Climbing Overview: Swan Mountain Road Near Breckenridge, Colorado

Climbing (and rappelling) near Colorado's Swan Mountain Road

Climbing (and rappelling) near Colorado's Swan Mountain Road

Routes: beginner and intermediate short, top-rope routes
Start/End: parking area near the Prospector Campground on the north side of Swan Mountain Road
Route Access: Via a short hike from the parking area

Lily naps in the shade at the climbing routes off Swan Mountain Road in Summit County, Colorado.

Lily naps in the shade at the climbing routes off Swan Mountain Road in Summit County, Colorado.

It’s open season for rock climbing on Swan Mountain Road between Breckenridge and Keystone, Colorado.  Eric is the professional rock climbing (and biking, hiking, etc.) guide who leads me, friends and guests on trips, so what I think I know about climbing is really just the stuff I’ve gathered from following directions.

After parking near the Prospector Campground gate on the north side of Swan Mountain Road, we take a short hike (making sure to stick left, or north) to the roughly 25-foot rock walls that overlook Lake Dillon.

We typically set three anchors, one each to a tree, rock and existing bolt. With the pine beetle infestation and ongoing logging, we weren’t sure what we’d find there this season. To our delight, everything looked the same and we didn’t have to fuss over finding new anchors.  The only difference was the downed trees along the hike in. Nothing major blocks the way, but there are a few spots we hope to clean up in the coming weeks. Beyond the anchors, the path continues along the wall and down a steep path that leads to the base.

Eric belays the crew climbing above Lake Dillon, near Breckenridge and Keystone, Colorado.

Eric belays the crew climbing above Lake Dillon, near Breckenridge and Keystone, Colorado.

The nice thing about the rock climbing routes along Swan Mountain Road is that we can climb several different routes from one set of anchors. The easy routes on the east side of the wall were perfect for me, an ultra-beginner.  A basic overhanging route sits on the west side of the wall.

The Swan Mountain Road rock climbing routes aren’t long or challenging but they’re a great option when the weather is nice and we want to climb outdoors, close to home. We typically bring the dog and a picnic lunch on private trips. What more could I ask for than outdoor climbing routes within minutes of my front door? Nothing, really.

To read a climbing Q&A check out a previous post, Climbing Swan Mountain Road.

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