This place is desolate and dangerous WYO desert with very few amenities nearby, and zero assistance should you find your pretty-little-self in a bind.
The people are ornery and the land is mean. I don't recommend coming here at all. If the rednecks, miners, roughnecks vagabonds or land doesn't get ya, some dehydrated whacked-out windblown sunbeaten climber just might. . . . Sweetwater Rocks and adjacent areas require LOW-profiles and LOTS of respect and consideration. Keep all fences/gates as you found them. Do not build fires. Adhere to all posted signs. Do not drive off of existing paths (roads). Do not let your dog run around (chances are great that it'll be shot, bitten, trampled or fed upon). Do not take anything from this land. . . and do not leave anything. Good BLM quads are essential (make sure they're up to date). Granite Mtns (Sweetwater) area closures are adjustable and are done so via ranchers and BLM officiales. Great tracts of this area are privately owned; meaning that they are always closed. For example: Lankin Dome BLM as of last year was closed 04-30 thru 06-31 for public AND private lands; between 03-01 thru 04-31 it was closed on private land. So, sometimes private easements are opened, and sometimes they aren't. . . same with public lands; oh, and mining claims too! Pay particular attention to any signage and postings.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
Looking back at Haystack from the final intersecti...
One of the many formations making up Sweetwater Rocks, it is the most westerly of several domes running east to Split Rock. It is easily visible from the highway and displays the usual characteristics of SW --- remote, seldom visited, with a variety of lines on good granite. Ratings tend to be stiff.
The Collins/White guide provides good information on the overall area, and on Haystack. Drive east from Lander on Hwy 287 and pass through Jeffrey City. In approximately ten miles, with the entire Sweetwater Rocks area in view, turn left onto the Macintosh Ranch access road. Continue a short distance to the bridge crossing the Sweetwater River. It would be a considerate move to call the ranch beforehand and request permission to cross the bridge, letting them know what your general plans are and when you might be using it. They have historically been both appreciative of the courtesy and responsive to visitor's plans. The number as of this date is: 307 544-2335. Cross the bridge and continue north on dirt roads, watching for a spur turning east, before reaching the stock pens noted in the Collins guide.
Take the spur, with Haystack obvious and visible on your right as you continue east, with a fence between you and Haystack. Past Haystack you will eventually find a gate through the fence and a road that turns back to the south. Continue in this direction until another obvious two-track turns right, back towards Haystack, the base of which is reached in a few minutes. You've done a big horseshoe drive to get here, which takes about twenty-thirty minutes from the highway, depending on gate closures, road conditions, and vehicle clearance. Nothing special by way of vehicle is required, if it's not muddy and wet. Then, all bets off.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Haystack:
The most obvious natural route on the south face, well towards the west end of the rock. A discontinuous crack rises from the base to a bolted belay at about 120 feet. There are several cruxes, the first right off the deck. One can rappel from the belay anchors, or do a second pitch with a few tricky moves directly above the belay, leading to easier ground and the 'summit'. Descend/scramble westwards to get off. ...[more]Browse More Classics in WY