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Castle Rocks

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Castle Rock 
East Sector 
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West Sector / The Sanctuary 

Castle Rocks  

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Location: 42.1354, -113.67 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Guy H. on Dec 20, 2005
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Castle Rocks was opened to the public in May of 2003. It is a great addition to climbing community while visiting the City of Rocks. The Castle Rocks area is open to new bolted routes through a Climbing Management Plan. There is currently a good relationship between climbers and the park staff. Please try and keep this good relationship going. There is a good mix of trad and sport routes. The fixed gear must conform to the standards of the climbing management plan.

CRSP is a result of cooperation between the state government and non-profit organizations, such as The Access Fund, The Conservation Fund, and Idaho State Parks. Climbing here should be considered fragile. Stick to designated trails, be respectful, and leave no trace.

In addition to excellent routes, Castle Rocks also offers some high quality bouldering. The problems are well-worthy, aesthetic, and fun. Bouldering is somewhat "primitive" so come with an open-mind and a sense of adventure. Boulders can be found around Castle Rocks, Johnny Cash, The Hostess Gully, and Tiny Town.

Castle Rocks is informally broken into zones, for the sake of this site, we'll cover them in the more recognized sectors: Castle Rock, South Hills, East Sector, and the West Sector / The Sanctuary.

Camping: There is no camping here, Suggestions include the Smokey Mountain Campground which is about 3 miles down the road and includes bathrooms and showers. Also, there are campsites that can be reserved inside of City of Rocks, as well as cabins and B&B's in Almo. Rentals and info can be found at the Almo Outpost.

Getting There 

Castle Rocks is located about 2 miles from City of Rocks outside the town of Almo. A road just North of Almo leads to the west for about 2 miles to the park entrance. I believe there is currently a small fee for day climbing. The approcahes to the climbs are longer than for City of Rocks. The approaches are between 20-90 minutes for the majority of the climbs.

From the South: Take interstate 84 to exit 5, just north of Snowville. Follow route 30/42 west for 20 miles and look for Strevell-Yost Road just past the Idaho border. Continue along the road until you reach a "Y", Follow the "Y" right a few miles then make a left at an intersection just past the town of Almo.

If coming from the North/West: Get on 84 and take exit 216 south on route 77, passing Delco and Albion. Continue along this road until you come to a "T" at Conner Creek. Make a right and look for signs that head to City of Rocks/Almo. Before you reach Almo, look right for a road/signs that head to Castle Rocks.

Climbing Season

Weather station 13.8 miles from here

157 Total Routes

['4 Stars',12],['3 Stars',70],['2 Stars',48],['1 Star',26],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Castle Rocks:
Little Time   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 2 pitches, 250'   Castle Rock : Castle Rock - South Face
Handy   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Comp Rock : Comp Rock - East Face
Big Time   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 400'   Castle Rock : Castle Rock - South Face
Zinger   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 3 pitches, 290'   Castle Rock : Hostess Gully - West Corrid...
Fruit Pie   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Castle Rock : Hostess Gully - West Corrid...
Coo Coo Cachoo   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 180'   South Hills : Bracksiek's Pillar
Jug Massacre   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   South Hills : Jug Wall
Eye-Full Tower   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 160'   South Hills : Bracksiek's Pillar
To Have and to Hold   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Castle Rock : Poultry Pillar - Wedding Wa...
B Bro   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 250'   South Hills : Bracksiek's Pillar
Between Heaven and Earth   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Castle Rock : Hostess Gully - West Corrid...
Red Rib   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 195'   Castle Rock : Hostess Gully - West Corrid...
Shop and Compare   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 260'   Comp Rock : The Comp Wall
Crimson Arete   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Castle Rock : Castle Rock - East Face
Shock and Awe   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Castle Rock : West Buttress - South
Mantle Dynamics   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Comp Rock : Comp Rock - East Face
Companeros   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 90'   Comp Rock : The Comp Wall
Twinkie   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Castle Rock : Hostess Gully - West Corrid...
Honeymoon in Almo   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 100'   Castle Rock : Hostess Gully - West Corrid...
Splitter   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 2 pitches, 180'   Comp Rock : The Comp Wall
Browse More Classics in Castle Rocks

Featured Route For Castle Rocks
The line...

Splitter 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  ID : Castle Rocks : ... : The Comp Wall
This is one of prettiest 5.11 crack lines at the City and Castle Rocks. The rating has been documented as 5.11a, but the moves at the overhang are stiff and a little bit heady for the grade.P1: Follow a shallow RF dihedral to the small overhang. The best crux gear consists of medium hexs, since the crack flares in the back. Fire the crux sequence with poor feet and hit a jug above the the overhang. There is a short section of poor rock at this point. Also, watch your gear placements at the lip...[more]   Browse More Classics in ID

Photos of Castle Rocks Slideshow Add Photo
Castle Valley, July 24th, 2013
Castle Valley, July 24th, 2013
Castle Rock beginning to dry out after a late September snowstorm
Castle Rock beginning to dry out after a late Sept...
Early November storm with high winds over Castle Valley
Early November storm with high winds over Castle V...
Castle Rock on January 2nd, 2014
Castle Rock on January 2nd, 2014
Castle Valley in early June
Castle Valley in early June
Castle Valley early August
Castle Valley early August
Darius Azin contemplating <em>Redrum</em> (5.13), Castle Rocks. Photo by Rob Hart.
Darius Azin contemplating Redrum (5.13), ...

Comments on Castle Rocks Add Comment
Show which comments
By David Stephens
From: Spokane WA.
Sep 9, 2011
PDF Climbing Guides for Castle Rocks Zones 1 and 2


By Brandt Allen
From: Joshua Tree, Cal
Jan 31, 2012
I'm thinking about renting the old ranch house at the entrance to Castle Rocks next summer for a group of friends to spend a week or so climbing at City and Castle Rocks.
Has anyone here rented this place? I would appreciate info from any folks who have stayed there, especially regarding the number of people that it can comfortably accomodate.
Thanks in advance for any comments.
By Greg Corn
Dec 31, 2012
I got the guidebook to Castle Rocks and heard there is a closure there from a few years back, can some local please let me know what areas are affected, thanks. THinking of going this summer.
By Justin Lofthouse
From: Utah
Jul 4, 2014
Here are links to the ZONE 1 and 2 guide print offs.


By Dreez
Jul 22, 2014
The State is really spiffing the place up. New bathrooms. You can now drive right up to Castle Rock formation (3 minute walk).

Get this, They even have SIGNS that direct you to all the classic climbs as you hike around the trail.

Fantastic! Almost like climbing in Europe.

$5 day use fee but well worth it.