The Top Beginner Rock Climbing Spots in Colorado

Max Lurie is an AMGA certified Rock and Alpine Guide, as well as an accomplished alpinist. Max has been climbing since 2004 and traveling to the world's greatest mountain ranges in pursuit of his passion.
Written by
Max Lurie

Unlike many other sports, rock climbing is inherently dangerous. We can manage that risk in a variety of ways, but learning to do so takes time and dedication. 

Within the sport of climbing there are sub-disciplines such as bouldering, sport climbing, trad climbing, multi pitch, etc… you can learn more about this progression in this article. 

A progression through those different sub-disciplines exists that will help you develop your skills. 

Much like being dropped in the middle of the ocean to learn to swim, it might work but isn’t the best idea. Different climbing venues or areas lend themselves to different types of climbing. 

So it makes sense to start climbing in certain areas first. 

We are really lucky to live in Boulder, Colorado for the incredible rock climbing opportunities. This article will help you map your progression to improve your skills development and focus your efforts.

Boulder Flatirons

The Flatirons are iconic and hard to miss from nearly anywhere in Boulder, Colorado. 

There are two types of climbing that exist in the Flatirons. Long easy multi-pitch trad climbs that are hard to protect and very steep physically challenging sport climbing. 

These two types of climbing draws climbers with different skill sets and backgrounds. The slabby faces of the Flatirons offer a multitude of routes in very accessible grades for beginner climbers. 

Person at the top of the Boulder Flatirons after finishing a rock climb

However because of the nature of the rock opportunities for protection are very sparse. 

Even though the movement skills required to ascend are quite attainable, leading a multi-pitch climb on the Flatirons requires significantly more skills. 

This makes climbing a Flatiron a very popular outing for guided parties.

Click here to view our Climb a Flatiron Course

Clear Creek Canyon

Just outside of Golden Colorado, Clear Creek Canyon mainly consists of single pitch sport climbing, which offers an excellent starting point for climbing outside. 

Easy access and short approaches make this a very popular destination. 

With a guide or mentor to set up the ropes you can top rope much like you do in the gym. If you’ve been leading in the gym, sport climbing outside is the next logical step. 

Athletic man climbing at clear creek canyon

Clear Creek Canyon has climbs at all levels for beginners all the way up to elite athletes. 

Click here to view our Intro To Rock Climbing Course at Clear Creek Canyon

Boulder Canyon

A short drive from Downtown Boulder Colorado, Boulder Canyon follows a river drainage up to the town of Nederland. 

Along its many twists and turns there are dozens of cliffy granite outcrops that have been developed by climbers. Boulder Canyon boasts the most diverse types of climbing in the area. 

Two rock climbers in Boulder Canyon

From top roping to sport climbing and even multi-pitch trad climbing, BoCan as it is referred to locally is an excellent place to hone your skills.

Click here to view our Intro To Rock Climbing Course at Boulder Canyon

Eldorado Canyon

Eldorado Canyon State Park sits nestled behind the small eclectic town of Eldorado Spring, 15 mins south of Boulder Colorado. 

It is a smaller venue than the miles long canyons of both Clear Creek and Boulder Canyon, but not to be underestimated. 

While there are many climbs that a beginner could accomplish with the right guidance, Eldo has a somewhat fierce reputation for challenging climbs. Steeped in history, the sandstone walls tower over the single dirt road running through the park. 

This creates long multi-pitch trad routes for climbers of all abilities. It is often said that if climbers can climb a certain grade in Eldo they can do that same grade anywhere else.

Young man rock climbing in Eldorado Canyon


With more than 10,000 climbing routes within an hour drive from Boulder or Golden Colorado it is hard not to call the Front Range a mecca for rock climbers. 

With so many options it can be difficult to decide where to go, especially with a limited skill set. 

Climbing can be an incredibly rewarding activity, but it requires the proper knowledge and training to do so safely. By hiring a certified guide you are setting yourself up with the proper skills to enjoy climbing for the rest of your life. It is a worthwhile investment and there is no place better than Boulder Colorado to learn how to rock climb. 

For more information about how to start climbing, read this article.

No matter your previous experience with climbing we can help get you to the next level. If you are just looking for a memorable experience or to learn how to be self-sufficient, we can get you there. 

Be it your first outdoor rock climbing experience or refining your technical systems before a big trip, let us help you get the most out of your climbing career. 

Check out our rock climbing offerings to see what fits your goals best.

Subscribe For Email Updates

Stay in the loop as we release new content and get access to exclusive offers & trips only available to subscribers.

Thanks! Your submission has been received and you're now subscribed to our email list.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Try again.