Elevation: 5,404 ft
GPS: 40.266, -111.621 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 486,826 total · 2,527/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Jul 24, 2003
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
36°F 2°C
46°F - 39°F 8°C - 4°C
53°F - 40°F 12°C - 4°C
60°F - 42°F 16°C - 6°C
62°F - 41°F 17°C - 5°C
Memorial Day
54°F - 40°F 12°C - 4°C
55°F - 41°F 13°C - 5°C


Rock Canyon is one of my favorite climbing areas when visiting Salt Lake. It is pretty well developed now and hosts a slew of bolted and trad lines.

Overall, the climbing is significantly easier than that at American Fork Canyon. Rock Canyon holds numerous bolted routes in the 5.5 to 5.13 range and trad from 5.6 to 5.12 with the balance easier than 5.10.

There are routes sprinkled around on both sides of the canyon so it possible to chase the shade or the sun, as need demands. All of the parking is at the mouth of the canyon, so be prepared to hump.

One day, several years ago, we hiked the canyon from the mouth to the top of the plateau and it was really a gas, and did not detract from the climbing at all. It is easy to find yourself the only team at a crag, and while the vista does not come close to rivaling American Fork, the isolation can be satisfying. There is climbing adjacent to the parking, and one can take a leisurely approach just moving up canyon during the rest periods.

The rock is divided primarily between yellow and reddish quartzite closer to the mouth of the canyon, and gray limestone farther up canyon. See here for more information on the canyon's geology.

Best trip: bring a pair of ropes, a dozen draws, the trad rack, a bottle of wine, your significant other, and hiking shoes.

Local Beta

Mountainworks is the local climbing shop.

The Mountainworks crew have put up many of the routes in the local area, and Mountainworks is therefore the place to go for route recommendations and beta beyond that which appears here.

Getting There

Rock Canyon is quite a long way south of Salt Lake City and is just east of Provo.

From the north (Salt Lake City) drive south on I-15 and exit at 800 N in Orem (exit 272). Drive east until 800 N ends; take the exit right onto University Avenue. Continue south on University Avenue until 2230 N (the 7th light signal). Turn left and drive east through a residential neighborhood until the road starts to curve right (south). Turn left on N. Temple Drive (the Mormon Temple is visible just before you turn). Continue east on N. Temple through a 4-way stop sign. As the road curves to the south (right) the Rock Canyon parking will be directly ahead.

From the south exit from I-15 at University Avenue in Provo (exit 263). Continue north on University Avenue until 2230 N (the first light signal after passing BYU's football stadium on your right). Turn right and follow the rest of the directions, above.

432 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Rock 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
Call of the Wild
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Main Crack
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Trad, TR
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Cosmic Space Dust Lazers
Sport 9 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Curious George
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Green Monster
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Green Jello
Sport 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Lord of the Slings
Sport 4 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Call it a Knight
Sport, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Pink Canoe
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Sport, TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
The Bulge
Sport, TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Simple Simon
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Sport 22 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Call of the Wild Wild
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Main Crack Ed & Terry Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Flakes Ed & Terry Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Cosmic Space Dust Lazers Layer Cake
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Sport 9 pitches
Curious George George
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Green Monster Green Monster Slab
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Green Jello Green Monster Slab
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 2 pitches
Lord of the Slings Trilogy Buttress
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 4 pitches
Call it a Knight Ed & Terry Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, TR
Chupacabra Wild
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Pink Canoe Black Rose
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Battleship Tinker Toys
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport, TR
The Bulge Appendage
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, TR
Simple Simon Super Bowl Wall
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Squawstruck Squaw Peak
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport 22 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Rock Canyon »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season


John J. Glime
Salt Lake City, UT
John J. Glime   Salt Lake City, UT
Ruckman's guide, etc. shows that you can drive up the canyon. No more. There is now a parking area with bathrooms and a gate 10 minutes from the mouth of the canyon. Sep 25, 2004
Alma Madsen
Foster City, CA
Alma Madsen   Foster City, CA
Just to let everyone know, I've been putting together more printer friendly and compact route guides for rock canyon (using the awesome Beta photos from you all) and I decided to post them for everyone to use. You can find them at sites.google.com/site/mount…. I find them handy for printing out and throwing in my outdated AFC/RC book.

Keep in mind this is a work in progress, and suggestions are welcome. Jun 17, 2009
Pinetop, AZ
TobinPetty   Pinetop, AZ
I agree with the previous comments regarding the fine development of routes in the canyon. I've been living in Alaska for the past 3 yrs and have admired many of the lines from afar. Upon returning to the lower 48 Rock Canyon will be one of my destinations! Thanks to the Utah Valley crews. Aug 28, 2009
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
Crisco and I climbed a fun mixed route today in the canyon. Not sure if it's been done before. We named it (tongue-in-cheek) the Higbee Gully. If the Knights can name a bunch of routes after themselves, why can't I? :) It's not super hard or hardcore by any means, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's been done before (especially in summer) but it was a fun adventure. There's a little TR and some pics on my blog here. Jan 23, 2010
I'm glad Tristan included the lie he told me to get me out there. But it was strangely fun. Worth doing and we hope DK has to add it to his list of things to do! :) Jan 24, 2010
Peter Dodge
Duluth, MN
Peter Dodge   Duluth, MN
Is there any free camping around Rock Canyon? If there isn't, where is a good, close-by campground? Jul 26, 2010
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
Yeah, there's free camping throughout the canyon. The closest ones to the parking lot are probably a few hundred feet in. They're not officially designated with numbers and picnic tables or anything, just clearings with a fire ring (though open fires aren't allowed in the summer) that you'll see on one side of the trail or the other. There's a bathroom at the parking lot.

The next major canyon to the south, Slate Canyon, has camping, too, and you can pitch your tent pretty much wherever. That canyon gets a lot less traffic. There is paid camping in Provo Canyon (north of Rock Canyon). The sites there have water hookups, etc. Jul 27, 2010
Northglenn, co
JP BRINK   Northglenn, co
Anyone out there know if anyone has put together a guide book for this area yet?? Apr 19, 2011
Orem, UT
jtwalter   Orem, UT
It's dated but, yes, there is a guide book.

Rumors are that Darren Knezek has a new one in the works. Apr 21, 2011
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
The Ruckman guide is good if you're interested in going to the Balcony, the Projects, or the Bosko Wall, none of which are covered in much detail here on MP. Otherwise, Mountain Project has far better (more up-to-date, accurate, and complete) info. Apr 21, 2011
will ar
San Antonio, TX
will ar   San Antonio, TX
Stopped here planning to camp for a night on a roadtrip a few weeks ago and camping as well as overnight parking is no longer allowed, but I'm not sure how well it is actually enforced. Fun climbing area though. Aug 31, 2012
How crowded is this place usually? Oct 6, 2013
John Ross
Wasatch Front, UT
John Ross   Wasatch Front, UT
@foxbox this is a pretty active canyon. As for the trail, hikers, and a few runners and mountain bikers are common early to late, even some in the dark. As for the climbing, the popular areas (Red Slab, The Wild, The Jobsite) get especially busy on holidays and weekends. But with hundreds of routes in the canyon to choose from, even on crowded days there are plenty of quality climbing routes to be found. If multi-pitch is at all interesting, there are some really good ones. The good news is (and keep this a secret), there are many days when you can just about pick a wall and have it all to yourself. Oct 7, 2013
I know this is a long shot but did anyone find a purple evolv elektra climbing shoe between the second and third bridge? Jul 27, 2014
I started working a route, George of the Jungle (just 20 meters past the kitchen), two days ago (7/15/2015) and left draws hung on it. I went back tonight to finish it and the draws were taken. Full rack of nice, nearly brand new orange and silver Black Diamond Free wire. If you took these or know who did please contact me and return them.
No there is no reward for whoever took them, it is fairly common knowledge that if a full rack of draws are hung on the route someone is coming back for them.
8014044307 Jul 17, 2015
Beware of gear thieves in Rock Canyon. Every draw and biner I have left on a project has been taken within a week of leaving it there. Really wish people would respect other people's property here. Sep 20, 2016
I found some 5.10 climbing shoes two days ago around red slab. (February 15th.) If they are yours text me with the model and size. My number is 602-812-8931. Feb 17, 2017
I took a fried up to red slab yesterday (7/4) and he thinks his apple watch got left behind. It 42mm and series 2. Please call me at 602-812-8931 if found. Thanks Aug 5, 2017