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Areas in Lower Tier

A. East Wall 3 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
B. Recessed Slab 1 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
C. Middle and West Walls 5 / 5 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Elevation: 6,000 ft
GPS: 39.744, -105.242 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 27,837 total, 841/month
Shared By: Josh on Mar 26, 2015
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac


The Lower Tier is larger than it appears from the parking area - the bottom 2/3 of all the walls are hidden in the trees. It is broken into several sections, with an upper face perched above the East Wall and the Recessed Slab on the left side. This upper face allows for a few high-quality 2-pitch routes. Many of the climbs at the Lower Tiers are characterized by low cruxes. In some cases, the crux is just getting off the ground....

The Lower Tier gets direct sun only in the afternoons, but in the summer, the sun can break over the ridge line above at midday and shine directly down the lines of ascent, making it hard to look up at your next holds when youÂ’re climbing or at your partner above you when you're belaying. It is a bit of an annoyance, but the effect only lasts for an hour or so.

The Lower Tier has a narrow strip of terrain that hugs the base of the walls, but after that the ground drops off steeply. Thus, it is not the safest place for bringing small children.

Getting There

For Lower Tier, use the lower approach trail. From the lower parking area (on the switchback) described on the main page for the Tiers of Zion:

Cross the road (watch for descending cyclists and longboarders), and find a faint trail that starts next to the guardrail. The main trail turns immediately left (uphill) and follows the crest of the long, blunt ridge toward the front edge of the mountain top. After 500 feet, turn at a cairn on the right. Follow a trail of cairns headed more or less straight for the base of the crags on the other side of the gully filled with talus, willows, and grass. Aim first for some lone juniper trees between you and the crag. From there, follow the trail across the gully.

On the far side of the gully, enter the woods by a juniper, somewhat lower than the base of the rocks. Switchback uphill to the base of the Lower Tier. You will arrive right at the start of Buffalo Soldier on the left side of the Middle Wall. Be cautious - this is exactly where one of the area's rattlesnakes has been seen on several occasions.

Click for an overview photo.

To reach the top of the two longer climbs on the Lower Tier (top anchors of Zion Train and Don't Rock My Boat), take one of the upper approaches to the sandy patch above the Upper Tier and keep descending along the blunt crest of the ridge to the left (west) of the Fourth Triangle, always dodging any drop-offs or difficulties by going left. At the final broken band of rock, take one of two chimneys through the short vertical band (the one on the left, very close to the edge of the rock band, is the easiest; the other has a large chockstone and a drop). The anchors for both climbs will take some looking to locate, but they are just below the lip. To reach the bottom of the Lower Tier from this summit, go west down one of the grassy gullies; the descent to the east (toward the Upper Tier) is not safe.

20 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Lower Tier

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Weather Averages

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Jonathan Stickel
Golden, CO
Jonathan Stickel   Golden, CO
Is it really necessary to split up Lower Tier into sub-areas? Sep 11, 2017
Brighton, CO
plantmandan   Brighton, CO
Saw THREE rattlesnakes today. Two were hanging out about 25 feet to the right of where the trail hits the lower tier crag. Another was on the trail about halfway to the parking area as we were fleeing an incoming thunderstorm. Aug 9, 2016

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