Front Porch is a very wide formation sitting on the northern slopes of Dinosaur Mountain. It is almost as wide as it is tall and dominates the lower slopes in the area. It is home to several worthwhile climbs and scrambles, and should not be missed by any Flatiron climber. The approach is very short by Flatiron standards, and the trail is well defined the whole way. The descent is also easy and Front Porch is low enough that it often misses the long term snow that plagues the upper formations in winter. This is a fabulous rock and has alot to offer both beginner climbers and soloists alike.
Starting the hike at NCAR makes the most sense.
Follow the trail west over Table Mesa (giant green watertank) until you intersect the Mesa Trail. Follow the signs for Mallory Cave and start up the Mallory Cave trail from the Mesa Trail. You will shortly reach a sharp bend left in the trail and that will tell you to start paying attention. Maybe 20 yards later a faint trail takes a sharp right and heads up almost the opposite direction of the Mallory Cave trail. This is Porch Alley and the key to accessing Front Porch and several other formations. Follow Porch Alley up and soon you will see Front Porch come through the trees on the right. Veer in front of the formation and pick your route. This is one of the easiest off-trail formations to reach in the Flatirons.
While free of usual seasonal closures, it is always a good idea to check before you go. Check HERE for any unusual closures.
Only use clean climbing techniques so leave that hammer at home. This may seem obvious but I have discovered new pitons on routes recently.
There is no camping allowed in the Flatirons.
Although there are routes to downclimb, it makes more sense to make an easy rappel. Scramble down west to reach a lone tree then sling it and make a simple 50ish foot rappel west. After reaching terra firma, follow a faint trail down the west side of the rock until you reach Porch Alley. Simply follow it back to the Mallory Cave trail and out.