Monday, June 30, 2008

In the interest of time we decided not to visit Salt Lake City. We stopped briefly in Green River, and later grabbed dinner at Rooster's Brewery in Ogden, then it was on to City of Rocks. City of Rocks National Preserve is a major climbing destination consisting of huge granite blobs, pretty much in the middle of nowhere in the bottom center of Idaho, near Alma. Getting there involves driving 25 or so miles on well maintained dirt roads, dodging giant jackrabbits all the way. We arrived in Almo at 11:00 pm, and stopped into the convenience store to try to buy a climbing guidebook for the area. They were all out, and informed us that the campground was full, due to some sort of festival going on here. They directed us to an "RV Park" just up the road. They told us that it was not maintained, and they didn't think anyone even checked the pay station. Indeed, when we pulled in it was competely deserted, and looked as if no one had stayed there in years. It consisted of leveled gravel pull-thru sites in an open grazing field. We fed the pay station the requested $10.00 anyway, and decided it was the perfect, quiet place to crash for the night.

The next morning we drove into the climbing areas, marveling at the enormous amount of climbing that must be here (we picked up a guidebook at the Visitor's Center on our way out, and there are over 750 routes listed). The blobs are everywhere. For the non-climbers, in the sidebar you will find a link to an abbreviated Glossary of Climbing Terms from the end of an old trip report. We had a look at someone else's guidebook, and chose a few climbs on Elephant Rock (recommended by Anne and Tom), namely Rye Crisp (5.8), The Pygmies Got Stoned (5.10a), and Columbian Crack (5.7). All were fantastic. The rock here is amazing, and the number of routes and close proximity campsites seem to make a future group rendezvous here essential. Anybody? We were on the road to Hood river by 11:00 am.

3 comments:

Anneathema said...

So glad you found it! Isn't that place amazing? Who would have thought such a gem was in Idaho.

Stella said...

looks awesome. you need to go to font. though for concentration of boulders. it is the best.

was it warm?

A & W said...

Yes, it is amazing, and, yes, it was warm! Although we were up early to get in a few climbs before hitting the road, the sun still baked us- of course, we were on the east side of the rock...

It seems like you could find good shady climbing during the summer, though.