Lander Field Office

Baldwin Creek Climbing Area

The Baldwin Creek Climbing Area has about 50 established rock climbs ranging in difficulty from 5.11 to 5.14. The average difficulty of these climbs exceeds those of two of the other popular rock climbing areas near Lander-Sinks Canyon and Wild Iris.

The rocks of interest to climbers make up the middle member of the Bighorn dolomite, a geologic formation of Ordovician age. The main body of the formation was deposited in a warm shallow sea between 470 and 450 million years ago. Dolomite is similar to limestone (calcium carbonate) but is much richer in magnesium. Factors influencing sedimentation were probably constant for a long time because the cliffs are very uniform in composition, texture and color. They have few cracks or other flaws, and as a result, they provide uniformly difficult rock climbing opportunities.

Directions

The Baldwin Creek Climbing Area is located about 15 miles west of Lander, Wyoming. To get there from downtown Lander, follow U.S. Highway 287 (Main Street) west and then north until its intersection with Baldwin Creek Road just past the Lander High School.

Turn left (west) and travel about seven miles to where the Baldwin Creek Road ends and the Shoshone Lake Road begins (BLM Road 2202). Travel up the switchbacks, pass through Mormon Basin, and continue on the Shoshone Lake Road for an additional 6.5 miles. A 4x4 or other high ground-clearance vehicle is recommended. The parking area and trailhead are on the left (south) side of the road. The parking area is not developed but shows evidence of parking use during the summer.

Almost immediately past the parking area, the Shoshone Lake road turns right and begins to descend a steep and very rocky slope. Travelling down this road would indicate that you have gone too far.A distinct trail leads from the parking area to Baldwin Creek Canyon. It begins on the west side of the parking area and leads south through an old-growth Douglas fir forest to the rim of the canyon. At the canyon rim the trail drops abruptly through a gap in the cliffs and then leads to the left (east) to the popular climbing area.

Low impact climbing practices are encouraged.

Land ownership in the area is mixed. Most of the more attractive cliffs are on BLM-administered land. However, a portion are on private lands and permission is required prior to entry.

All BLM offices in Wyoming have 1:100,000-scale land ownership status/topographic maps available for $4.00 each. The Lander map provides information on the Baldwin Creek climbing area.