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Areas in West Desert

House Range 19 / 55 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 72
Ibex 45 / 72 / 11 / 52 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 155
Mineral Mountains 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Oquirrh Mountains 1 / 46 / 3 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 55
Stansbury Mountains 1 / 84 / 2 / 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 98
Steamboat Pass 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
White Rocks 4 / 21 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 27

Description

The West Desert is the vast empty basin and range area of western Utah. The area is starkly beautiful with very few people. The climbing is definitely on the adventurous side - even sport crags are way out in the middle of nowhere, loose and/or sharp rock is common, road conditions vary wildly, and target shooters have been known to shoot at bolt hangers and on a few occasions climbers(this hazard is particularly acute at The Valley of Zion and especially Lone Rock - make your presence known).

The West Desert has a huge variety of rock types, quality, style, and stages of development. Ibex has wonderful and uniquely textured quartzite at the edge of a salt pan. The House Range is home to an intriguing mix of granite crags and domes and enormous alpine limestone walls on Notch Peak. South Willow Canyon - Narrows has hard limestone sport climbing in a lovely mountain canyon. There are many other areas that are sparsely or completely undocumented, and lots of untouched rock to explore.

The few people in the area have had a big impact on the environment. Mining has a long history here, and mining activities threaten areas like Ibex. Nuclear waste as well as chemical and biological weapons are stored, tested, and dismantled in the area. Huge sections are off limits due to military activities at the Dugway Proving Grounds and the Utah Test and Training Range. Many places in the West Desert have been trashed by visitors without much respect for leave no trace ethics. Please consider packing out some trash and shell casings, bring your own firewood, and in general leave the place cleaner than you found it.

Weather can be extreme here - most climbing is best in the spring and fall, though some high elevation areas in the Stansbury and Oquirrh ranges are pleasant in the summer. Roads and salt pan crossings become impassable after rains, and self rescue is generally the only option. Cell phone reception is rare.

There are very limited services other than free camping in the West Desert - bring lots of water, keep a full tank of gas, and consider bringing a full gas can and an extra spare tire when visiting the most remote areas.

Hiking, gem and fossil hunting, and visiting ghost towns are good rest day activities.

Utah's West Desert by James Garrett is the excellent guidebook to the area - it is well worth picking up.

Getting There

The West Desert is a massive area west of the Wasatch mountains. The climbing areas are spread out and approaches and driving directions will be posted in the individual areas.

411 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at West Desert

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V5 6C
 17
Topus Arete
Boulder
V7 7A+
 14
Ju
Boulder
V8 7B
 4
Jesus
Boulder
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 3
Paws and Claws
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 29
Elysian Fields
Sport 4 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 21
Aurora Borealis/Lunar Power
Trad 6 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 36
Rivers Edge
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 31
Western Hardman
Trad 12 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 39
Walk the Plank
Sport
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 8
Anti-Crack
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 32
Ewe.F.O
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 29
Teflon Guerrilla
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 6
Nose Shadow
Sport 4 pitches
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 14
Narrowpathic
Sport
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
 3
Narrow Minded
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Topus Arete Ibex > … > Topus Mtn > Topus Boulder
 17
V5 6C Boulder
Ju Ibex > … > Red Monster Area > Red Monster
 14
V7 7A+ Boulder
Jesus Ibex > Bouldering > Candyland
 4
V8 7B Boulder
Paws and Claws White Rocks > Solo Rib
 3
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport
Elysian Fields Stansbury Mtns > Valley of Zion > Blob's Your Uncle
 29
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 4 pitches
Aurora Borealis/Lunar Power Ibex > Quartermoon Tower > E Face
 21
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 6 pitches
Rivers Edge Stansbury Mtns > S Willow Canyon… > Narrows - South
 36
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Western Hardman House Range > Notch Peak
 31
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 12 pitches
Walk the Plank Stansbury Mtns > S Willow Canyon… > Narrows - South
 39
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Anti-Crack House Range > W Sawtooth Canyon > Snake Dike Wall
 8
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Ewe.F.O Ibex > Corral Crags > Ewe For Real Wall
 32
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Teflon Guerrilla Stansbury Mtns > S Willow Canyon… > Narrows - North
 29
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Nose Shadow Ibex > Shadow Buttress
 6
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport 4 pitches
Narrowpathic Stansbury Mtns > S Willow Canyon… > Narrows - North
 14
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Narrow Minded Stansbury Mtns > S Willow Canyon… > Narrows - South
 3
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Sport
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