Nearby Mountain Bike Rides
Classic winding singletrack through junipers and sage up a wide draw. Near Lander, WY
From MP's sister site: MTB
Sinks Canyon Panoramic taken from the overflow par...
Sinks Canyon is a premier climbing destination, plus its proximity to the Wind River range, Wild Iris, Fossil Hill, Baldwin Creek, and the NOLS headquarters make the Lander area something to check out. Maybe even over and over. If you haven't headed up there, maybe even check out the annual climbers fest (July - www.climbersfestival.org ), where Lander throws climbers a big 'ol party. This canyon has it all; three types of rock : limestone, granite, and sandstone; sport, bouldering, and trad; with alpine climbing just further up in the Winds.
The sandstone and granite are predominately trad while the limestone is mainly sport. The south facing cliffs of the Main walls and Fairfield Hill are sunny and warm, making the best season to climb here spring and fall. Rock quality is generally good to superb. The order of the cliffs on the main limestone wall from east to west (down to up canyon) is: Scud Wall, Killer Cave, Camel Jockey, Briskets, White Heat Wall, Addiction, The Citadel, Hardware Wall, Fallen Idol, The Moss/Wave Cave, Purple Galaxy, and the Wilds. Fairfield Hill (East, Central, and West) is further west (upcanyon). Watch out for 1) afternoon thunderstorms rolling off the Winds 2) numerous rattlesnakes and 3) locals who have 'Killer' wired.
For amenities, Lander is one of THE climber friendliest towns ever. You can camp in the grassy city park for free with a three day limit. There a three pay campgrounds ($10?) as you head up into the canyon, with the third located within walking distance of the main approach trails. These campgrounds are free September - April, which contains much of the climbing best season. A year-round free campground is located just 1/2 mile up the canyon on the left, after the Geology Camp. This has even has a bathroom and a trashcan, pretty sites, some accessible only via short 4WD types of roads or drag your gear into them. These can be popular with the local Lander teens. Theft has been more of a problem here, and somewhat at the pay campgrounds, according to local law enforcement. Lander has a decent collection of reasonable motels for 'that' kind of crowd. There are a handful of good restaurants, such as the Gannet Grill, a Chinese place, a Mexican joint and others. There are two grocery stores. There is a climbing gym for when you have been snowed out: Elemental Fitness (307-332-0480), 134 Lincoln Street. The National Outdoor Leadership School is centered in Lander at 502 Lincoln. You can get a showers at NOLS, Elemental Fitness, or the Lander pool.
Lander, Sinks and this area of Wyoming is something to cherish. Have fun, be respectful to the locals (including them feisty rattlesnakes), and pack out all trash.
Head to Lander (NW of Rawlins, NE of Rock Springs) and head southwest of town on Wy 131.
Crags L --> R
Sinks Canyon is basically one long cliff band (plus a few boulders on the hillside with routes). Here is the relative position of the Sinks crags:
Far up canyon:
The Sanctuary (Granite)
The Joint (Granite)
Cabin Boulders (Granite bouldering)
--> Squaretop boulder (on the hillside below the Moss Cave)
Fallen Idol/Face Dancer
--> Wave of Mutilation Boulder (on the hillside below Addiction)
White Heat Wall
Happy Wheel Wall
Browse More Classics in Sinks Canyon
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Sinks Canyon:
Featured Route For Sinks Canyon
The Popo Agie in fall.
One of the Killer Cave "locals"...
Looking up towards Sinks Canyon from the WMI campu...
A rainbow on an early fall morning in Lander, WY, ...
The Popo Agie, early morning.
Sinks' very fun, textured rock.
No rattlers, but I thought these guys were going t...
Cool buffalo boulder in the park playground.
The Popo Agie water slide offers a nice rest day d...
This guy chose hanging out and pestering campers i...
Morning storm... Sinks Canyon.
Sunrise in Sinks Canyon.
2012 ICF Poster
Can't remember the name of this route or the name ...
From: Jackson, WY & Bozeman, MT
Apr 29, 2013
Upon returning home after climbing this weekend, I think I accidentally left one of my climbing shoes in Sinks. It is a right 5.10 Anasazi Arrowhead size 11.5.
The most likely location would me the main parking lot (far left/ upcanyon end), but other possibilities include the Addiction wall,white heat wall, hardware wall, squaretop boulder, and the sinks canyon campground (just upcanyon from the main parking lot).
Please let me know if you come across it!
|By Dan Brockway|
Oct 17, 2006
Sinks now has a lot of 5.10s and even some great 8's and 9's so there is something for everybody. Climbed there last July 4th after the routes went in the shade (about 3:00 PM that time of year) and my son and I were the only people on the crag. In the shade the temperature was fine. Can't explain the lack of people but it was really a terrific day! Also don't miss the Gannett Grill.
|By Matt TeNgaio|
Oct 1, 2007
I've never been to Sinks when it's raining, is Killer Cave climbable in the rain?
|By Dan Brockway|
Feb 16, 2008
Killer Cave is definitely climbable in the rain. The routes are hard though. Check the guidebook.
|By Josh M.|
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 2, 2008
The second Forest Service campground is fantastic. If you can, snag a site on the river side, and be treated to the beautiful and crystal-clear Popo Agie. There were no rattlers when we were wandering around, mid-late Aug.
|By Kyle P.|
From: Lander, WY
Feb 23, 2009
Arson in Sinks Canyon. Looks like some of the main wall around the Killer Cave was burnt. The main wall's trail foliage is fried.
|By Josh M.|
From: Boulder, CO
May 29, 2009
Just returned from a nice week at Sinks. Nice temps, 60-70F with a nice breeze. One day of solid rain and occasional drops on the sunny days.
Indeed, the fire damage is pretty extensive (arson from Feb '09, I've read). But, new growth is coming in all over, which is nice.
With due respect to punkencrack, there are snakes in the canyon. But, there's no need to panic. We came across one prairie rattler on the approach trail - s/he just slid across the trail in the middle of our party, while we gave wide berth. Just keep your eyes open, and you'll be fine. There's lots of info about them at the visitor's station down the canyon.
Regarding the availability of moderate climbs, we enjoyed a bunch of .10's. Some of our favorites:
Boy, I Gotta Go (10a), Scud Wall ; Climb Like a Girl (10a), " " ; Banofee (10a), " " ; Action Candy (10a), Killer Cave ; Firecracker Kid (10b), Harvest Moon Wall ; Elmo's Fish (10d), " " ; Child's Play (10c), " " ; Bones Brigade (10a), Happy Wheel Wall ; Happy Wheel (10a), " " ; The Guyver (10b), Brisket Wall;
... in short, there are lots of nice 10's at Sinks.
Also, the Holiday Lodge (behind the McDonald's on the hill downtown) offers showers, towels, soap, etc. for $5. Definitely nice if you've been camping for a while :)
|By Derek Sullivan|
Oct 29, 2009
Whats the weather like in Lander around mid/late August? Any one area better than the other as far as Ten Sleep, Sinks, Wild Iris? Any info some locals have would be great. Thanks.
From: Morrison, CO
Oct 29, 2009
The Sinks cliffline faces South, so most routes will be baking most of the time in August. There are pockets of shade at different times of the day if you know where to look.
Wild Iris is 3000 feet higher than Sinks, so is generally a bit cooler. However, a lot of the routes at the Iris also face south & it can be hot. There is more shade at Wild Iris than Sinks though. The OK Corral & Zorro are in the shade till noon, and the Erratic is in the shade all day.
Never been to Ten Sleep but according to my guidebook it has crags of all aspects, so August is probably ok.
|By Vance White|
May 27, 2010
the Gravity Club no longer exists. the local climbing gym is Elemental Fitness (307-332-0480). one can also grab a shower there and throw some weights around as well. don't forget to stop by the wild iris mountain sports (307-332-4541) and check in for beta.
|By Avi Katz|
From: Laramie Wyoming
Sep 8, 2010
Im new to the area, but have probably spent at total of 10 days hiking and climbing around sinks and have yet to see any snakes.. Use your eyes well and stomp your feet. Wasps are definitely there. Killer Cave is climbable in the rain, if your climbing 11/12's. From everything I've seen in the book, Sinks canyon is perfect for the 5.10 sport climber. probably a total of 10-15 routes under 5.10, mostly spread out, but a decent concentration at Scud wall next to killer cave. Love the pockets, hate the heat. Best to climb after 3/4pm when it starts cooling off a little. Wild Iris is also great, but only spent 2 days there.
Anybody climb tensleep (sp?) at all?
|By Vance White|
Feb 16, 2011
Sinks Canyon lies on three different land agencies: State Park, BLM and Forest Service.
The State Park land is roughly from the Camel Jockey wall to the Stud Alert wall. State Park regulations state that dogs be on a leash. Do not let your dog(s)run wild! The State Park has posted a sign on the Killer Cave trail asking for the same. The State Park is concerned with unsupervised pets harassing climbers and wildlife; we also need to avoid shortcutting of trails and "braids" or networking off main trails. The hillside has erosion concerns as well as flora. Let's police ourselves and avoid closure of this section of the cliff band.
Local climbers are currently working with these three agencies and by self policing ourselves we should avoid closure issues. Our relationship with these agencies is great and we need to keep it as such.
|By Mike Anderson|
From: Dayton, OH
Feb 20, 2011
Good to know, Vance. Thanks for the info. If you could just get SB to leash Olive that would be a good start:)
May 18, 2011
Well, it's Spring again, and here come (or go) the rattlesnakes again as they migrate to their nesting grounds below the rise. Each year it is the same thing . . . rumors of thousands of these buggers moving in packs of two to nine, venomous and angry . . . mostly angry at the endless onslaught of people intruding on their native habitat.
Fact #1: Be careful if you intend to climb in this area . . . dogs and children may be in danger of rattlesnake bites.
Fact #2: Only a few years ago a woman was bitten as she topped out at a ledge in the lower sandstone buttress.
Fact #3: Two years ago, snakes were seen in the Killer Cave area where dogs usually get water, one nesting under Blue Moon, a popular warm up 12a.
Fact #4: Last year, snakes sunned themselves in record numbers on the charred ground from the arson, perhaps before finishing their journey down canyon.
Who knows what will happen this year?
Lately, Sinks Canyon has enjoyed a real boon of climbers from all areas of the country (mostly Jackson Hole and Boulder). There are now as many as 48 cars parked below the cliff, overflowing both the primary and secondary lots, so foot traffic has increased.
Enjoy, but be wary . . . even Vance will tell you that the threat of rattlesnakes is very real.
|By Vance White|
May 30, 2011
Please park straight in and close to other cars in all parking lots, especially the main parking lot. Sinks season is here and poor parking really creates problems for all climbers. Ideally we should fit about 13 vehicles in the main parking lot.
Rattlesnakes!!!! Giant Bullsnakes!!!!
Jun 6, 2011
Due to parking abuse by visitors, the 13 parking spaces Mr. White references here have recently been designated "For Locals Only". The signs are to be installed very soon.
Non-local visitor parking is available further down canyon a hundred yards, near the cattle guard, or further up canyon at the Fairfield Hill parking area.
The local Climbing Ranger will ticket you if you don't have a pass to park in the right area! This is a $75 ticket, and that's the equivalent of two pitchers of beer at the Lander Bar! Save your beer money and park down the hill.