Vedauwoo Recreation Area, just 25 minutes southeast of Laramie, is the perfect place to learn new climbing techniques, sharpen your wide crack climbing skills or watch some aerial acrobatics. Stable weather, grippy rock and a variety of challenges make this an international climbing attraction.
Vedauwoo (pronounced VEE-da-voo) offers something for everyone, most notably, great access. Most formations are a short, flat hike from the roads. There are all styles of climbing to be found here, and with perfect pitches and great anchors, you can train here like nobody’s business. But should you decide to take this challenge, don’t forget the tape. The rock is coarse-grained and very sharp.
Known as Joshua Tree’s little cousin without the crowds, Vedauwoo is located right off of Interstate 80. Just a short drive from the Rockies, Tetons and Devils Tower, some call it the climber’s crossroad of America. Known for its excellent offwidth cracks—most with chains at the top—Vedauwoo yields excellent temperatures in the summer and is the venerable training ground for those prepping for a trip to Yosemite or Devils Tower. Also included exclusively in this one of a kind guide are new sport climbing areas for those who like to clip and go instead of the good old tape and grovel.
Vedauwoo Climbing Information
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Conveniently located just a short drive from Interstate-80, Vedauwoo Recreation Area is known for challenging wide cracks and pleasant summer temperatures. With Devils Tower to the north, Rocky Mountain National Park to the south and the Grand Tetons to the northeast, it’s easy to understand why some call this area the climber’s crossroads.
Vedauwoo rocks offer easy access to some of the best wide crack climbing in the world. There are also crimpy face climbs, abundant boulder problems and bomb-proof anchors for setting up top ropes. The sharp, coarse-grained rock inspires tape and durable clothing in all but the most masochistic of climbers.
The best climbers in the world flock here to test their skills, and their aerial antics and grunting provide entertainment for the casual spectator. Despite hosting some of the most difficult wide crack climbing in the world, this area offers great granite routes for every level of climber.
Rip Chords 5.6
Back to Bucket Country 5.6
Ed’s Crack 5.7
Captain Nemo 5.7
Mother #1 5.8
Lower Progressive 5.9
Friday the 13th 5.10
The Wing 5.12
Christie’s Ultimatum 5.12b
Vedauwoo Climbing History
Wandering nomadic hunters may have scrambled on the striking formations of Vedauwoo, but modern climbing arrived here post-WWII, courtesy of former 10th Mountain Division soldiers. The first guidebook came out in 1966 and described 33 climbs; there are now over 900 established routes in Vedauwoo with new areas constantly evolving. For the most current information, a chat with locals in a Laramie outdoor store, and purchase of the most recent edition of the guidebook, are highly recommended.
History of the Rocks
Vedauwoo is derived from the Arapaho word “bito’o’wu” meaning “earth-born.” The characteristic hoodoos and outcrops of this region are made of 1.4 billion year old Sherman Granite, some of the oldest rock in Wyoming, but still a billion years younger than the Tetons. The fabulous formations are due to an uplift of the Laramie Mountains that began about 70 million years ago, along with the erosion of younger layers of rock and sediment, which continues to this day.
From Laramie, take Interstate-80 East for 16 miles to Exit 329. Turn left onto Vedauwoo Glen Road and follow it for just over a mile, where another left on Road 720 will
take you to the campground.
Fees and Camping Information
Entrance Fee: There is a $5 a day parking fee for the paved lot in the main climbing area.
Camping: The two Forest Service campgrounds near the main climbing area cost $10 a night.
There is also free at-large camping on Forest Service Land in the Vedauwoo area.
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