Ten Sleep Canyon: The best of Wyoming sport climbing
Ten Sleep Canyon has hundreds of high quality rock climbs on some of the best limestone in the world: the Bighorn Dolomite formation of the Ordovician Era. For decades this was a backwater area climbed mostly by a small group of locals. But over the past decade Ten Sleep Canyon has become something of an international sport climbing destination because of its high concentration of fun climbs, safe bolting, and relative ease of access. Most recently, the canyon gained notoriety from a major controversy over hold manufacturing that led to a USFS moratorium on all route development.
Our aim is not simply to capitalize on the growing popularity of climbing in Ten Sleep. First of all, we provide much needed instruction for a growing number of new climbers visiting this area. Second, our guides keep people safe, set an example of stewardship, and mitigate impacts through direct cooperation with land managers. In addition, we work to improve relations between traveling climbers and the local community by increasing the economic payout of destination tourism, making climbing in Ten Sleep more family friendly, and introducing more locals to rock climbing.
Ten Sleep Canyon at a glance:
Mostly single pitch sport climbs
Beginner through advanced with tons of intermediates for developing climbers
Techy slab, steep jugs, pocket pulling
Summer and fall
Afternoon in the shade
Cabins, developed campsites, dispersed camping
Hiking, biking, trail running, swimming, fishing
Classic climbing routes in Ten Sleep:
- Home Alone (5.8, 95’) – One of the first routes ever bolted in Ten Sleep! The name refers to how the “godfather” of Ten Sleep, Stan Price, bolted this climb while lead soloing, ground up, without hooks. These days there are more bolts on the climb to make it safer, but just spacious enough to make it interesting! This moderate classic features excellent movement, a short approach, and awesome positioning overlooking the lower canyon.
- Water into Wine (5.9, 85’) – This picturesque route climbs right next to Leigh Creek Falls, following a prominent red streak of mineral deposits riddled with two-finger pockets. The water has worn off much of the friction from the face, forcing you to climb pocket to pocket. Hence why many feel this route is harder than its neighbors to the right, but note the original grade of this climb was 5.7. Also come back in six months and this route becomes a beautiful ice climb!
- Death Flake from Hell (5.10a, 95’) – A steep line of massive jugs wandering in and out of a major crack system, this is many folks’ favorite 5.10 in the canyon (or anywhere for that matter!). It’s worth the walk just for this climb, but it’s also an excellent warmup for the harder routes at the Wall of Denial and throughout the greater Dry Ten Sleep Creek area.
- Munsterlander (5.11c, 90’) – Hands down the best line on one of the coolest walls of the lower canyon, this climb features fun movement following a broken crack system on great holds. No real hard moves, the crux is fighting the pump. Be sure to rest when you can and enjoy one of Mike Decker’s finest routes in the canyon!
Courses available in Ten Sleep:
Resources for planning your trip to Ten Sleep:
- Guidebook: Ten Sleep Aerospace Society Guide (not for profit)
- Nearby accommodations: Ten Sleep RV Park, Meadowlark and Deerhaven Lodges, Ten Sleep Rock Ranch, Leigh Creek USFS Campground
- Food and drink: Sleepy Coyote Bar and Cafe, Ten Sleep Brewing Company, Ten Sleep Saloon and Restaurant
- Groceries, coffee, and supplies: Dirty Sally’s General Store
- Gas: The Pony Express
- Rest day attractions: Castle Gardens Scenic Area, Medicine Lodge State Park and Archaeological Site, Washakie Museum, Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming Dinosaur Center
Interested in climbing with us in Ten Sleep Canyon? Send us an email with your name, email address, and brief description of what you’re looking for.