The rock faces of Garden of the God’s offer a tremendous range of route ability levels from the Silver Spoon 5.5 one pitch sport route to its counterpart the Anaconda 5.11c two pitch trad route. In fact, according to Mountain Project, Garden of the Gods has at least 149 rock climbing routes to explore.
Disclaimer: Please note that climbing should be done at a person’s own risk, it can be a very dangerous sport. If you are unfamiliar with the ratings of routes, the difference between trad or sport routes, or if you have never climbed outside please do not attempt rock climbing unless climbing with an experienced guide. With the proper precautions, rock climbing can be fun and safe.
Garden of the Gods requires this climbing regulations permit/waiver.
Garden of the Gods Rock Climbing Options
The Beginner Climber
If you are new to climbing, Garden of the Gods can seem like a daunting venue. Don’t lose hope, beginner climber! There are great climbing guides in Colorado Springs that would enjoy sharing this new experience with you. Front Range Climbing, Colorado Climbing Company and First Ascent all offer half day or full day climbing packages. What a cool way to explore Garden of the Gods from a new approach.
If you want to strike out on your own, consider doing some bouldering at the Snake Pit, right in front of Kindergarten Rock. Complete with easy and more challenging routes, the Snake Pit is an amazing way to test out your low altitude skills.
The Experienced Climber
For the more advanced climber, there are a myriad of two pitch routes or trad routes to explore. Annoyed by crowds? Don’t be discouraged, there are several neat routes on the back sides of popular rock formations.
As an adventurer myself, I have had my breath taken away by views that can only be seen from a climber’s perspective. It is both exhilarating and a little scary to assess your surroundings while climbing the exposed Garden of the Gods rock routes.
A few advanced rock climbing routes in Garden of the Gods
I have listed below a few Garden of the Gods rock climbing favorites, keep in mind that routes may require extra gear or have some wash out. Always make sure before climbing to double check other climbers notes before ascending any routes.
Have you ever walked into the Garden of the Gods from the main parking lot and seen climbers scaling up the Twin Spires rock formation. This route, Potholes, is an extremely popular sport route in the Garden of the Gods park, with a heavy flow of by-standers. This is a fun, one pitch, 5.7 route but keep in mind that gear may need be added for extra protection due to old pitons.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to avoid the crowds, one of my personal favorite climbs is End of an Era. This climb, located on Kindergarten Rock, has an arete on the east side which lends to an epic exposure and amazing views. There are three routes on this east corner, End of an Era, Death of a Dinosaur and End to End, so analyze the routes before proceeding to climb. End of an Era is a challenging 5.8+ sport route, but is very rewarding.
Want to test your skills on a two-pitch route? Although rated a 5.7, North Ridge or commonly known as the rock formation Montezuma’s Tower is not one for beginners. This popular route to more advanced rock climbers requires precision, skill and the courage to face breathtaking exposure. An important note, make sure to bring an extra piece of gear for the ascent and an extra rope for the descent.
Garden of the Gods climbing is one of its kind with breathtaking views and unique features. This is only a small taste of what is out there to explore. For a more detailed description of these or other Garden of the Gods climbs check out Mountain Project.
Prefer to Rock Climb Indoors?
It has taken me several years of climbing to be able to feel comfortable on a rock-ledge. In fact, even now I still get nervous or feel unprepared. When this has been the case, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking advantage of the rock climbing gyms in the Colorado Springs region. I have taken a few falls on the padded floors of Springs Climbing Center (SCC) practicing my bouldering skills or learned to lead climb from an experienced staff member of City Rock. I have grown in many ways as a climber having been able to gain experience from gyms like this in Colorado Springs.
Garden of the Gods and Colorado Springs have plenty of rock climbing options, indoors and outside. Be smart, safe, and have a blast! Oh yeah, wear sunscreen too.
Don’t forget, if you plan to climb Garden of the Gods, be sure to get your free permit.