Directions and Information
There are various Climbing Guides out that have detailed directions to get to Shelf Road. The newest, called "Shelf Road Rock", published by Sharp End Publishing, is currently available at pretty much any place that sells climbing gear. You can also find it at www.sharpendbooks.com. Any of these books have directions on how to get to shelf road. Below is a map exerted from the above guide. I have noted the locations of the ranch and the various climbing areas.
To Get Here: To get to Shelf Road, Take I-25 South from Denver to Colorado Springs. Take the Academy Boulevard exit on the SOUTH SIDE of town. (Do not take the Academy Exit on the North side of town) Go west for about 1 mile to Hwy 115 south. Travel Hwy 115 south until you get to Hwy 50, then go west until you get to Canon City. Approx 10 miles) In Canon City, take a right at the stoplight just past Wal-Mart (Dozier Ave.). The road will gradually turn left and you will come to a stop sign at Field Ave. Turn right on Field Avenue and continue north until the road comes to a Y. This is Fremont County Rd 9 aka: Red Canon Rd. Continue north and the road will become Shelf Road. CHRanch is the last property on the left before you hit the end of the pavement.
Camping: There are two camping areas located on BLM land. The first is Sand Gulch. There is a sign on the road about a mile after the pavement ends. The second area is the Bank Camp Area. To get to this take a left just past the Sand Gulch camping area. Continue up the road until you come to the camp area. Both these areas have Bathrooms and are maintained by the BLM. You should plan to bring your own water and paper. There is no potable water available, and the toilet paper can run out on busy weekends. There are a number of camp sites available and a group site at each camp area. There are also fire rings. Please note the Fire Danger, especially during the summer and drought times of the year. This area is High Country Desert and gets very dry. There hasn't been any major fires here in a number of years, and we hope to keep it that way.
Area Recreation: Of course the one dear to my heart is climbing, but there is also plenty of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the area. There is also kayaking and river rafting at Canon City, as well as the Royal Gorge and other tourist traps. Shelf road is also a scenic byway between Canon City and Cripple Creek (www.goldbeltbyway.com/shelfroad.htm). Beside the regular animals such as deer, elk, and Coyotes, there is a resident group of Bighorn Sheep that frequent the road closer to Cripple Creek. There are also Black Bear, and Mountain Lion in the area. The mountains between Shelf Road and Colorado Springs host the largest population of Mountain Lions in the United States. You may even catch a glimpse of a Lynx or Roadrunner.