Silver Mountain Rock Climbing
Silver Mountain is a sheer, 140-foot tall basalt cliff in the heart of the Ottawa National Forest, containing many quality sport and several fun trad routes. Well-protected with all stainless bolts and hangers. Grades 5.6-5.12d (something for everyone!) with several two-pitch routes. You can drive almost right up to the rock, and dispersed camping is allowed for up to 16 days in the national forest. Gas, groceries and other basic necessities available within a 25 minute drive.
There are no toilet facilities, so please plan ahead to practice Leave No Trace ethics. (In 2021, the forest service did provided a porta-potty at trailhead. ***DO NOT dig a cathole just outside the camping area.
Spring (May/June): Silver can only be accessed by car or truck once the seasonal roads have dried. Just cuz ya got 4x4, don’t push it…many have paid the hefty price for a tow! The temps are good, 50s-60s F. There’s always a chance of bugs so be prepared. The Mountain seeps for weeks even after the snow is gone.
Summer (July/August): Expect beautiful 60s-90s F. But, the U.P. can be godawful brutal when it comes to the flying insect population. Bring long sleeves, pants, head nets, 100% DEET, a shotgun, and a screen tent to party in. It’s the only way to survive the onslaught. There are black flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and other bird-like biting creatures salivating for your blood up here. They have been known to carry off children and small animals. Don’t forget it’s a black cliff with southern exposure so your toes and pads will be the limiting factor due to the heat of the rock. You can fry an egg on the ledges when it’s full sun and no wind!
Fall (September and October): Temps are comfortable in the 60s-70s F. Heaven in the Upper Peninsula with beautiful autumn colors, perfect sending temps for your proj, and no bugs because the first frost just sent them all back to hell where they belong. Defiantly worth abducting a belay slave and making a trip to Silver Mountain.
Winter (November-April): Can be climbed till the snow fly’s for most Yooper’s. When the snow hits, Silver can only be accessed by snowmobile, or it’s a 4 mile snowshoe or ski one way. ABSOLUTELY NO DRY TOOLING on established routes!!!
There are numerous ways to get to Silver Mountain. Google should get your there if you type in Silver Mountain, MI, but here’s backups.
From the West: Drive to Kenton, MI on highway M-28. Just east of town across the East Branch Ontanogan River head north on County Rd/FF/FH 16 for 6.3 miles. Turn right heading due east on S. Laird Rd (L-137) for 5.9 miles. As soon as this road turns and heads due north be on the look out for a right turn onto FR 2276 (1,000 feet after turn) heading due east again till it T’s into FR 2270/193 (1.8 miles). Turn right and head south for .9 miles to FR 922. Look for 2 track on the left to climber cul-dae-sac, 100 yds before Silver Mtn trailhead.
From the south: Drive to Sidnaw, MI on highway M-28. Immediately east of the town you'll turn north onto Forest Road (FR) 2200 (191), AKA Pequet Lake Rd/Sturgeon Gorge Rd. The intersection is marked by a brown sign on the northeast side of the road. Follow signs to Silver Mountain (17 miles, all dirt road). RESET THE TRIP METER WHEN YOU TURN OFF M-28. At mile 2.2 from M-28, veer right to stay on Sturgeon Gorge Rd/FR 2200 (191). At mile 12.6, turn left onto FR 2270 (193). At mile 17, turn left onto FR 922 (marked by a brown Silver Mountain sign right of the road). After about 100 yards on FR 922 (halfway to the parking lot), look for a 2-track on the left. Follow the 2-track about 400yd to the climber cul-de-sac. This is definitely the most scenic way to get to Silver, crossing the Sturgeon River twice and revealing views of the gorge as you pass the Bear’s Den Overlook. *Alternatively, you can also take the Plains Rd. and cutacross roads.
From the north and east: Drive to Baraga, MI on US-41. At the only light in Barage, which is a blinking light, turn west on M-38 and RESET THE TRIP METER. Drive 11 miles on M-38, then turn left (south) onto Prickett Dam Rd. Follow the brown Forest Service signs to Silver Mountain (9 miles, all dirt road). At mi 14 turn right onto FR 2270 (marked by a large white and green Hydro Plant Project sign) “Silver 6 mi” sign. Stay straight passing a “Silver 4 mi” sign and then a “Silver 2 mi”. Turn right onto FR 922 (brown Silver Mountain sign). After about 100 yards on FR 922 (halfway to the parking lot), look for a 2-track on the left. Follow the 2-track about 400 yards to the climber cul-de-sac.
If you don’t want to take the 2-track, park at the Silver Mtn Trailhead (GPS: 46.667290, -88.737264) )and walk left along the cliff base or back up the two track on the white blazed trail.
Classic Climbing Routes at Silver Mountain
Days w Precip