The Hoback Shield ("The Shield") is a slabby escarpment of nice limestone with a good selection of route different than any found elsewhere in the valley. If you enjoy calf pumps, pinches, dimples, and a few good roof pulls, check this place out!
Best in spring and fall. Summer is OK until the sun hits it at about 11 AM. The cliff is directly south facing. A good combo day can be made by hitting the Shield in the morning and Rodeo Wall in the afternoon.
Most of the routes were developed by Joe Sottile (AKA Maxwell Yanoff), Greg Miles, and a few others in the early 90s. Miles returned in the early 2000s to retrobolt a few of the sportier classics, thus making them extremely popular. Also in the early 00s, Trevor Bowman added a nice selection of moderate sport routes. Despite the rebolting efforts, routes here are still considered sporty by some. Bring your slab head!
There are a handful of trad routes here which should prove exciting for anyone interesting in polished limestone cracks. Also, many of the sport routes have second pitches that go to the top of the cliff and are protected by trad gear. Please be careful if you decide to top out. Much loose rock exists up there.
There aren't too many routes at the Shield, but it breaks down naturally into five distinct zones (from left to right):
Left (from Shady Grove to A Thousand Cranes)
Right (from The Joker to Electric Shower)
Center (She's Got To Have It to The Hunter)
McFlatus Roof (Naughty Guides-Nhervus Sheep)
Far Right/Warmup Area (The Bulge-Hoi Polloi)
The Shield sits above the Hoback River a few miles south into Hoback Canyon. Going south from Jackson, cross the Hoback River twice on Highway 191. Look for the cliff on your left after about 12 minutes from Hoback Junction. Park in a pullout on the right side of the road, just beneath the cliff. If you pass the junction for Granite Hot Springs and cross the Hoback a third time, you've gone just slightly too far.
Follow switchbacks up to the base of the cliff. Allow about 10 minutes.
Browse More Classics in Hoback Shield
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Hoback Shield:
Featured Route For Hoback Shield
|Comments on Hoback Shield
|By Stevie Nacho|
Oct 26, 2008
Way better than the Rodeo Wall. This place can provide some fun climbing, but should not be a destination. The routes are well bolted with new bolts and hanger, to protect the sometimes greasy hand and footholds. Its fun for a day or so.
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 1, 2009
Was hot in the July afternoon sun. Would be great for a morning or a cloudy afternoon.
|By Ryan Henderson|
From: Pleasant View, UT
Aug 9, 2010
You have to cross the river 4 times...this is really important. Additionally, it's not a good idea to give directions in minutes. People drive different speeds (not all of us drive the speed limit, and that's assuming the person that wrote these directions drove the speed limit). Lastly, after you cross the 4th river crossing, you'll see a pull-off on your right, but the wall will be across the street on your left (south-facing, like the author noted). Hope this helps someone...we literally were on a treasure hunt for over an hour because of the "2 river crossings comment".
Aug 3, 2011
After a tough time because of the "two crossings" I finally found it. It's ~10-11 miles from the junction with rt 26.