Something for every type of climber.
Rock Climbing in the Telluride Region
Telluride is lucky enough to have many different climbing areas with different styles, settings and rock types.
From Ophir’s traditional and bold multi-pitch routes, to pocket-pulling sport climbs near Bridal Veil Falls, to the sandstone bouldering in beautiful Ilium valley, and some of the most famous ice climbs in the state, there is something for almost every type of climber. While there is a lot of quality rock, there is even more loose rock, so heads up, test your holds and wear a helmet.
TMtC encourages the climbing community to list all of our local climbs on mountainproject.com. Local guidebooks are now out of print and may be for quite awhile. If you climb a local route and it’s not already listed, please list it there. We welcome local first ascent information on new climbs in the area and will feature them on our blog and climbing forum. Please reach out to us if you would like to share your own trip report. Many other routes exist in the high country and are scattered around San Miguel County. Refer to mountainproject.com for more info.
Telluride Rock Climbing
Bridal Veil Falls Walls
Conglomerate pockets and knobs, almost entirely bolt protected. Great single and multi-pitch bolted routes, all accessed by the same trail. Many moderate routes exist. The Umbrella Wall area has some of the finest multi-pitch sport climbs in the valley.
More bolt-protected conglomerate pocket pulling on the opposite (sunny) side of the canyon, across from the Falls Walls. Access issues exist, please stay on road and trail. Many of these climbs are directly under the popular Via Ferrata route. Helmets are advised. Mostly single pitch, but ranging up to to 3 pitches.
Via Ferrata Rock Climbs
Several climbs exist that start from, or end on the Via Ferrata. Most are bolt protected and on either side of the Main Event area, and have big wall-style exposure. There are a few climbs that start from the ground and top out on the VF after 4 pitches or so. Watch for loose rock.
A short, pleasant hike to an alpine sport crag. A dozen routes exist at the top of the Mill Creek trail on the wall above the bridge. Bolt-protected sandstone less than 30m high. A single rope and rack of draws will do, along with some bug juice.
Alpine sport climbing in a stunningly beautiful setting. Single and multi-pitch on conglomerate pockets. A tough hike (and sometimes even tougher bushwhack) but worth every step.
Ophir Rock Climbing
This old school, classic area features mostly multi-pitch traditional climbing, with some sport routes sprinkled in. There are several 1970s test pieces here, bold routes put up by the likes of Royal Robbins, Henry Barber, Mugs Stump, Lynn Hill and John Long, as well as locals Charlie Fowler, Bill Kees, Antoine Savelli, Gary Wright and a host of others. Bring small gear and big confidence.
Quality, single-pitch routes, trad and bolts. Fun climbing, but a very steep, un-fun approach up it’s ever worsening, washed-out, loose canyon floor. Not a good place for dogs or people that don’t like to walk on scree and boulders. But great climbing on (mostly) solid rock.
Directly across from the Ophir Wall, this obscure area hosts a variety of excellent climbs, trad and sport. Can be hard to find, but you will have it to yourself. Access issues exist on the approach. Please respect private land.
Telluride Rocks Climbing Guide
The TELLURIDE ROCKS 3rd edition guidebook to rock climbing near Telluride, Colorado is out of print. However, Damon Johnson has been kind enough to allow a copy of the book to be available here. Links to the various sections are provided for download, or you can view the entire guide online (below). Covering everything from bouldering areas to selected high country climbs, this book was written by Damon Johnson and Charlie Fowler in 2005. Also, you can find a copy of their Wild Wild West Guidebook here.