Rock Climbing

For expert rock climbers, the sheer cliffs of the Black Canyon represent one of Colorado’s premier big-wall challenges. Some routes can take several days to complete, with climbers sleeping on narrow ledges, or "portaledges." Though there’s no official guide to climbing in the park, reports from individual climbers are kept on file at the South Rim Visitor Center. Nesting birds of prey may lead to wall closure at certain times of year.

Rock climbing in the park is for experts only, but you can do some bouldering at the Marmot Rocks area, about 100 feet south of South Rim Road between Painted Wall and Cedar Point overlooks (park at Painted Wall). Four boulder groupings offer a variety of routes rated from easy to very difficult; a pamphlet with a diagrammed map of the area is available at the South Rim Visitor Center.

Tours and Outfitters

Irwin Guides. Intermediate and expert climbers can take full-day rock-climbing guided tours on routes from 6 to 15 pitches in length. 330 Belleview Ave., Crested Butte, Colorado, 81224. 970/349–5430; www.irwinguides.com. From $195 per person, per day.

Skyward Mountaineering. Intermediate and advanced climbers can take lessons and guided tours on the Black Canyon's fabled climbs with this internationally certified guide and outfitter. 2392 Ridgeway Ct., Grand Junction, Colorado. 541/639–9913; www.skywardmountaineering.com. From $500 per day. Closed Dec.--Feb..

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