The Wild Iris is a collection of beautiful, bone-white dolomite bands that raise from the sub-alpine foothills of the Wind River Range. The crags sit at 9000 feet of elevation surrounded by aspen and pine trees. The views from the cliff are second to none. This is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been climbing. From Lander, the Iris is about a thirty minute drive south of town.
What Makes It Great
Overall, the Iris is very user friendly. Grades range from 5.7 to 5.14+. There is plenty of free camping and no pet restrictions. It is important to remember that the Iris is at 9000 feet of elevation. Especially in the summer, it is easy to leave the 95 degree heat of Lander in shorts and sandals with a jacket being the last thing on your mind.
Regardless of what the weather looks like, always bring a light jacket and a rain shell. The Iris is often subject to violent summer thunder showers. If you encounter one of these storms, resist the urge to make a run for it. The approach trail is very exposed to lightning, and you, with your long medal stick clip, are the tallest thing around. It is better to hunker down and wait it out as these storms are usually brief.
I recommend at least 6 hours to check out this area.
Who is Going to Love It
Overall, the Iris is very user friendly. Grades range from 5.7 to 5.14+, so there is something for just about everyone!
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The drive and the approach take about an hour from Lander. Limestone Mountain road can be located on pretty much any map of the area. The parking lot is accessed from Limestone Mountain road which is a well maintained gravel road that is manageable in any car. After turning off of the pavement, the route to the parking lot is well marked with signs. Once in the parking lot the crag cannot be missed.
The season for climbing runs from mid June through Thanksgiving on most years. July and August can be hot but nice in the shade. The best months are September and October.