Disclaimer: “Backcountry Zones” is by no means any sort of guide book. Rather, it’s a broad, very broad sometimes, overview of areas in the Jackson Hole backcountry. Areas described in these pages are meant to give readers a beginning to their backcountry adventures, rather than a specific plan.
I’ll just begin by reiterating the disclaimer: this is by no means a guide book, if you plan on doing a lot of climbing in and around Jackson, might I suggest actually buying a guide book. That said, the amount of easily accessible sport climbing close to Jackson is fairly limited. Blacktail Butte, which is just north of Dornan’s is probably as accessible as it gets for the Jackson area. The area has about as nice of a backdrop as you could ask for, with amazing views of the Tetons as well as the Snake River.
While the turnout isn’t very well marked, there is a large, developed parking lot just north of the park entrance that you might blow by the first time. From the parking lot it’s a short walk up a developed trail to several different walls. There’s a mixture of trad and sport routes, but it should be noted that the majority of the sport routes are more difficult (mostly 5.10s, 5.11s, and 5.12s).
There’s also some top-rope options, which makes it a little more user friendly. Of the popular sport climbing areas close to Jackson, it probably offers the least amount of options for novice climbers. Although challenging, even if you’re climbing isn’t that great it’s not a bad place to hang out all afternoon and take in the views.