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Areas in Arches National Park

100-yard Wall, The 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Argon Tower 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Bubo Tower 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Buffalo Rock 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Bullwinkle Tower 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Dark Angel 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Devil Dog Spire 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Devil's Golf Ball 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Elephant Butte 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 2
Eye of the Whale 1 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Great Wall, The 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Harkonnen Castle 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Lamb, The 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Marching Men, The 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 5
Mars Hotel 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 2
North Window 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Off Balanced Rock 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Organ, The 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Owl Rock 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Park Avenue 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 7
Phallus, The 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 2
Pickle, The 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Remnant, The 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Sheep Rock 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Sunshine Wall 9 / 11 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 18
Sunshine Wall Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Testes, The 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Three Gossips, The 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 4
Three Penguins, The 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 4
Tonka Tower 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Tower of Babel 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 2
Wishbone, The 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 2
Zippy Zebra Wall 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2

Arches National Park Climbing Rules

Arches National Park rangers would like all climbers to be familiar with the special rules in the park. Please visit the NPS website before your trip!

https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/rockclimbing.htm
Raptor Closures 2017: Check status and details at: nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/… -Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions mountainproject.com/v/utah/… in Arches National Park Details
RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details

Description

Arches National Park is an amazing place to climb. The area has everything - serious multipitch towers, easy one pitch towers, and hard cracks on long buttresses. Best of all, routes in Arches are usually only a few hundred feet from the road so the approaches are casual.

Most of the routes here are on Entrada sandstone, which is much softer than the Wingate found at Indian Creek. It often fractures vertically so there are a lot of splitters, but they are much sandier than in other parts of the desert. On aid routes, avoid nailing whenever possible as the incredibly soft stone doesn't hold up well to abuse.

This area sees a lot of tourists, and since most of the routes are very near the road climbers must maintain as low a profile as possible. As always in the desert, approach climbs via washes to avoid trampling cryptobiotic soil. Some areas are closed seasonally for nesting, so check in at the visitors center before climbing. Finally, this is a national park, so be prepared for the entrance fee.

Water is available at the visitors center. Moab is only a few miles south, and there is lots of camping on BLM land along River Road or near Moab. There is a national park campground in Arches, but I've never stayed there so I can't vouch for it.

Getting There

From Moab, drive north along US 191 to the turn off for Arches National Park. Arches is only a few miles out of town. All climbs are accessed from this entrance - pick up a map at the visitors center. The map has most of the formations marked on it.

82 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Arches National Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Standard (West Fins)
Trad
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c C2+
Zenyatta Entrada
Aid 6 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Northeast Chimney
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Learning Curve
Trad, Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0
Standard Route
Trad, Aid
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
West Crack
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Doil
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2
Virgin Wool
Trad, Aid 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1
Regular Route
Trad, Aid
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Chinese Eyes
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Science Friction
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Heart of the Desert
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Right Chimney
Trad 2 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
West Face
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
West Face
Trad 2 pitches
Standard (West Fins) Elephant Butte 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad
Zenyatta Entrada Tower of Babel 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c C2+ Aid 6 pitches
Northeast Chimney Off Balanced Rock 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R Trad 2 pitches
Learning Curve Sunshine Wall > Sunshine Wall Routes 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Sport
Standard Route Pickle 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0 Trad, Aid
West Crack Owl Rock 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
The Doil 100-yard Wall 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Virgin Wool Sheep Rock 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2 Trad, Aid 5 pitches
Regular Route Devil's Golf Ball 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1 Trad, Aid
Chinese Eyes Great Wall 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Science Friction Sunshine Wall > Sunshine Wall Routes 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13 Sport
Heart of the Desert Park Avenue 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Right Chimney Three Penguins 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 2 pitches
West Face Three Gossips 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
West Face Dark Angel 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 2 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Arches National Park »

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Arches National Park is asking for comments on future climbing acccess.

For several years now, the park has banned all hammered aid. It's banned all new fixed anchors, of any and every kind.

Existing (non-piton) climbs are grandfathered in, and open. New climbs are now a real challenge, unless you can walk off or use an existing rappel anchor. Also established aid climbs requiring hammering are banned.

We have an opportunity to tell the Park what we'd like to see. Maybe we don't need to open up hammering again? But maybe we should advocate for giving future climbers the opportunity to find and climb new routes? See Access Fund link below for more details and ideas.

Either way, by August 10, comments please (The Access Fund has made this easy):

accessfund.org/c.tmL5KhNWLr…

Thanks! Aug 4, 2010
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
There really aren't any inside the park, and if you explore keep in mind that chalk is a no no in the park. There are some decent boulders along 191 near Arches, and lots of good bouldering at Big Bend along River Road. Sep 28, 2004
Inside Arches what are some good bouldering routes? thanks. FYI - I'm not really an anoymous coward, I just signed up and my name won't be in the database until tomorrow :) Sep 27, 2004
Has anyone done the aid route about 50 feet right of Heart of the Desert? I and a friend, Baker Bent, did it in the spring of '94, there was no evidence anyone had done it before (we drilled the baby angle anchors). There were some significant sections of very thin pins, a few beaks, and a hook move, and since then I believe park policy has changed so that all aid must be hammerless. It's a great line, really splitter cracks up to about finger size(we aided, but sections would certainly go free) and some spicy thin sections. Unfortunately, we stopped after the third pitch, as I had to be back at work, or something lame like that. At any rate, I think it might go clean with some thin cam hooks and some of the smaller micro cams/tiny wires, but would certainly have some pucker-factor. It awaits a full ascent, to my knowlege. I told Crusher about it a few years ago, but I didn't detect much interest from him at the time. Anyone done it, or care to? I'd love to hear, as i always wondered what's become of it.

davef@climbhigh.com Sep 4, 2002
Jay 1975
Bonedale,CO
Jay 1975   Bonedale,CO
the northeast arete of Argon tower is an excelant climb that is a little stiff.weird and possibly dangerous first entry pitch.the best part is the exposed tips layback on the second(real) pitch after the off-width pitch.

sick!!!! Aug 31, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
I find this a scary place to climb, due to the sandy rock. I've never seen very many climbers in the Park. When you do see climbers, they are usually on the Three Penguins, Heart of the Desert, or Owl Rock. I find it more relaxing to wander around and marvel at all the arches. Mar 22, 2002

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