Ten Sleep Climbing photo

Ten Sleep Climbing Beta 2024: Conquer Wyoming’s Wildest Walls

Last Updated on: 13th May 2024, 10:24 pm

Welcome to where rock meets rodeo. As you wind through the ranch lands of Wyoming and get deposited in the town of Ten Sleep, you’ll definitely feel like you’ve ended up in the old west. Horse arenas, saloons, and cowboy boots make this place feel like it’s frozen in time. But just on the other side of town, the land narrows, the road climbs, and the landscape funnels you into a canyon where you can start to spot small shapes moving up the wall. This is what seeing Ten Sleep climbing for the first time is like.

Big canyon of Ten Sleep climbing

This canyon in the middle of Wyoming is probably one of my favorite places I’ve ever climbed. It has all of the ingredients that make up a great climbing destination: tons of crags, a large camp spot where you can meet other climbers, and a town that offers enough entertainment to keep off days interesting.

As the 560 page guidebook suggests, this place is HUGE. My goal for this overview is to give you some quick beta to start your Ten Sleep climbing trip planning. From where to climb to where to stay to where to eat, this should give you a jumping off point for what to do while you’re out there. But buy a guidebook, look around, and be open to surprise while you’re there. You’ll never know what speaks to you.

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05/03/2024 08:13 pm GMT

Table of Contents

Where is Ten Sleep Wyoming?

The short answer is nowhere. Ten Sleep is in the middle of nowhere. It isn’t close to any major airports — your best bet is Billings, Montana that’s about 3.5 hours away but even that airport is small and you’ll likely have to change planes in Denver.

If you can make it happen, driving is going to be your best bet. Ten Sleep is located off Highway 16 and as itself isn’t a major town. There isn’t a major grocery store there, so you’re best option is heading to the town of Worland which is about 25 minutes west.

The small town vibe of Ten Sleep is part of what gives it charm, but it does make it tough to get to. If you’re flying in and renting a car, then it’s best to plan a longer vacation since you’ll lose a day to traveling on either end.

Best places to climb in Ten Sleep Wyoming

The town itself is located outside of the canyon. If you head east on Highway 16 for about 10 minutes, you hit the base of the canyon and will start to find walls. The Ten Sleep area is huge, so drive time to a particular crag can really vary.

Most of the stuff here is sport climbing though a bit of bouldering exists if you know where to look. There are 1,000s of routes here so the options are endless. You should consider getting a guidebook to help plan out where you want to go based of the style you like to climb.

If you’re looking for a place to get started, here are a couple of my favorite crags out there.

Valhalla Area

This is a large stretch of cliff that encompasses a few really great walls like Vietnam wall, Drugs and Sex, and Superratic Pillar.

Vietnam Wall is an excellent intermediate area with some really great climbs in the 11s. Pussy Control (you’ll find it as redacted on mountain project) is an awesome, pockety 11a that is great entry to the grade. Even if 11s are a breeze for you, it’s a very fun, sustained, pumpy, climb.

Map of Vietnam climbing wall in Ten Sleep Wyoming
Map of Vietnam Wall

Next door is Bikini Girls with Machine Guns (11b) which is just as fun as it sounds. Make it through a low crux around the 3rd bolt to a sustained upper half at the route that doesn’t quit until you hit the anchors. Hanoi Hilton is another great one on this wall clocking in at 11d.

Drugs and Sex wall is stacked with high rated 12a climbs like Kama Sutra and Reverse Cowgirl (can you guess how the wall got its name?) There are a couple of 5.10s on this wall, but it tends to be more advanced.

The nice thing about the Valhalla area is that the cliff band is connected by a trail so you can easily walk from wall to wall to pick climbs.

Circus & Raven Wall

This is another stellar place to climb. There’s more moderates with a couple of high quality 10c’s that are worth climbing. Circus in the wind is a really fun 11- that requires a couple of big moves, offers a couple big rests, and requires some dedication to pull off the final move. If you’re looking for something a bit harder, Circus in my pants is a 12d that earned the grade and will make you work for the send.

Man climbing at Circus wall in Ten Sleep Wyoming
Climbing circus in the wind

Around the corner is Raven wall which doesn’t have quite as many epic climbs. But what it does have is 5 routes all 5.10b or under making it a solid choice for groups that are looking for some variety.

Other great Ten Sleep climbing areas

Again this are is HUGE and it would be impossible to cover all the routes it has to cover. But here are a few additional crags to check out while you’re scouting where you want to climb:

Hound Dog Crag • Great for a group that needs routes stretching from 5.8 to 5.12
Cattle Ranch • Huge area with lots of crags. Endless 4 star routes from 5.11 to 5.12-
Lake Point • Highest area in the canyon. Tons of crags in a beautiful area

Best time of year to climb in Ten Sleep

The Ten Sleep climbing season follows that of most crags in the West — your best options are Spring and Fall. The shoulder seasons are going to provide you with the best shot at mild weather and staying dry.

MonthHighLowRain
March52284
April 60356
May70447
June81525
July 89593
August 87572
September77474
October 63365
Weather in Ten Sleep

Once you hit those mid-summer months, it starts to get really hot making climbing a game of chasing shade. I visited in late June/ early July and still had a blast, but the heat was pretty stifling. Make sure you get early morning starts, have a shady afternoon crag planned, and get the majority of your climbing in before the heat really dials up.

Where to stay while climbing in Ten Sleep

Where you decide to rest you head is a key part of ay climbing trip. It’s where you go to recharge, but also where you might meet potential partners, especially when riding solo. Part of the magic of climbing in Ten Sleep is that it does a good job of cultivating community and attracting climbers from all over looking for partners.

If you’re a solo climber, this is the place to say. The Rock Ranch is nestled at the base of the canyon and is only a short drive up the nearest crag. It’s the spot to gather and camp (think Miguels in the Red River Gorge). With 70 campsites, cabins for rent, and places to park your car, it’s ready to accomodate you in whatever way you prefer. Campsites are only $8 a month.

The Rock Ranch in Ten Sleep Wyoming
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They also boast a social area with free wifi, a bathhouse, a store, and refrigerators to store food. A river runs through the property, that you can also relax in to beat the heat. If you can swing it and get a reservation, this is the spot. There’s a real social vibe and chance to meet other climbers.

Budget option – Free camping in Ten Sleep climbing area

If you don’t feel like dropping the $8 a night at the Rock Ranch (or if it’s all booked out which believe me, happens) there is free camping around Ten Sleep.

One of your best options is camping off Crazy Women Canyon Road. This area has tons of free dispersed camping and access is easy. The only exception is Winter — when there is snow this road is incredibly treacherous and really hard to keep control of you car on even when you have 4 wheel drive and snow tires.

Image of campsite

This option is right in the heart of the climbing area. Beware it is above 9,000 feet so it gets cold at night, even in the summer. The road can be rough, so make sure you have 4 wheel drive. If you only have 2 wheel, you might be able to find a spot to pull off earlier.

Image of Campsite

Comfort option – Hotels & AirBnbs near Ten Sleep climbing area

If you’re flying in, you may not want to pack your tent, stove, and everything else you need to camp. Luckily there are tons of hotels and AirBnbs in the area where you can find a place to stay at a fairly reasonable cost — especially in a large group.

As far as hotels go, The Carter Inn and The Log Cabin Hotel are both good bets. They’re located in town and are a short drive from the crag.

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