Lander Area Rock Climbing
Surveying Wild Iris at sunset.
Lander is home to several cliffs dispersed throughout the foothills of the eastern Wind River Mountains. The rock is mainly Bighorn Dolomite Limestone and occurs in two basic types. There are wind eroded butresses like those of Wild Iris and Suicide Point, and there are walls lining the sides of river canyons, such as Sinks Canyon and Wolf Point. The rock varies in quality from very good to very featured and consists mainly of crimps and positive pockets, some being as small as one-finger on the more difficult lines.
There is a bit of granite climbing as well, the Joint wall and the Sanctuary at the top of Sinks being 2 areas that have about 50 sport climbs all together. There are some fantastic routes on these cliffs if you get tired of pocket pulling. Sinks also has some sandy sandstone at the entrance of the canyon, but it is not worth your time unless you are on a NOLS course or like insecure trad climbing.
It is possible to climb throughout much of the year here. Sinks is the best winter area, with a paved approach and an inversion that keeps the wall toasty when it is freezing in town. It is not uncommon to climb in a t-shirt on sunny days in January and February when the temperature in town is 10 degrees. Summer is better spent at Wild Iris and its surrounding crags as they are much higher in elevation, and mainly under snow in the winter. Spring is sometimes great but often snowy and wet. Fall is the best time for climbing in Lander, with crisp temps, sunny skies, and access to every crag here.
Steve Bechtel's guidebook does a great job of describing the sport routes around Lander and is the best resource for any climber visiting the area. It describes the following cliffs:
The Strawberry Roan
The Sweat Lodge
There are several other cliffs that are either very sparsely developed or that have sensitive access issues and as such are not included in the current guide. These include the North Country near Wild Iris and Stone Horse and the North Fork Wall in the canyon of the North Fork of the Popo Agie.
The bouldering around Lander is getting more and more developed each year. There is a limited selection of sandstone and dolomite bouldering in the heart of Sinks Canyon. The Cabin Boulders at Bruce's Bridge in Sinks is a small granite garden that is good for a short session. The Loop Road above Sinks has several small areas that can be fun in the summer. The Rock Shop on South Pass has a good, although spread out, selection of gneiss rock. Some of these, like the UFO boulder and the Lander Boulder are world class. There are also 2 great areas a little further afield, both approached on the road to Dickenson Park above Ft. Washakie. These are the Devil's Kitchen and the Falcon's Lair. You need a Wind River Indian Reservation permit to be able to access either of these places. These can be obtained in several locations in Lander, including the Wild Iris shop. David Lloyd's guidebook Bouldering in the Wind River Range is the best resource for any pad people wanting to check out the pebble wrestling here.
Also check out Sam Lightner's site landerclimbingweather.com
for up to date forecasts for specific cliffs.
Lander is located in central Wyoming, easily found on the map. There is free camping in Lander at the City Park for 3 days. It is also the main venue for the International Climbers' Festival (www.climbersfestival.org), held every summer on the weekend following the Fourth of July.
Gear can be found at Wild Iris Mountain Sports on Main Street in town. NOLS is headquartered in Lander and also has a small gear store. There are several places to eat breakfast and lunch. The best for climbers are The Middle Fork, the Lander Bakery, and the Crux Coffee Shop, all on Main Street.
The Cowfish is the best upscale dinner joint and the Gannett Grill/Lander Bar is a must visit for any traveler, climber or otherwise. Both of these fine establishments are owned by a climber.
Weather station 1.8 miles from here
675 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',47],['3 Stars',266],['2 Stars',262],['1 Star',86],['Bomb',2]
Classic Climbing Routes in Lander Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lander Area
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lander Area:
Featured Route For Lander Area
Tel Aviv Miracle 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Wyoming
: Sinks Canyon
: The Citadel
If I were from Boston, I'd describe this route as being wicked awesome. Since I'm not, I'll just say that it's a fantastic, sustained pitch on some great stone.Follow good, but spaced, crimps and pockets up the beautiful pink and purple streak. I felt that the crux proper was going from bolt 3-4 and involved a difficult cross through move from a good side pull to a sinker 2-finger pocket. However, I felt there was...[more] Browse More Classics in Wyoming
By Elyse Guarino
Jan 30, 2017
This is a PSA. The climbing in Sinks is fantastic right now! However, it is still winter and rock climbing is inherently dangerous.
There has been some large rock fall at sinks canyon recently. This will continue throughout the season with the continuous freeze thaw going on. Please bring and wear a helmet, be conscious of where you stand when belaying and not climbing, choose your climbs carefully and stay alert!
Any updates on conditions or recommended areas to steer clear of will be posted on the Central Wyoming Climbers Alliance Facebook page facebook.com/centralwyomingcli...
and Ill try to update here.
Thanks, stay aware, and keep your each other accountable.
By Adam Keifenheim
Mar 24, 2015
Is there a new guidebook available? I have the 2011 edition.
By Taylor Currier 1
From: South Lake Tahoe, California
May 26, 2015
Hey Tom. I am planning on spending time at the Climbers Festival this summer. Will a new guide book be published by that time? I want to pick up a copy and start dreaming about all those pockets.
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jun 13, 2015
Is North Country included in the new Lander guidebook.
By Tom Rangitsch
Jun 13, 2015
The new guide does not include the North Country. The parking access is very tenuous at that particular cliff and the Forest Service has had problems with too many cars parked there. Until a better solution is found, it has been decided not to put the cliff in the guidebook so as to limit traffic at the area and not jeoparize the access we now have.
From: Laramie, WY
Feb 12, 2016
Wild iris is typically inaccessible without a snow mobile until the winter snows recede.
Killer cave, in sinks, being south facing, can have warm days year-round. That said, you'll want clear, warm-ish winter days. 45 and cloudy/windy will be intolerable. 45, sunny, and calm will be the best day of your life.