Clear Creek Canyon has a variety of climbing routes with a matching variety of rock. The lower canyon has easy to access crags and more sport routes, while the upper canyon progressively gets more technical.
Clear Creek Canyon in Golden is about 40 minutes from Boulder. As a sibling to Boulder Canyon, the rock climbing here is less established but offers a bit more variety in terms of rock -- gneiss, schist and sandy granite are all present, most of it relatively solid. Because the canyon is about 12 miles long, there are over 700 established routes and many of the areas feature specific types of climbing. Sport and trad are both to be found, but bolted routes far outnumber trad lines.
What Makes It Great
Difficulties run the full gamut, from 5.0 to 5.14, with the majority of routes favoring more difficult climbs over 5.10. Pitch length can vary, from single pitch sport routes to multi-pitch lines over 600 feet. In other words, there’s something for everyone. The climbs at the top of the canyon are tougher to reach and in some cases, require the use of tyrolean traverses.
Knocking off a good project in Clear Canyon likely means topping out on 5.10 and tougher climbs. Overall, Clear Canyon caters more to advanced intermediate and expert climbers.
Who is Going to Love It
Climbers of all abilities, but dedicated intermediates and advanced climbers will love the variety of tough pitches. Sections can vary quite drastically between regions, employing a full set of climbing skills. Slabs, overhangs, off-widths, roofs are all present in Clear Creek Canyon. It is a little less crowded than Boulder Canyon most days, though the lower canyon can get very busy on weekends.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From Boulder, the best way to reach Clear Creek Canyon is to take CO Highway 93 (Broadway) straight south for about 25 minutes into Golden. Then take a right, heading west on US 6 into Clear Creek Canyon. Pullouts can be found along the highway, and most approaches are about 5-10 minutes.
There are no fees to climb in Clear Creek. For more info on specific climbs and crags, consult the Mountain Project website.