Winter Park resides in Grand County, Colorado which is surrounded by Colorado’s beautiful landscape. A good portion of the county falls in either the Arapaho National Forest, the Rocky Mountain National Park, or the Indian Peak Wilderness. While there are ample opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors in Colorado, such as hiking, bicycling, kayaking and more, a favorite pastime is undeniably rock climbing. Whether sport climbing, bouldering or traditional climbs, the Colorado wilderness has countless climbs to enjoy the scenery from while testing your strength and stamina.
Each of these three portions of Grand County’s gorgeous landscape hides ample opportunities for rock climbing, but several popular climbs are practically in Winter Parks backyard! Check out some of these Fraser Valley climbs. While not the largest climbs in the state, each of the climbs in Grand County and Fraser Valley are conveniently close to a Winter Park. Try your hand at outdoor rock climbing at any of these locations.
Hurd Creek Crag
Hurd Creek Crag is a popular climb with locals, featuring four sections and 30 single pitch routes.
You can expect healthy sport climbs out here at the crag, on routes ranging from difficulties from 5.6-5.12. The routes range from 30-60 feet in length and are developed with bolt spacing and anchors. In fact, a rock climbing aficionado in Fraser County maintains these climbs with anchors and bolts. Any rock climbers in the area can buy Jim Shaw’s Fraser Valley Climbs to uncover all the available climbs and help fund the maintenance of the county’s rocky playground!
Fraser County tends to get less precipitation than surrounding areas, so you can expect climbs to be sunny and warm through most of the year. An expert tip: The mosquito and bug presence is also high in the area, so bring appropriate protection no matter the time of year or day to get the most enjoyment out of your excursion.
Berthoud Pass Summit
The entrance to Berthoud Pass is a scenic landscape that draws many hikers, bikers and travelers to admire its beauty.
It also periodically draws some climbers to the crag on the west side of the top of the pass. So far only one crag has really emerged as a climbing location for traditional climbers. Nicknamed Short N’ Stupid by climbers, it’s rated as a 5.5.
The climb presents a unique challenge for climbers as it is undeveloped and has no anchor, so you will need to devise your own.. It can be set up for a top rope.
This scenic climb is hit by morning sun, so if you’d like to hide from the harsh sun, plan to climb in the afternoon.
Upper Hurd Basin
Upper Hurd Basin is a great Fraser Valley spot for beginners, kids or groups who want to get in a few climbs.
The crag is located in the Arapaho National Forest and features 8 climbing routes in total. 6 routes are for sport climbing, 1 for traditional climbing and 2 for top roping options.
The difficulty ranges from 5.5 to 5.9 at the crag, and plan to enjoy the morning shade here. Most of the rock makes for an easy climb, but several patches are dirty and moss-covered. The mosquitos also hit this portion of the National Forest hard, so bring plenty of mosquito repellent!
Meadow Creek Crag
The spot for climbing is fairly quiet and sunny, and even has a smaller outcropping called Ricochet Rocks that is a good spot for bouldering.
Meadow Creek Crag is another great climb for beginners, featuring several traditional climbs on good quality rock. Each climb is approximately 40 feet and fairly easy. It’s a great climbing spot near Winter Park, CO for the entire family.