Climbing Activities 

IMPORTANT: Fort Collins is surrounded by seemingly countless outdoor recreation adventures waiting to be explored.  Please always adhere to Leave No Trace Principles so generations to come can enjoy the same experience. 


Whether it is indoors or outdoors, Fort Collins is a corridor to some of the best climbing in North America. The nearby Cache La Poudre River Canyon, Horsetooth Reservoir, and Lory State Park all offer climbing opportunities for individuals seeking an outdoor adventure and a bit of a recreational challenge.

Fort Collins is home to the largest indoor climbing gym found at Whetstone Climbing Gym. Whetstone offers over 20,000 square feet of various climbing styles with difficulty ranging from beginners all the way to experts. Be sure to check out their café with local food and craft brews after a hard day of climbing!

Ascent Studio

Ascent Studio is one of Northern Colorado’s premier climbing gyms and offers unique indoor climbing experiences built upon an inclusive and friendly environment. Whether you are looking to drop in for the day, compete in an event, or even take a climbing class, this gym has it all.


Whetstone Climbing Gym

Whetstone Climbing Gym is located in South Fort Collins, while still minutes away from the Downtown Square, this gym offers over 25,000 square feet of indoor climbing space. Fort Collins is home to the largest indoor climbing gym in Northern Colorado found at Whetstone Climbing Gym. This gym comes with a full cafe and bar for those who enjoy a happy hour after a climb. 


Cache La Poudre

The Cache La Poudre River is riddled with routes and opportunities for those who are seeking an authentic outdoor climbing experience. The routes found in the Cache La Poudre River are inherently more challenging than those found at an indoor gym. 

Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir offers an abundant number of climbing opportunities and locations but is mostly characterized by bouldering. In fact, it is where bouldering was invented! These routes will offer world-class views, easy access, and routes for all skill levels. Swingo Adventures provides guided climbing trips for Duncan's Ridge.

Lory State Park

Lory State Park is home to some of the best granite bouldering in Colorado and just minutes away from Downtown Fort Collin, so pack your gear and plan a stay at one of our many hotel options. 


Red Feather Lakes

Red Feather Lakes, a short drive northwest through the Poudre Canyon, offers a playground for all styles of climbers. This area is recently discovered in terms of recreational climbing and still has routes to be discovered. Fixed Pin Publishing offers guidebooks for routes throughout Colorado found here and is founded by Ben Schneider, a board member of the Northern Colorado Climbers Coalition. 


Guide books and Professional Tips

The Northern Colorado Climbers Coalition and Fixed Pin Publishing offer route guides to many of the locations listed and are a trusted source of information regarding the rating and seasonality of climbs. Please know before you go and gather as much updated information as you can on top of what is provided!

Climbing is a dangerous activity, do not attempt climbing without the proper equipment, training, and knowledge before you go. Please review all safety measures, equipment, and skill ability before starting your climb. Regardless of the route rating, serious injuries can occur, please keep your safety in mind and thank you for visiting Fort Collins!

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Visitor Resources

Larimer County Natural Resources

Manages recreation at Carter Lake; Flatiron, Horsetooth, and Pinewood reservoirs; Big Thompson parks; Devil’s Backbone, Eagle’s Nest, Hermit Park, Horsetooth Mountain, Red Mountain, River Bluffs, and...

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U.S. Forest Service Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests

Manages recreation such as camping in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests (including the Poudre Canyon), and the Pawnee National Grasslands. Call or visit the website for information.

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Colorado Division of Wildlife, Northeast Region

Information on hunting, fishing, wildlife, and outdoor recreation.

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