Elevation: 5,291 ft
GPS: 38.68025, -108.31227
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Page Views: 355,572 total · 1,716/month
Shared By: John Peterson on Jan 21, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Jesse Zacher, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Access Issue: The Cabin Wall and the Island are both closed to climbing Details

Description

RAIN, WET ROCK: The sandstone in Escalante Canyon is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Gear placement in wet sandstone also poses a safety concern. Please wait for the rock to dry prior to climbing.

Escalante Canyon is Colorado's version of Indian Creek, the way it used to be. The rock isn't as extensive or solid, but the climbs are sweet.

The rock is sandstone, similar to that in Colorado National Monument which is only about 25 miles away. Approaches are short and crowds are minimal. There is climbing on both sides of the canyon but most of the routes are on the south-facing side. Some areas are on private property. The ranch owner has been open to climbing so long as there are not large groups. When in doubt, ask one of the ranch hands.

The only published guide to the area is in Eric Bjornstad's original Desert Rock Book which is out of print. This underlines the fact that the area has great history that precedes many of the bolting ethics in play today that have taken areas such as Indian Creek by storm.

Many of the routes and/or pitches here do not have bolted anchors. In most cases, this was a conscious decision by the first ascentionists to leave no trace. Please respect the wishes of these pioneers when considering installation of fixed hardware.

If the case arises that the climb seems to hard or unlikely to go to the rim, it is always possible to rap in from the top to retrieve gear to avoid bolting. In many areas, there are evidence of bolting and bolt removal where someone assumed a line was unclimbed and set anchors where in fact there were anchors a short distance higher and out of view.

It should be stressed that these are crack climbs, but Escalante is not Indian Creek. Please respect the history of the area.

CAMPING:

There are many different areas to camp in the canyon. Please do not camp at the public pullout for The Potholes. A few of the main locations are on the left if going up canyon at mileage of 5 and 5.5 from the Cabin at Cabin wall. Take heed to the private property signs. Most camping areas have a manageable road established and do NOT have no camping allowed signs in front of them.

Getting There

Escalante Canyon is about 20 miles south of Grand Junction. The road is well marked and branches off US 50 between milepost 59 and 60, about 10 miles northwest of Delta. From the junction, it is about 12 miles of dirt road to the climbing area. The road drops down and crosses the Gunnison River and then follows Escalante Creek up to the climbing area. The main area is just after you enter public land, just past the cabin on the right. Free camping is available. There is a popular swimming area just past the climbing. The approaches are 5 - 10 minutes from the road.

A few words about bolting here:

In many cases, it is hard to see the anchors of routes, and before placing bolts, you should climb as close to the rim as possible. Most of the lines have been climbed, especially in the main areas. Please use caution, and when in doubt, rap down from the top to retrieve gear and/or possibly view where the anchors are. Please respect the routes which were done before and avoid placing bolts on established lines.

If bolting must be done, it is important that you camouflage the anchors. Not only is it an eye sore if you do not camo them, but there has been a long history of cliffs being shot up because there were targets on them (shiny bolts day-glow webbing). It's western out there.

114 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Escalante Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 140
Interiors
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 106
TH Crack
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 86
Muffin Man (aka Leaning Corner o…
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 123
Lieback
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 124
The Shaft
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 99
Right of Lieback
Trad
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 171
Key Hole
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 141
Willy's Hand Jive
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 133
S Crack
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 54
Fred and Barney's Crack
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 73
Uncle Remus (aka Short Corner)
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 62
Zombie Woof (submitted as Big Ha…
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 43
Make The Grade
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 96
The Curve
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 82
Rednekk Justus
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Interiors Interiors Wall Area
 140
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
TH Crack Cabin Wall
 106
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Muffin Man (aka Leaning Cor… Zappa Wall
 86
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Lieback Interiors Wall Area
 123
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
The Shaft Interiors Wall Area
 124
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Right of Lieback Interiors Wall Area
 99
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Key Hole Interiors Wall Area
 171
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad
Willy's Hand Jive Island aka Left side…
 141
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
S Crack Cabin Wall
 133
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Fred and Barney's Crack Cabin Wall
 54
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Uncle Remus (aka Short Corner) Zappa Wall
 73
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Zombie Woof (submitted as B… Zappa Wall
 62
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Make The Grade Interiors Wall Area
 43
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
The Curve Zappa Wall
 96
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Rednekk Justus Cabin Wall
 82
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
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