Elevation: 10,600 ft
GPS: 40.747, -110.511 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 10,102 total · 63/month
Shared By: John Steiger on Sep 1, 2008
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, DCrane
Access Issue: Located in a National Forest Fee Area Details
Access Issue: Book Cliffs is used by the Boy Scouts@SEMICOLON@ please avoid Camp Steiner and be courteous. Details


Book Cliffs, aka Scout Wall, is an attractive crag overlooking Scout Lake and Camp Steiner, which, according to Wikipedia, is the “highest Boy Scout Camp in the United States” at 10,400 feet. The crag is about 300 feet long and has routes between 25-80 feet high. According to Nathan Smith’'s and Paul Tusting'’s 2004 climbing guide to the Uintas, the crag has 26 routes (as of 2004, anyway), most requiring gear.

Camp Steiner – as well as Scout Wall (so says the guide) – is on land leased by the Boy Scouts from the Forest Service. The lease provides, however, that the public access to the area is to remain unrestricted. Still, it is probably best to be as low-key as possible when Camp Steiner is in operation, lest unduly raising the risk of conflict and resulting access restrictions. If there is a conflict between the scouts and climbers, the latter likely will be the losers; Camp Steiner has been in operation since 1930, so long that it is on the National Historic Register. For the 2008 season, Camp Steiner is scheduled to be open from June 30 through August 16.

As for any area in the High Uintas, summer lightening storms are an objective risk to be taken seriously. On August 2, 2005, a lightening bolt made a direct hit on one of the open-sided cabins at Camp Steiner, killing a boy and injuring three others.

Getting There

The approach described here is designed to avoid Camp Steiner and Scout Lake. If Camp Steiner is not open, it may be okay to walk up the Camp Steiner road to Scout Lake, from where the crag is obvious and easily reached. When in doubt about whether Camp Steiner is occupied, however, play it safe and stay off the Camp Steiner road.

When driving the Mirror Lake Highway from the west (from Kamas), look for the paved road leading to Camp Steiner on the left. As soon as you pass the turn-off, look straight down the road line and you will see an obvious crag looming over the trees. This is Castle Cliff, and you will want to walk toward this to get to Book Cliffs. Continue driving past the Camp Steiner turnoff for about .2 miles to a large pull-out on the right-side of Mirror Lake Highway, marked by a conspicuous old paved road leading downhill that is blocked by boulders.

The walk in is somewhat hit or miss. From the pull-out, cross the road and find a slight trail heading uphill directly across from the parking area. The trail soon ends, but maintain the same general direction until you reach the relatively small Castle Lake, located near the base of the far right (or eastern) end of Castle Cliff. From here, stay on the southern side of the lake (the guide says stay on the northern side and find a trail, but that seemed unnecessary to me and we couldn'’t find the trail). Walk toward the west maintaining more or less the same elevation along the base of Castle Cliff, keeping to the trees and out of Castle Cliff'’s boulder/talus field. Soon a draw will be reached that separates the Castle Cliff hillside and the Book Cliffs hillside, from which it should be possible to see the Book Cliffs. From here the rest of the way is obvious. Allow up to 45 minutes for the approach, particularly on your first visit to the crag.

Rather than using the above-described approach, it may be more expedient to reach Scout Lake and ultimately the Book Cliffs from the Pass Lake/Lofty Lake trailhead, but I’'ll leave that to another writer.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Scout Lake

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Gone With the Wind
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Hero Maker
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Gone With the Wind
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Hero Maker
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
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