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Areas in San Rafael Swell - South

Airport Towers 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 3
Back of the Reef 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Ding Dang Dome 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Eastern Reef Area.. AKA The Sandstone Alps 222 / 35 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 229
Factory Butte 1 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Family Butte 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 7
Flat Tops 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Hanksville Area 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 3
Head of Sinbad South 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 3
Long Dong Silver Area 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 4
Lucky Strike Mine Area 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 2
Moore Cutoff / Cedar Ridge Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Mudstrosity, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Reds Canyon 5 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 5
San Rafael Knob 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Sulphur Canyon Area 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 3
Swaseyland 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 8
Temple Mountain 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Tomsich Peak 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Turkey Tower 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 4
Upper Muddy Creek 12 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 15
Viewfinder Towers 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 10
Wild Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0

Description

The southern San Rafael Swell is a huge area with big slabs on the San Rafael Reef, isolated towers, and domes. Currently there are well over two hundred routes in the Reef area alone with potential for many more.

Free camping is available pretty much everywhere and the nearest services are in Green River about 14 miles from the Reef.

It is a good idea to have maps of the area as you will likely see no one, and there are many old roads all over the place.

However the roads into the Reef Slab area from I-70 or the Hanksville Road (Rte 24) are very straightforward.

Getting There

This huge spread out area is south of I70 west of Green River. Everything is very spread out so more specific directions will be included with the rock formations themselves.See Getting there on Eastern Reef Slabs and Walls section.

311 Total Climbs

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Location: San Rafael Swell - South Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at San Rafael Swell - South

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V-easy 3 X
 4
Flo and Al's/School For Advanced Suff…
Trad, Boulder
A3
 6
Angel of Death
Aid
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 13
The Road to Mecca
Trad 5 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 52
1000' of Fun
Trad 5 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 4
The Great North Ridge
Trad 9 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 11
Firebird
Trad 5 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 15
1200' of more Fun
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 5
Day of Atonement
Trad 9 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 27
Death by Chocolate
Trad 9 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 4
Karma's Castle in the Air
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 4
The Dark Side
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C2
 3
Rising Sons
Trad, Aid 3 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 5
The Gorilla
Trad 2 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 3
More Madness
Trad 4 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 6
The Cat's Me-ow.
Trad, Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Flo and Al's/School For Adv… Factory Butte
 4
V-easy 3 X Trad, Boulder
Angel of Death Long Dong Silver Area
 6
A3 Aid
The Road to Mecca Eastern Reef Ar… > E Crags (DBC Canyon)
 13
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 5 pitches
1000' of Fun Eastern Reef Ar… > O Crags (Three Finger…
 52
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 5 pitches
The Great North Ridge Eastern Reef Ar… > B Crags (Spotted Wolf…
 4
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 9 pitches
Firebird Eastern Reef Ar… > A Crags
 11
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 5 pitches
1200' of more Fun Eastern Reef Ar… > O Crags (Three Finger…
 15
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 6 pitches
Day of Atonement Eastern Reef Ar… > E Crags (DBC Canyon)
 5
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 9 pitches
Death by Chocolate Eastern Reef Ar… > E Crags (DBC Canyon)
 27
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 9 pitches
Karma's Castle in the Air San Rafael Knob
 4
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
The Dark Side Eastern Reef Ar… > B Crags (Spotted Wolf…
 4
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Rising Sons Family Butte
 3
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C2 Trad, Aid 3 pitches
The Gorilla Airport Towers
 5
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
More Madness Eastern Reef Ar… > F Crags
 3
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
The Cat's Me-ow. Eastern Reef Ar… > O Crags (Three Finger…
 6
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Sport
More Classic Climbs in San Rafael Swell - South »

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Andrew, Nathan or Perin... The routes Angle of Repose and Wandering Poet should now be moved to the Little Spotted Wolf Canyon area now that Paul has added that.
It seems to me that there should be some reorganization here. The place is hard to figure out if you haven't done a lot of exploring. There should be a general area- Eastern Reef Slabs, and under that there should be sub-areas. Like Little Spotted Wolf Canyon and envirions, Three Finger Canyon & environs, Uneva Mine Canyon and environs, etc... At this stage, if you went there even with a whole mini guide of the area printed out (which is probably about 100 pages) it would still be hard to figure it out. Jun 4, 2008
USBRIT Ross
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
Hey Ben that's what adventure climbing is all about ...figuring it out .We do not want to make it too easy for the lads and lasses from Boulder. Jun 4, 2008
I know, you are right... They've been complaining so much though, that I thought I would try to help out a little. It's fine with me though if things are left the way they are. I don't have any problems with the area, it all seems pretty straight forward, especially with all the photos we have posted. Jun 5, 2008
USBRIT Ross
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
It is still a nice peaceful place that we have mainly to ourselves or at most the few climbers who love the tranquility of the desert. Thank God its not like Rifle, Shelf Road ,or Potash with folks screaming "Take".The future of climbing in the Swell will become more understandable and perhaps more popular soon enough..................We went on the Reef with no information ,if visiting climbers cannot figure out the massive amount of info that is already on this site its perhaps better they stay with the crowds. Jun 5, 2008
Paul, I totally agree... That is the reason I haven't been to Indian Creek in almost ten years. The climbing is great there, but the crowds and the attitude don't suite what the desert is about for me. Buckhorn has also become way too crowded for my liking. So I guess you are right, leave it organized how it is... Things are explained pretty well here anyway. Jun 5, 2008
USBRIT Ross
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
The dirt Road into the Reef both from I.70 and the Hanksville road is now graded and in very good condition. Sept 27th 2011 Sep 27, 2011
Chris Bartram
Orono, ME
Chris Bartram   Orono, ME
Is there a good guide book to all of these climbs? If so what is the best one? Jan 20, 2015
USBRIT Ross
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
There is no complete guide book except a few of the climbs are in a guide by Stewart Green. Whoever all the climbs are located here on MP.Print your own ? Jan 21, 2015
VirginiaS
Boulder, CO
VirginiaS   Boulder, CO
I left a pair of women's Muiras in the Death By Chocolate Canyon last week, near the base of Road to Mecca. I think there's been a fair amount of rain since then, so this might be a lost cause, but if anyone finds them please send me a message! Mar 31, 2017

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