Climbing

tall rock pinnacles and buttes with patchy clouds overhead
Pinnacles and towers along the White Rim Road attract the most rock climbers. Some routes close to climbing to protect wildlife habitat.

NPS/Scott Chandler

 

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.

Regulations

  • 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.

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).
 

Climbing Closures

It is your responsibility to know all route closures.

Permanent Closures

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.

Temporary Closures

Climbing routes close temporarily to protect wildlife habitat. Closures to climbing routes will remain in effect through the end of the termination date specified below, or until surveys determine the associated habitat to be unoccupied by nesting raptors and/or lambing desert bighorn sheep.

Park Area Feature Name Route Name(s) Effective Date Termination Date
Monument Basin Monument Basin Century Crack Mar 1 Aug 31
NW Boundary Horsethief Point Charlie Horse Needle Mar 15 Aug 15
Shafer Canyon Witness the Wilderness Mar 1 Aug 31
Taylor Canyon Moses and Zeus Moses and Zeus Mar 15 Aug 31
White Rim Airport Tower Airport Tower Mar 15 Aug 31
White Rim Little Bridge Canyon Rim Necronomicon (Book of the Dead) Mar 1 Aug 31
White Rim Little Bridge Canyon Rim Army of Darkness Mar 1 Aug 31
White Rim Gray's Pasture Pt. Chip and Dale Towers Mar 1 Aug 31
White Rim Candlestick Tower Candlestick Tower Mar 1 Aug 31
White Rim Washer Woman Washer Woman Mar 15 Aug 31
White Rim Washer Woman Monster Tower Mar 15 Aug 31

Last updated: May 14, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532

Phone:

435-719-2313

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