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Steamboat Point

Wyoming > Eastern Big Horns

Description

This prominent reef of Bighorn Dolomite looms over Highway 14 and provides sunny sport-climbing in a scenic setting. Despite it's proximity to this major mountain highway, only limited development preceded a flurry of activity which began a few years ago. Steamboat has developed into the best moderate sport crag on this side of the Bighorns; there are currently 16 bolted pitches 5.10 or under, most of which are great quality.

Being so new, the amenities of a developed crag are still in the process. There are no defined trails yet, and many of the climbs have some loose rock due to lack of traffic and the sometimes friable dolomite(helmet is recommended). Tick marks have yet to be installed as well. However, if you're willing to do without these perks, your payoff will be some fine climbing without a crowd.

There are many routes on all sectors of Steamboat and on the massive boulders below the cliff. The walls described here have seen the most traffic thus far, but certainly aren't all the area has to offer.

Getting There

From the tiny town of Dayton at the eastern foot of the Bighorns, drive west 13 miles on Highway 14 up its many curves and switchbacks. As it begins to plateau out, look right and Steamboat will be the obvious cliff rising on the ridge above the highway. Park in a large pullout on the left side of the highway opposite Steamboat. Carefully cross the road and slog up an abandoned jeep trail (really steep at first but mellowing out shortly). This trail actually accesses the summit of Steamboat and is a relatively popular local hike. Continue along the trail until it nears the south face and then head up the hill to the base of your desired wall.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Steamboat Point<br>
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amazing looking crag!
[Hide Photo] Steamboat Point amazing looking crag!
The steep jeep trail that leads up to steamboat and the trail proper.
[Hide Photo] The steep jeep trail that leads up to steamboat and the trail proper.
This wall bookends the large headwall and has a burly looking bolted route on it. very overhung despite the photo.
[Hide Photo] This wall bookends the large headwall and has a burly looking bolted route on it. very overhung despite the photo.
Steamboat Point seen from Highway 14. The trail can barely be seen running diagonal uphill from left to right. The Moderate Wall is the large gray slab to the right of the tallest prow (with shaded roof at top) in the center of the cliff.
[Hide Photo] Steamboat Point seen from Highway 14. The trail can barely be seen running diagonal uphill from left to right. The Moderate Wall is the large gray slab to the right of the tallest prow (with shaded…

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

John J. Glime
Cottonwood Heights, UT
[Hide Comment] This is a great piece of rock (sure is sharp though), with excellent views. Highly recommended! I first started climbing there in 1993, we did lots of routes, how the years go by. Dec 7, 2007
John Gunnels
Gillette, WY
[Hide Comment] Sorry for the lousy pic. I remember seeing pictures of Heidi Badaracco (sp?) in Climbing Magazine back in the mid-80's on these boulders. I've scoped them out, and it looks like there are OLD anchors on top of one or two. Anybody have any beta?
--- Invalid image id: 106689902 --- Mar 5, 2010
Trevor Bowman
Flagstaff, AZ
[Hide Comment] I don't really know the full history of the boulders, as they are so obvious and alluring from the highway I know lots of people have played on them over the years. Apparently, Mark Wilford soloed the 50' west-facing immaculate slab (10+/11- friction) of the uphill one--pretty damn bold for sure. The only old anchors I know about were on the nice edge-covered slab of the right-hand boulder with the fenceline splitting it. I added one or two other sets above some of the nice TR/highball options. There could be some really hard tall problems here. Mar 7, 2010
Trevor Bowman
Flagstaff, AZ
[Hide Comment] Rock Climbs of the Eastern Bighorns is finally on the shelves! It provides comprehensive beta for Steamboat Poing and the other major crags of Sheridan/Buffalo area. Available at retailers throughout the area like: Rendezvous Trading Co., Backcountry Bicycles, Bighorn Mountain Sports, Sports Lure. PM me if you want a copy mailed. Aug 3, 2010
Jason Todd
Cody, WY
[Hide Comment] A message to whomever is doing the new routing up here:

1) Cool, we're all stoked to have new lines opened up. Thanks.
2) Please camouflage your hangers. Previous and current developers in the area have been very diligent in painting hardware to blend in. Catching glimmers off the raw hangers from the highway isn't cool. Aug 27, 2014
Trevor Bowman
Flagstaff, AZ
[Hide Comment] Well said Jason. Seriously folks, camouflage hardware is a precedent at this and all other eastern Big Horn crags that was set long ago. Todd Skinner used camouflage hardware on Stub Farlow, his masterpiece line he bolted on Steamboat in 1990! All other sport development up here (until just recently) has followed suit.
This was done with the express purpose of minimizing our visual impact. Steamboat and several other local crags are very popular with other user groups, primarily hikers, who often take offense to a cliff full of shiny metal. The Forest Service in the Big Horns has been recently reviewing climbers as a user group and developing management plans. It's our responsibility to cast a favorable light on our sport, and minimizing complaints by other user groups greatly helps our cause.
Painting hardware is an easy, painless measure to ensure continued access. A piece of cardboard, a can of flat primer, and a little patience and forethought will go a long way. It's a lot easier to do it before you place it, and saves someone else the hassle of fixing it later. Aug 27, 2014
Vince Buffalini
Las Vegas, NV
[Hide Comment] from the looks of the pictures, I thought there would be more trad lines here. sup with that? Nov 2, 2015
Jason Todd
Cody, WY
[Hide Comment] There are plenty of trad lines here. Unfortunately, the dolomite is generally very sharp and unpleasant to jam in this area. The protection is also tricky, with a lot of constrictions and "weak" placements. Passive pro is usually better. The face climbing however is great. Nov 4, 2015
[Hide Comment] If you lost a piece of jewelry at Steamboat this summer PM me Sep 20, 2017