Mid-Mountain bouldering area lives up to its name. It’s halfway between Africa and the Maze, closest to the car and still hides projects that haven’t been developed yet. Climb your heart out in this spot.
This large climbing spot is tucked into a treed gully with boulders of all sizes and shapes scattered about. Mid-Mountain is compact enough to get in a lot of climbing in a short amount of time, but you won’t feel crowded if several groups are also enjoying the area. There are so many boulders here, that many have routes that haven’t been documented and others have projects yet to be developed.
What Makes It Great
Mid-Mountain has excellent access and a huge variety of routes. There are two access points - either coming straight downhill from the Africa area above, or heading due west from the parking lot and walking smack dab into the middle of Mid-Mountain.
Two rocks in Mid-Mountain are perennial favorites. The Cheese Boulder is easy to see from the trail into area. The east side is gray and the entire rock looks like a giant has taken a melon baller to it, hence the name. It looks like dirty swiss cheese. Cheese Boulder has fairly long routes with lots of traverses. Its 8’ or 9’ tall sides aren’t so high that you’ll freak out, plus its got a great landing area. A exceptionally located log makes for the perfect sitting spot. Routes on Cheese range from V0-V5/6 making it a good boulder for learning and figuring out how to move.
Ripper Boulder has one of the best V5s in the area. This rock is super crimpy and can have some pretty sharp edges. You won’t realize how loudly your fingers are screaming until you get off. Since this boulder practically touches Cheese you could spend a lot of quality time on just these two rocks and never even get acquainted with Mid-Mountain’s other offerings. Ripper has lots of projects that still need to be developed and there’s probably a V11/12 hidden in there somewhere.
Who is Going to Love It
As is the case of most of the climbing on Cedar Mountain, if you’re short on time, then you’ll love Mid-Mountain. Being tucked into the gully keeps this area from being blasted by those wicked Cody winds and it’s a good place for kids, either climbers or players. It’s also close to the car for all those walk-backs for toys, food and water. Bring beginner climbers here as well as your friends who only want to try for new projects.
In case you’re interested, the seemingly solid ground on which you’re standing is nothing more than a thin crust. Cedar Mountain itself is more or less hollow. The very large Spirit Mountain Cave is right below your feet and possibly one of the deepest cave systems in the country.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From Cody, take US HWY 14/16/20 west 3.9 miles to the Cedar Mountain turn. Proceed uphill to the third switchback parking area, which is on your right. Watch the road as you go up. You’ll probably find hikers with dogs and even trail riding groups. Mountain lions and bears have been seen on Cedar, as well as rattlesnakes.
There are no public accommodations on Cedar, meaning there isn’t water or restrooms. The BLM is fine with your dog tagging along, but it should be leashed.