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Vernal Area

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A great ride with good climbing and fun rolling descents. Near Vernal, UT
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Vernal Area  

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Location: 40.4595, -109.5378 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Paul S on Oct 3, 2008
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Poop-Deck. Central Battleship. Vernal. FA?


Vernal is somewhat like a little brother of Moab's. The surrounding area is filled with mazes of sandstone walls and towers poking up here and there. Instead of the La Sal Mountains, the Unita Mountains make the back drop of the area. The Green and the Yampa Rivers flow nearby eventually converging.

In the area there is good mountain biking, the Green and Yampa Rivers are popular for white water rafting and kayaking, and of course there's a lot of rock for climbing. However, most of the rock isn't of the best quality, desert adventure climbing could be a good way to describe it.

The only routes that I am aware of, are the few that are in Bjornstad's Desert Rock IV. Most of these were put up by Jim Detterline in the 80's, this means many of the anchors are over 2 decades old in very soft rock...

All of the climbing I've done in the area, felt like no one has even climbed the route since the FA, so as far as other climbers hogging the routes, well, that's not an issue at all. Expect seclusion, loose rock, missing anchors, tons of opportunities for new routes and adventure!

Getting There 

From Salt Lake take I-80 E to 40. Head east on 40 for a little over 2 hours and your in Vernal.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.3 miles from here

17 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Vernal Area:
Honeyshine   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Central Battleship Formatio...
Browse More Classics in Vernal Area

Featured Route For Vernal Area
As the route looks when you're approaching from th...

Mike's V-Card 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13  UT : Vernal Area : Western Battleship
Layback on an easy right-trending flake for 15 ft. to gain easier climbing and a good stance. Work through a slightly tougher off-width to gain a good handcrack for 15 ft. of solid jams. At a good stance the crack opens up to an off-width with a bulge at the top (crux). Place a not-so-inspiring cam (#2-#4 camalot range) at the bottom of the bulge and work through tough/awkward and exposed moves to gain the belay ledge. Two stainless glue-ins up and to the left make the anchor. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

Comments on Vernal Area Add Comment
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By Courtney Pace
Jun 11, 2010
Its good to see some vernal routes up here on MP!
By Mitchell Allen
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Oct 30, 2013
Yes it is!! Go climb them and add more! :) I never got to all the good stuff because I'm a 5.8 climber at best.
By thebehaviorist
Sep 26, 2014
So what Vernal really has is great sandstone bouldering out by Ashley Creek and Spring Creek. The bouldering at Ashley Creek is V0-V3 with some harder ones (first ascents) waiting for those that can and are bold enough. I did 100 + back in 2007 when I worked there for 2 years.

To get there. Coming down the hill into Vernal on US 40, turn right toward Maeser (mile marker 141) For Ashley Creek, drive 9 miles and take main dirt road to the left for another 1.4 miles and park. Boulder are along hillside and in flats to the left. From the near side, about .2 miles before the main trunoff take the low impact dirt road. In spring conditions can be very muddy for this opiton.

For Spring Creek, drive 8 miles from US 40 and take the road angling right for .3 miles and find parking pullout that allows you to drop down the hillside a short way and cross the creek (wet or dry). Walk parrelel to cliffs on right for .5 mile and up hilly sections angling a little to the right. You will come to isolated easy problems (to v3-4) but then deep ravines boulders (one 30 ft high) and very hard bold looking problems many with perfect landings or on soft dirt. Most were too hard for me (to even consider). Other accesses to this area are definitely across private land.
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