On the west flank of the Bighorns, Highway 14 cuts through this scenic canyon with its massive dolomite escarpments and deep granite gorge. Shell Creek cleaves through the red granite, forming a tight canyon with walls several hundred feet tall in spots. Access into this chasm is limited to the occasional break in the cliffs, or by rapping in and climbing out.
Apparently, there have been a decent amount of rock routes established on the granite, but the cracks are reportedly rather dirty and unappealing. To my knowledge, there are no published sources of information on these routes.
There are also several ice climbs scattered throughout the canyon. Some of these have been frequented for decades, while others are only recently seeing activity. Again, there is no published source of info, so this is currently the best beta available. The climbing history of the area is sparse; I'm trying to investigate this history more thoroughly, and if anyone else has info please contribute it here!
From the tiny town of Shell at the western foot of the Bighorns, drive up Highway 14 into the canyon. Or, drop into the canyon from above, by driving across the mountains on 14 from Ranchester/Dayton on the east side.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Shell Canyon:
The most obvious fat flow on the cliffband. It starts out with a steep curtain, rolling over onto steep slab which gets easier the higher you go. A classic single pitch climb for its grade! Be careful, the topouts to this and the other sisters can often be thin with running water behind the ice; best done after a decent cold spell....[more]Browse More Classics in WY