Shelf Road

Shelf Road

Project Type
Project Status
Current Project

Shelf Road Recreation Area, located approximately 11 miles north of Cañon City, Colorado, and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is best known for its world-class sport climbing. People travel from all over the world to test their crimping skills on Shelf's stellar limestone crags. In addition to climbing, the area offers hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, and horseback riding. RMFI began working with the BLM in 1991 to address recreation impacts in the area. Since that time, RMFI has constructed a sustainable trail infrastructure linking climbing areas, parking lots, and campgrounds.

Due to unique topography, trails in the area require a significant number of stabilizing structures such as steps, risers, and retaining walls. Shelf's trails are characterized by limestone staircases and outslope retaining walls - all constructed with rocks and materials found on-site to create a trail that blends seamlessly with its environmental surroundings.


We recognize the following nations, whose traditional territories we work on at Shelf Road:

  • Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) 
  • Cheyenne 
  • Jicarilla Apache 


The primary objective at Shelf Road is to create and maintain a sustainable and safe trail infrastructure, and to promote a strong stewardship ethic among the area's user groups. Specific project objectives include:

  • Protecting and restoring the ecological integrity of the Shelf Road Recreation Area while providing a sustainable infrastructure for recreational opportunities.
  • Educating the public and recreational users about the importance of public lands stewardship and environmental protection.
  • Re-constructing and re-routing eroding trails, stabilize unstable trails, and restore undesignated trails.


  • Access Fund
  • Bureau of Land Management - Royal Gorge Field Office
  • Fountain Valley School
  • Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance

Get involved

If you are interested in donating your time to this project or other similar projects, please check our calendar for workday opportunities or contact Calla Balliett, our Volunteer & Partnership Coordinator with any questions: 719-471-7736 ext. 4# or