Here Intermountain West covers the area between Canadian and US Pacific ranges (Coast Mountains, Cascades and Sierra Nevada) in the west and Rocky Mountains system in the east. The areas are spread between the the states of British Columbia, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Both Utah and particularly Colorado have several ranges that belong to Rocky Mountains which are excluded from this section. The deserts have some spectacular rock formations. The peaks are generally not as high as those on Pacific Cordillera or Rockies but some desert areas are fairly well known rock climbing destinations.

  • British Columbia Interior The main subranges are Skeena Mountains, Stikine Plateau and Cassiar Mountains.
  • Columbia Mountains Columbia Mountains are located close to Rocky mountains in in western part of US and Canada being located in the US states of Idaho and Washington and southeastern part of Canadian British Columbia. The area consists of several smaller groups:
  • Columbia Plateau
  • Great Basin Ranges Great Basin Ranges are located mainly in the state of Nevada with parts extending to Oregon, Idaho, Utah and California. The main cities of the area are Salt Lake City on the NE edge and Las Vegas in SE. Despite some of the peaks being very high reaching well above 4000m (White Mountain Peak, 4344m), the areas are not well known for mountain climbing. That being said, some of the areas are well known rock climbing destinations with Red Rocks (in Snake Range of Nevada) probably the best known one.
  • Colorado Plateau Colorado Plateau ranges are located mainly on Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. The highest peak is Humphreys Peak (3852m). The most famous climbing destinations are likely Zion National Park, Indian Creek and Moab, all of which have some stunning rock climbs.
  • Southwest Basins and Ranges "Southwest Basins and Ranges" is not really a single area; rather it consists of large number of small ranges located in are located due south of Colorado Plateau and Southern Rocky Mountains. The ranges extend from southern Arizona in the west through southern New Mexico to far western Texas. In the south the group extends Mexican state of Sonora. The highest peak of the area is Sierra Blanca Peak (3652m). The best known climbing area in SE New Mexico is bouldering mecca Huaco Tanks.

Columbia Mountains

Columbia Mountains are located close to Rocky mountains in in western part of US and Canada being located in the US states of Idaho and Washington and southeastern part of Canadian British Columbia. The area consists of several smaller groups:

  • Cariboo Mountains The northernmost group of Columbia Mountains. The highest peaks of the range is Mount Sir Wilfrid Laurier (3516m)
  • Monashee Mountains Monashee Mountains is long north-South Range to the west of Selkirks and south of Cariboo Mountains. The highest peak of the range is Mount Monashee (3274m).
  • Selkirk Mountains The Selkirk Mountains run north to south between Monashee Mountains in the west and Purcell Mountains and Rocky Mountain Trench in the west. The range is located mostly in British Columbia but it extends into US states Idaho and Washington(Spokane). Northern part of the range is significantly higher than the southern part and all highest peaks are located there. Northern Selkirks are divided into two by a road through Roger's Pass. Far North Selkirk Mountains features Mount Sir Sandford (3519m), the highest peak of the range. South of the Pass lie Revelstoke Ranges and Glacier National Park ranges. The latter one with Mount Dawson (3377m) and Mount Sir Donald (3284m) being probably the best known part of the Selkirks.
  • Purcell Mountains Separated from Canadian Rockies located further east by 600-mile-long Rocky Mountain Trench. Purcell Mountains is the main climbing objective of Columbia Mountains. The highest part of Purcell Mountains is Farnham-Horsethief Area culminating at Mount Farnham (3497m). However, somewhat lower Bugaboos is the main climbing destination. The area is known for its sharp needles offering excellent alpine rock climbs.
  • Green, Randall & Bensen, Joe: Bugaboo Rock - A Climbing Guide, 2nd edition. Isbn: 9780898867954. Mountaineers Books, 2003.
  • Chris; Piche, Marc Atkinson: The Bugaboos Guide - Rock and Alpine Climbs in the Bugaboo Spires and Vowells. Isbn: 9780973303513. Elaho Publishing Corporation, 2003.
  • Edwards, J. Gordon: Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park, 2nd edition. Isbn: 9780878421770. Falcon, 1991.

Selkirk Mountains

The Selkirk Mountains run north to south between Monashee Mountains in the west and Purcell Mountains and Rocky Mountain Trench in the west. The range is located mostly in British Columbia but it extends into US states Idaho and Washington(Spokane). Northern part of the range is significantly higher than the southern part and all highest peaks are located there. Northern Selkirks are divided into two by a road through Roger's Pass. Far North Selkirk Mountains features Mount Sir Sandford (3519m), the highest peak of the range. South of the Pass lie Revelstoke Ranges and Glacier National Park ranges. The latter one with Mount Dawson (3377m) and Mount Sir Donald (3284m) being probably the best known part of the Selkirks.

Purcell Mountains

Separated from Canadian Rockies located further east by 600-mile-long Rocky Mountain Trench. Purcell Mountains is the main climbing objective of Columbia Mountains. The highest part of Purcell Mountains is Farnham-Horsethief Area culminating at Mount Farnham (3497m). However, somewhat lower Bugaboos is the main climbing destination. The area is known for its sharp needles offering excellent alpine rock climbs.

  • Glacier National Park
  • Bugaboos Bugaboos, located in Bugaboos Provincial Park in the core of Purcell Mountains, is considered to be the premiere destination for alpine rock climbing in Canada and one of the top places in whole North America.
  • Edwards, J. Gordon: Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park, 2nd edition. Isbn: 9780878421770. Falcon, 1991.

Bugaboos

Bugaboos, located in Bugaboos Provincial Park in the core of Purcell Mountains, is considered to be the premiere destination for alpine rock climbing in Canada and one of the top places in whole North America.

Main convenient center for the area is Brisco. Conrad Kain hut provides convenient accommodation in the range. Climbing season lasts from early June to mid September with July and August considered the best months.

The reason for Bugaboos' (or the Bugs') fame are the granite towers. Probably the best known climbs, NE Ridge of Bugaboo Spire and Choinard-Beckey on Howser Tower are listed among "50 Classic Climbs of North America". Most classic climbs of the Bugs are:

  • Bugaboo Spire, NE Ridge
  • Bugaboo Spire, Kain route
  • South Howser Tower, West face, "Chouinard-Beckey"
  • Pigeon Spire, West Ridge
  • Green, Randall & Bensen, Joe: Bugaboo Rock - A Climbing Guide, 2nd edition. Isbn: 9780898867954. Mountaineers Books, 2003.
  • Chris; Piche, Marc Atkinson: The Bugaboos Guide - Rock and Alpine Climbs in the Bugaboo Spires and Vowells. Isbn: 9780973303513. Elaho Publishing Corporation, 2003.

Great Basin Ranges

Great Basin Ranges are located mainly in the state of Nevada with parts extending to Oregon, Idaho, Utah and California. The main cities of the area are Salt Lake City on the NE edge and Las Vegas in SE. Despite some of the peaks being very high reaching well above 4000m (White Mountain Peak, 4344m), the areas are not well known for mountain climbing. That being said, some of the areas are well known rock climbing destinations with Red Rocks (in Snake Range of Nevada) probably the best known one.

  • Northwest Great Basin Ranges The highest peak and sole 3000er is Eagle Peak (3015m).
  • North Great Basin Ranges East of Northwest Great Basin Ranges and south of city of Boise. Lots of peaks somewhat above 3000m.
  • West Central Nevada Ranges
  • East Central Great Basin Ranges
  • East Great Basin Ranges West and south of Salt Lake City.
  • West Great Basin Ranges The highest part of Internmountain West is White Mountains range, located in eastern California, close th Bishop. The range is separated from nearby Sierra Nevada by Owens Valley.
  • South Great Basin Ranges The highest part of South Great Basin Ranges is Spring Mountains located just to the west of las Vegas. The ranges has number of peaks rising above 3000m culminating at Mount Charleston (officially Charleston Peak, 3633m). The mountains are not particularly attractive for mountaineering. However, the peaks have some rock faces well suited to rock climbing. Main climbing destination is Red Rocks, located just 20 miles west from Las Vegas in Spring Mountains.
  • Mojave Desert Ranges

South Great Basin Ranges

The highest part of South Great Basin Ranges is Spring Mountains located just to the west of las Vegas. The ranges has number of peaks rising above 3000m culminating at Mount Charleston (officially Charleston Peak, 3633m). The mountains are not particularly attractive for mountaineering. However, the peaks have some rock faces well suited to rock climbing. Main climbing destination is Red Rocks, located just 20 miles west from Las Vegas in Spring Mountains.

  • Brock, Roxanna & Mcmillen, Jared: Red Rock Canyon - A Climbing Guide (Climbing Guides). Isbn: 9780898864861. Mountaineers Books, 2005.
  • Barnes, Greg: Red Rocks Climbing - Supertopos. Isbn: 9780967239163. Supertopo, 2004.

Colorado Plateau

Colorado Plateau ranges are located mainly on Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. The highest peak is Humphreys Peak (3852m). The most famous climbing destinations are likely Zion National Park, Indian Creek and Moab, all of which have some stunning rock climbs.

  • Roan Cliffs
  • Central Utah Plateaus Due South of Salt lake City and Provo and west of Canyonlands. The main attraction to climbers is Zion National Park with long sandstone routes, like ultra classic Moonlight Buttress.
  • Canyonlands Canyonlands is located in NE corner of Colorado Plateau, connected to San Juan Mountains of Southern Roncky Mountains. The area is rock climbing destination par excellence with well known Indian Creek and Moab attracting rock climbers.
  • Grand Canyon Plateaus
  • Navajo Area Located to the east of Grand Canyon. The most famous objective of the area is Shiprock.
  • Central Arizona Highlands Range located SE of Grand Canyon. Main city is Flagstaff. Main climbing destination of the area is Sedona.
  • Southeast Colorado Plateau
  • Bjornstad, Eric: Desert Rock I Rock Climbs in the National Parks, 1st edition. Isbn: 9780934641920. Falcon, 1996.
  • Bjornstad, Eric: Rock Climbing Desert Rock IV - The Colorado Plateau Backcountry: Utah, 1st edition. Isbn: 9780762711451. Falcon, 2003.
  • Green, Stewart M.: Best Climbs Moab - Over 140 of the Best Routes in the Area (Best Climbs Series), First Edition Edition edition. Isbn: 9780762760589. Falcon Guides, 2011.
  • Bird, Bryan; McNamara, Chris & Puryear, Joseph: Zion Climbing - Free and Clean, 1st edition. Isbn: 9780976523550. Supertopo, 2009.
  • Bjornstad, Eric: Rock Climbing Desert Rock III - Moab to Colorado National Monument, 1st edition. Isbn: 9781560447542. Falcon, 1999.
  • Green, Stewart M.: Rock Climbing Utah (State Rock Climbing Series), Second Edition Edition edition. Isbn: 9780762744510. Falcon Guides, 2012.
  • Bloom, David: Indian Creek - A Climbing Guide (Camalot Edition), 3 Edition edition. Isbn: 9781892540805. Sharp End Publishing, 2013.
  • Bloom, David & Wolfe, Erik: Sedona Rocks! a Climber's Guide, 1st edition. Isbn: 9781453727881. K. Daniels Associates, 2012.

Southwest Basins and Ranges

"Southwest Basins and Ranges" is not really a single area; rather it consists of large number of small ranges located in are located due south of Colorado Plateau and Southern Rocky Mountains. The ranges extend from southern Arizona in the west through southern New Mexico to far western Texas. In the south the group extends Mexican state of Sonora. The highest peak of the area is Sierra Blanca Peak (3652m). The best known climbing area in SE New Mexico is bouldering mecca Huaco Tanks.

  • Northwest Arizona Ranges Located to the north of North Sonoran Desert Ranges. Las vegas is located in the NW corder of the range, Phoenix in SE corner.
  • North Sonoran Desert Ranges
  • South Sonoran Desert Ranges SW extremity of Intermountain West ranges. Almost entirely located in Mexico, to the NW of Sierrra Madre Occidental.
  • Southeast Arizona Ranges Located between North Sonoran Desert Ranges in the west and Southwest New Mexico Ranges in the east. In the south the area borders on the northern reaches of Mexican Plateau.
  • Southwest New Mexico Ranges
  • Southeast New Mexico Ranges The best known climbing area in SE New Mexico is bouldering mecca Huaco Tanks.
  • Trans-Pecos Texas Ranges SE extremity of Intermountain West ranges. Almost entirely located in Mexico, NW of Sierra Madre Oriental.
  • Burns, Cameron M.: Selected Climbs in the Desert Southwest - Colorado and Utah. Isbn: 9780898866575. Mountaineers Books, 1999.
  • Burns, Cameron M.: Selected Climbs in the Desert Southwest - Colorado and Utah. Isbn: 9780898886528. Mountaineers Books, 1999.
  • Green, Stewart M.: Rock Climbing Arizona (Classic Rock Climbs Series), 1st edition. Isbn: 9781560448136. Falconguides, 1999.