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Mary Ellen's Gulch

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Mary Ellen's Gulch 

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Elevation: 10,000'
Page Views: 3,591
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Mary Ellen Man on Jul 4, 2012
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rough section of the road park on the left or righ...


Secluded high elevation sport and trad climing? Lots of great climbs on solid quartzite rock. Ranging from 5.6 to 5.12, and lots more route potential. With more climbers these routes will clean up nicely and be a great adition to the wasatch range. In 1992 my unkle Mike Hansen and I (Sean Hansen) climbed a first pitch and part of the second pitch of Satori Possibly the first ever climbing in Marryellens Gulch. In think in 1993 Boone Speed bolted and climed the Curse Wall and a picture was featured in Rock and Ice or Climbing Magazine. Then in 1994 My dad John Hansen and I started bolting. The first route we did was Satroi one of the best climbs I have ever done. We Have placed about 55 climbs in the area and Darren Knezek (who did the recent maple canyon guide book) has put several climbs in the area as well. Some climbs are sport but others will need a standard trad rack. I would rocomend doubles if not triples of size 0-3 tcus. All routes rap from anchors and some have a walk off option also. There is more route potential for anyone who wants to set some Routes.

Season: June thrugh october. Unless there is a heavy snow fall year then you can ski hear in june and climb in july.

Getting There 

You need a high clearance 4x4 to access these climbs or two wheel drive high clearance and hike the road into Maryellens Gulch about 1 mile to the Climbing. Drive up American Fork canyon just past little mill campground, turn left to tible fork reservoir (North Fork). At the parking area go strait onto the dirt road, do not continue up the paved switch backs to granite reservoir. Follow the dirt road(seams like along ways) 15 to 30 min depending on how fast you drive. You will drive over a bridge up a steep hill then up some switch backs to a narrow road with a steep drop to your right. You will come to a right hand turn that crosses the river and turns right and climbs a steep hill (forest lake trail), continue strait on the dirt road on your left will be a big pull out, further up will be a second pull out. Turn left into this pull out and to your left will be a brown post with trail 111. (Maryellen's Gulch jeep trail) If you do not have a high clearance 4x4 park hear and hike up road 111. Otherwise drive up road 111 you will start off heading west pass a steel gate then turn north after about a mile you will see some pull outs to park on the road. Once you pass the gate and go north a ways on the road north you will see to your right a small pull out park here for the east crags or continue up a little further and there will be a smaller pull out to the left. There is a big boulder on the right side of the road up above it you will see the Pansie slab. Bush wack (unless I have cut the trail for the year) to the slab. From here you can follow the crag north for lots more climbs (Desire wall, Rose hips, Bulgy the whale, stretch Armstrong, Raspberry truffle). If you drive past these pull outs continue up the road about 100 yards right after a really rough section of the road there will be pull outs on the right and left park here for access to curse wall, jelly stone, skid mark, satori, and all of the west crags. Walk about 50ft south on the raod then hike east up to the jelly stone Wall. You can scramble up between the Curse wall and Jelly stone wall then go right to get to skid mark or scramble up once more between to short crags then head right to the top of satori. To access the west side crags hike 50ft up (north)on the road from the 2 pull outs, then descend to the river and cross. On the other side is an old road hike north for about 100 yards. You will be in a grove of pine trees when you turn left and follow the path of least resistance to the Three aces wall. Caution this is a narrow one lane Road with limited trafic but if you meet some one, one of you will have to back up a long ways.

40 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',1]

Featured Route For Mary Ellen's Gulch
Looking up at sport mining and apen arete on the Long Wall.

Sport Mining 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a  UT : Wasatch Range : Mary Ellen's Gulch
I usually lead this with just the bolts but you can place a tcu or small cam to lessen the run outs (Run outs are not bad). I love this climb a classic for the area, Climb it every time I'm up there....[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

News and Events For Mary Ellen's Gulch
Photos of Mary Ellen's Gulch Slideshow Add Photo
all of the west crags. about 30 climbs from 5.7 to 5.12
all of the west crags. about 30 climbs from 5.7 to...
you can park here and hike the right 111 road or drive up road.
BETA PHOTO: you can park here and hike the right 111 road or d...
111 trail sign
111 trail sign
West side crag lots of fun sport and crag mostly single pitch.
West side crag lots of fun sport and crag mostly s...
river near parking for hike to west side crags.
river near parking for hike to west side crags.
first east side crag slab and desire wall.
first east side crag slab and desire wall.
Looking south down marryellens gulch from the north ridge wall on the east side crags.
Looking south down marryellens gulch from the nort...
Comments on Mary Ellen's Gulch Add Comment
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By Glenn Ritter
From: Sandy, UT
Jul 28, 2012

The area is very secluded, beautiful, and cool temps (95 in SLC and 68 at the climbs the day I went). Many thanks to the guys who put the work in to create this place. It sees very little traffic and there is unfortunately no trail up to the west side cliffs past the first few minutes along the river. It is an uphill bushwhack that isn't that far but certainly not pleasant. The base of many routes are overgrown and the routes have lichen. Its a nice getaway to remote alpine location and makes for a fun adventure even if it isn't the best climbing you ever did.

The final mile+ jeep trail is pretty rough, definitely need a stout vehicle with high clearance. There are no places to pass between the metal gate and the wide spot / parking for the west side cliffs. If you do go past the climbing area a few hundred yards there is a fork in the road and a big flat area (left fork).

By Mary Ellen Man
From: Midvale, UT
Aug 16, 2012

It is nice to hear some one went up to checkout marryellens gulch. My appoligies on the trail every year I try to re-establish the trail but this year I have not made it up yet. Sometimes you can connect deer trails up to the wall.

By Project AF guy
Oct 3, 2012

This area is way legit and one of AF's best kept secrets. It was first climbed(top roped) in '87 and bolted later. In the movie "Dosage 3" James Litz does The Spike 5.14c and that whole steep wall has climbs harder than 5.12. This area is definitely area from the crowds you might see lower in the canyon and has over 100 routes from 5.4 to 14c (see Darren at Mountain Works for route info). There are also many boulder problems from V0-V11. I wish this area saw more traffic. Its pretty amazing.

By Brian in SLC
Oct 4, 2012

Why do you wish for more traffic? When I've been up there, I've enjoyed the solitude. Nice change from the popular walls in AF.

By Mary Ellen Man
From: Midvale, UT
Jul 30, 2013

Why more traffic? That is a good question. I also enjoy the solitude but the climbs and trails seem to grow over by the time I climb them again so I thought they would clean up very well with more trafic. I think the 4x4 access may keep some of the crowds down. I can still count on one hand how many times I have seen another climber up there.