Rock Climbing in the Black Canyon

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park | Colorado
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go rock climbing in the Black Canyon

  • Trip Highlight

    World-class rock climbing with the cleanest stretches of granite in the state

  • Trip Highlight

    Mostly multi-pitch climbs ranging from 5.7 to 5.13 R

  • Trip Highlight

    Some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, located just 2 hours away from Aspen, is one of Colorado’s best multi-pitch climbing destinations. Relatively unknown to climbers, this trad climbers’ paradise boasts some of the cleanest stretches of granite state-wide, virtually no crowds, and accessible, yet humbling routes. Some of the classic climbs on this 2700 feet deep canyon are Maiden Voyage (5.9), Casual route (5.8), Casually off route (5.9), Russian Arete IV (5.9), Comic Relief (5.10), and the Scenic Cruise V (5.10). With faces and routes that will challenge intermediate to expert climbers, it’s ideal to climb with a guide who knows the canyon as the palm of their hand.


Year-round, but peak season is in spring and fall

Nearest city

Denver, CO, is 5 hours away


1 day

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced


Book This Adventure

A Customized Day of Private Climbing in the Black Canyon

1 day

Join your guide on a unique adventure in the 2700 feet deep Black Canyon and develop your climbing skills on classic routes! Black Canyon offers a wide range of routes for trad climbers who are looking for a challenge. Your certified guide will offer an added level of safety, knowledge, and expertise allowing you to have fun as you push yourself to a whole new level. 

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Black Canyon, CO

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, please refer to the Colorado State and National Park Service website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, local rock-climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • A full day of rock climbing 
    • All technical climbing gear
    • Permits

What’s not included:

    • Transportation
    • Accommodations
    • Food and snacks

How fit do I need to be?

Being in good shape is always a plus but far from necessary. Rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength, so if you have previous experience with at least 5.7 routes, you’re good to go. To ensure you have a fun day, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.

What if I’ve never climbed before?

For intermediate to advanced climbers, Black Canyon has loads of routes to spend the day on. The easiest routes in Black Canyon are graded 5.7, so if you are still a beginner, but you are in great physical shape and have some experience on the rocks, you could join a guide and upgrade your skill. Your guide will discuss your objectives and customize the day to your goals. Let your guide plan the day so you can focus on developing your skills while climbing the classic routes or best hidden gems the area has to offer.

What about required equipment?

All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:

    • Helmet
    • Harness with a locking carabiner, belay device, and chalk bag
    • Ropes
    • Rock shoes (included in the price, but we recommend bringing your own if you have them)
    • Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)

Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:

    • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
    • Water bottle
    • Food you can eat on-the-go
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Sunglasses
    • Camera — optional

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • The max guest to guide ratio for these private climbs is 2:1.
    • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private tours, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family. 

Climbing days can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Aspen, most people fly into Denver International Airport, 3.5 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service. You can also fly into Aspen airport (ASE) which is a 2-hour country drive south. 

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at Aspen Expeditions’ shop at the base of Aspen Highlands, or another predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

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