About the book
The City of Rocks and Castle Rocks State Park is your essential companion for the amazing granite climbing in the high desert of southern Idaho, one of the most popular summer rock-climbing areas in the Rocky Mountain West. Other landmarks have been christened “City of Rocks,” but to climbers this one is THE City. It’s been called America’s premiere granite sport-climbing area — and just as often praised for its unique trad climbing. With more than 1000 routes to choose from, you can crimp overhanging patina, grunt up an offwidth, cruise a multi-pitch 5.8, or summit a dramatic spire — all within a short walk of your campsite. Nearby you’ll find historic inscriptions, hikes, mountain biking, and the funky Western town of Almo to keep you supplied and entertained on rest days.
Also included here for the first time is the sweet climbing at nearby Castle Rocks State Park. With a different, quieter vibe than the roadside crags in the City, Castle Rocks is a worthy destination in itself, with over 300 routes up to three pitches long, featuring many moderate climbs with a more “modern,” novice-friendly equipping style.
Dave Bingham has been chronicling the climbing at City of Rocks since the 1980s, but this is the breakthrough edition, with full-color cliff photographs throughout and excellent maps that put an end to the days of wandering lost in search of your desired crag. The action photography alone will have you planning your trip immediately.
- City of Rocks
- Castle Rocks State Park
About the author
Born on Long Island, NY, Dave Bingham spent his childhood in the Northeast, learning to ski and climb in his early teens before moving out West in the 1970s. He spent summers in Yosemite and winters near Sun Valley, Idaho, guiding rock and teaching cross-country skiing and soon making his permanent home in the Sun Valley area. Dave lives in Hailey, with his wife Lisa, where he runs a log-home chinking business, Dave Bingham Chinking. He still drags out his college-age-and-younger children Tara, Cameron, Jack, and Kate on a variety of mountain adventures.
Dave’s curriculum vitae in adventure sports is impressive: a lifelong athlete and competitor, he has won many Nordic ski and running races in Idaho, and has placed as high as 3rd (1980) in the famous Pikes Peak Marathon. In 1988 and 1990 he won the notorious NBC Survival of the Fittest contest, an old-school, now-defunct version of today’s American Ninja Warrior — but held outside in much more dangerous terrain, featuring stunts such as speed rappelling, whitewater swimming, downhill running, and a log-rolling/stick-fighting battle thing. Dave went on to enter the even more grueling BBC Arctic Survival comp, winning in 1990 and 1992. Dave also set the speed record for ascending all nine of Idaho’s peaks over 12,000 feet: 38 hours, besting the previous record by two days (check out the current record holders).
On the rock-climbing front, Dave is a longtime and prolific new-router, with over 200 first ascents up to 5.13, spread over 30+ years, in the City of Rocks alone. Though an “early adopter” of the sport-climbing ethic in the mid 1980s, Dave is a true all-arounder, with many trad ascents in the City, the Elephant’s Perch in the Sawtooths, and farther afield. Though still putting up new routes, Dave is now more of a mentor on the Idaho climbing scene.
In addition to authoring eight editions of the climber’s guide to City of Rocks, Dave is also the author of Idaho Underground, an eclectic guide to southern Idaho crags and boulders.
- City of Rocks
- 2016 Wolverine Publishing
- by Dave Bingham
- 312 full-color pages