LCC Camping?


Original Post
Luke Lindeman · · Lancaster, PA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Hey all,

Heading out to Little Cottonwood and/or Maple Canyon for the first time this weekend for a few days from the east coast. I'm hoping someone can give me some beta on camping areas and/or places to stay. What's out there and what are prices like for camping areas? How far away from the trailheads should we expect to be staying?

Thanks for any info! I appreciate it!

Glen Kaplan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

Right on!   I'm sure you will love it.

IF camping in LCC proper...I'd say get as high as you can in the canyon.   Albion Basin is at the top: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/albion-basin/r/campgroundFees.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70226

There are tons of fun limestone adventures within hiking distance of the campground and if you are feeling like braving the heat a bit, then it's an easy drive down canyon to some of the shadier granite areas of LCC.   We certainly do climb in the lower canyon but its really hot and 'most' of the well knowns are South-ish facing...so...hit it early or some things come into shade late.

Check out Hellgate, Albion Basin, Devil's Castle, etc.   Lots of bolts but still adventuresome...wear a helmet!  :)

Luke Lindeman · · Lancaster, PA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Thanks for the tips! According to the .gov site, Albion Basin is closed until late July... Are there any other areas we should consider? I'm not against climbing in the sun for a bit or jumping from north to south as needed. The goal in LCC was to hopefully run some of the classics (Mexican Crack and the surrounding single pitches), but if there are some fun multi-pitch climbs, I'd be stoked to check those out too.

Again, I appreciate the insight! 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

The Albion Basin CG won't open until late in  the month. The only other camping in LCC is at Tanner Flats in mid-canyon.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/tanners-flat/r/campgroundSeasonDates.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70341

Lower LCC is really hot this time of year, and it's going to be 100+ for the high for the next 3-4 days. The Hellgate Cliffs in the upper canyon across from Alta ski area are a better option (100% sport - wear a helmet even at the base when not climbing. A guy was killed by rockfall a number of years ago from mountain goats kicking off stuff from far above the cliffs). They do face south and get full sun all day. Devil's Castle is another option, although there still may be some significant snow on the approach. While the routes are 4-6 pitches, it's alpine limestone, sometimes run-out, and often an adventure. The short sport routes below Cecret Lake still have snow covering the bottom 2-3 bolts.

One other thing about the heat: that eastern trick of taking a break early afternoon and waiting till later when things start cooling down doesn't really work here. The temp keeps climbing and reaches the high for the day around 5-6 pm, so finding shade is a lot more important.

Personally, at this time of year, I wouldn't bother with LCC as a destination. It's fine for local dawn warriors who finish by 9am, but to visit...... Even BCC is easier to find shade.

I've been going to Maple Canyon, the Uintas (mostly sport routes at 10500'), and City of Rocks (where it's much easier to chase shade). 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Luke Lindeman wrote: I'm not against climbing in the sun for a bit...

Keep in mind that the perceived sun intensity increases by about 10% for each 1K' in elevation. Compared to what you're used to on the East coast, the sun in LCC will be anywhere from 60%-90% more intense. That's a lot. In LCC there really isn't all that much on the south side of the canyon as compared to the north, frying pan side. The area with the greatest assortment of routes is the Pentapitch (a classic 5.8) area and Industrial Wall.

Luke Lindeman · · Lancaster, PA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Marc,

Thanks for the tips. I did get roasted last year in the Tetons, so I'm aware of the elevation really upping the ante. I was hoping to find some trad, but if it's easier to chase shade on sport routes and have some fun that way, it seems like that might be what we end up doing. Again, I appreciate the insight and am thankful for the useful advice.

Cheers!

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Agreed with Marc - LCC granite classics are too hot this time of year. I consider myself pretty hardy as far as temperature resistance, but the problem is that the friction between your shoes and the granite is almost nonexistent. If you climb mexican crack or bongeater right now they will feel very difficult. I would head up to Ruth Lake in the Uintas, or go to Maple canyon. Ruth lake camping is pick-your-spot camping. Maple canyon camping - if you have the vehicle for it, drive all the way over the ridge in to the pines in the back. Way cool camping back there. 

If you want some fun granite trad in LCC that wont make you hate smearing, try pentapitch and sasquatch. 

Garret Nuzzo-Jones · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 1,448

Albion Basin opens on the 14th. Still a lot of snow in the sites there. Tanners Flat is open.

Kauait · · Sandy Utah · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Camping has been answered above so.. 

Imo   Get an early start to your days and you'll be fine to do the fun routes you want.  And by 9am your heading up canyon like others have suggested. Enjoy!  Lifetime of worthy routes to be had in the canyon. Just don't move here ;) 

ddriver · · SLC · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 410

Consider camping here: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/spruces/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70331 in Big Cottonwood.  It is not difficult to find shade in Big Cottonwood, and not too hard to drive over to Little for a bit. 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Garret Nuzzo-Jones wrote:

Albion Basin opens on the 14th. Still a lot of snow in the sites there. Tanners Flat is open.

The recreation.gov site is still saying July 21 as opening date.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/albion-basin/r/campgroundSeasonDates.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70226

Shane Bates · · Pequannock, New Jersey · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 185

I was just out there for a week or two. I did not do anything high up in little cottonwood. The temps are too hot midday to climb anything difficult in lcc but nice in the morning and the cliff gets shade around five or six. Bcc is also nice and has shady crags in the day. 

AlexQuinn · · Chicago, IL · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 0

Luke, my brother and I are planning on stopping through LCC to climb this weekend as well. My plan is to snag a walk-up site at Tanner's flat. If the $23/night price is bumming you out I'd be psyched to share a site and split the fee. Also, we're originally from York, PA! Feel free to text/call me at 717-855-8608. I should be getting in tomorrow afternoon (7/7) and leaving Monday (7/10).

Valerie Bachinsky · · West Sand Lake, NY · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 35

Can anyone tell me...What are the odds of getting a walk-in site at Tanner's Flat if we arrive around noon-1pm on a Wednesday? 

Boissal · · Small Lake, UT · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,300
Shane Bates wrote:

I was just out there for a week or two. I did not do anything high up in little cottonwood. The temps are too hot midday to climb anything difficult in lcc but nice in the morning and the cliff gets shade around five or six. Bcc is also nice and has shady crags in the day. 

You can crush 13a trad in the shade above a snowbank in LCC right now, just walk 200 yards up the road from the Tanners campsite into the gulch and get on the steep stuff. Bonus: you can sleep in as the wall goes in the shade around 1:30PM.

Not much else is climbable in good conditions right now in LCC. Hellgate is too toasty unless you hit the towers early AM. The Cecret Lake stuff and the Castle are the other decent options. 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

We've all forgot to mention American Fork Canyon. Shade to follow, some crags cooled by a nearby stream. 100% sport limestone with lots in the 5.10 - 5.12 range. Campground, too. But not everyone likes AF. 

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

American fork is a great one. Surprisingly much cooler than LCC. Awesome sport

Luke Lindeman · · Lancaster, PA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Did a fair bit of everything this weekend, thanks for all the tips! Went up to the Uintas to escape the heat and it was stellar. That place is magical. We did some late night stuff in LCC but it was pretty hot and we only hung out for a few hours. Overall, Utah is rad. On the downside, camping is tricky. Nothing was available in LCC and we had to find some sites well off the beaten path in Uinta territory. 

Bring gallons of bug spray if you head up to Uintas. 

Cheers, all!

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Glad you enjoyed! Now tell all your friends how much the Mormons and the pollution sucked ; )

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply