Sunset on Chimney Rock
Chimney Rock is a well-known landmark on the highway running from Cody, Wyoming to Yellowstone Park. This skinny rock spire rises an impressive 125 feet into the air and is made up of an aggregate rock mixture, which makes for pretty decent holds. However, due to the makeup of the rock, the holds do run the risk of coming loose or falling off.
Located right next to the highway, this is a common spot for tourists to stop and get their pictures taken, but not many people climb this formation. According to Bonney's Guide to the Wyoming Mountains and Wilderness Areas
, Chimney Rock was first climbed in 1958 by two climbers named Kamps and Rearick.
Getting There and Climbing Information
Head west from Cody, Wyoming towards Yellowstone Park on Highway 16. Start marking miles after you exit the third and final tunnel next to Buffalo Bill Dam and travel for just over 33 miles. Chimney Rock is located just to the right off of the highway soon after passing the Blackwater Fire Memorial and Newton Creek Campground; there is a highway sign pointing to it. There is a small area to pull off and park, and Chimney Rock is less than twenty yards from the highway.
The west side Closeup of Chimney Rock
Not being a rock climber myself, I have obviously not attempted to climb this spire. After looking at it closely, it looks to me like the sides with the best holds are the narrow west side and the north side, which faces another rock wall. I have heard that the easiest route is 5.8, with the possibility of harder routes on the other sides.
If anyone has experience climbing this rock or has more knowledge about the routes, please send me a PM and I will add you on as a page owner.
The south side
Chimney Rock is located in the Shoshone National Forest, and there are no fees to use this area.
Campgrounds abound in this area, and they are very busy during the summer months, so advance reservations might be necessary. Rex Hale, Newton Creek, and Eagle Creek Campgrounds are all located within a couple of miles of Chimney Rock.