Outdoor climbing can be found all across the US. From the Adirondacks to California, climbing is everywhere, but the concentration of outdoor climbing found in Utah is hard to beat. With areas like Zion National Park, it’s no wonder why climbers flock to the state to experience its amazing outdoor recreation.
St. George, Utah, is a perfect climbing destination. Filled with tons of climbs, all easily accessed and with gorgeous views to boot, it’s no wonder why the small town is popular with climbers the country over. In this article, we’ll break down what makes St. George so special and tell you about some of our favorite climbing areas near the small town.
Why Climb St. George of Utah?
St. George, Utah, is a huge climbing area. Spread out around the town of St. George, this desert climbing mecca offers a range of styles and grades that will satisfy almost every climber. The spectacular views, fun climbing, and ease of access make this a must-try climbing destination. Check out St. George any time of year for an amazing climbing getaway.
What is the Specific Climbing Style at St. George, Utah?
Regardless of whether you are looking for a new bouldering project, a fun sport climb, or an adventurous multi-pitch, St. George has it all. With both sandstone and limestone cliffs present in the area, you will find lots of different styles of climbing in the region. You’ll be able to find some amazing sandstone slopers and pockets at some cliffs, while others will make you feel like you’re at Indian Creek, with stellar corners and cracks.
It is almost impossible to pin down an exact style that is characteristic of the climbing in St. George, which is part of what makes this area so alluring to climbers. While Lambs Knoll climbing will give you featured sandstone, places like Chuckwalla Wall St. George will give you more polished sandstone. The climbing styles used in St. George will entirely depend on the cliff you are climbing at.
When is the Best Time to Climb St. George?
Like many other desert climbing destinations, you can climb at St. George year-round. That being said, climbing here in the summer can get pretty hot, so fall, winter, and spring are the most popular seasons to climb here. Just be aware that since there is so much sandstone in St. George, you will be limited in where you can climb after rain since sandstone takes time to dry out.
St. George, Utah’s Top 5 Climbing Areas
St. George is filled with amazing climbing areas that will keep any climber entertained for days on end. Each area feels completely unique and different from the other areas. With so many areas easily accessible and with minimal approaches, it’s easy to see why there are so many popular crags near St. George. Here are some of the best rock-climbing destinations in St. George:
1. Chuckwalla Wall
Chuckwalla Wall is one of the most popular places to climb in St. George. It has plenty of short routes with good bolts and anchors. Since the approach is only a minute or two, this wall is a busy area as many climbers stop here for a few climbs before hiking off to another wall. The routes on Chuckwalla Wall are super fun and not too hard on your hands.
If you are looking for some of the best sport climbing in St. George, you’ll find it here at Chuckwalla Wall. Classic routes like Dirtbag and Tombstone Bullets are plentiful on Chuckwalla Wall, so there’s sure to be something for everyone here.
2. Moe’s Valley
Moe’s Valley is the mecca of bouldering near St. George. The valley has over 350 boulder problems, with new problems being established every year. Although the mountain project St. George pages will get you pretty far, if you really want to explore the boulders in Moe’s Valley, it’s worth it to pick up a copy of the St. George bouldering guidebook. Having maps in your hands rather than on your phone can be really helpful when navigating the many boulders of Moe’s Valley.
3. Crawdad Canyon
Crawdad Canyon climbing is very unique for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is the only private outdoor rock climbing park in Utah. The basalt walls here are well-bolted and well-maintained, but you will have to pay to access them. Due to the shade created by the canyon walls and the breezes from the nearby water, Crawdad Canyon is an excellent place to climb in the summer since it stays cool for most of the day.
Since Crawdad Canyon is private, you will have to pay for each member of your climbing party. The daily rate is $16/day, but there are punch-pass options to bring down the price if you want. You can also stay in the canyon, either by staying in the lodge, camping, or using an RV. Regardless of whether you camp or not, Veyo Pool is a great place to swim and enjoy some relaxation.
Here is the website for booking a day in Crawdad Canyon.
4. Snow Canyon State Park
With over 50 climbs in the state park, Snow Canyon State Park is an awesome place to spend a day. As with most state parks, there is a day-use fee, but it’s only $10/day, so it really isn’t that much at all. The park is filled with amazing climbs that feature slopers, cracks, pockets, crimps, and just about everything else you could want. With so many climbs, it’s easy to find one in either the sun or shade, depending on what you want that day.
5. Green Valley Gap
If you are looking for some of the best top rope climbing St. George has to offer, look no further than the Green Valley Gap climbing area. With over 60 climbs, the canyon has plenty to offer, including almost 20 amazing top rope routes. This area is known as an excellent winter climbing destination, with many fun climbs in the 5.10 to 5.12 range. It doesn’t offer the spectacular leads that some other areas offer, so it can be a little less crowded, which is a plus for sure.
Important Things to Note When Planning to Climb St. George
There is a lot to consider when planning a trip to St. George, so these are some of the essentials that you won’t want to forget planning:
Regardless of whether hotels or camping are more your speed, you’ll be sure to find something near St. George. The town of St. George has a handful of hotels at different price points, as well as other amenities like gas stations, laundromats, and grocery stores. If you want to camp or are staying in an RV, there are lots of options just outside of town.
With a few RV parks in town as well as more out of town, it really depends on what areas you’ll be climbing in. Places like the Snow Canyon Campground and Sandpit Campground are great options if you want to stay outside of town. Either way, try to think about what climbing areas you’ll be spending your time in and try to camp near those to minimize the time you have to spend driving.
Since the land management varies depending on which climbing areas you want to hit while you’re in St. George, it’s hard to say exactly what your fees will be. Remember that if you plan on climbing in a state park, you will need to pay the entrance fees. If you want to go somewhere like Crawdad Canyon, you’ll need to book ahead and pay the fees associated with that location.
Overall, there are so many different climbing areas with no fees that it is totally possible to plan a fee-free trip to St. George. If you climb at places like Turtle Wall or Chuckwalla Wall, you won’t need to pay for parking or land access. Make sure that you do pay where you need to, as the fees help maintain those areas of St. George.
3. Guides and Guidebooks
Mountain Project is pretty good at covering most of the routes in St. George, and if you choose to do so, you can get around entirely by using Mountain Project. Many climbs opt to supplement Mountain Project by purchasing one of the many guidebooks for the area. You can get books that are specific to the area or more general books for Utah as a whole, depending on what you want.
Another option for exploring the area is hiring a guide. The best rock climbing guides in St. George are Paragon Adventures, as they offer a wide array of trips and services. This is a more expensive option but a great option for a newer climber looking to stay safe and explore a new area.
Wrapping Things Up: Best Rock Climbing Destinations in St. George
From bouldering in Moe’s Valley to the private climbing park of Crawdad Canyon to the popular climbs found at Chuckwalla Wall, St. George is home to some pretty spectacular climbing. Since it’s a relatively cheap climbing destination and you can climb there year-round, it’s no wonder why it’s so popular. Make sure you plan a climbing trip to St. George soon so you can see for yourself what makes this desert climbing oasis so special.
Looking for more guides? Check out more of our climbing tips here.
Here are a few to help you out: