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Areas in Ferguson Canyon

Animation Wall 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Bob's Rocking Chair 6 / 1 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Cathedral, The 9 / 5 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 13
Diminutive Wall 5 / 5 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Duomo Wall 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Eldorado 1 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Gallant Wall 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Goldenfingers Wall 7 / 4 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Grayo 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Guano Wall 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Heart Wall 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Hound's Tooth 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Space Station 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Tower Of Babel 2 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Watchtower, The 25 / 22 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 45


This small canyon is just to the south of Big Cottonwood Canyon and is a great place to beat the summer heat. There are several small crags on north-facing walls under a canopy of large trees. A small stream runs by and sometimes makes it difficult to get up there without getting your feet wet. The canyon is also a popular place for picnics.

Ice Climbing

The popular summer crag canyon actually has ice! No much of ice, but I was able to front point up about 45' in April. If you hike on the Ferguson trail, passing all the climbing buttresses, you'll see some flows on the south side of the canyon. It's as simple as that, hike till you see ice, if you don't see ice, keep hiking (unless nothing formed that year).

Getting There

Follow directions to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. There is a 7-11 store here, at the intersection of Wasatch Blvd (Hwy 210) and Fort Union Blvd (Hwy 190, also 7200 South). From this intersection, head south on Wasatch Blvd for a quarter mile and turn left (east) into the Prospector Drive neighborhoods. Take an immediate right and head south up the hill. Take the second left onto Timberline drive and park alongside the right side of the road near the trailhead sign. A dirt road leads to a white water tower and then turns into a trail that descends into the canyon. Follow various branching trails east into the mouth of the canyon. The trail and almost all climbs are on the south side of the stream. The approach for the first climbs on the Watchtower is 15-20 minutes.

104 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ferguson Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
The Confessional
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Inner Light
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Hellfire Variation
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Extreme Unction
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Fire and Brimstone
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Total X
Trad, Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Uncensored Society
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Skinny Len Crimps
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Drunk Punk Oi
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Concrete Jungle
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Steel Reserve
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Confessional Watchtower > Watchtower Main
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Inner Light Watchtower > Watchtower Main
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b TR
Hellfire Variation Watchtower > Watchtower Main
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Imperial Watchtower > Watchtower Tiers
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Extreme Unction Watchtower > Watchtower Main
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, TR
Fire and Brimstone Watchtower > Watchtower Main
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Total X Watchtower > Watchtower Main
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport
Uncensored Society Watchtower > Watchtower Tiers
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Conflict Watchtower > Watchtower Tiers
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Fortress Watchtower > Watchtower Main
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Skinny Len Crimps Cathedral
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Drunk Punk Oi Watchtower > Watchtower Tiers
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Concrete Jungle Tower Of Babel
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Steel Reserve Watchtower > Watchtower Tiers
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Fuego Tower Of Babel
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Ferguson Canyon »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
fun neighborhood climbing, mellow approaches, stout ratings, many toprope opportinities. Sep 11, 2005
This is one of the funnest areas around. There are a lot of routes not mentioned here. Does anyone know anything about the climb just starting up the steep path to the right, it is about 7 maybe 8 bolts, feels like a 5.9+ or 5.10. Just hunting a name a and such. Jul 2, 2007
Wasatch Back, UT
drewford   Wasatch Back, UT
This is a popular canyon, with a long climbing history. Sadly, it is being loved to death--trash, erosion and dog shit to name a few. Get on the ass of anyone leaving trash, lighting fires, or smashing bottles!

The lack of a guidebook update in the last ten years has led to a number of "repeat FA's". If you find a route with fixed gear, it's most likely been freed before (duh). A few routes in this canyon were first done as solos, then got bolted later by others. My point is, do your homework and ask around before claiming a FA, and certainly before you bolt. And DON'T STEAL FIXED PITONS. Get a job dirtbag. Mar 31, 2008
This is a beautiful canyon. It is a shame that some people don't take care of it. There is a lot of trash all around. Climbers are probably not much of a problem in that regard.
I spent an hour or so the other day picking up little pieces of shattered glass from around the base of the Watchtower, and there is still a lot of glass around. A week or so ago I was up there and I saw a group of young (underage) kids hiking up. There were about ten of them. Each was carrying 4-6 bottles of Corona, no backpacks. When they came back down later, they weren't carrying anything. That means that those 40-60 bottles are still up there somewhere, probably smashed to bits. I should have confronted them about it, and I am still kicking myself for not doing so (but there were 10 of them and 1 of me). Every time I hike up the trail I pick up at least 20 cigarette butts and other odds and ends of trash. My dog comes up there with me, and I always pick up and pack out his poop. Many others do not, as there are always piles of poop all over the place.
I think it would be a good idea as a community of climbers to carry trash bags with us when we use this canyon. Lets pick up the trash of others, and ourselves and clean up this nice canyon. It may help preserve our access as a user group and it will definitely show others that we are a responsible and respectful user group. Aug 22, 2008
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
I talked to a lady who was leaving the canyon with her dog yesterday. She was carrying a ton of trash out, which made me pay close attention to what she was saying (as Ben mentionned, trash gets in this place but rarely out): apparently the city of Cottonwood Heights is contemplating closing Ferguson to dogs.

I don't know how much of this is true. She may have been ranting or she may have been the mayor of the city for all I know. Nevertheless, a bit of cleaning is certainly not gonna hurt access to the canyon... Do your part peeps! Jun 5, 2009
Would anyone be down for a "trail works day"? Some of the landings are loose and eroded and could use repair. Jul 30, 2009
Salt Lake City
Shaft   Salt Lake City
Funny you should mention that. The SLCA is having a Ferguson Canyon Adpot-A-Crag day that is tentatively scheduled for September 26th, 2009. Projects include graffiti removal, repairing trails and building belay platforms to reduce erosion as well as the usual trash removal.

More information will be available on the SLCA website as it becomes available. Jul 30, 2009
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
ferguson is now home to probably the nicest approach trail in the wasatch! Oct 11, 2009
I read in the Cottonwood Heights Journal that the city will start enforcing a permit only parking system at the trailhead.

"The Timberline Trailhead is a popular attraction in our coummnunity, but street parking around the trail has become a problem for homeowners in the area. For that reason, the roads around the trailhead will be designated permit-only parking as of July 1.

Anyone using the trail must park in designated trailhead parking or at the gravel overflow parking area on Prospector Drive. Homeowners along Timberline Drive, Quicksilver Drive and Prospector Drive will receive five street parking permits per household to place inside family cars or the cars of visiting guests.

Any car parked on those streets without a placard risks being ticketed for a parking violation. As a remoinder, the city will be posting permit-only parking signs and a map of the overflow parking area at the trailhead." Jul 5, 2010
Adam N.  
Oh no—I’ve lost my draws! On Sunday night I had to leave draws hanging on Concrete Jungle at the Tower of Babel. All bolts were clipped with Wild Country or Petzl draws and I had two shoulder-lengths at the anchors. Of course I’m familiar with the whole Booty Clause, but I figured this was worth a try. If you have them, you’re like the nicest guy in the town, I’d love to get them back from you. Cheers! 801-860-1976 Aug 11, 2011
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
Did you check if there were still up there? I doubt the Tower sees very much traffic and your draws might still be hanging there. Aug 12, 2011
Adam N.  
The draws were gone as of Thursday. I agree though. I had put my faith in the local climbing folk that they would a) be lazy and not hike up to the Tower—at least until I got my stuff back, and b) if they did climb there, they would agree that while a few pieces of gear is booty, a whole route equipped is a different thing altogether. No such luck. Aug 12, 2011
Adam N.  
I got my gear back! Many thanks to the climber who returned the draws, and to you, Sir Mt. Project, for making it all happen. Aug 14, 2011
I forgot our rope somewhere in ferguson! I know it's stupid but it sure happened. Its a green Sterling dual-pattern rope in a green Metolius rope bag. If you've found it, I would really appreciate if you could let me know. 8015185880
Thank you Sep 2, 2011
Found pair of climbing shoes in Ferguson. If they're yours please contact me @ 8016781137. Preferably with a description of the shoes to keep people honest. Jun 7, 2013
LOST: One La Sportiva TC Pro climbing shoe on Wednesday evening. The shoe was left near extreme unction in ferguson canyon. Please call (507) 581-0288. Thank you! Aug 1, 2013
Tyler N
Salt Lake City, UT
Tyler N   Salt Lake City, UT
How late in the year does it generally stay climbable? Nov 3, 2013
Super Fluke
Super Fluke   Earth
With neighboring BCC to the north and LCC to the south, it's easy to pass up this gem. Great climbs with appreciable amount shade. My only criticism is all the dogs. The spelling should be changed to "Furguson" for all the furry friends. Jul 29, 2015

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