Sunday, September 18, 2011

Massacre Rocks Idaho Closure - Act Now!

Massacre Rocks is a climbing area located on basalt bands above the Snake River in south-central Idaho. The area offers hundreds of bolted sport routes ranging from 30 feet to over 200 feet in length. The climbing spans a wide range of grades, is surpisingly varied, and offers a great destination from late fall to spring when the higher elevations in our region are too cold. Furthermore, the access and camping are free, and the atmosphere is refreshingly relaxed, friendly and open.

Now all of this is threatened. The BLM is moving rapidly forward with plans to close access to most of Massacre's climbing. If ever there was a time to send an email or letter, THIS IS IT! Even if you've never climbed at Massacre, even if you are Canadian and/or live in New Zealand, help speak up for your rights as a climber. Add your voice to let the BLM know that climbing must be preserved at Massacre.

Email your comments to If you can send your email by Sept. 22, that would be great. But sending any message, any time, will help a lot. Your email can be as brief as "I oppose the closure of Massacre Rocks!"

Remember, the BLM may not know the number of climbers who travel to and enjoy Massacre. Let them know that you are one of the many who value your access to these public lands.

Missoula's Dave Jones, who participated in the major push of route development at Massacre, and who has been tracking the closure, has provided the following summary on the climbing area. Below that are links where you can learn more and express your concern.
What’s the Word on Massacre??

Climbing at Massacre Rocks in Southern Idaho started in the late ‘80’s when a group of locals mainly from Pocatello went looking for some new crags closer to home than The City of Rocks. The first trips to Massacre involved crossing the Snake River at Massacre Rocks State Park just off Interstate 86 about 30 miles west of Pocatello.  Later the lads figured out how to drive in from the north after crossing the river at the American Falls Dam.  This was a welcome change because it avoided having to carry heavy climbing packs in a canoe across a stretch of water that was could become fairly unruly when the winds blew up or down stream.  A guide book to the area was published in 1999 by Pat and Dan Spurlock of Pocatello with the Disclaimer: If you paid for this guide you got ripped off!  The guide was later taken over by Bruce Black of Pocatello and hosted on the Idaho State University Outdoor Program website to make sure it was free for anyone who wanted the information.

Access Fund Article:

Notice of Intent:

BLM info: post:

American Falls Chamber of Commerce
Tell the merchants of American Falls about the business they'll lose when climbers no longer shop in their stores and eat at their restaurants when traveling through their community on the way to the rocks.

Here are a few photos showing the climbing and environment at Massacre: