Colorado National Monument Rock Climbing

Colorado National Monument offers enjoyable sandstone rock climbing for all ability levels. The top roping areas in Lower Monument Canyon are a great place for beginners to try rock climbing. Intermediate and advanced climbers will enjoy a climb of Otto’s Route on Independence Monument.

Mountain Trip will now be handling booking for climbing in the Colorado National Monument. Please call 970-369-1153 to book.

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  • otto's route in colorado national monument rock climbing


This area is also one of the most scenic locations for rock climbing in Grand Junction with abundant wildlife and captivating sandstone formations.

Part of the Ultimate Rock Pass

Colorado National Monument is part of our Ultimate Rock Pass. The Ultimate Rock Pass is a punch pass style offering that marries the benefits of 1 on 1 instruction and guidance of a guide with the cost savings of a group enrollment program. This pass is good anywhere we offer rock climbing “day trips”.

A Colorful History of a Unique Climb

The climbing route on Independence Monument follows the line of first ascent done by John Otto, the first caretaker of Colorado National Monument. Otto did not have knowledge of roped climbing techniques so he drilled holes and inserted pipes as footholds to overcome difficult sections of the climb. He reached the summit on June 8, 1911. Most of Otto’s handiwork is now gone, although a few drilled holes remain that make the climb achievable with just a few moves in the 5.8-9 range.


Group Size

This is a private program, no one else will be paired with your party. If your group is larger than 2, we apply a group discount and additional guides are added to keep the guest to guide ratio at 2:1 or lower for multipitch climbs. The maximum ratio for toproping is 6:1.

Time and Place

This is a custom program. Meeting time and place are organized directly with your guide.

Getting to The Monument

The Colorado National Monument is located just outside Grand Junction, CO.

Equipment List

All the technical climbing equipment required for this outing is included.
View equipment list as a PDF

The Monument’s Classic Climbs

Otto’s Route on Independence Monument

Otto’s Route on Independence Monument is a great place to do your first multi-pitch rock climb. It has five pitches of climbing, a fantastic summit, and just a few moves of 5.8-5.9. Most of the route is rated 5.6-5.7 with short cruxes. The climbing is moderate and very enjoyable, and the tabletop summit is unforgettable!

independence monument ottos route

Contact Us

Mountain Trip

135 W Colorado Ave 2A | Telluride, C0 81435

Authorized Permittee

Peak Mountain Guides is an authorized permittee of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison National Forest; San Juan National Forest; Bureau of Land Management Monticello, Moab, Gunnison, and Glennallen Field Offices; Eldorado Canyon State Park; Ouray Ice Park, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks; and National Parks including Mt. Rainier, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Colorado National Monument. Peak Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.