Just north of the small town Howe lies Saddle Mountain. Its southern slopes are cut by fantastic canyons composed mainly of limestone. A fantastic area to hike and explore, the canyons also offer superb climbing possibilities. Alex McMeekin and friends from the Hailey area developed the sport routes out here in the early-mid ’90s. With climbs from 20 feet to 500 feet, Box Canyon has something for everyone.
Most climbers new to Box Canyon are quick to comment on the sharp nature of the rock. While the texture of the limestone may shorten the lifespan of one’s resole job, it makes for great climbing on very positive rock.
- Type of climbing: Sport
- Number of routes: 23
- Difficulty range: 5.7 – 5.13
- Type of rock: Limestone
- Season: Late Spring through Fall
- Camping: Yes
- Guidebook: Sweet Spots of Eastern Idaho, by Jerry Painter and Matt TeNgaio
This canyon, as well as several nearby canyons boast great potential for future climbing routes. But until the Wilderness Study Area designation changes and the Bureau of Land Management can be assured that archaeological features will not be damaged, new climbing routes will have to wait. The authors wish to stress this strongly. Legally, the BLM has every right to remove all existing bolts and anchors. But, if climbers can demonstrate their willingness to cooperate and keep this prime area clean, the existing routes may stay and the possibility for a new sport climbing area might be realized.
From Idaho Falls, head north on I-15. Take exit 143 (Rexburg-Terreton), and drive west on State Highway 33. Pass through the towns of Terreton and Mud Lake and continue on until the T-intersection, turn left. Now head south for 4 miles then turn right. Drive west for 9 miles and turn right at the Simplot Farms sign. Head north on a gravel road for .5 mile, turn left onto 3600 N., head west for another .5 mile and turn right onto 1200 W. Continue north for 4 miles, the road turns into a good jeep track. After about 1 mile on the jeep track, signs about Box Canyon appear and there is a parking area to the right – low-clearance vehicles will want to park here. High-clearance vehicles can continue on – please make sure to stay on the road, there are small parking areas located by each crag – don’t create new ones.
** Look inside the Sweet Spots Second Edition Sample **