Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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|Admins:||Eric Bluemn, Mike Engle|
Located at the southern end of the Lost River mountain range, the Fins offer climbing unlike any other in southeast Idaho. On vertical to slightly overhung walls of immaculate limestone, most routes here feature positive edges and secure pockets. The rock is somewhat sharp, but the texture is excellent. Chances are, your tips and finger tendons will wear out before your forearms.
Since around 2012, the walls at the Fins have seen significant new route development by Tom Smartt, Dave Bingham, Matt TeNgaio, Jonathan Siegrist, and others. All visitors here owe a huge thanks to these guys and the Fins OG’s (Mark Hanselman, Peter Heekin, Chuck Denure, et al) for their hard work and vision.
Morning sun, afternoon shade. When it's too hot to climb elsewhere, excellent conditions can be found at the Fins in the afternoon and evening of even the hottest summer days. Most walls are in full shade by 1 pm.
For more comprehensive information, purchase one of the excellent guides to The Fins, Sweet Spots, by Jerry Painter and Matt TeNgaio or Idaho Underground, by Dave Bingham.
CAMPING INFO: The Fins are getting more popular and camping and lack of facilities is becoming an issue.
- There is nice shaded camping at the Upper Fins Parking which is minutes from the Headwall. Under normal conditions, the space would be comfortable for about 3 or 4 camping sites; however, with increasing usage and popularity, these sites can have 8 to 10 parties crowding together to share the resource.
- There are no facilities and human waste is becoming a real issue. Please use WAG bags and pack it out. This is no longer merely a cordial practice; it’s essential!
- It is recommended to seek alternatives to camping at the Upper Parking at The Fins. The best place to camp is the old corral at the mouth of the canyon (about 1.5 miles from the paved highway). It is on BLM land, primitive camping is legal, it's flat and can hold several groups. Before the corral there is a wide open bench area that is also BLM land with tons of primitive camping option - this would be considered the overlow option or for late night arrivals..
- With the exception of the premium spots at the top, shade is non-existent and bringing shade shelters is recommended to wait out the mornings for the walls to go into the shade.
- It is not recommended to camp at the two lower parking spots. Parking is very limited and camping takes up valuable parking spaces for day parties.
- There is no water anywhere. Bring plenty.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Mike Engle, Vernon Phinney, and Chris Barnes, there is a new access trail and several more large crags were developed. The new route count is around 100 and is increasing.
Many of the newly developed crags are not quite as steep as the upper Fins and consequently the routes are of a more moderate nature - mostly in the 10 to 12 range. The stone is featured, high quality limestone with crimps, pockets, pinches, runnels and chert. The expanded area is renamed "Mortal Earth".
- The access road to The Fins is seasonally maintained by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for their access to communication towers on the top of Howe Peak. In 2018, the road was washed out near the mouth of the canyon. Without their maintenance it would be long hike to the upper Fins. The climbing community currently enjoys a good working relationship with the INL.
- 4WD with a true 4-low is recommended for road to the upper Fins. The road gets very steep and loose. The descent is probably more difficult than going up. There have been a number of accidents associated with road including at least two roll overs off the road. Be careful and use good judgement about whether your vehicle can make the trek.
- 2WD vehicles can make it to the 2 lower parking areas. The first lower parking (about 3 miles from the highway) is for Mortal Earth and there is about room for 10 cars. The second lower parking is another 1/4 mile up the road and there is room for 6-8 cars. From here the road gets steeper and looser and there are no opportunities to turn around. Many a car have had to back down the road after failing to make it up..
- Please don't camp at either of the lower parking spots as parking is becoming a premium at The Fins.
Classic Climbing Routes at The Fins
Days w Precip