Frequently Asked Questions

Climbing Closures

Why are the climbs closed?

One of the single most important initiatives in keeping climbing accessible in this area are climbing closures during raptor nesting season. Therefore we close certain climbing areas during nesting season to give the raptors the space they need to thrive.  We are privileged enough to live and climb near the World Center for Birds of Prey, and we support their mission.

How can the BCA close climbing?

Technically these closures are voluntary, the result of violating them could mean that land managers completely close all climbing. This has almost happened in the past in the Treasure Valley, and the work between BCA and land managers strives to strike that balance.

We have worked with land managers over the years and have various MOUs (agreements) with those entities. Our part of the agreement is that we announce closures in some areas during nesting season, and their part of the agreement is they will allow us to climb on those lands.

How do I know what’s closed?

Check our instagram, facebook, and website. In addition we update the local gyms to help us spread the word, and work at add signage at specific climbing areas.

The signs are still up for closures, but social media says open. What should I do?

Chances are the social media is the most up to date (check the posting date!). We are an all volunteer organization so we may be delayed in getting out to the crag to remove the signs. But we are working on it!

Black Cliffs

Does the BCA control the Black Cliffs? Or Table Rock?

No. We work with land managers on maintaining access. We do not manage any climbing areas.

What if I have concerns about the trails at the Black Cliffs?

Please fill out our online comment form.  We may not be able to address it right away, but we will take note for the next trail day, or alert land managers. 

Consider joining us for fall trail days (usually in September or October) or donating to help with tools and snacks

About bolting at the Black Cliffs

  • We cannot add bolts to existing climbs. This is nuanced between respecting the FA (first ascensionist) and the agreements with local land managers. 
  • What we can do: If you find an existing bolt or anchor that needs maintenance please email us at or fill out our online comment form. We will assess on a case by case basis, and as volunteer time allows.

General Black Cliffs Information

  • Many Black Cliffs climbs are mixed use and were bolted with the intention of placing supplemental gear. 
  • Let’s thank those FAs for spending their own money placing the bolts for us. 👏

Local Anchor Cleaning Ethics

In short: know multiple methods because all anchors are different

Never use fixed anchors to top rope. Please use your own gear for top roping to preserve the life of fixed gear. Many climbing areas have a variety of anchor hardware types.

Prepare yourself with the knowledge to assess the situation – there are a variety of anchors, so be prepared for anything. To see where you can learn about outdoor climbing, see the question “How do I get into outdoor climbing?” question below.

Rappelling vs lowering

  • Rappelling can take longer but also lengthens the life of permanently placed gear. 
  • Lowering can be more efficient in high use areas, but can lead to increased maintenance costs by the BCA and/or the community. 
  • Understand how to assess anchors and use safe judgment.

What are these mussy hooks?

Some Black Cliffs climbs have recently been outfitted with mussy hooks thanks to local volunteers and gear provided through ASCA. Mussy hooks are intended for safe and efficient cleaning practices.

To preserve the life of the hardware, we encourage you to use your own gear when setting up a top rope, then removing that gear during final cleaning. 

An example of what mussy hooks look like.

About the BCA

What does the BCA do throughout the year?

Fall: Black Cliffs trail days
Winter: bird monitoring and closures begin
Spring: Swan Falls cleanup with Idaho Power 
Spring and Summer: bird monitoring and closures
Ongoing events: with local gyms tabling, and working with the Birds of Prey on educational events

How can I support the BCA?

  • Help us educate, spread the word.  
  • Let’s be real, donations help.
  • Want to get involved? Come to a board meeting or reach out to us
  • Buy BCA merchandise at events!

Who are the local land managers?

We recognize that we are privileged to climb on the lands of Shoshone-Bannock, Northern Paiute, Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla. Due to current land agreements we work with the current recognized land managers for access.

Black Cliffs: A mix of Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Transportation, Tribal agencies, Fish and Game, Fish and Wildlife Service, and private land owners/managers. We work with land managers on issues and continue to develop relationships with their staff. 

Swan Falls: Idaho Power and Bureau of Land Management. 

Table Rock: a mix of State of Idaho, Idaho State Historical Society, and private land owners/managers.

How do I get into outdoor climbing?

Many of the area gyms offer gym to crag classes, camps and instruction (Asana, The Commons, Vertical View). In addition, Idaho Mountain Guides offers guided trips. (These are not sponsored ads, we are just sharing the information we know).

What are other local climbing organizations?


This is merely an educational FAQ. Climbing is inherently dangerous. 

By reading this you will not hold the BCA responsible in any way, shape, or form for anything that happens to you. You acknowledge that you understand that you should always climb within your ability after carefully judging the safety of the route.