This crag is located on private property right next to the road. The owners have been kind enough to allow climbers to use their land for recreation. Please respect this so that the area may continue to be accesable.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
Heise (Elephant) Rock is a large volcanic plug located just off Heise-Kelly Canyon Road about a mile before the mouth of the canyon. Heise Rock was first bolted in the 80's by Jeff Hursh and Chuck Oddette, and has some of the hardest climbs in Eastern Idaho.
The rock is fairly solid, depending on which face your choose to climb, and seems to be some type of conglomerate basalt; occasionally pieces may break lose along fractures. The rock is best climbed from late spring through the fall. Winter is suicidal. Snow melt and spring rain keep the area around the crag water logged for a couple of weeks during the early spring.
Routes vary from 5.6+ to 5.13c with most climbs somewhere in the moderate to difficult range; if your looking for more moderate routes head just up the road into Kelly Canyon to Paramount. All routes can be completed with a 50m rope and are somewhere between 35-55 feet high. Rappel anchors are also located above most routes as the rock is frequented by the climbing impaired. This does however allow you to rappel down to the climbing anchors so you can set up top rope on the harder stuff. The sun is always shinning on at least one face, so whether you're looking for sun or shade, you'll be able to find it. Heise Rock also offers a small number of trad climbs for those of who demand an extra thrill.
The area is located on the edge of the Palisades mountain range in Eastern Idaho. There are plenty of places to camp, not to mention world class flyfishing in the nearby Snake river. Restaurants are not prevalent in the area however there is a pizza parlor 1/2 mile back up the road in Heise. If you're not a local you might like to try out Big Judd's in nearby Archer for some of the biggest and greasiest burgers you've ever seen.
This is definitely not a destination spot, but would be a fun place to visit if you happen to pass by on your way to Grand Teton National Park, as it is only a few miles off Hwy 26.
If heading east on Highway 26 from Idaho Falls, turn left when you see the signs for Kelly Canyon Ski Resort (about 17 miles from Hitt Road / Hwy 26 intersection). Continue following the signs until you cross the Snake River. Go right continuing in the direction of Kelly Canyon; after about 1.6 miles you'll clearly see the crag on your left.
If coming from Rexburg, head south along South Yellowstone Highway and turn left right outside of town on Archer Road. Follow this for 12 miles (continuing past Archer) and then turn left following the signs to Kelly Canyon Ski Resort. Continue following the signs until you cross the Snake River. Go right continuing in the direction of Kelly Canyon; after about 1.6 miles you'll clearly see the crag on your left.
please do not drag the picnic tables over to the bottom of the routes to avoid standing in the mud. the land owner has told climbers to no longer climb there, luckily Dean handled it. please spread the word and if you see climbers doing this please inform them that this will have the crag shut down.
I am a climber that has moved here from California. A few days ago my wife and I went to climb Heise and Paramount rock. I noticed that high above Heise was miles of Rock band that looked a few hundred feet high in spots and shear enough. Why has that not been developed. Is the rock good quality. I am always looking for some good multi-pitch fun-longer routes. Any trad climbing interested in checking it out maybe developing some new routes?
Spend some more time getting used to the area. Locally, try southpark, the playground, or midget widget. Maybe take a trip out to box canyon, palisades creek, or teton canyon. You'll forget all about that rotten cliff band.
Unfortunately there's not a ton of traditional climbing out here, but you can find good lines in and around the sport routes.
To be fair, routes that have seen literally thousands of ascents can't accurately be described as dirty, loose, or dangerous. Indeed, one is hard-pressed to imagine a safer crag. Still, the charge is an uncomfortable issue.
Disclaimer: Heise rock isn't really dirty, loose, or dangerous. It's possible Ezra is talking specifically about the junky 5.5ish TR only route on the west side of the rock, or possibly the awful "crack" climbs. And if that's the case, I'd agree. But the majority of the routes are clean, mostly well bolted (what area doesn't have some less than ideal bolting jobs?), and just fun sport climbs. That being said, though it's worth visiting, it's by no means a destination point and $5 is a steep price to pay when there are a lot of other crags nearby.
I would call most of it greasy and slick from the many ascents. There are some great routes on this rock and you can't beat the approach, plus the family-friendly Class 5 climbs on the West side. But sadly, with the added cost and so many other crags being recently developed, this one is losing it's appeal.