One of the many reasons Boise is just about the best place to live is the balance it provides between the city and the outdoors. While Boise continues to grow and develop, you can still go on an outdoor adventure both in the city and without having to wander too far away from downtown. Between floating the river, skiing and snowboarding, whitewater rafting, camping and more, Boise leaves adventurers with little to be desired.
Rock climbing in particular offers Boise residents endless hours of fun. Whether you are looking for indoor routes downtown or you scale up the tallest rocks you find, there are plenty of rock climbing places around Boise. Here is a list of the most popular crags close enough for you to visit for a short day trip or even after work!
City of Rocks National Reserve is a popular rock climbing destination for Idahoans that features scalable granite rocks in almost 15,000 acres of reserved land. However, it is not always easily accessible as it lies three hours away from Boise.
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For days when you can’t quite make it that far out of the city, try the following places:
One of the most frequented outdoor routes in Boise are the Black Cliffs. Located just off of Highway 21 by Lucky Peak, Black Cliffs has over 200 routes of varying difficulties for all climbers to conquer. Whether you dedicate a full day out at the cliffs or you stop by on the way back from Lucky Peak, it is always a great addition to your day.
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Table Rock is known for its hike up the foothills and the beautiful view of Boise. Many people in our community walk or drive up to enjoy a beautiful sunset, but not many know that a couple hundred feet away from it is what used to be one of the premier climbing destinations in Boise. A few decades ago, Mores Mountain was developed and Black Cliffs were thought to have too much loose rock to climb, so many people headed to Table Rock. Though large parts of Table Rock have been turned into a quarry and many of the routes have been destroyed, you can still find a traverse wall, some bouldering problems, a section for top roping and, for those with the experience, a few difficult bolted lead climbs.
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You know you can find great hills for hiking, biking, skiing, and snowboarding up at Bogus Basin and the surrounding area, but you might now know that if you continue up past the ski resorts, you will find Mores Mountain where you will find a several bolted climbs. If you prefer to climb up mountains and rappel down them rather than getting a lift up and gliding down, this place is for you.
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Located just under an hour south of Boise, Swan Falls features boulders that provide hundreds — if not thousands — of boulder problems for climbers. Though it gets hot during the summer, climbers enjoy Swan Falls year-round. In the summer, scale your heart out in the morning and catch some fish on the river when it starts gets too toasty.
Learn More About Swan Falls
Indoor Climbing Gyms
Whether the weather outside is not working with your rock climbing desires or you want to get a climbing gym membership to practice in between outdoor climbing sessions, Boise has a couple of indoor climbing gyms to help you reach your climbing desires.
Urban Ascent is an indoor climbing gym that features a variety of top rope routes on 40 foot walls as well as a boulder cave. You can get belay certified there, rent rock climbing equipment for your visit, and even take private lessons. They also offer Yoga classes and climbing competition for those looking to mix it up a bit. Whether you hang out there for a few hours with a day pass or strengthen your skills with a monthly membership, Urban Ascent is perfect for beginners and experts alike.
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To find a wider selection of bouldering routes, head to Asana. They expanded their gym in 2016 to make room for even more bouldering. Join in on their group events, like the Late Night Climbs, recreational “competitions” and competitive competitions. Also, those looking to widen their range in flexibility and acrobatic endeavors can also take Yoga, Aerial Silks, AcroYoga, and Capoeira classes at this climbing gym!
Learn More About Asana
For more information on all the climbing routes around Boise, check out Sandy Epeldi’s Boise Climbs book, which provides loads of historical information on rock climbing near Boise and everything you need to know about climbing in the area. Remember to always keep safe practices on all your adventures, and keep on climbing!
Sandy Epeldi’s Boise Climbs book