3 great rock climbing areas in Utah

An aerial view from Ferguson Canyon in Salt Lake County. As fall approaches and temperatures cool, the best time of year for outdoor rock climbing draws closer. Here are some of the best rock climbing destinations near Salt Lake City to explore this fall.

An aerial view from Ferguson Canyon in Salt Lake County. As fall approaches and temperatures cool, the best time of year for outdoor rock climbing draws closer. Here are some of the best rock climbing destinations near Salt Lake City to explore this fall. (Shutterstock)



SALT LAKE CITY — As fall approaches and temperatures cool, the best time of year for outdoor rock climbing draws closer. Here are some of the best rock climbing destinations near Salt Lake City to explore this fall:

Joe's Valley bouldering

Referred to by some as "Utah's gift to the climbing world," Joe's Valley is a remote valley 18 miles west of Orangeville, Emery County, that's filled with world-class bouldering, according to Utah.com. With nearly flat landings and smooth sandstone that's gentle on hands, these easily accessible boulders are merely steps off the main road and are friendly to beginner and expert climbers alike.

To get to Joe's Valley from Salt Lake City, start your journey as though you are driving to Moab and head down U.S. Highway 6 to Price. At Price, exit onto state Route 10 and then west on state Route 29.

You can stop at the famous "Food Ranch" grocery store on your way, which provides normal grocery supplies, climbing gear, and world-class donuts, Utah.com adds. Once past the store, turn right at the "Y" and continue up the canyon where you will find boulders peppering the landscape as you ascend to Joe's Valley Reservoir at the top of the canyon.

Find more Joe's Valley routes and detailed information on Mountain Project.

Ferguson Canyon

Ferguson Canyon, a small side canyon near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, is peppered with dozens of climbs, including lead, trad, and top-rope routes, according to RootsRated. Routes range from easy to extremely difficult, so there is something for everyone.

These rocky grottos are also shaded all day and cooled off by a stream, making this destination ideal for the tail end of summer.

To get to Ferguson Canyon, find a parking spot in the designated parking area on Timberline Drive and hike up the visible dirt road nearby, RootsRated advises. Then proceed past the water tower for another 10 minutes until you arrive at your destination.

Indian Creek: Trad climbing near Moab

Indian Creek is a world-class trad climbing area near Moab. There are beginner routes, but this climbing area is known for its difficulty and, as such, climbers should not go in expecting to climb flawlessly.

In fact, it played a key role in the development of rock climbing as a sport and it is considered a place for climbers to go to prove themselves, Climbing.com notes.

Take the Indian Creek Scenic Drive to get there, according to Utah.com. This scenic byway leads into Canyonlands National Park but rock climbers can find excellent rock climbing in Indian Creek Canyon along the way.

Learn more about climbing in Utah on Mountain Project.


About the Author: Cara MacDonald

Cara MacDonald enjoys both engaging in outdoor recreation and writing about it. Born and raised in Utah, Cara enjoys skiing, rock climbing, hiking and camping. She is passionate about both learning about and experiencing the outdoors, and helping others to learn about and explore nature. She primarily writes Outdoors articles centering around wildlife and nature, highlighting adventure opportunities, and sharing tips and tricks for outdoor recreation.

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