Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
The Fins

Select Area...
56 Wall, The 
Discovery Wall, The 
Head Wall, The 
Warm up Wall 
Yellow Cake 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

East Fork Upper Pahsimeroi
Lost River Creek climb. Near Arco, Idaho
Dry Creek
Climb to Dry Creek Pass below Mt. Breitenbach. Near Arco, Idaho
Swauger Lake Trail
A remote and seldom visited lake trail. Near Arco, Idaho
Long Lost-Wet Creek
Up into the Lost River Range. Near Arco, Idaho
Lost River Expedition
A big bikepacking epic out in the middle of nowhere. Near Arco, Idaho
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

The Fins Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,500'
Location: 43.73145, -113.08445 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 37,758
Administrators: WAGbag, Mike Engle, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jaren Watson on May 9, 2013

79° | 57°

80° | 57°

78° | 56°

75° | 52°

70° | 48°

68° | 48°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Approach from the Lower Parking. Yellow Cake is th...


For more comprehensive information, purchase the excellent guide, Sweet Spots, by Jerry Painter and Matt TeNgaio.
One of the original hard men, Dave Bingham, has written Underground Idaho which also contains the latest information concerning climbing at the Fins and other local crags.

Located at the southern end of the Lost River mountain range, the Fins offer climbing unlike any other in southeast Idaho. On vertical to slightly overhung walls of immaculate limestone, most routes here feature positive edges and secure pockets. The rock is somewhat sharp, but the texture is excellent. Chances are, your tips will wear out before your forearms.
The walls at the Fins have seen significant new development as of 2012, so there are many more routes than I have descriptions for. Dave Bingham, Matt TeNgaio, and Jonathan Siegrist have been the major contributors lately. We all owe a huge thanks to these guys and the earlier developers for their hard work and vision.
Morning sun, afternoon shade. When it's too hot to climb elsewhere, excellent conditions can be found at the Fins in the afternoon and evening of even the hottest summer days.

Getting There 

South of Howe on Highway 33, turn west at a gravel pit into Eightmile Canyon. Keep right on the dirt road as it enters the canyon. If you've got a four-wheel drive vehicle, drive five miles to basically the top of the mountain and park in the established parking.
For low-clearance vehicles, you'll need to park in the lower parking (about 3.5 miles from the highway).

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.7 miles from here

71 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',17],['3 Stars',36],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Fins

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Fins:
Don't Stop Retrievin'   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Head Wall
Yellow Man   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
EBR-1   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Warm up 1   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Head Wall
When Vegans Attack   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Head Wall
Shaken Not Stirred   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Martini   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Ghost in the Shell   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Head Wall
Solstice   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Solstice
Yukon Gold   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Head Wall
Mr. Long Arm   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 70'   The Discovery Wall : Jet A Sector
Baked Potato   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   The Head Wall
Clips from the Bong   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Head Wall
Bean Fiddler   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   The Head Wall
Dinner Roll   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Mothership   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Discovery Wall : Mothership Sector
Al's Diner   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Head Wall
Son of Discovery   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Make it a Double    5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Bushido   5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 70'   The Discovery Wall : Mothership Sector
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Fins

Featured Route For The Fins
Rock Climbing Photo: Pawel sends 'Make it a Double' ....

Make it a Double 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c  ID : The Fins : ... : Martini Sector
A formidable extension to 'Shaken not Stirred' with exceptional rock and a cool position. A short boulder problem meets you just after the chains of Shaken, and another one - the redpoint crux of the route, guards the anchor. Several options exist for the final boulder. Do not expect a clip up, this thing is a weee bit airy! ...[more]   Browse More Classics in ID

Photos of The Fins Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Fins from the Yellow Cake/Lower parking approa...
BETA PHOTO: The Fins from the Yellow Cake/Lower parking approa...
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of the Fins from just above the lower parki...
A view of the Fins from just above the lower parki...
Rock Climbing Photo: Taking care of business while taking care of busin...
Taking care of business while taking care of busin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach to the upper parking. Photograph by Jonat...
BETA PHOTO: Approach to the upper parking. Photograph by Jonat...

Comments on The Fins Add Comment
Show which comments
By dave bingham
Jun 3, 2013
My guide "Idaho Underground" (2012) includes The Fins and a bunch of other Idaho crags.
By Jaren Watson
From: Rexburg, Idaho
Jun 5, 2013
Thank you, Dave. I've included this info in the description.
By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Aug 10, 2013
Some more approach beta can be found here.
By WAGbag
From: Denver, CO
Jul 27, 2014
On the upper parking: Clearance isn't necessarily an issue as a reasonably skilled driver in a Subaru can make it. If you have low-range use it, if you have a transmission temp warning light, pay attention to it, if you don't, plan to take a rest or three on the way up to give your tranny a rest (automatics). Watch your engine temp too, mine was fine on the first run up, but was the limiting factor on the second time up (hotter day). My vehicle is an AWD Chevy Express. I know one Jeep Cherokee had to turn back due to tranny overheating.

Rattlesnakes: There is at least one in the rocks just above the camping; watch and listen when 'getting rid of your coffee'. Running on the dirt road, a climber on a rest day came very close to one. It's a good idea to keep a bite extractor kit with you. See photo - very center...

Rock Climbing Photo: Rattlesnake above the camping
Rattlesnake above the camping
By aggressiveperfector
Jun 21, 2015
Dont attempt driving up the hill unless you have 4wheel drive and know how to drive a 4wheel vehicle. And old cars can easily overheat. Park at the low parking or hitch a ride.
By WAGbag
From: Denver, CO
Sep 30, 2015
The upper part of the road has gotten worse in the last year. Fun fact: The steepest sections I measured at 19 degrees (or 34% grade). On the plus side the trails have gotten better - thanks to whoever is doing that.
By Old lady H
From: Boise, Idaho
Feb 12, 2016
For out of state folks, if you've already driven this far, do make the drive up through Mackay to Mount Borah. The Lost River range is very little known, outside of Idaho, but is truly beautiful. The Sawtooths are the postcard mountains, but Leatherman, Borah, Church and the others are spit in your face bad boys.

Howe (King mountain) is a serious (world class) hang/para gliding/soaring town, with competitions, including ridiculously long flights. 180 miles!
By adampeters
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Feb 16, 2016
Would mid April be an acceptable time to take a trip to the Fins?
By Old lady H
From: Boise, Idaho
Feb 18, 2016
Howe, Idaho is about 5,000 feet, so could be cold at night any time of year. That part of Idaho is very dry, maybe 9" precipitation, so not a giant snow pack. Check Arco, Idaho, maybe, for weather, maybe Howe. We did have a good snow year, so it might not be doable. Haven't been there, yet, only over to Borah.
By andismiles
Jun 29, 2016
Will I be able to get my RAV4 to the upper parking this year? I took a Tacoma last year and thought 'fairly unlikely' but maybe conditions have changed? Also, where is the best place to tent camp if we can't get to the upper parking? Thanks!

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!