Bolton Dome

Bolton Dome in Vermont is owned by the Climbing Resource Access Group of Vermont (CRAG-VT), and Access Fund holds a permanent Conservation and Recreation Easement. The easement strengthens conservation and recreation protections at Bolton Dome, while simultaneously forging agreements with local indigenous groups to allow access to the land. Bolton Dome features more than 75 routes, from 5.3 to 5.13.

Bolton Dome is on the ancestral lands of Wabanaki Confederacy and Abenaki/Abénaquis. Photo by Michael Pronzato.

In 2020, CRAG-VT reached out to Access Fund for additional support in their long-term commitment to land protection. The two groups established a conservation and recreation easement—a legal agreement to protect the climbing area, preventing any use of the property that would significantly hinder public access and recreation, specifically rock climbing, both now and in the future. The easement allows for other compatible uses, like hiking, while restricting certain activities, like forest management.

In addition, Access Fund and CRAG-VT worked with leaders of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation to develop language that will afford access to the greater Abenaki People (the Abenaki). The easement allows for certain recreational, cultural, and educational uses; the procurement of foods, materials, and medicines; and other traditional activities. CRAG-VT entered into a second agreement with the Abenaki to further outline these uses and encourage this newly forged relationship.


Historically known as Trailer Park Crag, Bolton Dome was the area’s most popular cliff in the 1970s and ’80s. However, it was closed to climbing in 1990 because of the private landowners’ concerns about public use of their property.

Over the years, local climbing advocate Richard Katzman stayed in contact with the landowners. In the summer of 2017, they agreed to consider an offer from CRAG-VT before listing the property on the open market. To save Bolton Dome, CRAG-VT purchased the entire 48-acre parcel in 2018, including the 2-acre house site that was subdivided and resold.

CRAG-VT acquired Bolton Dome with support from Access Fund’s Climbing Conservation Loan Program (CCLP). Since the purchase, CRAG-VT opened the crag for climbing and established a sustainable trail network.

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Rules & Restrictions

Bolton Dome is open. Go to for important information on parking and restrictions.