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Rock climbing in Utah Valley: What you need to know

Rock climbing in Utah Valley: What you need to know

(Explore Utah Valley)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

In Utah Valley, it's easier than you think to find a rock climbing adventure you're sure to enjoy, regardless of your experience or skill level. Whether you're bouldering through Rock Canyon or scaling limestone walls in American Fork Canyon, there are a few things you should know about rock climbing in Utah Valley.

Know where to go: Rock Canyon

In both real estate and in rock climbing, location is everything. Fortunately, Utah Valley hosts some of the state's best climbing spots. In Provo, you'll find climbing primarily in Rock Canyon, the canyon boasts nearly 500 routes, from "quartzite rock that offers some fun challenging small edged climbs as well as a fair amount of large juggy climbs," according to provo.org.

Some of the canyon's more famous spots include ACDC Wall, which entails several bolted routes depending on your abilities and desired degree of difficulty.

The most popular crag in the canyon, however, is The Kitchen. The site has notably easy access; in fact, you can park in the main lot of the canyon. Routes up The Kitchen vary from 5.4 to 5.10, all within a 20-foot alcove

Know where to go: American Fork Canyon

More experienced climbers will flock to American Fork Canyon, where steep limestone is the main attraction. The most popular – and most difficult – spot in the canyon for climbers is Hell Cave. The "large, smoke-stained cave is the centerpiece of the Hell Area and features many radically steep classics." Hell Cave boasts 13 climbs ranging from 5.7 to 5.11

Outside the Hell Area, you'll find dozens of climbs. In fact, you can find more than 150 routes in American Fork Canyon. To make the most of the classic, pocketed limestone, head over to Mountain Project for a comprehensive list of the most popular, high-rated routes.

Rock climbing in Utah Valley: What you need to know
Photo: Explore Utah Valley

Get the season right

While climbing is always a good idea during the sunny spring and summer months, don't let the cold keep you off the rocks. If you've got the skills, consider taking advantage of the world-renowned ice climbing in Provo Canyon – a canyon Ascentionism.com calls "the state's ice-climbing mecca."

Provo Canyon boasts ice climbing spots for all, from WI-2 routes, perfect for novices, to the more treacherous Stairway to Heaven.

Find the right team

While climbing can be an independent sport, there's something to be said for finding the right rock-climbing partner or team – after all, in a very literal sense, your team is there to help keep you alive. Sport Rock provides a few pointers when determining the characteristics you want in a climbing partner. First, they'll need to have attention to detail—especially where safety is concerned. You'll also want someone willing to use safety commands, possess stellar knot-tying abilities and belay skills, and someone who can perform in stressful situations.

Of course, it's also important to have a good time, so make sure your team includes people you know and like.

Rock climbing in Utah Valley: What you need to know
Photo: Explore Utah Valley

Safety first

From sheer, steep limestone to world-famous ice, climbing in Utah Valley is an epic adventure. But regardless of your experience and skill level, safety is always paramount. Most climbers understand the basics of climbing safety, but if you could use a brush-up (and most people could), Trip Savvy has a high-level checklist to make sure you're not overlooking a critical safety practice.

For example, be sure to always wear a helmet when climbing – in or out of Utah Valley. Additionally, always check your harnesses and knots, and those of your partner or team.

Using the right ropes and always keeping your head in your climb is also critical. And of course, always bring enough – and appropriate – gear for your trip.

If you're ready for another epic climbing season, it starts in Utah Valley. For more information, check out Explore Utah Valley.

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