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San Rafael Canyon - AKA Little Grand Canyon

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Petrified Turtle Buttress 
Petrified Wood Tower 
Trilobite Tower 

San Rafael Canyon - AKA Little Grand Canyon Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Oct 3, 2012
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Mike wrenching the third bolt on P3. Above this i...


The Little Grand Canyon of the San Rafael holds a couple of large towers and many Wingate walls that could offer up new routes. The rock quality is excellent and the setting is beautiful.

The most obvious landform is the large and beautiful Petrified Wood Tower, which is about an hour from the trailhead. As the name implies, there is a fair amount of petrified wood along the trail. 45 minutes past this, cross the mouth of Cane Wash. Trilobite Tower is the large tower in front of a large cliff.

Getting There 

From the bridge over the San Rafael River at the south end of the Buckhorn Wash, drive south a bit less than a mile and turn right on the second dirt road. There is a trailhead with signs, a large parking area, a horse corral, and a couple of campsites a half mile from the road. A good trail goes from here through the entire Little Grand Canyon.

Climbing Season

For the San Rafael Swell - North area.

Weather station 20.5 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For San Rafael Canyon - AKA Little Grand Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo

Original Route 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1  UT : San Rafael Swell : ... : Trilobite Tower
P1 - Climb the beautiful splitter .5/.75 camalot crack. There is not much size variation on this pitch. 140' 5.12+/13- or C1. Belay at two bolts on a small ledge.P2 - Climb the chimney to a great ledge with two bolts. A chockstone is slung at the start, and some gear can be placed in cracks within the chimney. 80' 5.9P3 - Climb a 3 bolt ladder to some free climbing, and then another 10 bolt or so ladder to the summit. The bolt ladder has a lot of face features and should also go free, thou...[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

Comments on San Rafael Canyon - AKA Little Grand Canyon Add Comment
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By Paul S
From: Fruita, CO
May 1, 2013
Roughly a kilometer from the trailhead, there's a group of towers on the left. The furthest right of which has an amazing pitch of tight hands to perfect hands on a just slightly overhanging face that leads to the summit. Does anyone here know the names of the towers/formations or about the other routes up these towers?
By greg t
From: Chevy, Silverado
Sep 30, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: talking about these?
talking about these?
By Paul S
From: Fruita, CO
Oct 2, 2014
Yup, that's them.

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