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The Fins

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From MP's sister site:

The Fins Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,500'
Location: 43.73145, -113.08445 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 82,403
Administrators: WAGbag, Mike Engle, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jaren Watson on May 9, 2013


38° | 29°

42° | 32°

44° | 33°

49° | 36°

52° | 37°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Approach from the Lower Parking. Yellow Cake is th...


For more comprehensive information, purchase the excellent guide, Sweet Spots, by Jerry Painter and Matt TeNgaio.
One of the original hard men, Dave Bingham, has written Underground Idaho which also contains the latest information concerning climbing at the Fins and other local crags.

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 will wear out before your forearms.
The walls at the Fins have seen significant new development as of 2012, so there are many more routes than I have descriptions for. Dave Bingham, Matt TeNgaio, and Jonathan Siegrist have been the major contributors lately. We all owe a huge thanks to these guys and the earlier developers 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.

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. Now, there is a new access trail and several more crags were developed. The new route count is around 35 and is increasing every weekend. The 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 11 range. The stone is featured, high quality limestone with crimps, pockets, pinches, runnels and chert. The expanded area is renamed "Mortal Earth". There remain 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. If you've got a four-wheel drive vehicle, drive five miles to basically the top of the mountain and park in the established parking.
For low-clearance vehicles, you'll need to park in the lower parking (about 3.5 miles from the highway).

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.7 miles from here

127 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',21],['3 Stars',56],['2 Stars',44],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Fins

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Fins:
EBR-1   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Warm up 2   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   The Head Wall
Yellow Man   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Standard Warm-Up   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 40'   The Head Wall
Warm up 1   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Head Wall
When Vegans Attack   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Head Wall
Shaken Not Stirred   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Martini   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Ghost in the Shell   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Head Wall
Solstice   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Solstice
Jet A   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   The Discovery Wall : Jet A Sector
Baked Potato   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   The Head Wall
Clips from the Bong   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Head Wall
Bean Fiddler   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   The Head Wall
Mothership   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Discovery Wall : Mothership Sector
Dinner Roll   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Make it a Double    5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Son of Discovery   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Discovery Wall : Martini Sector
Al's Diner   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Head Wall
Bushido   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 70'   The Discovery Wall : Mothership Sector
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Fins

Featured Route For The Fins
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Eaton works the start of Martini

Martini 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  Idaho : The Fins : ... : Martini Sector
Climb up and end at the flake for which this sector is named.A beautiful route with fun movement....[more]   Browse More Classics in Idaho

Photos of The Fins Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Fins from the Yellow Cake/Lower parking approa...
BETA PHOTO: The Fins from the Yellow Cake/Lower parking approa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Shaken Not Stirred
Shaken Not Stirred
Rock Climbing Photo: The usual parking rituals.  Shown from L to R is S...
The usual parking rituals. Shown from L to R is S...
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climbers getting high on the Discovery Wal...
Unknown climbers getting high on the Discovery Wal...
Rock Climbing Photo: Taking care of business while taking care of busin...
Taking care of business while taking care of busin...
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of the Fins from just above the lower parki...
A view of the Fins from just above the lower parki...
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach to the upper parking. Photograph by Jonat...
BETA PHOTO: Approach to the upper parking. Photograph by Jonat...

Comments on The Fins Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 15, 2017
By dave bingham
Jun 3, 2013
My guide "Idaho Underground" (2012) includes The Fins and a bunch of other Idaho crags.
By Jaren Watson
From: Boise, Idaho
Jun 5, 2013
Thank you, Dave. I've included this info in the description.
By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Aug 10, 2013
Some more approach beta can be found here.
By WAGbag
From: Denver, CO
Jul 27, 2014
On the upper parking: Clearance isn't necessarily an issue as a reasonably skilled driver in a Subaru can make it. If you have low-range use it, if you have a transmission temp warning light, pay attention to it, if you don't, plan to take a rest or three on the way up to give your tranny a rest (automatics). Watch your engine temp too, mine was fine on the first run up, but was the limiting factor on the second time up (hotter day). My vehicle is an AWD Chevy Express. I know one Jeep Cherokee had to turn back due to tranny overheating.

Rattlesnakes: There is at least one in the rocks just above the camping; watch and listen when 'getting rid of your coffee'. Running on the dirt road, a climber on a rest day came very close to one. It's a good idea to keep a bite extractor kit with you. See photo - very center...

Rock Climbing Photo: Rattlesnake above the camping
Rattlesnake above the camping
By aggressiveperfector
Jun 21, 2015
Dont attempt driving up the hill unless you have 4wheel drive and know how to drive a 4wheel vehicle. And old cars can easily overheat. Park at the low parking or hitch a ride.
By WAGbag
From: Denver, CO
Sep 30, 2015
The upper part of the road has gotten worse in the last year. Fun fact: The steepest sections I measured at 19 degrees (or 34% grade). On the plus side the trails have gotten better - thanks to whoever is doing that.
By Old lady H
From: Boise, Idaho
Feb 12, 2016
For out of state folks, if you've already driven this far, do make the drive up through Mackay to Mount Borah. The Lost River range is very little known, outside of Idaho, but is truly beautiful. The Sawtooths are the postcard mountains, but Leatherman, Borah, Church and the others are spit in your face bad boys.

Howe (King mountain) is a serious (world class) hang/para gliding/soaring town, with competitions, including ridiculously long flights. 180 miles!
By Adam Peters
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Feb 16, 2016
Would mid April be an acceptable time to take a trip to the Fins?
By Old lady H
From: Boise, Idaho
Feb 18, 2016
Howe, Idaho is about 5,000 feet, so could be cold at night any time of year. That part of Idaho is very dry, maybe 9" precipitation, so not a giant snow pack. Check Arco, Idaho, maybe, for weather, maybe Howe. We did have a good snow year, so it might not be doable. Haven't been there, yet, only over to Borah.
By andismiles
Jun 29, 2016
Will I be able to get my RAV4 to the upper parking this year? I took a Tacoma last year and thought 'fairly unlikely' but maybe conditions have changed? Also, where is the best place to tent camp if we can't get to the upper parking? Thanks!
By Eric Hirst
Sep 11, 2016
A 2016 version of the "Sweet Spots" guide exists. We found it to be pretty comprehensive for the Fins. It covers other areas and activities as well.
By Randall Stacy
From: Boise
Apr 27, 2017
Anyone know what road conditions are like or know when the road might come in given the above average snow year?
By Sam Thompson
From: Missoula, Montana
May 22, 2017
Wife and I are looking to hit up the fins after July.
We've got an 05 Honda pilot with AWD and moderate/high clearance.
Any update of the road conditions this year? How accessible is the camping up high?

By Erez Shani
From: Boulder
Jun 21, 2017
The lower camping is located 1.5 miles off the highway.
If you don't have clearance or reliable car you better hitchhike from there..

If you still attempt to drive up for the lower parking climbing access at least stop 3.3 miles of the highway next to the "high voltage cable" sign and walk from there, the real steep part starts there and just get worst.

No toilet there, so bring a wagbag or at least a trowel to make a respectable hole..
By Carson Schultz
Jun 28, 2017
Accidentally walked off with a draw that wasn't mine. Let me know if it's yours and what it looks like and I'd be happy to mail it to you. My number is 4159993570.
By Derek Hayton
From: Boise
Jul 6, 2017
Does anyone know what the bolt line between Martini and EBR-1 is? It looks like new hardware?
By Jasna Hodzic
Jul 19, 2017
I'm a climber from Seattle who is looking to spend July 25th-Aug6/7 in the fins, is anyone going to be around and interested in partnering up?

Thanks (would just post in forums but haven't gotten a lot of responses. Will delete post trip)

By Mikel Cronin
Aug 2, 2017
would early Oct be good for the Fins?
By Mike Engle
From: Pocatello, Idaho
Aug 2, 2017
Mikel - mostly still good in early Oct but with afternoon shade, it's not uncommon to need a puffy for belaying. Good sending temps! Give me a call if you plan to come.
By Dana Walters 1
From: Spokane, Washington
Aug 9, 2017
Is there an updated TOPO for the Fins?
By Valery Roman
Aug 14, 2017
Does anyone know if dogs are permitted? Thanks in advance.
By Mike Engle
From: Pocatello, Idaho
Aug 15, 2017
It's primitive Forest Service land. Your dog will be welcome by most climbers so long as it's well behaved and you pick up after it.
By karl vochatzer
From: Cedar City, UT
Aug 15, 2017
Anyone considering this crag as a place to experience the total solar eclipse this coming Monday, the 21st? On camping, is there one spot 1.5 miles from lower parking or two as in the top of the 4x4 road? Driving in with a 2012 4Runner 4WD.

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