Den, Button Rock Dam
then click on the map to jump to the rocks
The Lion's Den is located on the southern boundary between
Ralph Price Reservoir (AKA Button Rock Dam) and the Hall Ranch
Open Space. It sits atop a ridge several hundred feet above
the Longmont Reservoir.
From the town
of Lyons go right at the junction of Highways 36 and 7 heading towards Estes
Park. At 3.7 miles, turn left at the Shelly Cottages sign onto the Longmont
Dam Road (County Road 80). Follow the dirt road to its gated dead end and
park. Pass through the gate and walk up the dirt road, past the River Wall
climbs and spillway falls from the Longmont Reservoir, for approximately
1/2 mile (10 minutes from the parking lot). Keep your eyes peeled on the
telephone/utility lines. They start out on the road side of the St. Vrain
River, cross momentarily to the far side and then cross again to the road
side. The telephone pole where the lines cross back to the road side is
the marker for the trail starting on the left side of the road.
|Welcome to Button Rock Sign
is the old original portion of the Sleepy Lion Trail which still sees use
from locals who remember when a trailhead sign marked the access. The land
managers have moved the official trailhead for the Sleepy Lion Trail up
the road about 1/2 mile. Follow the trail steeply up the hill, past 6 switchbacks
(the ship's prow is just above the sixth switchback), through the woods,
into a clearing, back into the woods and once again into a clearing with
a clear view to the river and dirt road below. Look for where the cairn was marking
the left turn onto the old ranching roadbed. Follow the ranching road for
a couple hundred yards into a large meadow/clearing. You can see the Lion's
Den boulders on the uphill side of the clearing.
|Chip on Linoleum V2, The Corridor
The climbing here takes place on generally good varied-sized
granite blocks that sport; flakes, cracks and chickenheads. There's plenty
of incipient cracks so incipient crack technique is necessary on many problems
at Lion's Den. Highballs are quite common so make sure you bring your pads!
The area has seen very little traffic so far and some of the holds are still
| Paulaner Wall
wall is by the 4th Hairpin on the hike in. Most of the problems are
Not much else is known about it.
| The Egg
15 foot tall round rock is just north
of the Big Cat Block and right behind
The Corridor. The problems are short
and powerful. The landings are good!
- Poached V4
- Scrambled V4
- The Egg Roof V7
- Over Easy V8
Cat Block, west side
Cat, east side
|| Big Cat Block
This high boulder
has 10 problems on it
and is centrally located in the main area. The west side has a half
dozen Highballs ranging from V5 to V7. The Big Cat V4 and Scaredy
Cat V5 are stellar! The east side has 4 high warm-ups. The landings
1. Scaredy Cat V5: Up the crack to the
2. The Big Cat V4: Bust up through the
layaway and up.
3. Le Samet Corner V6: Just another
4. Lion Bitch V7:
5. Knee Bar Pussy V6:
6. Punch the Kitty V6:
7. Alley Cat V0:
8. Tigger V0:
9. Catfish V0:
10. Cat Scratch Fever V2:
The Warm Up Block
Even though it's
only 10 feet tall, the Warm Up Block shouldn't be missed. With a
flat landing, 4 short vertical problems and a V5 Traverse, this
block makes for an excellent warm up.
The Tooth Rock
is right behind the left side of the Warm up Block. There you'll
find, Canines V0 - V3, an obscure short little inside corner that
moves up and left. Rollerball V0 is around here somewhere but we're
not sure exactly where.
- PW Traverse V5
- Moss Boss V1
- Choss Boss V0
- Crack 'n Up V1
- Slab Master V3
| Main Area
8. Hyperion Lunge (run & jump)
9. Hyperion Arete V3
- Schwank V0
- Linoleum V2
- Hall Pass V1
- Late Bell V2
- The Main Line V1
- Beh Slab V0
- Secret Squirrel
- The Boneyard
V2: climb the crack.
V4: right of the crack.
- Happy Meal
V3: jump start on the far left side.
V6: easier if you exit left.
- Tom's Tavern
V0 - V2: up flakes.
- Extra Cheese
V4: tough exit - V6 if you low
traverse from the right.
- Super Size
It V2: slopers straight up.
- Greg's Dada
V0 - V2
- Beh Slab
V0: start low then highball finish
- Inside Moves
Samet Highball Wall
Wall, right side
Although the crag is
more than 75 feet tall, Matt Samet actually tried to highball the obvious
crack on the right side but gave up when his half gallon of red wine ran
There are two obvious lines here. They are probably better suited to roped
climbing. And will probably go free at 5.11. Waiting for you!.
Solitary Spirit Block and The Prow
Solitary Spirit Block is down the hill from Hyperion Proboscis and
is directly above The Prow a few hundred feet.
- Solitary Confinement V2
- Solitary Spirit V3
- Seldom Seen V1
Prow sports a terraced landing and nearly a dozen problems. Although
it can be difficult to find, it is well worth the effort.
- Shackleton V0
- The Caird V0
- Lost At Sea V0
- The Pressure V0
- Poop Deck V0
- Barnacle (project) way Highball!
- Walk The Gangplank V7 Highball!
- Ice Locked V7
- Hoosh Pot V1
- Blubber V0 (the downclimb)
- The Endurance V4 low traverse
R to L from #7 past #10
Caterwaul Grotto and Cougar Cache Wall
These gems are hidden in
trees on the ridgeline behind the Samet Highball Wall. The Caterwaul
currently has 4 lines. The top of the Highball, Right Now V4, might
still have a loose flake at the top! The Cougar Cache Wall has lots
of variations, (i.e..) l to r, r to l, r to l then up, etc. It makes
for a good workout wall, and it would be stellar if two blocks were
removed from the base. The problems on Cougar Cache Wall were put
up by Paul Pomeroy and make for a great warm up.
- The Howling V5
- Sweetness V2
- Right Now V4 Highball!
- Ichiban V5
collection of boulders are down the
hill below the Samet Highball Wall.
Like Clear Creek, the area is saturated with rocks, but not all of it
At almost 6000 feet elevation Lion's Den is quiet and remote and makes for
a great change of pace. The cool formations have seen very little traffic
(so far), and there is possibilities for more rocks to be unearthed.
The area is dog-friendly, but it needs to be leashed on the road.
The trails in are faint and it's very easy to get lost or not find the rocks.
It's brutally hot in the summer and the ticks are bad. It can be snowy and
windy in winter. Some of the rock is questionable and even good holds break
off! Some of the highballs have questionable landings.