaching the south ridge
Below the south ridge
Toward the south ridge
Toward south ridge

Getting There

Approaching the south ridge
Approaching the south ridge
Looking southward
Southward into winter sun

To reach Garden of the Gods from I-25
• Take Exit #146 (Garden of the Gods Road)
• Go west for 2.5 miles
• Turn Left onto 30th Street
• The Visitor & Nature Center will be on the left (a little over a mile)

The main parking area is in the far northern end of the park. Follow the park road west from the Visitors Center. When it becomes one-way, stay right. The main parking area is the first parking area encountered on your left. South Gateway rock is just across the sidewalk from North Gateway Rock, a short walk from the parking area.

Hiking Map

Red Tape

About climbing in Garden of the Gods
Caution sign
Below the summit of  South Gateway Rock
Cleft below summit

Garden of the Gods is free to the public. Park hours are as follows:

May 1 - Oct 31 5am - 11pm
Nov 1 - Apr 30 5am - 9pm

Dogs are welcome on a leash 6 feet long or shorter and must be picked up after by their owners.

Garden of the Gods strictly manages climbing activity. In particular:

1. Scrambling is not allowed. You may walk and admire the formations, or use technical rock climbing gear to ascend them, but you may not scramble.
2. Do not climb in Garden of the Gods when the rock is wet. Climbing wet sandstone damages the formations and is dangerous to the climber.
3. All climbers must check in with the visitors center to fill out a free registration form.

Click here for a full set of rules governing climbing in Garden of the Gods (PDF).

Camping & Lodging

Montezuma s Tower and Pikes Peak
Montezuma's Tower and Pikes Peak
West face
West face
View from the summit
Summit view

There is no camping in Garden of the Gods park.

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 CampgroundThunder 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
• 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


Manitou Springs
Nearby Manitou Springs lies at the foot of Ute Pass. 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.

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

On the summit
On the summit

Find more about Weather in Colorado Springs, CO
Click for weather forecast
Due to relatively low altitude, “South Gateway Rock” is a reasonable year-round summit objective, weather permitting. Remember not to climb the sandstone following rain or snow. The heat and crowds of the high summer season may make this a less than pleasant place to visit on a weekend from June through August. Winter can be hit or miss here. One weekend brings high winds, frigid temperatures and scouring, driven snow while the next weekend may bring mild temperatures and sunshine.Find more about Weather in Colorado Springs, CO
Click for weather forecast


South Ridge of "South Gateway Rock"Toward the south ridgeBelow the south ridgeOn the summitBelow the summit of "South Gateway Rock"View from the summit"South Gateway Rock"
Montezuma\'s Tower and Pikes PeakApproaching the south ridgeLooking southwardWest faceAbout climbing in Garden of the Gods