Rising above the Laramie Valley, just East of the town of Laramie, are the Sherman Granite outcroppings that form a climber’s paradise: Vedauwoo (pronounced “Vee-Duh-Voo”). With a diversity of climbing opportunities that include bouldering and sport climbing, Vedauwoo is primarily known for its trad (traditional) climbing. Vedauwoo is particularly well-suited for those who love crack and off-width climbing. Laramie’s mild summer climate makes Vedauwoo a welcome location to beat the summer heat, but many climbers still prefer a morning or evening climb when the sun is less intense.
While Vedauwoo is not the only area around Laramie that offers great climbing, in this post, we focus specifically on the greater Vedauwoo area given its easy access (both from the highways and the ease of the approaches themselves) and its popularity amongst climbers, both local and nation-wide.
The Nautilus is one of the most popular areas in Vedauwoo, widely recognizable for the large slab balancing from atop the formation. Parking for access to the Nautilus is located just beyond the Vedauwoo Campground. The approach is almost non-existent, with climbs starting just a few hundred yards from the parking area.
Cornelius is right off the parking lot. Walk toward the Nautilus and stay left (West). Located right next to “Easy Jam,” this climb is a great beginner Trad climb.
Lower Progressive (5.9+)
Lower Progressive is a hand crank located on the Southeast side of Nautilus. This crack is easiest to find by first tracking down the detached slab that looks like a giant shark tooth standing on end.
Max Factor (5.11c)
Widely known as one of the best finger cracks in all of Vedauwoo, Max Factor can be found on the far end of the Nautilus (opposite the parking lot). While a difficult climb, it is often pointed out as a route that represents the type of climbing that Vedauwoo is known for.
Walt’s Wall on Turtle Rock
Walt’s Wall is located on the southern end of the Turtle Rock area, just off the Turtle Rock Trail. You’ll find plenty of access from the parking area below the Vedauwoo Campground. These routes see plenty of traffic, and because of this, the rock has worn to a much more friendly level of sharpness over the years. We’d highly suggest Walt’s Wall climbs for your early morning outings as it is sunbaked and hot for most of the day.
Ed’s Crack (5.7)
Edward’s Crack runs top to bottom on Walt’s Wall—you can’t (and shouldn’t) miss it. The second pitch on this route is one of the best in the area.
Walt’s Wall (5.4)
With 3 pitches of beginner-level trad climbing, the Walt’s Wall route (on Walt’s Wall) is a great start to your first Vedauwoo climbing experience.
The Lower Blair Area is composed (mostly) of 3 monolithic formations; Blair I, Blair II, and Blair III. We will toss in which of the Blair formations contains each recommended climb below, but definitely check out Mountain Project (linked below) for detailed information. To get to the Blair climbs, follow Forest Service Road 705 to the Blair Campground. You can also use road 707 to get nearer to some of the climbs as well.
Le Petit Arbre (5.8)
Located on Blair I’s northwest face, Le Petit Arbre is a two-pitch hand crack whose first pitch is often thought to be one of the best moderate climbs in the area.
This route is found on the southern end of Blair III’s northwest face. Intimidation is one of Blair III’s most popular routes. It starts with great hand crack climbing and ends with classic Vedauwoo off-width crack.
Raised on Robbery (5.10b)
Raised on Robbery is a hand and fist crack that slants to the right and can be found right next to “Public Enemy” on Blair I. This route has its first ascent attributed to climbing legend Bob Scarpelli, like so much of the area. That Bob was the first ascent is about all you need to know about the style of climbing you can expect from this route: it is a classic hand and fist crack.
If sport climbing is your thing, you’ll be pleased with the Beehive Buttress. Here you will not only find bolted anchors but less sharp rock than is the norm in the rest of the Vedauwoo area. Beehive is situated in a quiet valley with far smaller crowds than can be typically expected in the rest of the ‘Voo. The climbs here run the gamut in difficulty, from beginner to advanced.
Back to Bucket Country (5.8)
Back to Bucket Country is one of the most well-known routes on Beehive Buttress. It is easy to find tucked just to the left of a large left-facing dihedral where the trail on which you approach meets up with the buttress.
Without a doubt, the routes in Vedauwoo are some of the best crack climbing in the world. For more information, visit our Climbing page.