5 Awesome Climbing Routes Around Cody

Get in on the on-rock action in Cody, whose climbing scene is enjoying a moment.
Get in on the on-rock action in Cody, whose climbing scene is enjoying a moment. Mia & Steve Mestdagh
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Cody is quickly becoming a hotbed for climbing and bouldering. Although local climbers have made good use of the abundant rock outcroppings for years, new routes are coming on fast and furious, and the sport is experiencing a resurgence in the region.

Whether you're an experienced rock hound or a newbie to the sport, there are ample opportunities to get out and grip some granite. Here, a look at five awesome climbing routes around Cody, which include some established routes that you might not have tried and some new routes you may not even know about.

Mike Snyder in Lower Canyon Granite, Shoshone Canyon
Mike Snyder in Lower Canyon Granite, Shoshone Canyon Christian Baumeister

The Island

Cody's landmark climbing area, the Island was a once day use spot administered by the city. Remnants of asphalt and a drinking fountain mark the Island's former glory. Today, it's jam packed with climbing routes from beginner to advanced and sport to trad climbing.

Illegal Dihedral

This route is tucked back against the wall next to the scree slope on the right. It has a fairly easy beginning, with a bouldery section followed by a small roof that levels off. The dihedral has an easy lay back that's more pronounced at the top. From here, there's a crack you can stem with nice, solid bolts and good foot placement. You'll reach to clip the anchors. Move quickly through this route, otherwise you'll turn to jelly before you complete the clip.

Horn of Plenty

The beginning of this 4-bolt, 5.12a route boasts a hard bouldery start to the first bolt. You'll reach around right then throw left, then mantle and turn to the right again to hit the crack. The next three clips are in the fissures. If you want an easier route, move left to the buttress. The final bolt is just past a fairly exposed roof, so throw a #3 cam in the crack for added protection, then clip the anchors.

Bruce's Crack

Close to Horn of Plenty is Bruce's Crack, one of the few trad climbs at the Island. Just as its name suggests, this route is a huge crack that heads straight up the wall. Use hand to fist-sized cams. This is a great training route for newbies, as it's easy to see where to put in some protection. There's a small roof at the crux.

Lower Shoshone Canyon

A super fun climb in the Lower Granite area below the road to Yellowstone is Stranahan's on the Single Malt Wall. The start is fairly simple, with a nice landing for a bit of a breather. From here, pull onto another roof moving quickly through the crimps, then jugs, then a leap of faith, or dyno, to the next hold. A waist-level bolt has you covered in case you miss, making this a good route to banish falling jitters. Once you make the dyno, it's easy holds for six feet then a quick traverse left for the anchors.

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