Elevation: 5,101 ft
GPS: 37.276, -112.945 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 23,116 total · 119/month
Shared By: Andrew Wellman on Apr 14, 2003
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures ***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


This is the prow that Desert Shield climbs. The standard descent is to rappel Desert Shield.

Getting There

Past big bend on the Zion Canyon road. This buttress is on the right side of the road just before Leaning Wall. The only thing separating it from Leaning Wall is a large broken area with an arch that the Spaceshot rappels go down.

5 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Desert Shield Buttress

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2
Disco Inferno
Trad, Aid 8 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c C3
Desert Shield
Trad, Aid 9 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Disco Inferno
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2 Trad, Aid 8 pitches
Desert Shield
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c C3 Trad, Aid 9 pitches
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Bryan Bornholdt
Las Vegas, NV
Bryan Bornholdt   Las Vegas, NV
I did this route several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. The free climbing is nice and the aid is great. It requires a wide range of gear for the free climbing and I used a triple set of brass offsets on the thin clean aid, primarily the larger ones. We used TCUS, Aliens, etc. This is a heads-up route but is enjoyable for experienced parties. The "death blocks" can be avoided by staying to the right but it is awkward to traverse in from the left. We had no trouble rapping the route without fixing a retreat rope. Just make certain that you back up your belay with an autoblock or such as you swing over to the anchors below the headwall. Sep 25, 2005
Deke Doty
Fort Collins, CO
Deke Doty   Fort Collins, CO
I did this route in 07,great free and aid mixture. Three sets of brass up to #6, plus normal Zion clean rack w/ hooks,and many screamers. If taking a porta-ledge pop it between two headwall pitches,"stellar", then leave it and the pig there(traffic permitting),then retrieve as rappelling. There is a good bivi ledge,not pictured, to the right of route ,behind a flake, with a spinner bolt for porta-ledge(right of third belay or just after chimney),this flake/bivi was where we were able to rappel to from the sixth belay anchor ONLY WITH 65 METER ROPES, BARELY!!!,but it definitely eliminates leaving retreat line. Considering, two "tuff" people can bivi at flake with minimal comfort w/o porta-ledge,and a summit bivi, this route could be done without porta-ledge with decent bivy options. Please pack out if using flake bivi. Enjoy! Jan 16, 2009