Jefferson County Open Space – Climbing Information

Below we will post the latest information sent out from Eric Krause from JCOS. This information is not always updated on their webpage which is at You can get onto his email list by contacting him, details below.

And here are current volunteer trailwork days on Jeffco lands:


Sent January 26, 2018

Subject: January Updates from JCOS Climbing Committee

Click above to see full email


Sent July 14, 2017

Subject: Summer Climbing Updates

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Sent February 17, 2017

Subject: Upcoming Re-Bolting Clinic

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Sent February 2, 2017

Subject: Become a Volunteer Climbing Patroller

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Sent January 5, 2017

Good afternoon and happy snow day!

I hope this finds everyone well and staying warm out there. We have a few quick reminders about upcoming deadlines that you should be aware of.

Fixed Hardware Review Committee-Application Deadline

The Fixed Hardware Review Committee (FHRC) is comprised of seven experienced rock climbers from the local climbing community who help Jeffco Open Space ensure that new climbing routes are installed using best management practices. In addition, this committee will give general guidance to Jeffco Open Space in all matters relating to rock climbing and fixed hardware. To contact the committee directly, email

If you are interested in joining the FHRC please fill out and submit this application no later than January 15, 2017.

New Route Proposal-Application Deadline

Climbers seeking to install fixed hardware on new routes are required to obtain a permit by submitting a Fixed Hardware Application, which will be reviewed by the FHRC and JCOS Climbing Committee at least three times per year. Please download the fixed hardware application, complete all fields and email to no later than January 15, 2017. The following application deadline will be on May 1, 2017.

Clear Creek Canyon Community Meeting January 18

Wednesday, January 18 at 6 PM – 8 PM
Golden Community Center
1470 10th St, Golden, Colorado 80401

As part of the planning process for new trails and parking additions in Clear Creek Canyon, Jeffco Open Space is hosting a community meeting to share more about the vision and scope of Clear Creek Canyon Park Mouth of the Canyon Master Plan.

A 30-minute presentation will include an overview of future planned trails including the Peaks to Plains Trail, Welch Ditch Trail, and Chimney Gulch Trail and access and parking improvements. Following the presentation, informational displays and staff will be available to discuss the project, answer questions and hear the community’s feedback. More Info
As always, don’t hesitate to contact the Jeffco Climbing Committee directly at

I sincerely hope that everyone is well and enjoying the new year.

Stay warm,

Eric Krause


Sent November 2, 2016

Public Meeting – November 16, 2016
JCOS will be hosting a public meeting on November 16, 2016 to discuss the updated Climbing Management Guidelines as well as updates from this year and what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. This meeting will take place at the Jefferson County Open Space office at 700 Jefferson County Parkway #100, Golden CO at 6:00pm. Join us for a short presentation and open discussion of all things climbing. We will have a survey available during and after the meeting to capture feedback. Please send comments or ideas to



Sent October 14, 2016

Hi there,

I hope this email finds everyone well and enjoying the cool fall weather. The last few months have certainly been busy on our end! Here are a few updates on what has happened, and what we hope to accomplish within the climbing world in the coming months.

Public Meeting – November 16, 2016

JCOS will be hosting a public meeting on November 16, 2016 to discuss the updated Climbing Management Guidelines as well as updates from this year and what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. This meeting will take place at the Jefferson County Open Space office at 700 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden CO at 6:00pm; and will consist of a short presentation, and then an open discussion of all things climbing. We would specifically like feedback regarding the updated guidelines, as we plan to update these towards the end of this year. I’ll be sending out a survey before the meeting, but in the meantime, feel free to send comments and ideas to All are welcome.

Safety Alert!

A local climbing guide has brought a potentially hazardous situation to our attention. This is located at Lookout Mountain Crag and consists of several large boulders that have become loose in the recent freeze/thaw cycles. We will be taking a closer look at this ASAP to assess and come up with a plan to mitigate. In the meantime, it may be wise to steer clear of this area; and as always, be aware of your surroundings and use good judgment.

Fund Allocation

So far this year, JCOS has dedicated over $25,185 towards improving climbing accesses, hardening belay areas,hosting re-bolting clinics (which were led by local re-bolting specialists), and numerous other improvements to local climbing areas. We will have a few more projects coming up this year, and are looking to dedicate significantly more funding to climbing in 2017.


Along with fund allocation from JCOS, local community members have volunteered over 750 hours towards making climbing areas in Jefferson County Open Space as sustainable as possible. These volunteers worked alongside JCOS staff at “4th Saturday” volunteer events which take place on the fourth Saturday of the month from April-October and are dedicated to climbing access-trail maintenance. The first was held at North Table Mountain, the second at Canal Zone and the final four were held at Tiers of Zion in Windy Saddle Park. There was also a project on September 18th at Canal Zone that involved the Boulder Climbing Community (BCC) and volunteers from the public. This project was in conjunction with the release of Reel Rock 11 and resulted in substantial benefits to the belay and staging areas.

Huge thanks to all of our volunteers!

If you are interested in volunteering, check out the JCOS volunteer Eventbrite page here.

New Routes

At the most recent Fixed Hardware Review Committee meeting in August, four new routes on existing crags were applied for, and all were approved by both the FHRC and JCOS. So, look forward to several great new routes.

Peaks to Plains Trail – reminder of closed area

Reminder that the area South (uphill) of the recently opened Peaks to Plains trail in Clear Creek Canyon is closed to all public use. This is due to the uphill area consisting of loose rock, which can present a hazard to park visitors using the trail below. Please respect this closure.

Funds for replacement hardware

We have received approval to purchase new hardware that will be used for the replacement of substandard existing hardware. If you are experienced at bolt replacement, and have some replacements in mind, send an email to with the specifics of what you want to do, and we can provide hardware (within reason).

Further, if you have replaced hardware in Jefferson County Open Space this year and have not reported it, please do so as soon as possible. We are working to keep an updated inventory of all new hardware and hardware replacements. To report, just email with details and photos if possible.

Be well; and as always, let us know if you have any questions.

Eric Krause
Park Ranger
Jefferson County Open Space


Sent July 19, 2016

Good evening,

I hope that this finds everyone well and staying cool in this heat! Here are a few quick updates and reminders in the world of Jeffco climbing.

Applications for new route development

Applications for new route development are due August 1st and will be reviewed shortly thereafter, the application can be found here. After the August review period, the next deadline will be January 15, 2017.

Seasonal Closures Lifting

We will have several seasonal closures lifted on August 1st including:

  • Clear Creek Canyon in the area of mile marker 270
  • Cathedral Spires Park
  • North Table Mountain along Rim Rock Trail

Further information on alerts and closures in Jeffco Open Space can be found here.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

For anyone who is looking to help build or repair access trails, harden belay areas, and otherwise help climbing areas be as sustainable as possible, please consider volunteering. Our Trails Services team hosts climbing specific volunteer days on the fourth Saturday of each month as weather permits. To register and view all volunteer opportunities, take a look at the JCOS eventbrite page.

Climbing Management Guidelines Feedback

We will begin to review and potentially update the Climbing Management Guidelines (found here) beginning in November, 2016. We would love to hear from the local climbing community on thoughts regarding the successes and challenges of the guidelines that were updated at the beginning of this year. If you have comments, don’t hesitate to forward them to

Hope that everyone’s well and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Best wishes,

Eric Krause
Park Ranger
303-271-5938, C 303-882-4769


Sent April 23, 2016

Good Morning,

I hope that the spring is treating everyone well. I want to take this time to give everyone an update as to the on-goings of climbing in Jefferson County Open Space.

Rockfall at Canal Zone

As I’m sure that many of you are aware, there has been recent rock fall at Canal Zone. JCOS wants to remind everyone that anytime you are outdoors there is an adherent risk; however, during periods with significant moisture and freeze/thaw, the likelihood of rocks becoming unstable is increased. Please keep this in mind anytime you are close to any vertical face. At this time, we have installed warning signs in the area of Canal Zone notifying visitors that hazardous conditions exist.

Parking in the Canyon

Please remember that parking in Clear Creek Canyon can be tricky (to put it nicely), particularly during periods with nice weather or just about any weekend day. Keep in mind that in areas where “no parking” signs are placed, there is typically a good reason. If you are visiting on a busy day, be patient; and be sure that your vehicle is parked legally. All four tires need to by outside of the white lines, and there should be no “no parking” signs.

Golden Cliffs Parking Lot Closure

The JCOS Park Services Team will be closing the lower parking area at North Table Mountain off of Peery Street (Golden Cliffs) on both Thursday April 28th and Friday April 29th for grading work. Visitors on those two days will be directed to the upper parking lot which belongs to the City of Golden.

Raptor Update

Jeffco Open Space staff members and Raptor Monitoring volunteers have been monitoring raptor nests across Open Space since the beginning of February.

Golden Eagles were active in the Clear Creek Canyon area in February and possibly earlier.  Currently, two Golden Eagle pairs are nesting in Clear Creek Canyon, and the active nests are appropriately protected by the seasonal closures.

Peregrine Falcons are active in the Cathedral Spires area!  The Peregrines choose different ledges for their nest location from year to year, and it is very difficult to determine where these fast and agile birds choose to nest.  We are monitoring the area and will adjust the closure when and if it is appropriate.

The Clear Creek Canyon and Cathedral Spires Park seasonal closures remain in effect based on the observed raptor breeding conditions.  Please continue to respect these important seasonal closures that help protect our Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and other cliff-nesting raptors.

FHRC Update

The Fixed Hardware Review Committee is making progress in leaps and bounds. At our last meeting, we worked further on building a process for programmatic approval of route setters. This would alleviate a lot of time for route setters who are competent in bolting, and are abiding by the climbing management guidelines.  Our next meeting will be in early May where we hope to finalize this process, and will be going through the first round of route applications. If you have a route in mind, please submit your application no later than May 1st. Applications can be found here.  To contact the Fixed Hardware Review Committee directly, email

FRCS update

I want to extend a big kudos to the Front Range Climbing Stewards for their hard work at Mt. Glennon (Dark Side of Morrison Boulders). These dedicated folks have been making a lot of progress building a sustainable access trail to this area. We are all excited to see the finished project.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Have a great day out there.

Eric Krause
Park Ranger
303-271-5938, C 303-882-4769


Sent February 26, 2016

Good Afternoon,

There have been many recent developments in the world of climbing within Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS). I want to take this opportunity to make everyone aware of these developments and answer some questions that have come my way.

Fixed Hardware Review Committee Inception

Last week on February 18th, the newly developed JCOS Fixed Hardware Review Committee (FHRC) had their kick off meeting.  All seven members attended, along with the majority of the JCOS internal climbing committee.  In this meeting, a Chair-person and Co-chair were established along with goals of the committee.  The FHRC consists of the following members:

  • Josh Pollock: Chair
  • Dave Montgomery: Co-chair
  • Laura Mack
  • Kevin Capps
  • Jim Wong
  • Stephen Felker
  • Mark Anderson

To get in touch with the Fixed Hardware Review Committee, email

The FHRC will meet again in early March to further discuss structure and more pressing issues/ideas that we hope to move forward with.  We are very happy and excited to be working with such a dedicated and great group.

Fixed Hardware Replacement Clinic

On Tuesday February 23rd, 2016, five dedicated members of the local climbing community came together to teach eleven people the best practices used to replace outdated or substandard hardware.  The tools and techniques that these folks have come up with are fascinating to say the least.  I want to extend a huge thanks to the following for teaching this:

  • Jim Wong
  • Dave Montgomery
  • Greg German
  • Jason Haas
  • Matt Reeser

We are hoping to hold more of these clinics in the future and are looking forward to seeing the continued progress that these specialists are achieving.

Golden Eagle Closures in Clear Creek Canyon

On February 1st, 2016 two golden eagle protection closures went into effect within Clear Creek Canyon.  One in the area of mile marker 270, and another on the East side of Tunnel 2.  So far, we have seen exceptional respect of these closures and very much appreciate that.  The JCOS Natural Resources team has spotted and confirmed the nesting of eagles and will continue to monitor further throughout the duration of nesting season.  If you aren’t familiar with these seasonal wildlife closures, detailed maps can be found here.

Upcoming Cathedral Spires Closure

Annually on March 1st, Cathedral Spires closes seasonally for raptor nesting.  This closure will tentatively be in effect through July 31st, 2016. Based on nesting behavior, JCOS staff may open a portion of this property before July 31.

Other Seasonal Closures

In addition to these closures that tend to affect the climbing community, JCOS also has the following seasonal closures currently in place:

New Route Applications

I have attached the application for placing new routes that use fixed hardware on JCOS land.  If you’re interested in developing a new route, fill out this application and email it back to

Fixed Hardware Replacement

While we are working with the Fixed Hardware Review Committee to establish a process and criteria to approve re-bolters, we ask a few things.  First, please know your knowledge and capabilities when it comes to replacing hardware. The last thing that anyone wants is to have to re-replace hardware.  Next, if you choose to replace hardware, just shoot us an email before you go and upon completion, if you can send before and after photo’s, even better.

As always, if you have questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to send them to

Hope you’re well.

Eric Krause
Park Ranger
Jefferson County Open Space