Elevation: 792 ft
GPS: 46.343, -117.038 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 21,207 total · 574/month
Shared By: Keegan Schmidt on Jan 8, 2018 · Updates
Admins: Eric Bluemn, Mike Engle

Description

Located 5 miles south of Lewiston, Idaho near Hells Gate State Park. Climbs are on beautiful columns of canyon-filling Pomona flows of Columbia River Basalt overlooking the Snake River. Rock quality varies, but the best routes are solid and fun. Most routes are around 1/4 rope length. The walls are facing almost due south, making ideal 3-season climbing (late September to early June), in the relatively balmy climate of the Lewiston-Clarkston valley. Summers are hot (most days are near or over 100 degrees).  None of the routes can be reasonably accessed from above to set up top ropes because the slopes above the cliffs are steep and loose. The usual cautions apply here: loose rock, rattlesnakes, and poison ivy.

As with the rest of the LC Valley, we have a spider season that runs from about mid-July through mid-September. The spiders are big, scary, juicy, and completely harmless orb spiders. They leave webs and egg nests all over the rock. Put your fingers into an egg nest and you're greased with orange goo. But have you ever wondered whether, if you were to stick all that webbing on your hands, you could climb like spider man/woman? Here's your chance to find out.

There's one more really unique thing about Hells Gate: The Snake River floods in the spring, meaning that the base of climbs are under a few inches to a foot or so of water in full-flood. All routes are accessible below 80,000 cfs measured on the Anatone gage (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/id/nwis/uv/?site_no=13334300&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,00010). At 90,000 cfs, the base of many climbs on the east side are flooded. At 100,000 cfs, the eastern side of the west side floods. Note that most photos that follow were taken on a day when gauge was reading 110,000 cfs. Only upper west side is completely flood-proof.

Getting There

Drive 5.3 miles on Snake River Avenue-Tammany Creek Road from Lewiston (1.3 miles past the entrance to Hells Gate State park) to the Corps of Engineers parking lot for Hells Gate Habitat Management Unit. Parking is free and there are bathrooms. Hike 1.5 miles on trails in the management unit down to the river, then east(upstream) on the river trail. Grassy slopes give way to cliffs and spectacular basalt columns basking in sunshine… well, ok, most of the time.

34 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Hells Gate

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 6
Devil's Hands
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 8
Seventh Circle of Hell
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 5
Hell or High Water
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 7
Road to Hell
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 4
Hell's Bells
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 6
Different Kind of Hell
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 6
Devil's Hopscotch
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 8
Four Horsemen
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 3
Three Little Devils
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 4
Devil in Disguise
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 3
Catchin' Hell
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 7
Hellion
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 3
Hell to Pay
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 4
Match Made In Hell
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 3
Give 'em Hell
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Devil's Hands Eastside
 6
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Seventh Circle of Hell Eastside
 8
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Hell or High Water Eastside
 5
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Road to Hell Eastside
 7
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Hell's Bells Eastside
 4
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Different Kind of Hell Westside
 6
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Devil's Hopscotch Eastside
 6
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Four Horsemen Eastside
 8
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Three Little Devils Westside
 3
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Devil in Disguise Eastside
 4
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Catchin' Hell Westside
 3
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Hellion Eastside
 7
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Hell to Pay Westside
 3
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Match Made In Hell Westside
 4
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Give 'em Hell Eastside
 3
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Hells Gate »

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