Best time to travel to Utah

Rock Climbing in Utah

Experience all known types of climbing at the most diverse terrain in the country

Best time: mid-March–April | October–mid-November

Rock Climbing
Rock Climbing
Rock Climbing

Utah County is considered to be one of the best rock climbing destinations in the US. Few places in the world can compete with it. The northern part of Utah is a mountainous, high-elevation area with numerous climbing opportunities. The southern part of the state is characterized by uncountable sandstone formations. You can choose from the sandstone towers, spires, and cracks at Indian Creek, Castleton Valley, and Moab, large sandstone walls at Zion National Park, or granite and quartzite sport climbing near Salt Lake City.

Provo Rock Canyon and American Fork Canyon are great spots with unique features and various levels of climbs. Canyonlands National Park is famous for its towers, like Moses and Zeus, which rise out of the desert sand. Indian Creek is a famous crack climbing spot. Zion National Park is the place to find some of the most adventurous rock climbing. Here you may find hundreds of routes from 250 to 600 m (820 to 1970 ft) long on a steep vertical wall. This is a great place where you can try everything from bouldering to sport, and even ice climbing.

Rock climbing around Salt Lake City features lots of rock types, except sandstone. The Cottonwood Canyon offers 100–500 ft (30–150 m) high white solid granite cliffs and quartzite cliffs. The American Fork climbing area offers high-grade sport climbing on limestone rock. Maple Canyon features steep conglomerate rocks, full of pockets and cobbles. This is a popular climbing spot, especially during the summer season.

The best time for rock climbing in Utah is spring and autumn season. Mid-March to late April and early October to mid-November are the best months for this activity with pleasant temperatures and little rain. During winter it can get really cold, while summers are exhaustingly hot, especially in the desert.

Practical info

When is the best time of the year to go rock climbing in Utah?

Rock climbing in Utah is best done during mid-March to late April and early October to mid-November, which are the months when temperatures are mild and rain is not expected frequently. If you schedule your trip during winter, you'll face exceptionally cold temperatures while Utah's summer can be unbearably hot and humid, particularly in the desert. To make the most out of your trip, plan it for spring or autumn. Show more

What kind of rock formations can be found in Utah that are great for climbing?

Utah offers diverse terrain and rock formations for climbing, including sandstone towers, spires, and cracks at Indian Creek and Castleton Valley, large sandstone walls at Zion National Park, and granite and quartzite sport climbing locations near Salt Lake City. The Provo Rock Canyon and American Fork Canyon both have unique features while the Canyonlands National Park is famous for its towers that stand out from desert sand, like Moses and Zeus. Show more

Where are the best spots to go rock climbing in Utah, other than Zion National Park?

Apart from Zion National Park, Provo Rock Canyon and American Fork Canyon are the other great spots for rock climbing in Utah. American Fork is popular for providing high-grade sport climbing on limestone rock, offering clusters of climbing routes. Meanwhile, Provo Rock Canyon has varying levels of routes and features unique cobblestones, making the whole experience quite challenging. The Maple Canyon is also a favorite spot for many. Show more

What are the unique features of Provo Rock Canyon and American Fork Canyon for rock climbing?

Provo Rock Canyon stands out for its unique features, including the 'cobbles' that make the climbing experience more challenging. There's also a variety of routes for both beginners and advanced climbers. On the other hand, high-grade climbers prefer American Fork Canyon due to its challenging limestone routes. These routes have significant distances between handholds, and require strength endurance. This canyon caters mostly to sports climbing enthusiasts, but traditional routes are also available. Show more

What is the most appropriate and recommended gear for rock climbing in Utah?

When planning your rock climbing adventure in Utah, it is crucial to carry appropriate protective gear such as harness, ropes, carabiners, helmet, and climbing shoes. Utah's terrain varies, so having various types of gear is essential for a successful climb. Individuals with limited experience can hire gear from local outfitters, which also offer guided tours. Specialty stores have an assortment of climbing gear for purchase. You should also remember to carry food, water, sunscreens, and other necessary essentials. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin