Here are some of the best areas for vertical pursuits in the winter:
Clear Creek Canyon
With thousands of climbs, Clear Creek Canyon outside of Golden is one of the most popular areas for rock climbing near Denver. The climbs here offer a variety of styles in terms of steepness, holds, length and protection, making this canyon a spot where any climber can find a project. The walls on both sides of the river get differing amounts of sun, so make sure you are heading somewhere sunny and warm.
Located just south of Boulder, Eldorado Canyon is a classic place for traditional climbing routes, ranging from beginner to highly advanced routes.The length of the climbs in this canyon vary from single pitch to hundreds of feet.
This popular bouldering area in Morrison is ideal for climbing in the winter, as it stays warm most days. The boulders are not the most challenging you’ll find along the Front Range, but they are accessible and plentiful. This is a great option for those who want to get a workout in on some real rock.
North Table Mountain
The south-facing cliff band on North Table Mountain gets consistent, all-day sun that makes this the perfect spot for some outdoor climbing even on chilly days. These crags are located in the heart of Golden, which makes them easy to get to, and the short, moderate climbs are an excellent way for new climbers to get their hands on real rock for the first time.
Located down in the San Luis Valley, Penitente Canyon is certain to be less crowded than Front Range locations. The climbs are primarily bolted and offer a wide variety of holds and styles, from small crimps to large jugs and huecos. Bonus for coming here in winter: The rattlesnakes that populate this canyon will be dormant.
Only two hours from Denver (if traffic is non-existent), this area near Glenwood Canyon is a fine choice for climbers who want to get out of the city for the day. Most of the climbs are sport, with a decent number of routes in the 5.7 to 5.10a range, as well as many more in the 5.11 to 5.13 range, making this location a good destination for climbers of all levels. This climbing spot is privately owned. To access it, climbers must fill out a liability waiver, which can be downloaded here.