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Areas in Sinks Canyon

Addiction 0 / 18 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 18
Brisket 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Cabin Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 43 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 43
Camel Jockey 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Citadel, The 0 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Dolomite Band Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Fairfield Hill 0 / 87 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 87
Fallen Idol /Face Dancer + Wave/Moss Cave 0 / 17 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 17
Grade II Wall 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Granite Buttres 2 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Happy Wheel Wall 0 / 14 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Hardware Wall 0 / 17 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 17
Joint, The 0 / 17 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 17
Killer Cave 0 / 53 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 53
Limestone Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Purple Galaxy 0 / 22 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 22
Recess Wall, The 0 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Rise wall 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Sanctuary (of Eternal Bliss and Happiness), The 4 / 17 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 21
Sandstone Buttress 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Scud Area 0 / 19 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
Shady Side 0 / 19 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
Squaretop boulder 0 / 13 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Sunny Side Crag 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
White Heat Wall 0 / 15 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Wilds, The 0 / 28 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 28
ZoZone, The 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Elevation: 6,500 ft
GPS: 42.739, -108.83 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 245,837 total, 1,750/month
Shared By: Jesse Ryan on May 24, 2006
Admins: Mike Snyder


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 - ), 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.

Getting There

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)

Big break

Fairfield Hill


The Wilds
Purple Galaxy
--> Squaretop boulder (on the hillside below the Moss Cave)
Moss/Wave Cave
Fallen Idol/Face Dancer
Hardware Wall
The Citadel
--> Wave of Mutilation Boulder (on the hillside below Addiction)
White Heat Wall
Happy Wheel Wall
Camel Jockey
Killer Cave
Scud Area

Big Break
Sandstone Buttress

472 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sinks Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
More Funky Than Gunky
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Duck Soup
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Action Candy
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Firecracker Kid
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Boy I Gotta Go
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Stud Alert
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Elmo's Fish
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Corner Drug
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Harvest Moon
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Face Dancer
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Purple Galaxy
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Blue Moon
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Bush Doctor
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
More Funky Than Gunky Camel Jockey 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Duck Soup Scud Area 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Action Candy Killer Cave 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Firecracker Kid Killer Cave 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Boy I Gotta Go Scud Area 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Stud Alert Scud Area 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Sandman Wilds 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Elmo's Fish Killer Cave 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Corner Drug Addiction 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Harvest Moon Killer Cave 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Face Dancer Fallen Idol /Face Dancer + Wave/… 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Purple Galaxy Purple Galaxy 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Blue Moon Killer Cave 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Bush Doctor Killer Cave 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Killer Killer Cave 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Sinks Canyon »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Does anyone happen to know when the Wasps in Sinks Canyon will leave? My Husband and I were on the Scud wall area this past Sunday and there were TONS of wasps. I got half way up "Atta Boy, Girl" then had to retreat from almost 20 of them. My husband got stung while belaying me. It wasn't just this climb either. the other climbs we tried were covered in wasps as well. Such a bummer. Sep 21, 2017
Hi Everyone!
I was in sinks the last weekend in February and I believe my climbing shoes fell out of my pack or were forgotten when I left the base of the climb. Can't find them anywhere.
I was climbing to the left of the cave, just around the corner.
They are red, Anazasi shoes, men's size 8 by Five Ten.
If anyone has seem them, I would really really appreciate a shout out!
Thank you so much!
-Tara Mar 30, 2017
Yup, that's the one Mar 10, 2017
brandon walkinshaw
lander wy
brandon walkinshaw   lander wy
the rubber blanket? the dude better not be fu$%^ chipping on that boulder. if he is there maybe consequences. Mar 10, 2017
A buddy has been working on the forest service building by the horse corrals a saw some older dude taking a chisel and hammer to that big granite boulder that sits just to the east. My guess is that it's the same dude who has been manufacturing routes on the main wall. Seems worthy of some discussion and consideration of basic ethics. Mar 9, 2017
Jace Mullen
Oceanside, Ca
Jace Mullen   Oceanside, Ca
Absolutely a locals decision but is there a reason the Shady Side stuff isn't up? Lots of stuff up there could use some traffic to clean it up and while not a high concentration, the stuff I've gotten to up there has been fantastic! Jul 31, 2016
Definitively WY 131 (aka Sinks Canyon Rd). I fixed the GPS. Jun 23, 2016
The GPS coords take you to Squaw Creek Rd. while the written directions say take WY 131 south west from Lander. Which rd takes you most directly to the Sinks? I'm coming from Vedauwoo/Laramie.

P.S. I know it's going to be hella hot but I gotta check it out :)

Thanks! Jun 23, 2016
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. Jun 6, 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!!!!
Thanks! May 30, 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. May 18, 2011
Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
Good to know, Vance. Thanks for the info. If you could just get SB to leash Olive that would be a good start:) Feb 20, 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.
Vance White Feb 16, 2011
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? Sep 8, 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. May 27, 2010
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
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. 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. Oct 29, 2009
Josh M.
Golden, CO
Josh M.   Golden, CO
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 :)

May 29, 2009
Kyle P.
Lander, WY
Kyle P.   Lander, WY
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. Feb 23, 2009
Josh M.
Golden, CO
Josh M.   Golden, CO
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. Sep 2, 2008
Dan Brockway
Dan Brockway   Boulder
Killer Cave is definitely climbable in the rain. The routes are hard though. Check the guidebook. Feb 16, 2008
I've never been to Sinks when it's raining, is Killer Cave climbable in the rain? Oct 1, 2007
Dan Brockway
Dan Brockway   Boulder
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. Oct 17, 2006

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