One of the reasons we love climbing in Red Rocks is because it has it all; it’s a climbers’ playground! This venue has everything from single-pitch top-roping to huge featured walls, and varnished edges to incut jugs, splitter cracks, and technical faces.
What makes it even better? Many of the approaches are short, the weather is beautiful and Las Vegas offers easy, affordable access for many traveling climbers.
Many of our guides head down to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area each fall to show their clients the classics (and to escape the cool fall temperatures in Colorado). We’ve featured a few of our favorite climbs to give you a sample of what Red Rocks climbing has to offer, but don’t be fooled, there’s much more in store for those who make the trip.
If you’re short on time or a relatively new climber, you may want to start with a half day in Calico Hills, which is less than an hour drive from Sin City.
If you’re looking for sport climbing in Red Rocks, a great starting point is the single-pitch terrain in the Black Corridor. If you’re new to trad or want some warms ups, then we love the 3-8 pitch, 5.6-9 trad routes like Olive Oil, Tunnel Vision, Angel Food Wall routes, Frog Land and Y2K. If you’re interested in a guide for these climbs or similar, we classify them as a “Full Day” of climbing. Below is a more extensive, but not exhaustive, list of Full Day climbs.
Cat In The Hat
Angel Food Wall Routes
Calico Hills -Skill/Sport Days
Lotta Balls Wall – (First Creek cragging)
Let’s Get a Little Bigger
If you are looking for an extended day, check out climbs such as Dark Shadows and Ginger Cracks. Want a bit bigger? Link up Johnny Vegas into Solar Slab. It’s 14 pitches of fantastic 5.7 climbing. Another great option is Rainbow Buttress, featuring 12 pitches of 5.8+. Other great climbs are Frigid Air Buttress, Windy Peak routes, and Community Pillar.
We classify these longer routes as “Alpine 1” days when booking a guide based on the objective length and commitment:
Johnny Vegas / Solar Slab
Windy Peak Routes
Frigid Air Buttress
Hot Flash – First Creek MP routes
Black Velvet Routes – DOWT, POD, etc with rappel
Whiskey Peak Routes – to the top
Kicking it up a Notch
Set your eyes on Inti Watana; it’s face and crack climbing is guaranteed to put a smile on your face with 12 pitches of 5.10c, or Black Orpheus, a 10-pitch climb rated at 5.10a. Other notable climbs include those on Eagle Wall, Mescalito routes, Crimson Chrysallis, and Black Velvet routes.
Epinephrine is perhaps the most classic Red Rocks climbing route. It’s 5.9 grade is often described as being “sandbagged” – partially because of the chimney climbing that most climbers don’t frequently experience. It’s a long climb too. Climbing up 12-18 pitches (depending on routes and protection) and hauling all of your gear can take it’s toll.
We classify these as “Alpine 2” days:
Eagle Wall Routes
Mescalito Routes – to the top
Black Velvet Routes
Solar Slab Routes to the Top
Go Big or Go Home
After a climb like Epinephrine, look at Rainbow Wall and Resolution Arete. If you’re really getting after it, do the big daddy of linkups – Inti Watana into Resolution Arete, totaling 26 pitches of 5.10c. All of these are classified as “Alpine 3” days with our guides: