Climbing

Rock climbers ascend Zion's sandstone cliffs

All climbing in Zion National Park is closed due to staff safety issues related to the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic.

Zion National Park's 2,000-foot sandstone cliffs are world renowned for their big wall climbs and adventurous nature. Most routes in the park are not recommended for inexperienced climbers due to difficulty and the soft nature of the rock. While areas outside of the park offer abundant sport climbing and top roping possibilities, this is rare in the Park, with bolted routes often having sparse protection.

The best conditions for climbing are from March through May and September through early November. Temperatures in the summer can soar over 100 degrees even on shaded walls. Additionally, summer months often bring monsoonal rainstorms. Unlike other rock types, desert sandstone is heavily weakened when wet. Avoid climbing in damp areas or after rainstorms. It often takes two or more days for the rock to be dry enough to climb. This means that critical holds are more likely to break but more importantly, climbing protection is less likely hold resulting in greater fall distances and chance of injury. A collection of a climber-submitted topos can be found at the Wilderness Desk at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. The Park suggests submitting topos of all first ascents in the park upon completion. This helps future generations locate climbs and provides a historical account of climbing in Zion National Park.


Zion Big Wall Bats – How climbers can help save Zion’s bats
Zion’s splitter cracks, deep chimneys, and heinous offwidths are home to more than just climbers. Multiple bat species also call these cliffs home. During winter, bats hibernate in deep chimneys and cracks. These features provide stable environments for sleeping bats when temperatures are cold, and resources are scarce. In the summer, cracks provide shelter from predators while the bats raise their young, called pups. Healthy cliff ecosystems are critical for maintaining strong populations of bats. A healthy bat population in turn helps people by providing free pest control by eating important agricultural pests. This reduces pesticide use, saving Americans billions of dollars a year. Unfortunately, our bats are threatened by an invasive fungus which is killing hibernating bats by the millions. To track the spread of this fungus, park biologists need to know where bats roost. This is how you can help!
Climbers, please let us know if you find roosting bats while exploring Zion. If you see a roosting bat while climbing, send us the name/location of the climb, what pitch and where on the pitch, how many you saw, and try to get a photo if it is safe and doesn’t disturb the bats further. Our bat biologist and cliff ecology team will then visit the roost, test for presence of the disease, and collect important roost data to help our team find other roosts. All observations can be sent to e-mail us

Permits
Permits are not required for day climbs but are required for all overnight bivouacs.

Peregrine Falcons
All climbing routes on cliffs used by nesting peregrine falcons in Zion National Park will close on March 1 each year. Park wildlife biologists will monitor the nesting activity of peregrine falcons throughout the breeding season. Cliffs that have been closed but are not being used for nest sites this year, will be reopened when nest locations have been determined, typically by late April or early May. Those cliffs being used for nest sites this year will be monitored until the chicks fledge, usually in late July, and then will be reopened to climbing.


Bouldering
There are two accessible bouldering areas in the main canyon. One is 40 yards west of the south entrance. This is a house sized boulder that poses a variety of options and problems. The second is Drilled Pocket Boulder, located 0.5 mile north of the south entrance. It is located on the west side of the road and is a slab with an obvious south facing crack.

 
 
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Read about park specific Climbing Regulations and recommendations.
 
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Climbers may need to utilize the Wilderness Transportation options.

Last updated: August 5, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767

Phone:

(435) 772-3256
Recorded park information available 24 hours a day. Phones are answered 9 am to 4 pm Mountain Time. If no one answers, please send your questions to us at zion_park_information@nps.gov.

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