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Zion Rock Climbing in Utah

Observing the marvellous landscapes from the peak of a mountain can’t be compared with anything else in the world, especially when you’ve climbed to the summit

Best time: March–June | September–November

Zion Rock Climbing

Zion National Park features several 600 m high sandstone cliffs, which are renowned to climbers. Being quite difficult, they are more suitable for those with experience.

There are only a few spots in the park for top roping and sports climbing. There are several great places for bouldering as well. They are located in the main canyon; one is 36 m and the other 8 km from the south entrance. If you plan to climb in Zion, it’s very important to choose the right season. Weather conditions are the most appropriate from March until June and September through early November. Summer hot temperatures and sudden thunderstorms make this season not good for this kind of activity. Damp weather with sudden storms usually occurs in July and August, making the sandstone weak and slippery. Avoid climbing in this season for your own safety.

Except for the weather, you will also need to check the availability of climbing spots due to nesting periods of local birds. Zion National Park is home to endangered birds species - Peregrine Falcons. Some cliffs are temporarily closed starting from the 1st of March, as they are used as their nesting grounds. This closure, which runs from early spring through summer months, can help to protect the birds. Among the closed cliffs you can find Angels Landing, Cable Mountain, The Great White Throne, Isaac, The Sentinel, Mountain of the Sun, North Twin Brother, Tunnel Wall, The East Temple, Mount Spry, The Streaked Wall, Mount Kinesava, and the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek. Other cliffs are open to climbing. You won’t need any permits for a day climb, but you will need one if you plan to stay overnight.

Practical info

When is the best time to climb in Zion National Park?

The ideal time to go climbing in Zion National Park is between March and June or during September through early November. During the summer, temperatures can be extreme and sudden thunderstorms make climbing difficult and potentially dangerous. Between July and August, the sandstone can become slippery and weaken, further increasing the risk for climbers who decide to tackle it. It is highly recommended to only climb during the non-summer and non-winter months. Show more

Where are the best bouldering spots located in Zion National Park?

There are a number of great bouldering sites in the Zion National Park's main canyon. One is situated 36m toward the south entrance while another is located 8km in. The terrain is a mix of challenge and variation, with the boulders primarily made of sandstone. For those who prefer sports climbing and top-roping, there are also some other options available but they generally provide a higher level of difficulty that's best-suited to seasoned climbers. Show more

What is the difficulty level for climbing the sandstone cliffs in Zion National Park?

The sandstone cliffs in Zion National Park are challenging and can be quite steep, with some measuring hundreds of meters high, making them better suited to experienced climbers. The terrain can be unpredictable, with steep drops and added natural hazards that makes it critical for climbers to prepare thoroughly beforehand. Physical fitness and proper gear are necessary to efficiently tackle such demanding climbs safely, and even then, caution is still advised for anyone who wants to climb these cliffs. Show more

Are there any temporary closures of climbing spots in the park?

Zion National Park features temporary closures of many of its cliffs to protect nesting bird species such as the Peregrine Falcons, some of which are endangered. Birds use the cliffs for nesting purposes, which results in a seasonal closure from spring to early summer. Among some of the famous cliffs that often close are Isaac, Angels Landing, Cable Mountain, The Sentinel, and The Great White Throne. Climbers can still explore numerous open cliffs, though, as the park management constantly monitors these closures. Show more

Do you need a permit for a day climb?

Day climbers are not required to obtain any permits for Zion National Park climbs. Those who wish to remain in the park beyond one day should obtain a permit. Before beginning their ascent, climbers must register on one of the park's self-registration stations. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the changing weather conditions and availability of climbing spots in certain areas of the park due to closures brought on by the spring and early summer nesting season of Peregrine Falcons. Show more

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