Rock and ice climbers of all skill levels will find climbing adventures to their liking in the Montrose area. The Black Canyon National Park is the foremost attraction for expert climbers, but opportunities on the milder side can be enjoyed just a short distance from town.
Dry Creek Climbing Area
This is a great local's hangout about 15 miles west of Montrose. Dry Creek Canyon has a remote desert feel just minutes from town. Sandstone cliffs about 30 to 50 feet high with many incut holds provide a great finger workout. There are 30+ mostly sport routes with 5-8 bolts per pitch scattered along the highest half mile of sandstone on the east side of Dry Creek Canyon.
There is also a bouldering area 300 feet below the cliffs, at the bottom of the canyon. The easiest way to get to the boulders is to go down one of the descent gullies and hike down the slope.
Top anchors are rare due to the soft caprock, but anchors can be set on rock features and juniper trees. It is even possible to anchor off your vehicle in a few spots. If the weather is wet, you might get stuck on Rim Rd., so best to wait until it dries.
Equipment: 30-50 feet of webbing or static rope for top anchors; rock gear for setting top anchors; 8 quickdraws. A few trad lines exist but are not often climbed.
Difficulty: The routes range from 5.5 to 5.13. There is something for everyone.
Download the area map and directions.