Boulder | Colorado

Rock Climbing in the Flatirons


April through November

Nearest city

Boulder, CO, sits at the base of the Flatirons

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Skill level

Beginner to advanced


1 day

Price range


Climb everything from slab scrambles to multi-pitch mega climbs

Jutting out from the ground like the spinal plates of a giant stegosaurus are the Flatirons — Boulder’s signature backdrop. The routes here range from 5.0 to 5.14a, so there’s truly something for every level of climber. It’s not just the variety of climbs that draw people from all over the country, the Flatirons also have long climbs too, with some topping out at 1,400’! There are over 980 routes, with plenty of options either sport or trad disciplines. Some hearty souls even like the odd slab scramble. Regardless if you think the Flatirons are dinosaur plates or simply a series of flat irons jutting up into the sky, there’s enough diverse climbing to keep anyone busy for a lifetime, whether you’re a beginner trad leader, a complete newb, or a seasoned pro.

The Third Flatiron, according to mountaineer Kel Rossiter, is home to “...probably the best beginner climb in the solar system.”

Pick a Flatiron, any Flatiron…

While there are technically five Flatirons, the first three are what primarily draw most people’s attention. East Face (5.4), on the Third Flatiron in the North Section, is the inspiration for Rossiter’s quote. It’s an 8 pitch fantastic introduction to climbing — some of the sections are really scrambles, but its payout rappel and facile ascent have hooked many new climbers. For a day of climbing away from the crowds, check out the Central Rock Climbing Area, where Angel’s Way (5.2) and Milk Bone (5.31a) are two bookends to the diversity of routes in the area. In the South Rock Climbing area, there are great beginner trad leaders, challenging trad routes, and compelling sport routes too — all of which never seem to get too crowded. Consider North Face (5.6) or West Overhang (5.11c). Whichever Flatiron you choose, hire a guide to get the most out of your day on the rocks!

Most popular packages and classes in the Flatirons

Summit Package

This is the perfect program for beginner and intermediate climbers looking to experience the Flatirons’ fantastic sandstone while taking in stunning views. This climb is about 1,000’ and takes around 4-5 hours, but plan on spending a whole day due to hiking to the base of the climb and orientation, all in the company of certified AMGA guides. Other Flatiron courses are available too!

Flatirons Rock Climbing

Whether you’re looking to climb classics like the Standard East Face (5.4) of the Third Flatiron or the East Face Direct (5.6) on the First Flatiron, spend a day climbing with certified AMGA guides and take in the most that Boulder and the Flatirons have to offer.

Go Climb the Flatirons

Based in Boulder with the Flatirons in their backyard, spend a day climbing with a local certified IFMGA/AMGA guides.

Who should climb the Flatirons?

While lots of places have accessible routes for all levels of climbers, the Flatirons truly stand out with their selection of grades and accessibility. With tons of grade 5.x routes, there’s no excuse not to climb!

Need to know

When is the best time to go?

The Flatirons are climbable year round, but always be on the lookout for snow! Generally, April through November are ideal, but a few hearty souls can’t resist climbing all year round.

What about bad weather?

Inclement weather can always get in the way of climbing, but your guide will know the best spots to move to if and when it rains. If in doubt, though, always ask your guiding service for more information.

What's a typical itinerary?

Usually you’ll meet up with your guide, go over gear and beta, and then plan on what routes you want to ascend, or what techniques you want to focus on most, depending on your skill level and course.

What about group sizes?

Group sizes are usually between 1 – 4 people with one instructor. Also, remember that the costs decrease as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to surf with friends and family.

Getting there

Boulder and the Flatirons are just a 45 minute drive from the Denver International Airport.

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