pinnacles of rock above a canyon
Towers of Wingate Sandstone in Taylor Canyon

NPS/Neal Herbert


The sandstone towers at the Island in the Sky attract the most rock climbers. We do not see many climbers in the rest of the park due to the poor rock quality and a lack of established routes. You do not need a permit for technical rock climbing, but you must have permits for overnight backcountry travel and day-use trips on the White Rim Road.


  • The intentional removal of lichen or plants from rock is prohibited.
  • The physical altering of rock faces by chiseling, glue reinforcement of existing holds, and gluing of new holds is prohibited. The use of motorized power drills is prohibited.
  • The use of white chalk is prohibited. Chalk must be earthtone in color and match the color of the rock surface.

Technical rock climbing is prohibited:

  • in the entire Salt Creek Archeological District in The Needles, which includes Salt Creek, Horse and Lost canyons, and Upper Davis and Lavender canyons.
  • in Horseshoe Canyon
  • into any archeological site or cultural resource,
  • on any arch or natural bridge named on a USGS map in Canyonlands National Park or the Orange Cliffs Unit of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, except Washer Woman Arch at Island in the Sky.

All climbing must be free or clean-aid climbing with the following exceptions:

  • No new climbing hardware may be left in a fixed location; however, if a hardware item is unsafe, it may be replaced.
  • Protection may not be placed with the use of a hammer except to replace existing belay and rappel anchors and bolts on existing routes, or for emergency self-rescue.
  • If an existing software item (sling, etc.) is unsafe, it may be replaced (software that is left in place must match the rock surface in color).

Last updated: October 26, 2016

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Moab, UT 84532



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