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Areas in Black Cliffs

Bouldering Cave 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Dark Side, The 4 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
East Car Body Canyon 16 / 15 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 31
Face Canyon 6 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Fringe, The 5 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Green Acres 9 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Highway Face 1 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Mid Cliffs 25 / 19 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 43
New Fringe, The 2 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Populace Wall 7 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Rodeo Flips Wall 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Scary Canyon 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Short Cliffs 25 / 14 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 38
Tall Cliffs 8 / 11 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 22
West Car Body Canyon 14 / 14 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 25

Description

The Black Cliffs provide year round climbing if you don't mind being cold in the winter. Summer days are really hot so spring and fall tend to be the best times a the Black Cliffs. The rock is all basalt. Access is easy and the cliffs usually aren't crowded. The guidebook Boise Climbs by Sandy Epeldi is a great thing to have if you are going to be climbing the Black Cliffs. You can pick it up at REI.

Getting There

Take Highway 84 to the Gowen Rd/Highway 21 exit. Take Highway 21 towards Lucky Peak. The cliffs will be on both sides of the river. Park in the parking lots and choose a trail up.

237 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Black Cliffs

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 38
Little Nest
Trad, Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 41
Fat Ankles
Sport, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 31
Nash-e-mun
Sport
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 41
Stems and Jammies
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 53
Sweet Adene
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 36
Almer Casile Memorial Buttress
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 29
Perception vs. Reality
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 26
Circumciser
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 23
Pabst Smear
Trad, Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 14
Macabre Roof
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 27
Holiday in Cambodia
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 7
The Garden
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 34
Bologna Pony
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 17
Unknown Leon
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 14
Jet Screamin' Hooter Queens
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Little Nest Populace Wall
 38
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Sport
Fat Ankles Mid Cliffs
 41
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport, TR
Nash-e-mun Mid Cliffs
 31
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Stems and Jammies Populace Wall
 41
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Sweet Adene Populace Wall
 53
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Almer Casile Memorial Buttress Mid Cliffs
 36
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Perception vs. Reality Populace Wall
 29
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Circumciser Tall Cliffs
 26
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Pabst Smear W Car Body Canyon
 23
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport
Macabre Roof E Car Body Canyon
 14
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Holiday in Cambodia E Car Body Canyon
 27
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
The Garden Green Acres
 7
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Bologna Pony Short Cliffs
 34
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Unknown Leon Short Cliffs
 17
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Jet Screamin' Hooter Queens Tall Cliffs
 14
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Black Cliffs »

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
bheller
SL UT
bheller   SL UT
Some of my best days at the black cliffs were on sunny cold winter days on the south facing cliffs and blistering hot days spent hiding in the shade on the north facing cliffs. The north and south sides have entireley different approaches. Consult Epeldi's book for the best published info for the south side approaches. The black cliffs can be a really fun place to climb, but it is by no means a destination. Out of the 100's of climbs, most are boringly similar. There are a handful of standouts though. The area is composed of numerous crags that are in close proximity. Digging in my memory for the standout sport climbs...Bologne Pony 10d-short cliffs, Unknown Leon 11a-short cliffs, Jet Screamin Hooter Queens 11b-tall cliffs, Pictures of Lily 11b-west car body canyon, Men Who Pause 11d-scary canyon, Beef Curtain 10d-scary canyon, Boise Gun Fighter 11d-scary canyon, The Groveller 11d-the dark side, Chassin a Snake 11d-the dark side, Sexual Underground 11c-easter island, Ehrlichman 12c-the nixon head, Watergate 13a-the nixon head. May 22, 2010
Cassidy Thomas
Salt Lake City, UT
Cassidy Thomas   Salt Lake City, UT
The Black Cliffs are seriously underrated in my opinion. I grew up in Boise and climbed here in high school. Never realized how much I loved this place until I went two years without climbing here. It's great climbing of varying difficulty that's very accessible from town. For some reason, the MP pages for the Black Cliffs are not very developed, you're much better off buying the "Boise Climbs" guide book by Sandy Epeldi. It's very easy to find climbs using this book.

Aside from that, here are few other words of advice. The cliffs are black and they get HOT. Main climbing season, like most other places, is the Spring and Fall when their are moderate temperatures, but expect the cliffs to feel 10-20 degrees hotter than the valley. During the summer, get up early to climb. My goal was always to be topping out on my first route right as the sun was coming up. I would wake up at about 4:30, leave home at 5:15, be at the cliffs 6, top out on my first route between 6:15-6:30. Maybe take a light jacket in the early mornings. As soon as that sun comes out though, you will bake, it will feel 125 degrees. By noon in the midsummer, most rock in the sun is just too hot. However, lot's of East Carbody Canyon will remain in the shade until the afternoon. Additionally, West Carbody will be in the shade in the evening (climbing after work or school).

While the black rock makes it a little tricky to get longer days there in the Summer, it allows the rock to be claimable in the winter and colder fall and early spring days. The rock heats up very quickly in the sunlight. My mark any day all year round was 40 degrees and sunny. If those two criteria are met, you can have a fantastic day climbing on this basalt. Aug 20, 2016

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