"Howdy Partner, Yonder Lies Jackson Hole, the Last of the Old West"
This is the famous sign that greets visitors to Jackson Hole as they crest Teton Pass in their vehicles and get their first views of the valley. Perhaps the sign should also say "New West", but either way Jackson Hole is a great place.
While most climbers come to Jackson Hole to visit Grand Teton National Park, there is other climbing available. Obviously the Tetons are the main event, but on questionable weather days or if you're just looking for some lower elevation climbing, these other crags may just fit the bill.
The best of the local Jackson Hole crags is Rock Springs Buttress. While not exactly low elevation (9000 feet), it does boast a relatively short approach (45 minutes) if you're willing to fork over the money to take the ski area's aerial tram. The Exum Arete (5.9+) on Rock Springs Buttress is a must do.
For 5.10/5.11 cragging, visit Rodeo Wall and for 5.11/5.12 cragging visit Blacktail Butte. These limestone crags, while not destinations, offer scenic, fun, low stress cragging.
Jackson Hole Mountain Weather - local weatherman's forecast for the Jackson Hole area and mountains. As accurate as you'll find for the Teton range.
There are four primary driving routes in and out of Jackson Hole:
ID-33, WY-22 (Teton Pass) The west entrance of Jackson Hole is Teton Pass, connecting the valley to Victor, Driggs and Idaho Falls, Idaho. Despite its steepness, Teton Pass is well-traveled and popular, as it offers access to major highways (including I-15) and other north/south routes. Be forewarned that travel on the pass can be dangerous in the winter. Check with the WY-Dot for road conditions and closings.
US 89, 26, 191, 189 (Hoback Junction) The South entrance of Jackson Hole is Hoback Junction. Here, two highways merge and head north to Jackson: US 89/26 from Alpine and US 191/189 from Pinedale. US 89/26 is a popular route to the valley from points south, particularly Salt Lake City. The road travels through two different canyons, making for a beautiful drive. However, wildlife and winter conditions mean speeding can be a costly mistake. US 191/189 enters Hoback Canyon from Pinedale, Rock Springs and points east on I-80.
US 26, 287 (Togwotee Pass) The north eastern entrance of the valley is marked by Togwotee Pass, which connects Jackson with Dubois, WY. This is the preferred route for parties arriving from the south eastern corner of Wyoming, including Casper and Cheyenne.
US 89, 191, 287 (Yellowstone's South Entrance) The meeting of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks marks the northern entrance of the valley. Be aware, depending on the time of year and day, traffic through Yellowstone can difficult. Many people coming from the north opt to drive around Yellowstone and enter through Teton Pass. Also, as Yellowstone's South Entrance is closed to cars in the winter, this route is only possible in the late spring, summer and fall.
This route is reason enough to visit Rock Springs Buttress. The Exum Arete takes an improbable line up a stunning arete and does so a modest grade. The climbing is fun, rock quality superb, belays fixed, and the protection plentiful.Pitch 1 (5.7) - A relatively junky approach pitch. Begin at a flat spot below a big tree, and yard away on roots and trees. Continue up the crack and make a 5.7 move up and right to gain a huge, dirty ledge system. Walk across this ledge system all the way to an...[more]Browse More Classics in WY
There is a new guidebook paradigm going down in Jackson. Tetonclimbing.com is about to offer the entire Jackson Hole Sport Climbing guidebook online and for FREE. This free offering will include all the classic areas plus all the "new" areas including: Cueva de las Cabras (The Cave), Slim Shady Wall in Teton Canyon, Dubois, WY sport climbing and much more.
I would strongly recommend against Cueva de las Cabras. The guidebook saying "there is no established trail yet" is the understatement of the century. The rock and dirt are both incredibly loose - so kicking rocks off is near impossible. We sketchily rappelled down off of trees rather than risk the decent.
I haven't been out there this season but there is definitely a climbers trail (although getting up to it can be a bit tricky, theres about a 10 foot section of steep loose dirt before the trail starts). It sounds like you tried to ascend the scree field to the left of the trail.
While its definitely not a park service maintained trail, anyone who is climbing as hard as you need to be to climb at the goat cave, should be able to handle a little scree and loose dirt.
There is a new climber trail for the Goat Cave which is much mellower and safer. From the southern end of the parking pullout cross the road and locate the trail leading up hill and slightly left. Occasional cairn marks the start. Trail gains elevation along grassy slopes then traverses then entire hillside at cave level. Some flagging but pretty easy to follow. Way less sketchy.