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Zion National Park   |  Andrew Burr

Utah's Best Rock Climbing and Bouldering

There's no doubt about it. When it comes to climbing, Utah rocks. Whether it's a short scramble over a boulder field, or spending a whole day on a super technical 5.10 route, Utah offers climbers all the challenges they can handle. And the variety of surfaces varies almost as much as the routes themselves. Shale, sandstone, granite, redrock. Utah has them all and then some. There's great climbing in practically every area of the state. You've just got to know where to look. Most of the time, it's up.

Ethics for Rock Climbing

Best Rock Climbing in Utah

For more details on specific climbing areas in Utah, visit Utah's Mountain Project

Utah's Mountain Project

Climbing in Utah 101

Ethics for Rock Climbing, Bouldering and Exploring the Backcountry

  • Aspire to complete your activities without leaving a trace. Climbing chalk can have a significant impact on dark and porous rock — don't use it around historic petroglyph and pictograph panels. Pick up litter, and leave trees and plants intact.
  • Dispose of human waste properly. Use toilets whenever possible. If they are not available, dig a "cat hole" at least six inches deep and 200 feet from any water, trails, campsites or the base of climbs. Pack out toilet paper. (Read: "How to Poop in the Outdoors")
  • Use existing trails. Cutting switchbacks causes erosion. When walking off trail, tread lightly, especially in the desert, where cryptobiotic soils exist.
  • Drive only on established roads.
  • When climbing, be discreet with fixed anchors. Bolts are controversial; don't place them unless they are absolutely necessary.
  • Respect the rules, and speak up when others don't. Expect restrictions in designated wilderness areas, rock art sites and caves as well as to protect wildlife.
  • Park and camp only in designated areas, using permits when required.
  • Maintain a low profile. Leave the boom box and the day-glo clothing at home. The less you are seen and heard, the better for everyone.
  • Respect private property. Be courteous to land owners.
  • Do not build fires in the backcountry unless it is a matter of life or death.
  • When bouldering or climbing, do not use wire brushes on stone to improve hand and footholds. Leave the rock as you found it.

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