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Sweetwater Rocks

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Blob Buttress and Smith's Rock, The 
Cranner Rock 
Great Stone Face, The 
Lankin Dome 
Moonstone, The 
Rancher Rock 
Reaper's Ridge - Rubber Rose Buttress 
Split Rock 

Sweetwater Rocks Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 5,000'
Location: 42.5698, -107.7807 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 29,433
Administrators: Mike Snyder, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Umph! on Dec 13, 2006
This Afternoon

40° | 27°

53° | 31°

41° | 27°

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You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Lankin Dome doing a 'Close Encounters' impersonati...

Sticky situation MORE INFO >>>


Located just north of Hwy 287. . . west of 220, and east of Lander (see: Jeffrey City).
Cranner is a rest-stop/historical area (with pit toilet).
Split Rock was an Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail landmark.
The Sweetwater River passes through here; enroute from the Wind River's. . . though not so glorious in this area.

If you do venture far from Cranner then also be aware of abundant POISON oak, ivy, snakes, tics bats bugs lizards canids felines bulls cows horses deer moose griz rodents birds ranchers named Bud aliens ghosts and ancient hosts (and all the ornery flying critters you can think of). . . .

The rock 'round here is excellent. . . NO! I mean, scabby, putrid, exfoliating granite. . . not nearly as good as the worst in Mojave.

One more . . . watch out for slung lead. The rednecks, redskins and Red Army in these parts prefer shooting to damn near anything - as do the miners and roughnecks, and some climbers maybe. If you're seen with out-of-state (esp. green) plates you'll be rounded up with the cattle, castrated and branded.

If somehow you slip by, don't take nothin', don't leave nothin', stick to the roads, and tread lightly. . . and leave all gates as found (open/close).
Thanks. . . .

This place is desolate and dangerous WYO desert with very few amenities nearby, and zero assistance should you find your pretty-little-self in a bind.

The people are ornery and the land is mean. I don't recommend coming here at all. If the rednecks, miners, roughnecks vagabonds or land doesn't get ya, some dehydrated whacked-out windblown sunbeaten climber just might. . . . Sweetwater Rocks and adjacent areas require LOW-profiles and LOTS of respect and consideration. Keep all fences/gates as you found them. Do not build fires. Adhere to all posted signs. Do not drive off of existing paths (roads). Do not let your dog run around (chances are great that it'll be shot, bitten, trampled or fed upon). Do not take anything from this land. . . and do not leave anything. Good BLM quads are essential (make sure they're up to date). Granite Mtns (Sweetwater) area closures are adjustable and are done so via ranchers and BLM officiales. Great tracts of this area are privately owned; meaning that they are always closed. For example: Lankin Dome BLM as of last year was closed 04-30 thru 06-31 for public AND private lands; between 03-01 thru 04-31 it was closed on private land. So, sometimes private easements are opened, and sometimes they aren't. . . same with public lands; oh, and mining claims too! Pay particular attention to any signage and postings.

Getting There 

That's up to your preference, and not of much concern (better have 4WD - see Gazetteer & quad - try BLM 2404, then east, north of Bills Peak complex). . . . It's getting out that you should be preparing for; and legend has it, once you're in. . . .
Look, really, this place ain't worth your life is it?? Head down the road (east) to Fremont Canyon and the water - or try the more sophisticated stuff around Lander.

May we never speak of this again. . . .

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 5.6 miles from here

53 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',22],['2 Stars',18],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sweetwater Rocks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sweetwater Rocks:
Cowboy Route   4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b     Trad, 200'   Lankin Dome
Blue Moon   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Sport, 3 pitches, 600'   The Moonstone
Standard Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Split Rock
Feldspar Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 500'   The Moonstone
Flake Route   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   The Moonstone
Stargazer   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 2 pitches   The Moonstone
Sky Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 5 pitches, 600'   Lankin Dome
Tree Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Lankin Dome
Blue-Eyed Sandbagger   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 400'   The Moonstone
Venus and Mars   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 600'   Lankin Dome
Star Jumper   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Sport, 6 pitches, 700'   Lankin Dome
The Faster We Go, The Rounder We Get   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 2 pitches, 400'   The Moonstone
Bushwhacker   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Cranner Rock
Geophysical   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Cranner Rock
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sweetwater Rocks

Featured Route For Sweetwater Rocks
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice jams.

Geophysical 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  Wyoming : Sweetwater Rocks : Cranner Rock
Find the overhanging face, on the right side is the crack that you can't miss.Climb the crack with a bouldery start, at the base is a left facing corner. A two bolt anchor at the top. I took a guess at the name as this rock has this name....[more]   Browse More Classics in Wyoming

Photos of Sweetwater Rocks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Zac Rudy dyno problem. Though small it is a beggin...
Zac Rudy dyno problem. Though small it is a beggin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jesse Brown climbing The Black Pearl/Wave of Mutil...
Jesse Brown climbing The Black Pearl/Wave of Mutil...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lankin Dome, Sweetwater Rocks
Lankin Dome, Sweetwater Rocks

Comments on Sweetwater Rocks Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 3, 2017
By nate maxon
May 29, 2007
Poisonous are right, I was actualy bitten by a komodo dragon after I refused to share my moose steaks. I nearly lost my right leg, it's still weak and now I walk with a pronounced limp.
By bob branscomb
From: Lander, WY
Feb 5, 2009
yes, this is a vvvverrrrry dangerous area where insane, perverted locals lurk behind innocuous sagebrushes waiting to pounce on anyone with Colorado, Utah, or California license plates and commit unspeakable acts upon them. venture here at risk to your reason.
By COEveryman
Feb 2, 2010
Honestly, this is absolutely one of the most amazing area descriptions I have every seen. I am frankly surprised this is not the most popular area in America, being that we have a proclivity towards doing whatever we are told not to do. Could you locals please continue to expand the description of this area, and feel free to continue your unrepentant embellishments--absolutely phenomenal!!!
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Feb 2, 2010
Thing is, everyman, if we wanted everybody and their jimbe showing up and pissing off the people with the grazing rights to the land surrounding Sweetwater Rocks, we'd promote it like, say, Boulder Canyon. Since its impossible to hide them, and we don't want to lose it like you guys lost Turkey Rocks, we do are best to downplay the area.
By COEveryman
Feb 24, 2010
When Mountain Project begins to rate "Quality of Entertainment" & "Creative Excitement Stimulation"--they will rate Sweetwater Rocks at #1 on the first poll. More area beta: Deliverance was actually filmed in the canyons by Sweetwater. Certain climbs have plaster over plastiqe and unexpected explosions have occured--climb at your own risk. When there is water, it has been airlifted in from Los Alamos--again, drink at your own risk. Sweetwater Rocks!
By Umph!
Mar 9, 2010
That wasn't a scene from "Deliverance", dude.
By freddy burg
May 2, 2010
yeah i climbed here after doin sum apline in tetons. Its pretty badass i would say. It's real chill we went from the road to the base of moonstone slab in a 1990 mazda 626 with 250,000 miles on it. We camped out by an old house probably built on the early 1900s really cool. jammed music all night and onsighted long lines of classic trad the next day. No problems from locals and no touble route finding truly a unique place. I would def wanna go back they have I believe up to sume 8 pitch slab climbs that looks like a blast. I would advise anyone who is forearms cant take anymore of sink or wild iris to hit this place up. But bring water lots or water. And to all the critics bashing the place there probably just locals from a small town up there bashing a another small town. I have notice that the locals up there don't have the best social skills must be those long winters. peace safe climbing
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Feb 1, 2011
You guys are kidding about the Colorado plates and how dangerous the Sweetwater River area is. I've done my time in Wyoming's oil fields too. Armed guards aplenty in the convenience stores of Casper during the seventies. Be glad when those green license plate show up! The local serial killer is still on the loose, suspected of murdering a climber traveling alone.

The "Sticky Situation" text states: "The people are ornery and the land is mean." History agrees! One these rocks where we climb occurred "The most blatant crime in the history of the west." (Sweetwater County Museum) The lynching of a women is a historically rare event. Kate Maxwell (Cattle Queen) and a man were found "Hanging from a stunted pine growing in the summit of a cliff fronting the Sweetwater River." (Lynchings of Women in the United States, Kerry Segrave, 1994)

Are the local ranchers really that big a deal? A rancher and his rifle-toting goon once tried to scare me away from the Gym at Shelf Road. I showed them my BLM map, proving half the cliff was BLM. We agreed on which part was climbable (everything right of The Example). Then they left me alone.

All the good Sweetwater Domes are on Public land. There is nothing to lose.
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Feb 1, 2011
I don't want to start an argument here, but basically, in a fight between user groups, the group with the best lobbyists wins. Which means if we're not polite to ranchers, climbing gets banned.
By Clifford Mallory
From: Casper WY
Mar 24, 2012
Im a recent transplant to casper from colorado springs. Ive been out sweetwater way WOW had some run ins at a couple of other places looking around for rock the ranchers hear are about the same as back home Shelf, Thunder ridge, Wet Mountains just remember they will shot you and fewer people to hear the gun shots and miles and miles and miles of land public and private to hide the bodies.Just dont be a butt head and every thing will be fine.Looking foward to you heading this way so I can get to climbing some of your routs I dont have time or money to put any thing up that requires a drill. Get dirty be safe.
By nate maxon
Jan 3, 2013
Access here is a real problem because all roads into this vast tract of BLM land, including Lankin Dome, the Moonstone, the Great Stone Face, Split Rock, the Haystack, and other crags, pass through private land. BLM has an agreement with a certain ranch that allows access to Lankin and the Moonstone, except during the spring calving season. However, the easy and direct route that crosses a half-mile of private land, on a road and bridge built with public money, is closed and the public is forced around far to the north on the Agate Flat road. It's true that these ranchers have disproportionate power, but is the spring closure justifiable based on concerns about stress to cows, especially in light of the fact that they pay $1.37 per AUM to graze on this public land when the private rate is somewhere between $11.00 to $20.00 per AUM? All is not lost - Cranner Rock is accessible from HWY 287/789 year-round and one can hike from a state section on HWY 287/789 to access the Haystack and the Great Stone Face. The owners of the Sun Ranch will generally allow access to Split Rock and the other crags nearby - just stop in to ask for permission (the ranch headquarters lies at the end of the first major road east of Cranner Rock that heads north) or call the BLM in Lander for the number. BLM has the ability to condemn a right of way for recreational access - this is one place where such use of government power is certainly appropriate.
By ssp
May 29, 2013
Ahhh yes, the land of Dick Cheney !
Lankin is very cool as are the other formations nearby.
Don't forget to stop and ck out the old Oregon and Mormon trail wagon wheel ruts still visible !
An adventurous area for sure. Be cool with the ranchers and your good to go.
By Brock M
From: Mountain West
Jun 4, 2013
Just throwing this out there but access from Agate Flats road to Lankin Dome area is open as of June 1 not June 31, BLM says just be respectful of the ranchers as many still have calves out.
By Gee Double
Jun 13, 2014
Easy access; 2 wheel drive ok, some sandy roads, very quiet, see LANDER ROCK 2005. Public land and or sportman's access over private land/bridges...biggest pest is the problem...(NOLS area)
By Brian W Smith
Apr 3, 2017
I will add that "back in the day" when I was working for NOLS in the gnarly high desert of Sweetwater Rocks, I went for a hike during a three day snowstorm, solo. During this snowy hike, I felt as if something was watching me, but despite my paranoid best efforts, I saw nothing. Upon my return to camp, my co-instructor decided to go on the same hike to avoid going stir crazy from the three day storm. Upon his return, with wide eyes, he told me that he observed mountain lion tracks following my tracks the entire way. This is a true story. Beware Mountain Lions in this area! Wyoming is dangerous! The rock is too chossy, the snow is too wind effected, it is probably best to climb and ski elsewhere ;-)

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