Photograph of Colorado Mountain Range
Mesa Autumn Wild Horses oil_rig_OG Boaters Photograph of Ruin
BLM>Colorado>Programs>Recreation>Recreation Activities>Rock Climbing
Print Page
Recreation Activities


Rock Climbing

Rock climber

There are many opportunities for rock climbing on BLM public lands throughout Colorado. A variety of rock types, such as sandstone and limestone, offer visitors the chance to enjoy traditional climbing, sport climbing, scrambling and more. With climbing locations ranging anywhere from beginner to advanced in difficulty, climbers of any skill level will be able to enjoy experiences that challenge their abilities.

Featured Recreation Areas


Whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

Rock climbing is an exciting activity that will complement a boating trip through the scenic Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. In particular, the Buena Vista area offers excellent opportunities including Pumphouse Rock and Turtle Rock.

Rocky overlook

Bangs Canyon Recreation Area

Rock climbers will love the challenging slick rock surfaces, sand and bentonite clay at Bangs Canyon Recreation Area. Ladder Canyon and Rough Canyon are particularly interesting locations for climbing.

Scenic red mesas

Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area

The rugged, red canyons and cliffs of Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area provide outstanding rock climbing opportunities. Visitors can scramble over boulders through both moderate and difficult routes.

Cliff face

Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway

Shelf Road is a popular portion of the Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway. With hundreds of climbing routes, Shelf Road Rock Climbing Area is one of the major attractions here. Quality limestone provides for an exceptional experience.

Rock climber

Penitente Canyon Recreation Area

The walls and pinnacles of Penitente Canyon Recreation Area offer outstanding rock climbing opportunities. Visitors can enjoy thrilling and challenging adventures through nearly 300 technical climbing routes.