Elevation: 6,560 ft
GPS: 44.149, -114.918 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 360,062 total · 2,144/month
Shared By: Brad Brandewie on Jan 6, 2007
Admins: Eric Bluemn, Mike Engle

Description

The Sawtooth Range in central Idaho is one of the most beautiful and overlooked alpine climbing destinations in the United States. Only two and a half hours northeast of Boise (1hr north of Sun Valley), these mountains tower above the tiny town of Stanley and offer an incredibly pristine setting in which to climb.

Topping out under 11,000 feet, these granite peaks cover an area roughly 30 miles tall and 20 miles wide. The range was protected by Congress in 1972 when they designated it the Sawtooth Wilderness and a National Recreation Area. The Sawtooths are also one of the pilot sites for the 'Fixed Anchor Ban', so new routing can be tricky. Fortunately the rock is often vertically fractured, lending itself to natural protection.

The best month for rock climbing is August, but there is some type of climbing to be had all year long. Many impressive couloirs split the jagged peaks and towers and exposed alpine scrambles are far too numerous to count. Winter here is very cold.

The Elephant's Perch is the center of rock climbing in the range, offering 25+ routes from 5.9 to A4 and up to 12 pitches in length. Other standouts include the Finger of Fate, The Super Slabs, Barron Spire, Mount Heyburn, Blue Rock Buttress, and the extremely remote North and South Rakers.

Though the rock quality is impeccable in some places, there is no shortage of bad rock in this range, so expect some adventure when you're off the beaten path.

There is no modern guidebook to the area, but many of the classics have topos that can be found online. Beyond that, the best overview for the range may be Idaho - A Climbers Guide by Tom Lopez.

Stanley offers a few restaurants, a small grocery, laundry, and hotel rooms during the summer tourist season.

Getting There

From the west on Interstate 84:

1. Take the ID-21 / GOWEN ROAD exit- EXIT 57- toward IDAHO CITY.
2. Follow ID-21 for 3 hours through Idaho City and Lowman to reach Stanley.

From the east on Interstate 84:

1. Turn north on 93 (used to be 75) near Twin Falls.
2. 93 will become 75 and leads over Galena Pass into the Sawtooth Valley.

From the northeast:

1. Take 93 south through Challis.
2. A few miles south of Challis turn right (west) on 75 and proceed to Stanley.

36 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Sawtooth Range

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Steep Snow
 7
Chockstone Couloir
Trad, Snow, Alpine
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 31
Regular Route (aka Central Gully)
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 27
SE Face
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 81
Open Book
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 196
Mountaineer's Route
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 3
Bino's Book
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A1+ PG13
 5
SE Face
Trad, Aid, Alpine 5 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 22
Sideline
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 19
Splittgerber-March Direct
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 69
Astro Elephant
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 54
Myopia
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 79
Direct Beckey
Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 63
The Fine Line
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 18
Original Beckey
Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 30
Sunrise Book
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Chockstone Couloir Grand Mogul
 7
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Steep Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Regular Route (aka Central… Super Slab
 31
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
SE Face Warbonnet Peak
 27
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Open Book Finger of Fate
 81
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Mountaineer's Route Elephant's Perch
 196
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Bino's Book Finger of Fate
 3
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
SE Face Baron Spire aka Old S…
 5
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A1+ PG13 Trad, Aid, Alpine 5 pitches
Sideline Elephant's Perch
 22
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Splittgerber-March Direct Elephant's Perch
 19
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Astro Elephant Elephant's Perch
 69
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Myopia Elephant's Perch
 54
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Direct Beckey Elephant's Perch
 79
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
The Fine Line Elephant's Perch
 63
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Original Beckey Elephant's Perch
 18
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
Sunrise Book Elephant's Perch
 30
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
More Classic Climbs in The Sawtooth Range »

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