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While Rifle is known to be the testing grounds for hard climbing, there is a host of mid-level climbs. The limestone can be slick, and most of the climbs range from slightly to extremely overhanging, so Rifle can be frustrating for beginners. The classics start at 5.12, with pockets, crimps, and open-handed, flat holds to test your forearm endurance.
A lift of the bolting ban came with the caveat that every hard climb had to have an easier one as well. Check out the Canine Wall for fun climbs ranging from 5.8 to 5.11. Stay away from Rifle on summer weekends, when the Front Range crowds venture across the divide into the cool mountain canyon. A pure sport climbing area, be sure you’ve got a large rack of quickdraws on your harness.
Rifle Mountain Park is a climbing destination on the western slope which draws climbers from all over the world.
The overhanging caves and walls of Rifle provide and array of crimps, jugs and blocks to pull on all while in the near horizontal position. One thing's for sure, climb here and you will radiate strength from your core out to your forearms. Even though the steep, solid limestone provides rock solid, high quality routes, many have seen so many ascents that the foot holds resemble sheets of ice they are so polished.
Popular routes mentioned here are sometimes referred to as the "warm up" routes, some, but for me they are classics.
Popular routes at Rifle Mountain Park:
Eighty Feet Of Meat 5.11a Located on the Meat Wall. Even though the footholds are polished from so many ascents, this line is super fun, sustained and truly classic.
Feline 5.11b Located on the Ice Cave Wall. Challenging moves with some rests in between.
Rumor Has It 5.11b Located on the Sapper Cave Wall. Involves a burley layback to a jug, super fun.