The Wet Mountain Valley is known for many things — hot springs, picturesque horseback riding, scenic hiking and biking, recreational and alpine lakes, world-class stargazing, first-rate birding, and much more.
What many don’t know is that the Wet Mountains and surrounding ranges hold some of Southern Colorado’s best-kept rock climbing secrets. Climbers in the know make annual pilgrimages to the area, and some even relocate for the rock.
Read on to learn about a handful of must-climb spots.
About 30 minutes from Westcliffe, you’ll find Hardscrabble Pass, which traverses the Wet Mountains. The pass is known for its wide range of climbing options. From hard single-pitch sport-climbing off the road to multi-pitch climbs on skyscraping granite spires, Hardscrabble Pass has much to offer.
Bootlegger’s Boulders is an easy 40 minutes from Westcliffe. Just off the road are some 30 to 40 boulders of easy to moderate difficulty, with possibly a few hard lines, begging for your attention.
Sangre de Cristo Mountains
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains provide a heartbreakingly beautiful and dramatic backdrop for the Wet Mountain Valley. They’re also home to great rock for those that seek it. It’s worth noting that these offerings differ from Hardscrabble Pass and Bootlegger’s Boulders. Climbing in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is considered alpine or mountaineering, where one is trying to summit a peak by hiking or climbing multiple pitches at high elevation.
This is only a small sample of the rock climbing opportunities around the Wet Mountain Valley. Pay us a visit, and we’ll show you the hospitality one deserves after a long day on the mountain.