Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in Idaho with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We figured (3 of is) that it is closer to a 7 me round trip, but absolutely beautiful and worth the hike!

I did this hike in June of 2016 with my wife and son. Like that of previous reviews, this is a 10 mile out and back hike. This hike is also more on the difficult side as well. We ran into a number of people that were struggling on this trail that felt it was far harder than the moderate app rating. Personally, my family and I thought it was a beautiful hike with a lot of beautiful scenery. We will definitely hike this trail again if I’m ever in the neighborhood again.

beautiful view

I love this hike a lot.

One of our absolute favorites. We have gone in the summer, spring, and fall. It's gorgeous in the spring/summer with all the flowers

I just wanted to clarify for people this is actually a 10 mile hike. The description is extremely misleading. The 5 miles are not a loop and you will be ascending a steep grade for most the hike. The cave lies near the top of mountain and you will climb another mountain and work your way around the canyon. In addition, the drive to the end of Darby Canyon road involves 4 miles of gravel road that will be slow going to reach the trailhead. Make sure you are prepared and take suitable precaution. I have hiked many areas in the west and i would rate this as a moderate to difficult hike. It it definitely worth doing.

We started the trail with no snow and by the time we made it to the cave there was about 4 inches. Such a beautiful hike and the cave is awesome! The last tenth of a mile is the toughest part but not bad; I would consider the rest of the trail to be easy.

I went on this hike twice in my life while in a church camp. Sadly I've never been to the caves, but the hike is still worth making, it has gorgeous scenery, including some breathtakingly bright, colorful wildflower patches (depending on when you go of course) and the waterfall at the end is nice as well.
Only complain I have is that I remember it being a lot less steep than it actually was

Really beautiful trail. The hike up wasn't too bad, but it was steeper than I was expecting. The climb into the windcave was really steep. Also, don't wear Chacos on this hike. There are a good amount of rocks on the trail, and I caught the front of my sandals caught multiple times

rock climbing
6 months ago

BRUTAL. 'Nuff said.

Good trail for kids about five and older. A consistent but fairly light climb, terminating with a waterfall and access to the wind caves.

One of my favorite hikes in the area. Not only is it a rigorous uphill battle with some nice exposed class 3 scrambling, at the end you find yourself at the highest point in the state!

I'd recommend going in August, and starting at the trailhead early in the morning before daybreak. If you can make it to the tree line in time, you'll see the shadow of Borah creeping across the valley below. Also, an early start will get you to the top before the heat of the day arrives in full force, and give you time to get off the top before any afternoon thunderstorms arrive.

Chicken Out Ridge isn't as bad as it sounds. As you ascend the ridge, travel up through the obvious notch, after which you can traverse around the right side until you reach the transition between the brown rock and the grey rock. At that point, stick to the top of the ridge (avoid the temptation to try and traverse around the ridge on the right side). The downclimb to the snow crossing is simple, as the holds are obvious and bomb proof. There will be a well beaten path across the snow by August. Earlier in the season an ice axe and maybe crampons would be advisable.

The last push to the summit involves some mild scrambling, and there's a lot of loose material - so watch for rocks dislodged by anyone ahead of you.

6 months ago

++Ice Cave to Wind Cave++
Been going to the Wind Cave since I was a kid. There's an ice entrance to the cave 1 mile east of the Wind Cave entrance. Multiple ice waterfalls, goes pretty deep, and you come out the Wind cave. You'll need ropes, harnesses, crampons (ice waterfalls get SLICK), ice picks, warm clothes, and someone who's been there (with a map). It can get labyrinthine right in the middle, getting stuck figuring out where to go is bad, especially with the ice. Cave warms up the closer you get to the wind entrance (or in this case, exit), but the wind picks up too. If you have a wetsuit or wetsuit bottoms, those are handy to cross the aptly named Crotch Lake. You don't want to try punching through the cave system all the way until the ice plug has melted (a small choke point at the base of the largest ice waterfall, only clear during the warmest months of the year).

++ Wind Cave, in and out ++
You'll need a helmet. Bike helmets are fine, duct tape a headlamp to the top. Always keep 3 working sources of light on you (even if you're not using them all). One time I was in this cave and I had 2 lights fail while we were a ways in and had to carry a flashlight in my mouth to see. Glad I had it.

The floor is made of sharper rocks. Other caves, I'd say knee pads are optional, but this cave you want at least one. Gloves, long sleeved shirt (whicking material is best), long pants are all the rest that you need to have a good safe time. If you're going in, I'd recommend groups no larger than 4. The entrance is windy because the cave gets quite small at the start, which channels all the air. Tight space means slower moving, wind means drop in body temperature.

There's a pit that you'll reach in the cave with anchors for ropes. Crossing the pit is fun. You can tie a rope spanning it to speed things up on the way out. Bring harnesses for safety, the pit can be wet. I've freehanded it, but looking back, that was rather stupid. After the pit, is a section I call the Labarynth. Have a system to mark the way out as you go in so you don't get turned around too bad. This area is fun, you'll find offshoots that have more delicate formations. If in doubt, listen for the river. Follow the river out.

++ General Notes ++
I find cave expeditions work out best here when you backpack in. There are a number of sites established at the base of the cave slope, all with reasonable access to water.

Bear country, of course. Bring a bear bag, be responsible. I've seen bears up here multiple times.

Don't piss/shit in the cave. There's very little to break that down. One time, in the wind cave, I thought i discovered some kind of miracle of life. A tiny delicate mushroom on a rock. Then i realized the rock was covered in a brown liquid. It was a shit mushroom. :( Take an empty gatorade bottle and pack your shit/piss out. I named mine Mr. Peabody. Worked like a charm.

6 months ago

Very convenient to get to, and you still get to experience some beautiful backcountry scenery. We also were able to find a very good patch of huckleberries. Highly recommend checking this one out. Make sure to see the views from the ridge line hike up to Ward Peak.

Great hike! The cave and waterfall are beautiful, as is the entire way up. I went in the cave as far as the ledge that requires rappelling gear. Make sure to have warm clothes if you want to explore in the cave - it's freezing! Also be prepared for tight squeezes and army crawling through some parts. Headlamps strongly recommended. Great experience!

This is a 10 mile hike, 5 miles to the top and 5 miles back. I thought it was more challenging than previous reviews stated, but I carried my 30lb toddler on my back. We only made it 1 1/2miles up the trail before turning around. Very pretty, but come prepared for an all day hike

Flowers were past their peak, however, there were still plenty in bloom to make the trip enjoyable all the way to the cave. my seven-year-old daughter made it with minimal complaining. I loved how many dogs were along the trail. I would recommend this trail.

Definitely worthwhile. We hiked the trail the day before the eclipse and it was very crowded. Not too steep with good views most of the way. Bring a light and an extra layer if you want to explore the cave since it's pretty cool inside.

Beautiful trail. The elevation gain was not as bad as I thought it would be. It was very crowded when we went but it was still nice.

Beautiful hike!!! nice trail big cedars.

This trail is at least 9 miles round trip. Beautiful views and the wind cave and waterfall at the end are worth the trips. Take plenty of water.

Excellent and definitely moderate with steep sections. We logged 3.6 according to two fitbits and 2000 ft elevation gain. Trail in excellent shape. Take exit 26 off I 90 then 6.2 mi on gravel road. TH obvious on right side.

7 months ago

Kicked my butt, but loved every minute of it!! So worth it!

A beautiful hike with amazing wildflowers. Hike was 7 miles round trip from the parking lot. Plan enough time to picnic at the top and enjoy the amazing mountains.

This was a beautiful hike the entire time. The cave and waterfall at the end are so worth it! It took us about 2.5 hours to hike up with some stops and about an hour down. We also found an awesome camp spot near the trailhead by a creek. Will definitely be back to explore more.

Great trail. I see why it is so highly recommend. Beautiful hike up to cave with all the meadows in bloom and the cave is awesome. It's a great way to spend 5-6 hours of your day.

Totally worth the hike up!

This was an awesome hike and I will definitely do it again. I went with my 2 teenage sons and a nephew. It took us 2.5 hours to reach the cave. We explored the cave and hung out by the waterfall for about an hour. It took us 1.5 hours to get back to our car. So plan for about 5 hours. We brought 3 16.9 oz water bottles each and we ran out. I would suggest 5 water bottles per person. The boys didn't bring sweatshirts like I did and they really wished they had. Make sure every person has a flashlight. It wasn't fun or safe in the dark cave with loose rocks without enough lighting. Don't forget your bear spray. People have seen bears walking through the beautiful meadows. Come prepared and you will have a great experience.

My father and I did this hike last year in early-mud August. It's an incredible hike and incredibly rewarding. The trail kicks your butt right from the get go, so definitely stretch out before embarking on a summit attempt. This site has the round trip mileage listed at 7.5, but that's only one way. It is 7.5 miles to the summit and 7.5 grueling miles back to your car. Start early, bring lots of water and snacks. we stayed the night at the trail head and then started climbing in the dark around 6 am and returned to our car at roughly 4pm. It's a trek to get to the top. I would not recommend it to people who have not climbed/hiked in this area or similar terrain before.

7 months ago

It was an amazing time spending 6 days out there. Well groomed trail amazing camping spots. They hike was rough getting in a lot of hills and packing for 6 days made it difficult but well worth it

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