Darby Canyon is a large canyon draining the West slope of the Tetons. It is most famous for a popular hike to a cave. Recently, a small but enjoyable crag has been developed featuring about 20 routes. This crag is definitely not a destination, but if you are in the area (or are a local) - it is worth a visit.
The climbing is on south facing limestone, and is in the sun until very late afternoon. Upon first hiking up the view is rather underwhelming - but the climbing is suprisingly enjoyable. The routes are short, but engaging, and require good technical slab climbing skills. Most climbs are in the 5.8-5.10 range.
Technically, this crag is in Wyoming (barely), but is accessed through Idaho so I've placed it in Idaho.
I've only climbed the routes listed - and the rock quality was generally good. There are another 10 climbs further right, which look good but have received less traffic - so I suspect they haven't cleaned up as much yet.
NOTE: All star ratings are relative to other routes on this wall, so take them with a grain of salt (or piece of limestone). Grades listed are my opinion, and they differ from some of the other published material.
Between Victor and Driggs (in eastern Idaho), turn East on 300 Street. You should immediately see a sign for Darby Canyon after you turn. Follow this until it ends, and turn right and follow the dirt road for about 2 miles into the canyon. Park at a turnout on the left with a Forest Service 034 sign. If you cross the creek on the road, you've gone too far. Hike up the main trail for a few minutes, and take the first trail on the right. This second trail is very well defined, so don't turn on any others accidentally. The second trail climbs up the ridge for a bit, and then cuts way right to the crags. It is about a 10-15 minute approach.
I just moved to Driggs for the summer. I haven't climbed regularly in about 4 months now so needless to say my lead head and strength aren't what they used to be. I am working super close to Darby Canyon and saw that there was one 5.7 in the area. I was curious if any of the other routes could be accessed either from the 5.7 or from the top to set up top ropes. Can anyone help me out on this?
By Sam Miller From: salt lake city, UT Aug 17, 2012
I went and climbed most of the routes today. Pretty good area, better than it looks. Whoever posted this area on here clearly didn't refer to the "Sweet Spots" guide book, as most of the ratings are incorrect. Please refer to Jerry Painter and Matt TeNgaio's book for much more accurate info on these routes. Route J is not .10+, but rather .11c and route K is not .11a, but rather a pretty hard .11d. I'm not saying this out of hubris and pride, but only to inform the prospective climber of the actual difficulty of the routes. I've climbed all over the western US and they are much closer to the grades the book gives. Also, I noticed a lot of bail biners and I'm wondering if uniformed people are simply getting in over their heads.