The Great Red Book

Page Type Page Type: Route
Additional Information Route Type: Technical Rock Climb
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.8 PG13
Sign the Climber's Log


Follow the directions on the main page ("Getting There" section) to reach the Second Pullout from the Scenic Loop Road. The route is visible from the pullout directly across the wash. From the pullout, it seems as though the approach would take about 5-10 minutes. For most, in fact, it'll take about 25-30 minutes to reach the base.

From the Second Pullout, hike down into the wash following the main trail. ~5 minutes into your walk, make a right onto a well-defined trail heading down towards the bottom of the wash. Once at the bottom, follow "social" trails left (on either side of the seasonal creek at the bottom). About 10 minutes from the trailhead, the wash narrows down and there's some class 3 friction scrambling above a water pool involved. Beyond there, the wash opens up again. Head right into another major wash following a climbers' trail. You're now traversing rightward below a wall atop which sits the base of The Great Red Book. Few hundred yards from where you turned right into this wash, look for a gully heading up and left at a sharp angle. Take the gully (there's a fun squeeze slot section) followed by some boulder hopping at the top to reach the base of the unmistakable dihedral (Great Red Book). Take a number and get in line...

Route Description

This short little gem climbs a huge dihedral in two, ~130-foot pitches. The stellar rock, fun and well-mixed moves, and the short approach (esp. the apparently easy approach) make this a Red Rocks "minor" classic and draw in big crowds. Huge lines are not uncommon at the base. Also note that you cannot apply for a late exit pass for First or Second Pullouts - i.e. need to be out before the "closing" time of the loop road. The PG or PG13 rating of the route is probably accurate. The runouts are not terrifying but you don't always have the option of "top roping" yourself with a piece.

Pitch 1: 5.8 [5.7 PG13], 130 feet. Climb easy rock (~5.6) 15 or so feet left of the base of the huge dihedral to reach the right side of a small ledge (tree/bush on it) about 20 feet up. Move up and few feet above ledge traverse right (balancy 5.8 face with pro few feet below you) to reach the dihedral. Move up the dihedral to the base of a short, steep section in the dihedral. Pull this section (Super Topo calls this 15-foot section 5.9 but I don't think it's that hard; beautiful Indian Creek-esque rock) and top out on a sloping "ledge". Set good pro (it'll be a while before you get another solid piece in) and traverse the sloping ledge left away from the dihedral. Move up the face (~5.7-5.8, some "imaginative" nutting/camming) to reach a doubly-bolted belay station.

Pitch 1: 5.8 PG, 130 feet. Climb face up and slightly right to reach a good bolt about 20 feet above the belay (you can get some pro before then). Keep moving up and right back towards the dihedral to reach another bolt in the face (5.8). Continue up the dihedral to the base of a short, OW section (one more bolt). Clip the bolt and layback up this section (easier than it looks). Soon you're on easy ground inside a large chimney. Either make your way directly up this chimney (runout) or go further into (right) the chimney and follow a low 5th class face up to the top. Either butt belay or find a pair of bolts (back left almost directly in line with the dihedral below).

Hike right for ~100 feet (toward a notch with nice views and a seasonal pool) until able to make your way down to a gully directly behind the route. Scramble left down this gully (class 2 - 3) until able to traverse back right at the base of the face toward your packs.

Essential Gear

A few small to mid sized nuts. Good selection of cams (incl. down to about a green Alien, ~0.3 inch) up to #3.5 or #4 Camalot.

Photo "Topos"



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