North faces in the Jungle are exceptionally colorf...
This is sharply-broken volcanic rock from the late Tertiary (Rhyolite) forming two bands of cliffs, the south or left of the road areas (Upper Jungle and Upper Canopy) and the north or right of the road areas (The Lower Jungle, Distant Drum, and Planet of the Apes). There are many excellent, long cracks to be developed. There is also a lot potential for bolted sport routes. As of Oct. 2012, there are 82 routes ranging from 6s to 13s with at least one route at every grade in that range.
This is an alpine setting (10,400 ft.) and one of the highest (drive up to) crags in the country. Thunder storms can come and go quickly especially in late July and August. The north band of cliffs have two towers, Authors and Jared Diamond, that can provide shelter from the storm. Lighting strikes on the upper reaches of the cliffs can bring rocks down. The closest hospital is in Panguitch 50 minutes distant. The Tropic First Responders have been briefed on the area and a 911 call can be made from the parking areas. Give them the area and route you need help on to speed (1.5 hr.s) the stokes stretcher to you.
Camping can be had in a civilized manner, "pool and restaurant," at a KOA in Cannonville (1 hour, 10 minutes) or at Ruby's Inn (50 minutes). Otherwise, this area is USFS controlled and there is a primitive campground near Pine Lake or many off-road options right near the crag are available (see topo below).
Food can best be purchased at Ruby's Inn: there's a grocery store, and - BONUS - a full range buffet in the restaurant.
Spirits are hard to come by in the "Empire of Utah"... There is a full State liquor store in Panguitch (1 hour, 30 minutes), or a limited State liquor store at Ruby's. Beer here is "near beer" so come prepared, stock up before you cross the state line.
OTHER THINGS TO DO: Just down the road 1.9 miles is a 4 mile jeep trail that finishes as one mile of single track and a non-technical but great views mountain bike ride...about 10 miles in and out. Very nice! Also, father down and behind Pine Lake is the Hinderson Canyon ride that will take you to the town of Tropic. About 10 miles of single track to dirt road that lasts for about 5 miles. A super trail in the upper section! This can be shuttled to skip the road. The fishing at Pine Lake is not bad but higher up, above the Jungle, are many small lakes thick with trout (mostly Brook, though a splattering of other species can also be caught).
NOTABLE FLORA AND FAUNA: Subalpine Firs and Bristlecone Pines (a.k.a. Foxtail Pines locally) as well as Black Bears, Mountain Lions, Mule Deer, Elk, Marmots, Pikas, Black Rosy Finches, Magnificent Hummingbirds, Blue (Dusky) Grouse, Swifts, many species of Owls, most of the raptors, including the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, California Condor and the Peregrine Falcon to name but a few.
ROCK QUALITY: There are some really great quality rock sections to this crag and some loose parts, as well. Be advised of the possibility of rock fall from high up. Blocks have weathered away from the main material (temperatures can and do regularly range between 90 degrees F. and -60 degrees F.) and precariously await their transition from potential to kinetic energy.
Interestingly, there is a debate regarding the exact origin of the material we climb. Some believe the crags were formed by volcanic ash dropping out of the sky over a long period of time; a caldera many miles away being the source of the activity. Others suggest the volcanism to be local and that this is a lava flow or perhaps an old plug.
Cutting a cross-section and using a microscope to examine the pattern and composition of crystals has yet to be done. Examining the best visual display of geology on site can be done in the Lower Jungle on the north-facing route called "Kunckle Draggers Needed." There's at least 6 to 7 layers exposed and there is a paper, if not a thesis or dissertation here.
The term Rhyolite is used as a generic term which includes many more precise igneous definitions. A visual/hand lens inspection seems to reveal abundant biotite, quaretz, sanadine, and amphibole. Perhaps a better term to describe the crag would be rhyo-dacite. In any event, there is good climbing to be had.
ROUTES: Due to the nature of the rock, bolt placements may not always coincide with your views. Judicious placements have been set, with safety being the primary concern. What may appear to be a perfect, sheer face, may actually bear a hollow, brittle base. Among the many things that are considered while setting, the "hammer-hollow" test has been determined as the most measurable way to rule out poor rock quality. While climbing please understand that routes may not follow a direct path and anchors may be placed prior to the top of a crag, all of which keeps everybody safer.
WEATHER: Thunder storms can be a problem but the rock dries out fast... not so much the road. If windy head deep into the "Lower Jungle" or even further into the "Distant Drum Area" and you can climb in calm albeit with the trees screaming above. There is more shade in the morning in the "Upper Jungle" though by 11:00 am or so it grows hot... move into the north facing routes in the "Lower Jungle" or "Distant Drum Area" where many fine routes can be found in shade or soon to become shady. This area is the the most protected from the sun. The fall season may be the most pristine time to climb here and can last late into October and in 2012 we were climbing in early November.
Take UT Highway 12 toward Bryce Canyon National Park; at BCNP junction, turn northeast onto Highway 22 (toward Antimony); turn southeast onto Forest Service road 132 toward Pine Lake for 5.2 miles; continue past first exit toward Pine Lake and look for left turn to Powell Point; continue on this road (132) for 5.9 miles until Powell Point jeep trail on right(143); Go PAST this jeep trail, setting odometer again and travel 1.9 miles, again, passing Powell Point jeep trail and PAST THE UPPER JUNGLE SCREE FIELD (looks like a single-car pullout on a hairpin turn) to the "Lower Jungle" et al. parking areas on right, or around the corner and up the road 100 meters to the "Upper Jungle" and "Upper Canopy" parking area where the approach trail leads DOWN to the climbs base trail (well marked). Short approaches can be found at these to parking areas to: 1) Lower Jungle and Distant Drum Areas from the northern/lower parking location and 2) from the southern/upper parking area to the Upper Jungle and Upper Canopy areas. Although the more northerly areas, i.e. the northern part of the Distant Drum Area, and to be sure, the Planet of the Apes Area have shorter approaches from above on the plateau (see topos and descriptions within each area).
Satellite topo of the area Submitted By: Roy Suggett on May 27, 2012
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Jungle, on the Aquarius Plateau:
"I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand and hand with his idiocy." Dr. Zaius-Dr. Zaius offers great crack climbing up a tough and tricky face. Well protected, this is an awesome, exciting route with plenty of options for gear. Worth its weight in gold, this line would have a line anywhere else. Unreal!!Begin in a steep, hand size crack and work up passing a small roof. Continue on the face, following a crack to a ledge th...[more]Browse More Classics in UT
Photos of Jungle, on the Aquarius Plateau Slideshow
The 7th, 8th, and 9th of May have dumped some heavy snow on the Jungle. Might not be until the end of May before the road clears. 5/10 Update, the forecast for next week predicts 80s in the Jungle! That will melt those north facing snow banks down in a hurry!
The Jungle rocks! Approach from parking area is short and sweet, rock quality is excellent, and the routes are superb - well deserving of those stars on the ratings. This place is a gem, well worth going out of your way to investigate. Beautiful setting, no crowds, some terrific established routes and the potential to put up additional ones. Be kind to this place, it deserves it!
I really enjoyed this gem of an area, with fun and quality routes of many grades, great views and camping. The grades are pretty right on. New routes going up as I write. Check it out! Wear your helmet! Thanks Roy! Onsight on you crazy monkeys...
As of late Oct. 2012, there are 82 routes (that I know of) ranging from 5.6s to .13s. We hope to see many new routes put up next season(2013) and hope to see more climbers utilizing this amazing place. Please feel free to add routes in a responsible way as well as add comments to ratings and stars on existing climbs. We value your input! Hope to see you up there. The Jungle will open for the 2013 season most likely in late May and we expect the number of routes to go up quickly. I have made a promise to continue to add some 6, 7, and 8s to the crag. The place also needs some more 12s and 13s!
By BobGray From: Salt Lake City, Utah Feb 29, 2012
Rock quality is awesome? Rhyolite, the crumbly version of Basalt..........
I found the rock to be more friendly than basalt... none of that razor-sharp tip-destroying nonsense. As for the crumbling, well, it makes for interesting climbing. I'll tip-toe lightly at the Jungle vs. pull on greasy jugs anytime.
Yep! The quality varies. Ross states the rock is "perfect" on his route "Dr. Livingstone I Presume" and I put up a route called "Flaky Chimp" that is...well...crumbly, but still good enough to have fun on. On another one of the better climbs, "Missing Link," the first twelve feet or so is a little loose and then becomes really good for the next seventy feet! The jams at the top are solid, smooth, perfect hands to exit. Pick and choose your climbs here and you can find some great routes with really quality rock.
Rhyolite is the crumbly version of basalt??? No! Rhyolite is an extrusive igneous rock, same as basalt - the difference between them is that rhyolite has high silica content, basalt has low silica. The significance of this for "crumbliness"? Zero. Rhyolite, in fact, is the extrusive counterpart (same mineralogic makeup) as granite. Of course, the degree of weathering - that can vary in any rock type and between and within climbing areas. You can find places (northern Rockies, Sierras, etc. - not the Jungle) where there is deteriorated weathered granite that is so crumbly it falls apart when you grab it - does that mean granite is crap? Obviously not - you have to look at the individual situation. And the comments from people who have been to the Jungle (including me) are that the rock is pretty darn nice!
Sorry to belabor the geology, I wanted to clear up the unconstructive comment from someone who has clearly never been there. Look, if you don't like the rock quality at the Jungle, you better stick to climbing on plastic.
By BobGray From: Salt Lake City, Utah Mar 17, 2012
I stand by my statement, I've never spent so many hours cleaning a single route. After 10 hours of hammering I still didn't feel the route was clean. There are some areas of the jungle that have less than stellar rock, but other areas are solid. It's OK, people will still visit this area and enjoy themselves immensely.
A BIG thank you to Roy Suggett for all the hard work that went into the creation of such a fine climbing area. We really enjoyed the both the trad, and sport climbs we did at the upper, and lower Jungle. After climbing we hiked to Powell Point, which was beautiful, and even spent some time camping & kayaking at Pine Lake. It made our weekend trip to your neck of the woods very worthwhile. Great memories- Thanks again!
Big Kudos to Roy and his fantastic little hidden world! We had a great time enjoying the Jungle this past week. Thanks Roy for the Subaru guidance on the descent of Barney Top! Wouldn't have done it without you! Can't wait to come back again, keep up the great work!