Rock climbing is becoming a more main-stream sport, especially here in Southern Utah. And the rock walls of Southern Utah provide the perfect environment for climbers. They are challenging and scenic. In fact, there are so good that Southern Utah attracts climbers from all over the world. We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have some advice for rock climbers who are headed our way.
Climbing in Zion, Capitol Reef, or Arches National Park – You are free to climb in all Utah national and state parks. Certain permits may be required, especially if you plan an overnight climbing excursion. Often you must stay on designated routes; the practice of minimal impact climbing is enforced. (So be sure to find chalk and webbing that matches the red rocks of this region.) There are several top-roping courses already set up – which is perfect for beginning climbers. However, most routes require technical climbing, so come prepared. Check with the visitor centers for all the current info.
Rappelling in Moab – Rappelling is a great sport. First timers can have just as much fun as veterans – as long as an experienced guide shows them the ropes. Go with a bunch of friends, hire a guide, and spend the weekend scrambling down cliffs. Of course, Moab isn’t the only place to explore. Other popular rappelling spots in Southern Utah are near Lake Powell, in the San Rafael Swell, and, of course, in the national parks.
When you climb in Southern Utah, you will need water, lots of water. Always climb in groups and, if you lack experience, with a qualified guide. Make sure you have the proper permission – such as a park service voucher – if it is required in the park you visit. Be respectful of this beautiful area, and have fun on the wall. For more info on climbing in the National Parks, including the various routes available, visit nps.gov. Here is the link to climbing in Zion National Park.