Red Rock Canyon Open Space covers an area of 787 acres on the western edge of Colorado Springs. The red sandstone is similar to Garden of the Gods but this park is much less crowded. There are excellent hiking and mountain biking trails as well as over 90 bolted sport climbing routes. The land was purchased by the city of Colorado Springs in 2003 for public use.
Red Rock Canyon is located in Colorado Springs just off of Highway 24 (Cimarron St). Coming from downtown Colorado Springs or I-25 go west on highway 24. Continue on 24 approximatly 0.5 miles past 31st street. At this point turn left off of 24 onto Ridge Rd. There are currently two parking lots. The larger lot is obvious while the second smaller lot is further back at the mouth of the canyon.
If you plan on doing any rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon you MUST get a climbing permit from the Garden of the Gods visitor center. The permit is free and the consequences for climbing without a permit are a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail. When you get the permit it will outline the rules for climbing in Garden of the Gods and Red Rock Canyon.
External LinksCity of Colorado Springs parks webpage
Climbing Regulations for Red Rock Canyon
This is a link to a Mountain Project
website by Stewart Green. Since he established and has the first ascent of most of the routes in the park I recommend checking out this website or his book.
Friends of Red Rock Canyon Homepage
is an excellent source of information about current events in the park and future projects.
Rock Climbing Info
Red Rock Canyon offers some excellent climbing away from the tourists in Garden of the Gods. There are over 90 bolted sport routes as well as a handfull of trad routes and some top-rope areas. For information on these routes I strongly recommend Stewart M. Green's book: Red Rock Canyon Open Space: A Rock Climber's Guide
. It is the best resource for climing in this area, giving accurate descriptions of every route in the park. This book can be found at the Garden of the Gods visitor center, Mountain Chalet, or the Colorado Springs REI location. This park is great for people new to the sport with many moderate routes. Difficulties in the park range from 5.0-5.13 so there is something for everyone.
Here is a list of the walls in Red Rock Canyon and what they have to offer:
Ripple Wall The Whale
2 routes (5.5 - 5.6) as well as an open project (5.13?)
4 routes (5.7 - 5.10a/b)
11 routes (5.7+ - 5.11a/b)
2 routes (5.9 - 5.10a)
2 routes (5.9 - 5.11a)
3 routes (5.7 - 5.10a)
26 routes (5.0 - 5.10b)
5 routes (5.5 - 5.9)
8 routes (5.6 - 5.11b/c) This wall also has one trad route at 5.10a/b.
The Wailing Wall:
14 routes (5.10a - 5.12c)
5 routes (5.7 - 5.10d)
6 routes (5.8 - 5.11a/b)