Moe's Valley Bouldering
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|Shared By:||misty murphy on Sep 19, 2007 · Updates|
|Admins:||Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, D C|
The State Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) was created when the Utah territory was granted statehood. SITLA was given millions of acres of federal land around the state and tasked with using those lands to generate revenue for the public school system. SITLA does this through oil and gas leasing, mineral and resource extraction or land sales for development.
Most locals in this part of the state just assume that if it doesn't have houses on it then it must be owned by the BLM. We made just that assumption when the potential of Moe's valley was being re-discovered in early 2001. Upon the realization that the entire basin could become a housing development, we formed the Southern Utah Climbers Coalition (yes it spells SUCC) as a means of representing the interests of the local community, and opened a dialog with SITLA.
4 years, and many meetings later Moe's valley and the Bloomington mesa will be annexed into the city of St. George and maintained as open space for the many forms of recreation that take place out there. With mountain biking on the Zen Trail, sport climbing on the Zen wall, myriad hiking trails as well as some of the best bouldering around, this formation offers outdoor enthusiasts a diverse and convenient venue for the pursuit of our various passions.
The process of approaching a landowner, developing a relationship, and explaining the value that an area or activity has to a community, and then working through solutions that are good for all of the interested parties has been extremely instructive and rewarding. SITLA actually hired a mediator to work through some of the issues and give an even handed point of view. This kind of process could very well be a template to other areas with similar issues.
I am not taking the time to write this just to pat ourselves on the back, but to explain how we have come to our present point, and to sound a note of concern.
As the popularity of Moe's has increased, so has the number of people camping out at the parking area, driving up the wash to the Sentinel, or around the saddle to the TP boulders and upper basin. There is a fire pit at every major concentration of boulders, litter around the boulders, and tire tracks just about any where you could possibly drive a pickup, SUV or ATV. We are suggesting to the climbing/bouldering community that this is an unacceptable and unnecessary impact to an area that we have worked hard to protect. The hike from the end of the road to the furthest boulder cant be more than 15 minutes. Of course when you have to bring in firewood that is a long way, so why not, like- not have a fire. The fire rings create the impression that camping at the base of the boulders is acceptable, it isn't. It is worth remembering that these kinds of behaviors were undoubtedly among some of the reasons for the closing of Hueco tanks, and the Black Velvet camping in Red Rocks. It makes our community look bad in the eyes of the landowners, land managers and other users of the area.
We are beginning the process of working with the BLM to identify appropriate areas that are close enough to Moe's Valley and appropriate for the kind of camping that someone on a road trip would do (fire pit, dogs, cathole etc) In the meantime, if everyone who visits Moe's would take some of this advice to heart and pass the word it would help our cause, and improve our image with people whose opinion of our community standards really does matter.
St. George, Utah
Nice bouldering area to the west of the St. George airport. It's now easier to get to, and you don't need high clearance anymore, so lots more people are coming out. Definitely recommended as a nice change of pace from St. George area climbing, or as a stop off (it's within 15 minutes from I-15).
The sandstone here is easily damaged when wet. Please allow at least 24-48 hours before climbing after any precipitation. If the ground is at all damp, please do not climb on any local sandstone. Consider nearby options on basalt, limestone, granite, or plastic instead.
The area is continually being developed, so any new problems would be appreciated.
Local color tends to have poor ethics when it comes to properly disposing their trash. Please help keep Moe's Valley clean by bringing in a garbage bag and carry out whatever cans, bottles or garbage you can find.
No Camping in Moe's Valley
Camping is not allowed at Moe's or Mario Land.
Promote and Practice - Leave no Trace.
It's kinda convoluted.
If you follow the directions in A Bouldering Guide to Utah or Rock Climbs of Southwest Utah & The Arizona Strip, Second Edition, you'll definitely get to the valley, but you'll also need 4WD and high clearance.
Due to suburban sprawl there's an easier way, and one that low-clearance 2WD can use:
* Travel on I-15 (north or south) and get off at Exit 6;hl=en&geocode=&q=saint+george,+utah&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.223579,59.853516&ie=UTF8&ll=37.082914,-113.582668&spn=0.046835,0.058451&z=14 (Bluff St.).
* Turn north on Bluff St.
* At the first light, turn left...
* ...then immediately left again onto Hilton Dr;hl=en&geocode=&q=saint+george,+utah&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.223579,59.853516&ie=UTF8&ll=37.086388,-113.585747&spn=0.006102,0.007306&t=h&z=17. You will pass a bunch of car dealerships in a minute.
* Continue on Hilton Dr. (which curves to the right and becomes Dixie Dr.) until 600 W street on the left.
* Turn left onto 600 W.
* Turn right onto Tonaquint Dr.
* Turn right on Curly Hollow Drive (after turning onto Tonaquint it is the third street on the right, and heads past Tonaquint Middle School;hl=en&geocode=&q=saint+george,+utah&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.223579,59.853516&ie=UTF8&ll=37.07313,-113.609297&spn=0.006103,0.007306&t=h&z=17). Shortly past the school the pavement ends.
* Head up the hill on the dirt road.
* Bear right at the fork.
You should see Moe's Valley ahead of you (power lines cross the entrance to the valley).
Park in either parking lot (there's usually vehicles in both). Like I said, kinda convoluted.
Mapquest makes things a little clearer for the paved roads, but they don't have anything for the dirt road.
No Camping in Moe's Valley
Classic Climbing Routes at Moe's Valley
Days w Precip