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Lion's Head

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Lion's Head Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 7,226'
Location: 48.7862, -116.71652 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 5,617
Administrators: WAGbag, Mike Engle, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Scott Coldiron on Oct 8, 2012
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Lion's Head approach

Getting There 

32 miles (a little over an hour drive) from Coolin, ID and about 2-1/2 hrs from Spokane:
Take Hwy 2 North to Priest River,ID. Drive North on Hwy 57 (towards Coolin) for 22 miles and turn rt. on Dickensheet Hwy. Drive 5 miles to Coolin and turn rt. on East Shore Road/Cavanaugh Bay Road. Drive 22 miles to Lion's Head Campground. Set your trip odometer to zero at the main entrance to the campground. Continue past the campground for 4.1 miles and turn right onto Idaho State Forest Road #44 (small sign). At 6.6 miles, you will pass the intersection with road #43. Continue straight on 44. At 9.8 mi. you should get a pretty good view of Lion's Head straight ahead. At 10.2 mi. You will cross Abandon Creek and come to a T-junction. Turn right and drive 0.3 miles to a big switchback- park here.

From the hairpin turn, follow the trail Southeast until the flagged climbers path takes off uphill to the left. Follow the pink flagging. The trail will go steeply uphill for 15 minutes- don't miss the turn to the right.
The trail will tend right and uphill for about 15 more minutes, then contour more gently toward Lion's Head. The trail will bring you to the bottom of the talus field below Lion's Head West Peak. Get your bearings here so you can find the trail upon your return (not so easy in the dark, but there are a few cairns and two large snags that make good landmarks). The Lion's Head trail is quite good, and the bushwacking is horrible, so if you aren't on an obvious trail, backtrack and try again.


On the imposing North Face of Lion's Head lies the Inland Northwest's best technical alpine climb, Lion Tamer (5.10c, 6 pitches). It takes the obvious line of weakness up the middle of the face.
The South side has some easier stuff in the 5.4 to 5.8 range and there are also moderate climbs going up the East buttress. The West Face Wall is a really beautiful wall with much good climbing potential. The routes here are 3 pitches or so, and they will be in the sun throughout the afternoon. It's a warm and sunny spot to climb if conditions are too cold for a North Face attempt.

Climbing Season

For the North Idaho area.

Weather station 18.7 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Lion's Head

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lion's Head:
Lion Tamer   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 800'   North Face
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lion's Head

Featured Route For Lion's Head
Rock Climbing Photo: The east buttress. The route follows the ridge cre...

East Buttress 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  Idaho : North Idaho : ... : North Face
A fun easier route up the lions head that needs some more traffic to clean it up. Pitch 1: start at the base of the east ridge line and ascend a low angle corner until it steepens at which point you step to the right of the ridge crest and ascend the same hand crack that goes to the great white corner. Right before the corner step back over the ridge crest to the left and climb up and over a bulge protected by a piton. Belay at the ledge here. Pitch 2: climb up over the bulge above the belay led...[more]   Browse More Classics in Idaho

Photos of Lion's Head Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Lions Head West Face
Lions Head West Face
Rock Climbing Photo: West Face of The Lions Head,  Catacombs Route 5.7
West Face of The Lions Head, Catacombs Route 5.7
Rock Climbing Photo: Lion's Head North Face
Lion's Head North Face

Comments on Lion's Head Add Comment
Show which comments
By Cqh
Sep 11, 2016
Does anyone know what the crack/corner system on the west face is like? It looks super fun
By Nick Sweeney
From: Spokane, WA
Sep 28, 2016
At the hairpin turn, there is a big sign-thing made of metal and wood. It's a good landmark if you are getting up there after dark!

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