Rock Climbing at Q’Emiln Park, Post Falls, Idaho
This lovely little climbing area (pronounced ke-me-lyn) can make an easily accessible and enjoyable weekend trip from Nelson.
After a pleasant 3 hr drive through scenic northern Idaho, the small town of Post Falls is reached. Right in town there is a great riverside beach park, with walking trails through the forest and along the riverbank. These pleasant trails connect four great granite crags each housing 10 or more climbs in the range of 20-30m in height. A great mix of bolted sport routes, mixed, and traditional climbs can be had from 5.4 to 5.12c.
There are an abundance of moderate sport and trad routes, and rockclimbing.com calls it “the best 5.10 and under crag in the northwest”. For example, the first crag on the trail, “Lower Ledge Wall” has 5 great sport routes at 5.7-5.9, a couple of really interesting crack climbs at 5.8-5.9, and some harder 5.11- ish climbs, too. All these can be top-roped if you want to work a hard project.
A little way along the trail brings you to more moderate bolted and trad lines, and a 5-10 min walk further on finds even more to be climbed, some really challenging ones in the higher ranges.
We spent just a ½ day at the crag, which was enough to make us wish we had more time there. The rock was of excellent quality, the routes interesting and fun, the bolting very well thought out and frequent, the trad lines clean with lots of opportunity for good protection, and many of the anchors have been upgraded in the last couple of years through the American “anchor replacement initiative”. The trails are well maintained, and the area is very scenic.
The approach is less than 5 min from the parking lot! In summer there is a small parking fee, but it’s one of those places that obviously puts its fees to good use, as it is very well maintained and clean. On Easter Sunday there were only a handful of people there, no waiting for climbs, although the folks we talked to said in summer it can be busy on the weekends.
The beach looks like it would be a great way to finish a hot summer day at the crags! We did not camp, but we saw signs for nearby camping in the Post Falls area. There are great restaurants and beaches in Coeur d’Alene, just 10 min drive down the interstate, and plenty of hotels in Post Falls. The new paved trail under construction will connect western Coeur d’Alene to the Post Falls recreation areas.
This area is detailed in the book, “Inland Northwest Rockclimbs” by Marty Bland. It is available in Spokane at Mountain Gear, or online.