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Colorado’s Most Popular Rock Climbs

Don’t like waiting in line to climb? Best avoid these local routes on the weekends.

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Sun’s out; guns out. And there’s hardly a better gun-shaping sport than rock climbing. But in order to reap the benefits of this very Colorado sport, you have to actually be able to get on your route. Fortunately, as we head into prime sending season, the Boulder-born climbing website Mountain Project has created a list of Colorado’s most popular climbs—so you know which classics to avoid on the weekends. Don’t give up on these iconic routes altogether; just hit them Monday through Friday instead.

The Bastille Crack (5.7), Eldorado Canyon
Average visits per year: 124
This quintessential Eldo trad route climbs 350 feet in five pitches and sits just off the main road through the canyon. So you’ll have plenty of spectators when you flex—or fall.

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The Direct Route (5.6 R), First Flatiron
Average visits per year: 96
A slabby 10-pitch trad climb, the Direct Route turns into a frying pan by lunchtime on hot days, so get there early. Besides, no one wants to be stuck 1,000 feet up the First with a rack of metal gear when summer’s afternoon thunderstorms start rolling in.

Calypso (5.6), Eldorado Canyon
Average visits per year: 85
This moderate three-pitch trad climb on Wind Tower remains a popular Eldo baptism for transplants or visitors looking for an introduction to the canyon’s sometimes heady climbing.

Playin’ Hooky (5.8), Clear Creek Canyon
Average visits per year: 84
The lone sport route on this list, Playin’ Hooky is a relatively new addition to Clear Creek: It was bolted in 2010 and offers an easier finish to Solid Gold (5.12a). Easier, but still with plenty of exposure.

East Face (Standard) (5.4), Third Flatiron
Average visits per year: 83
An easy eight-pitch trad route, this signature Flatirons climb passes right over the “C” in “CU” and presents ample opportunity to ogle Boulder and the plains at the many comfortable rests along the way.

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