Seven of us camped and climbed at the pins and needles for four days over the fourth of july. We loved it.
This however comes with a grain of salt. We are Boise climbers and our standards are low. The rock quality varies greatly, even over the course of a climb.
Still, the Pins is a great climbing area. It is very secluded. We did not see any other climbers the entire weekend. The climbs are fun. We enjoyed many climbs at the Terrapin, the King Pin, and at Goldfinger Rock and the Whale's Tale at the Needles.
At the Terrapin one must do Shakedown Street and Franklins Tower. The Virgin is a classic line but a tad flaky at the crux. There is also some serious choss here for those inclined.
At the King Pin Scared From Above is classic and King Tut looks awesome. Jesters Pockets is a short but hard moderate.
The Needles is a long off trail hike. This place is very secluded. The Goldfinger was quality stone and the Nugget looks good. If you decide to go up to the Needles you may want to bring camping gear and food. It is a long approach.
The drive in to this place is easy. Just follow the directions in the Klosof Guide. All the roads are marked, 498, 402, 402 C. The milage in the Klosof Guide is not correct. You dont really need it. The only confusing thing was Klosof says that the turn off for 402 is marked by a sign that says North Fork of the Gold Fork Loop. The sign actually says South Fork.
At the end of 402 C is the only campsite.
To approach the Pins must walk down the obvious road beyond the one campsite at the end of 402 C. You will find a trail when the road ends. Take this to the saddle mentioned in the Klosof Guide. This is an obvious hill crest where you can first see many of the Pins. You will know when you reach this spot. At the Saddle there is a trail to the left, a trail to the right, and a trail straight ahead. They are all marked with Cairns and relatively well travelled. Left to the Space Pin, Right to the Terrapin.
It was not all that hard to find the rocks but three of our party did get turned around on the walk back. It would not be good to get lost out there.
This area is amazing! If you like adventure, great views, and absolutely no crowds you should make the extra effort to visit. The gear shop in McCall has some good beta to get you started. You can see the Needles from the highway as you pass through Donnelly.