Hole in the Wall Canyon: A Local Gem for Steamboat Rock Climbers

Hole in the Wall Canyon: A Local Gem for Steamboat Rock Climbers

Hole in the Wall

Ahh Steamboat, a place known for its incredible winter sports opportunities, as well as a summer filled with incredible mountain biking and scenic hiking trails.  One thing that may not first come to mind when you think of beautiful Steamboat Springs is its rock climbing.  It isn’t world class by any means, but there is rock to be climbed around our awe inspiring valley.  I’m here to give you a little beta on the Hole in the Wall Canyon, a local gem for Steamboat rock climbers.

About Hole in the Wall Canyon


This sweet little spot is tucked away in a small canyon in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness.  It is easily accessed and just a short hike to get there.  This is one of my favorite areas to go romp around because it has great places to camp along the way.  There is plenty of water around and it’s nice and chilly in the morning and gets warmer as the day goes on.  If you go in the next couple of weeks, just be prepared to take a little siesta during those mid-day hours due to the intense heat and exposure.

This area has some sport and mixed routes, but the majority of the climbing here are established trad routes.  There are a few routes that have bolted anchors that all seem to be sound.  As you begin walking into the canyon and notice the crags on your right, the walls are in order as follows:

  • TR Wall (70’):  This is a great wall to start with.  It has 6 climbs plus 1 boulder traverse.  Climbs range from 5.7 – 5.10a with 2 bolted routes and anchor.
  • Shield of the Titans (140’):  According to Mountain Project, as well as what I could scope out, there are 6 routes on this crag and there are a handful of bolted routes.  It provides anchors half way up for the multi-pitch option. These climbs range from 5.8 – 5.12.
  • The Needle (200’):  This is the spire formation just below Stump Buttress.  There are 3 high quality multi-pitch routes ranging from 5.7 – 5.10+.  All Trad
  • Stump Buttress (300’):  This is the large buttress behind The Needle.  It has 5 total climbs ranging from 5.9 – 5.10.  All trad (to my knowledge).
  • Wall mart (150’):  This is the crag to the northwest side of Stump Buttress.  It has 2 climbs ranging from a 5.9 sport and a 5.11 trad.

How To Get To Hole in the Wall Canyon


From Steamboat Springs, head west a couple of miles and take a right onto Elk River Rd.  From there, you’ll drive about 18 or so miles through the town of Clark. Take another right onto Seedhouse Rd.  Once on Seedhouse, you’ll drive 9 miles to a parking area at NF-431 (or trail #1189) on your left just before the bridge.  If you hit Seedhouse Campground, you’ve gone too far. 

Walk around the closed gate and follow the trail for about 20-30 minutes.  You’ll notice the canyon full of rock to your left and once you cross the small creek at the bottom, look for a faint climbers trail on your left.  You’ll follow that trail until you are at the base of the talus field.  If you look off to your left near the creek, there are a couple of possible camping areas, the best being in the sandy wash directly in front of the Shield of the Titans.  It takes about 1.5 hours to get here counting the approach.

Climb On!


If you’ve made it this far into the article, then you’re probably a climber.  I do want to point out that I’m no expert by any means.  I climb for the pure joy it brings me and have not sent all of these routes mentioned above, nor do I know if all of the information is correct.  However, I have climbed a few of them and scouted most of them.  The rest of the beta was gathered from notes and Mountain Project.  Please feel free to come on by anytime and fill me in on some beta you’d like to pass on!  I’d love to makes notes of it and possibly put a better Steamboat climbing guidebook together.

Also, I am trying to build a climbing community here in Steamboat so us climbers can have a platform where we can share beta and find climbing partners, as well as teach those who are willing to learn!  If this interests you and you are apart of Facebook, search “Steamboat Climbing Community” and ask to join.  I’ll be happy to add you!

Here at Ski Haus, we sell just about everything you need for climbing.  Come on by to check out our Black Diamond Quickdraws quickpack ($94.95), Camalot C4 ($64.95-$124.95), Camalot X4, ($74.95), Camalot Ultra-Light ($99.95-$124.95) as well as the rest of the basic gear you’ll need to get after it!  As usual, be smart, stay safe and get out there and crush it!

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