Climbing in Stanley and in the Sawtooth Mountain Range | Stanley Chamber

Climbing in Stanley and in the Sawtooth Mountain Range

Guides and Gear


Sawtooth Mountain Guides


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Chalk, cams, and grit, the Sawtooth Mountains hold some of the most renowned multi-pitch granite routes in North America. The Sawtooths are home to the Elephant's Perch, one of the recognized Classic Climbs in North America with over 25 established routes emanating from basecamp at Saddleback Lakes, aka "Shangri La." This region is abundant with high-quality alpine routes varying in difficulty and accessibility, including The Finger of Fate, Mount Heyburn, Blue Rock Buttress, and Barron Spire. You can camp at the upper Goat Creek drainage and climb the staggering 1400 ft to Warbonnet, Idaho's Grand Teton or alpine climb to the Sawtooth's highest peak, Thompson Peak.

With 5-star establishments in town serving satisfying mountain sustenance, your basecamp of Stanley is a close second to the allure of grippy mountain granite.

Climbing in Stanley and in the Sawtooth Mountain Range

Contact a Rock Climbing Guide in Stanley, Idaho

There are many reasons to hire a qualified and reputed rock climbing guide in Stanley. They can plan a trip tailored to your skillset, from beginner Super Slab sessions to advanced multi-pitch assaults in the high alpine.

A certified rock climbing guide can:

  • Use their years of experience to plan the safest approaches
  • Outfit you with the necessary gear
  • Provide medical and avalanche training
  • Mitigate risks
  • Arrange transportation
  • Share their knowledge of the local terrain
  • Help you feel more confident
  • Provide food for multi-day trips
  • Interpret climbing jargon

What to Know Before You Go Rock Climbing near Stanley, Idaho

What's the first thing I should do if I'm interested in starting rock climbing?

Take an intro to climbing class before you do anything else. You can test run if the sport is for you without investing in all the gear and learn from pros with extensive knowledge. Our Stanley Sawtooth Chamber member rock climbing guides offer these classes and will teach you all the basics, including essential skills in rock climbing like how to belay and tie a double-figure eight knot.

When is the climbing season in the Sawtooths?

Due to the accommodating temperatures, June to September is the best time to go climbing in the Sawtooths. However, people go climbing near Stanley year-round.

What do I need to bring on a guided climbing expedition?

If you own equipment that you feel comfortable with, you are welcome to use it. If you're new to the sport and still need the equipment, guides can provide you with the technical climbing equipment. Typically this includes a harness, helmet, belay device, carabiners, ropes, a climbing pack, climbing shoes, and a chalk bag. You must bring a drink and food for half to full-day climbs. Food is provided on multi-day climbs. Remember your camera to document the picturesque views at the peak!

What should I wear to go climbing?

The ideal outfit for climbing is something you feel comfortable moving and stretching in. Consider a lightweight waterproof shell jacket, a quick-drying shirt, nylon pants, a fleece jacket, and hiking shoes. You'll also want to wear sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat (if not a helmet), and bug spray.

What are climbing ratings?

The difficulty level of a climb is rated (in America) by a system known as the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS). It uses ratings from Class 1 (an easy flat trail) to Class 6 (unclimbable without assistance). Learning about the rating system can help determine where you want to climb. Your climbing guide can also help make this decision.

Book a Guided Climbing Expedition

When booking a guided climbing expedition with one of our Stanley Sawtooth Chamber members, see if they are an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) accredited business. AMGA is the industry's highest standard, meaning your guides are committed to having the most up-to-date training.

Next, decide the duration of your trip. Our local chamber member climbing guides offer half, full-day, or multi-day climbs with just a short hike into the Sawtooth wilderness.

Lastly, book your trip and get ready for a remarkable experience!

Book a Climbing Trip in Stanley and in the Sawtooth Mountain Range

Guidebooks and Maps

Summit Post

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Mountain Project

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Sawtooth & White Cloud Mountains Trail Map

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