The Regency - El Camino Royale

The Regency - El Camino Royale

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.98255°N / 105.29035°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scrambling
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: Class 4
Sign the Climber's Log


The Regency is a large flatiron below (east of) the Fifth Flatoron and the Royal Arch. Start at the Chautauqua parking lot. Follow the Mesa Trail south from the Bluebell Shelter. Go past the canyon that comes down from the Fifth Flatiron and reach the next canyon, which is filled, at its intersection with the trail, with talus. Climb up this talus until you find a faint trail that stays to the right of the talus. The trail gets very faint, but soon you will reach the foot of the massive flatiron known as the Regency. The faint trail forks from the Mesa Trail shortly before the latter crosses the talus-filled canyon. If you spot it, it will make for a gentler ascent.

Route Description

There is no fixed line of ascent, but the very bottom of the Regency is rather unpleasant because of lichens. Therefore, you may want to start a bit to the right of the lowest point, where the rock is cleaner. Scamble up for about 500 feet to the pointy summit of the Regency. Enjoy the great views of the surrounding Flatirons, notably the Third. From the summit of the Regency, you have a good view of the Royal Arch, which is where the route takes you next.

Retrace your steps from the summit block descending its east face until it is possible to bushwhack around its north side. Cross west until you reach the base of the east face of the Royal Arch, which you follow for about 200 feet to its summit. Descend the east face until you can go around, once again, on the north side, and connect to the trail that comes from the Bluebell Shelter. Follow this trail to return to the Chautauqua parking lot. The ascent of the Royal Arch is not mandatory, but unless you are really late or the weather has turned bad, you should not skip it. There is also a shorter, harder route to the summit of the Arch from the West, but I've not climbed it.

The hardest part of El Camino Royale is the start. Once you get to the sunnier higher reaches, the rock is more featured and cleaner. The ascent of the Regency's summit block and of the Arch are quite similar and highly enjoyable. The Regency is not a crowded place by any stretch of the imagination. However, on a summer weekend, you are not likely to go unnoticed as you approach its summit, since a popular trail leads many hikers to the Royal Arch. If you'd rather avoid publicity, go in winter.

Essential Gear

Experienced climbers often climb El Camino Royale unroped. A rope is recommended for the others. (Class 4 Flatiron routes should not be underestimated.) A light rack will suffice.

Miscellaneous Info

This route is described in Gerry Roach's Flatiron Classics, Richard Rossiter's Rock Climbing the Flatirons, and Mountain Project.



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