Best Climbing in Colorado

This list represents the most popular climbing in Colorado. Use this list to plan your next Colorado climbing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Maroon Bells Traverse - North Maroon Peak to South Maroon Peak


“The Deadly Bells!” This persistent name has been earned due to the number of fatalities on these peaks. Many of the accidents have occurred in the couloirs rather than on the ridge route described he…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Aspen, CO - Climbing - 10.8 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#2. Mount Bierstadt to Mount Evans - Sawtooth Ridge


An easy trail up Mt. Bierstadt followed by a fun scramble over the Sawtooth to the long west ridge of Mt. Evans. Easy scrambling takes you to the summit of Mt. Evans. Return by retracing your steps do…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Silver Plume, CO - Climbing - 9.9 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#3. Royal Arch Trail


One of the somewhat challenging options along the Mesa Trail is an interesting trail in its own right because you end up at a small arch with striking views, especially to the north, and you have uniq…
From the guidebook "Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park"
Boulder, CO - Climbing, Hiking - 3.3 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#4. Fossil Ridge Wilderness Trails


Fossil Ridge is classic Rocky Mountain wilderness: Rough-hewn granite peaks tower behind glittering alpine lakes resting at the head of long, timbered glacier-cut valleys. On the surface, this properl…
From the guidebook "The Complete Guide to Colorado's Wilderness Areas"
Gunnison, CO - Climbing, Hiking - 22 miles
Published by Westcliffe Publishers

#5. Engineer Mountain


This is a fun, short scramble on a famous landmark. Driving along US 550, south of Silverton, you have probably seen this peak many times. One of these times you should stop and climb it. It’s worth i…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Cascade, CO - Climbing - 6 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#6. Rocky Mountain National Park Trails


Glaciation has left its indelible imprint here like nowhere else in Colorado. The park contains valley after valley of glacial lakes placed one after another like beads on a string. In excavating thei…
From the guidebook "The Complete Guide to Colorado's Wilderness Areas"
Estes Park, CO - Climbing, Cross-Country Skiing, Hiking - 355 miles
Published by Westcliffe Publishers

#7. Vermillion and Golden Horn


Moderate scrambles on two peaks with an interesting 3rd class descent. These two peaks combine well in a day, whether from the Ice Basin trailhead or from a camp at Ice Lake. While easier than the oth…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Ophir, CO - Climbing - 4.6 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#8. Navajo Peak - Airplane Gully


A trail hike, followed by off-trail scrambling (class 2) to the summit block. A few class 3 moves on ledges get you to the summit. One of the most impressive peaks in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Nava…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Ward, CO - Climbing - 9.6 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#9. Lone Eagle Peak


This great peak is one of the few peaks you’ll climb where the summit is undeniably not the high point of the ridge. Nevertheless, it makes a fine scramble, even by its easiest route. As of August 200…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Ward, CO - Climbing - 3 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#10. Little Pawnee to Pawnee Peak Traverse


This traverse is really the east ridge of Pawnee Peak, and is the most interesting way to climb Pawnee Peak. Routefinding on this ridge is a significant challenge, so although the climb isn’t long, it…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Ward, CO - Climbing - 8.7 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#11. Mount Sneffels - Southwest Ridge


Truly a classic, this ridge provides an impressive backdrop to Yankee Boy Basin. The spectacular pinnacles that dominate the lower part of the ridge might scare off the aspiring scrambler, but in fact…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Ouray, CO - Climbing - 5.3 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#12. El Punto


This peak has been described as “a smaller version of Lizard Head Peak.” Certainly, the summit block has the same aiguille-like appearance and is similarly composed of fractured volcanic rock. The cli…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Ophir, CO - Climbing - 4 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#13. Mount Meeker and Longs Peak via The Loft and Clark's Arrow


This route is an excellent way to combine the normal route up Meeker with a great, less traveled route on Longs Peak. Clark’s Arrow Route is not much harder than the Keyhole (standard) route, but is a…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Estes Park, CO - Climbing - 13.3 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#14. Lookout Peak


If you have a few spare hours while in the Silverton area, consider this climb. It is a short, fun scramble providing spectacular views from the summit. This peak is in the heart of the San Juans and…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Silverton, CO - Climbing - 2 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#15. Arrow Peak - North East Face


A long backpack to a camp below Vestal Lake, and a short steep scramble on 3rd and possibly 4th class terrain. Many people consider this to be the finest scramble in the area. Sustained frictioning on…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Needleton, CO - Climbing - 2 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#16. Harvard to Columbia Traverse


One of the famous “fourteener traverses,” the Harvard-Columbia ridge is also one of the longest. This traverse is typically accomplished by dropping down on the east side of the ridge several hundred…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Vicksburg, CO - Climbing - 14.6 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#17. Long Peak - Keiner's Route


This is one of the more committing routes in this book, and is a serious undertaking. Steep snow and technical rock (5.4), combined with route-finding issues and lack of an easy escape when the weathe…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Estes Park, CO - Climbing - 11 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#18. Torreys Peak - Northeast Ridge


This ridge can be climbed at any time of the year, and is often used as training for those preparing for an expedition. Since the road up Stevens Gulch is closed by snow typically from November throug…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Bakerville, CO - Climbing - 6.5 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#19. US Grant


An enjoyable climb characterized by one short, difficult section close to the summit. This peak has a reputation as one of the most difficult of the top two hundred peaks in Colorado. In fact, most of…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Ophir, CO - Climbing - 3.4 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#20. Quandary Peak - North Ridge


Most people know Quandary as an easy “walk-up,” possibly as a snow climb (via the south couloir), or as a good ski-mountaineering objective. Quandary is often one of the first “fourteeners” for people…
From the guidebook "Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains"
Blue River, CO - Climbing - 5.5 miles
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press