Friday, March 13, 2009

The Golden Nugget: A Gem On the Front Side of Eldorado Canyon

Earlier this week we went up to the Golden Nugget, one of the best single boulders on the front side of Eldorado Canyon. Sitting at the edge of a beautiful meadow, the Golden Nugget offers around 15+ individual problems - plus many eliminates or link ups. Although most problems go at the softer end of the grade scale, there are two that are incredibly hard.
Tara on the Golden Nugget Boulder
Old school in style, the problems on the Golden Nugget are vertical, crimpy, and 15 high. The top out is flat, the landing is flat, and the stone is solid. On cold winter days, you can usually find a patch of sun on the south side to warm up while resting before trying to send of the impossibly crimpy problems on the west face.
Bouldering on the Golden Nugget Boulder
On the far left are the two prize gems. If you do the low stand start (no sit start here), the far left problem rates up there in the double-digit V range. Grade wise it is hard to say, in the old days it was rated B2/B2+, but now it can be rated whatever the young upstart boulderer wants to rate it (and probably give it a new name... where has our appreciation of history gone?).
Golden Nugget Bouldering Problems
The boulder sits on the edge of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Habitat Conservation Area. That means that you can't access it from the Mickey Mouse Trail. Rather, according to the ranger we talked to, you need to walk the road all the way around to the old Mickey Mouse Trail, and use the shortcut from there to the boulder (about 25 feet). What they don't want people doing is hiking the trail, and then cutting down through the meadow (which often is home to a family of wild turkeys).


  1. Although I've hiked back there a lot, I've never bothered to go to The Golden Nugget. Sounds like an amazing spot and one I'll have to check out.

  2. Yep, fun boulder with some solid old-school vertical crimp problems. Just get the Off Trail Permit before going there as it is now in an HCA. The rangers are cool with us going there as long as you get the permit. Also, follow the directions above, don't use the Micky Mouse Trail.

  3. Hi, I was wondering how you get to the AVS traverse ?

  4. TJ, the Avs traverse is up on Dinosaur Mountain. After passing Slapshot, walk another 50 yards to a wall just up from the trail with a couple crimp problems on it. Walk uphill around the east and north side up into the gully, staying right. You should see it. Amazing traverse, long! Here is the full beta of the problem.