Climb at Shelf Road
Colorado › Sand Gulch Campground
Added by Gabi Robledo
Shelf Road is one of my favorite climbing places in the western US and is truly a hidden gem!
Shelf Road is secluded, rural, and has great climbing. There are so many areas to choose from and it has a great diversity of route levels (mostly sport routes). My personal favorite area is "The Gallery" and "The Bank." Everyone is friendly and gives each other a hand.
Sand Gulch Campground, right within the climbing area, is also beautiful, especially at night when all the stars come out (great place for night photography!). The climbing areas are only a short hike away from the campground. The campground and climbing areas are super group friendly! You can go tent camping or small RV camping!
To get there from Boulder take the I-25 to Colorado Springs, take the exit for Canon City (It's easy to miss so stay alert). Go right at the first light, Dozier St, or right at the next light, Reynolds. Go north and the road will go left and then will cross Field Avenue - turn north here and you will be on a two lane road for almost 5 miles. There will be an intersection, where you will merge onto Fremont County Road 9. It's about 10 miles to the entrance on this road where there will be a sign.
This campground is a BLM, which means it's twice as rural and half as many crowds! It's $7 for regular sights and $14 for group sights (Tent or small RV). It's all first-come-first-serve so get there early, and if you can't get a site there's overflow parking in the north end, which almost the same as the sites. If you just want to go for the day there is day use parking in the NW area of the campground.
Check out Shelf Road on Summit Post for areas and routes.
- Sleeping Bags
- Sleeping Pads
- Camping Stove
- Bug Spray
- Clothes for hot midday and cold nights
- Climbing Gear
- Anything else you might want to camp
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Getting to the Sand Banks area
The exit off I-25 in Colorado Springs is the Nevada exit and also Hwy 115 to Canon City. Its about 30 miles to where Hwy 115 crosses Hwy 50. Take the ramp to the right onto Hwy 50. Then 10 miles to the Dozier Avenue light, and turn right. On your right will be the Super WalMart. Take Dozier Ave, it eventually curves to the left and becomes Central Avenue. Follow Central Ave to the first stop sign. This is the intersection of Central Ave and Field Ave. Turn right onto Field Ave and follow it North. You will pass two schools, go up across the Orchard Park mesa, then past the McComb sawmill. Next will be the "Y" where Field Ave and Red Canyon Road join. Look to the right and you will see a yellow diamond sign with a reflective green "0" below. From that point it is 9 miles to the start of the gravel "Shelf Road". Just before the gravel starts you can turn to your left...voila there you are at the Sand Banks. How do I know, well my place is about a mile North of that reflective green "0", look to the right for the house up on the bluff...the Hacienda at the Hideaway!
This is one of my top climbing spots in Colorado. Love climbing on the limestone and there are just so many perfect sport climbing routes to choose from! I recommend bringing a guide book to help navigate which routes you want to climb. Also, bring a jacket, since the sun leaves some spots in the shade and it can be quite chilly if you're not climbing! Happy climbing!
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