Elevation: 7,757 ft
GPS: 43.731, -113.084 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 291,248 total · 3,347/month
Shared By: Orphaned User on May 9, 2013
Admins: Mike Engle, Eric Bluemn

Description

(2019 Edit: To stay abreast of impact issues, current conditions, and partner finding, and above all—commit to taking care of this crag— join the Fins group.)

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 Undergroundby 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.
In the summer of 2017, significant new route activity started up in the area formerly known as "Burning Spear". "Burning Spear" had 6 seldom visited routes and no access trail. 
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". There remains  a ton of new route potential and it is likely there will be many more routes put in at Mortal Earth.

Getting There

South of Howe on Highway 33, turn west at a gravel pit into Eightmile Canyon. Keep right on the dirt road as it enters the canyon. It's about 5 miles to parking and camping near The Headwall.  The last mile of the road is steep and loose.  4WD strongly recommended.

ROAD INFO:  
  • 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.  This year 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.

206 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Fins

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 110
Yellow Man
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 68
EBR-1
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 65
Hydroponics
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 53
When Vegans Attack
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 80
Ghost in the Shell
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 101
Martini
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 102
Shaken Not Stirred
Sport
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 52
Jet A
Sport
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 40
Solstice
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 47
Bong's Away (aka: Clips from the…
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 56
Bean Fiddler
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 38
Dinner Roll
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 39
Al's Diner
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 29
Son of Discovery
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 30
Bushido
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Yellow Man Discovery Wall > Martini Sector
 110
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
EBR-1 Discovery Wall > Martini Sector
 68
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Hydroponics Head Wall
 65
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
When Vegans Attack Head Wall
 53
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Ghost in the Shell Head Wall
 80
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Martini Discovery Wall > Martini Sector
 101
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Shaken Not Stirred Discovery Wall > Martini Sector
 102
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Jet A Discovery Wall > Jet A Sector
 52
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Solstice Solstice
 40
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Bong's Away (aka: Clips fro… Head Wall
 47
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Bean Fiddler Head Wall
 56
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Dinner Roll Discovery Wall > Martini Sector
 38
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Al's Diner Head Wall
 39
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Son of Discovery Discovery Wall > Martini Sector
 29
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Bushido Discovery Wall > Mothership Sector
 30
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Fins »

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