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Routes in Lady Mountain

Ghost Dance T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A3+
Original Route T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
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Type: Trad, 2675 ft, 2 pitches, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,644 total, 154/month
Shared By: brucelacroix on Jan 1, 2016
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Seasonal Raptor Closures ***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


Called the "Old Cable Route" or the "Mountaineers Route", this is the easiest way to the summit of Lady Mt.

It is what is left over after all the old cables were removed. I guess you could say it is somewhat manufactured. There are many moki steps on the route. It is a fun route.

From the Zion Lodge, Cross the road and take the Middle Emerald Pools trail. Approx. 1/2 mile past the bridge, take the climbers trail on the left. This is about 100' past a "Do Not Roll Rocks Below" sign.

Round trip distance: 3.8 miles. Elevation gain: 2,675 feet.

There are 2 or 3 short technical pitches and a lot of 3rd and 4th class scrambling with a lot of moki steps. The Park recommends an 80 foot rope. Shortly after leaving the Middle Emerald Pools trail, you will come to the start of the route, a 4th class section.

Follow your nose. The route wanders a bit. Look for the old hardware used when this route had cables installed on it. You may also see paint blazes and a lot of moki steps.


Climbers trail leaves the Middle Emerald Pools trail approx. 100'
past the "Do Not Roll Rocks Below" sign. This is about a 1/2 mile beyond the bridge over the Virgin River.


Most people take some gear and a short rope or webbing for the 2 or 3, 5th class sections. The pitches are short and most of the climb is a scramble.
Bridge open Nov 20, 2017
Not a good climbing route.
If this were a hiking website, perhaps it would rate as a good scrambling route (for hikers who had some tricks for getting through the two crux sections).
But as a climbing/scrambling route here on a climbing website, Not good.
Why it's not good . . .
  • it's mostly hiking, very little climbing.
  • the crux climbing sequences are _way_ harder than the most of the other scrambling.
. . . (as climbers we normally dislike a "one move wonder" route, and Lady Mt is that at triple-strength).

  • the hardest crux is awkward, at least for modern tastes.
  • most of the scrambling is on horizontal (or down-sloping) holds and horizontally-set rectangular blocks - - > Boring.
  • most of the climbing + scrambling is in gullies.
. . . (unlike the great modern climb/scramble routes which have much on ridges).

  • the upper gullies have lots of loose rock -- not a place to be with other parties around.
  • the hiking wanders around a lot, difficult to follow -- instead of making it easy + efficient to get to the climbing sections.
  • trail is often encroached by snagging bushes - (would help if someone would carry and use a pruner, but that hasn't happened recently).
  • summit is not a peak -- just a rise on the edge of the plateau.

Lady Mountain "original route" is a big + interesting adventure -- just not a good climbing adventure.

Ken Nov 10, 2017
Trail for Lady Mt "original route" leaves the Middle Emerald Pools trail (closed as of 2017) at around GPS latitude longitude (N37.2523 W112.9592), which is about 100 ft down north past the interpretive sign for "Rockfalls". This intersection is about 0.25 mile NW then NE from the bottom start of the trail beside the Virgin River (330 ft south of the bridge from Zion Lodge). Or about 0.3 mile SE then SSW from Middle Emerald Pool (if coming from the bridge by Grotto parking).
. . (I guess the old sign for "Roll No Rocks" was replaced by this interpretive sign. There remains another sign for "Roll No Rocks" just south of Middle Emerald Pool, but that's not close to the bottom start of the most efficient trail for Lady Mt).

GPS useful waypoints . . .
  • bridge over Virgin River near Zion Lodge . (N37.2511 W112.9590).
  • (closed) Middle Emerald Pool trail leaves riverside trail . (N37.2500 W112.9591) . (elev ~approx~ 1310m).
  • interpretive sign for "Rockfalls" . (N37.2520 W112.9594).
  • trail for Lady Mt original route leaves MIddle Emerald Pool trail . (N37.2523 W112.9592) . (elev ~ 1355m).
  • 1st climbing section (5.0 / 4th class) . (N37.2531 W112.9603) . (elev ~1430m) .
  • 2nd climbing section (5.4) . (N37.25263 W112.96243) . (elev ~1610m)..
  • 3rd climbing section (5.6) . (N37.2509 W112.9631) . (elev ~ 1605m).
  • reach top plateau . (N37.2526 W112.9663) . (elev ~ 2025m).
  • summit of Lady Mt . (N37.2543 W112.9664) . (elev ~ 2085m).

  • there is a 500 ft long roughly horizontal traverse between the 2nd and the 3rd climbing sections.
  • the 3rd climbing section is less than halfway in vertical to reaching the top of the plateau.
Nov 10, 2017
In early November 2017, the bridge by Zion Lodge (bus stop #5) is closed for maintenance. So unless you can wade across the river, it requires substantial extra hiking distance to reach the bottom of the "original" Lady Mt route from crossing one of the other bridges.

One idea to avoid wading is to start from The Grotto (bus stop #6) and take the trail south toward the Middle Emerald Pool.
The confusion with this is if you see a sign nearby saying "Roll No Rocks" -- that's a different sign from the one mentioned above in the instructions -- You are nowhere near the route. If you try following the "obvious" trail up steep west, you are just deepening the herd path of lots of similarly confused climbers.

The bottom of the "original" Lady Mt route is a bit south from the Zion Lodge bridge (so perhaps simpler to approach crossing the bridge by Court of the Patriarchs, bus stop #4).

Ken Nov 7, 2017
St.George Orem Denver Vegas
Klimbien   St.George Orem Denver Vegas
A few thoughts, just to clarify any confusion if your researching the route on other websites.
-Get off shuttle or park at the Lodge. Head slightly south to bridge over the river.
-Once across the bridge, the trail comes to a "T", Head south (Go Left). Other sites say follow signs to the middle Emerald pool Trail (which goes Right), I do not recommend this way.
-Follow the horse trail a few minutes and you'll come to a trail that as of 5/2017 has a sign that says the trail is closed branching off to the Right. Go up this trail. It has been washed out. many trees have fallen over the trail.
-Continue on the trail until you come to the sign warning of "DO NOT ROLL ROCKS", pass sign as many descriptions advise, look for an "obvious" climber trail going up hill (Left).
-Trail was fairly straight forward. We moved thru the various obstacles with little trouble. A 70 foot rope is plenty long. After passing 1 or 2 steep section and had moved to the far southern point of the trail, mid way up the trail we got lost and had to back track just prior to the last and most committing climbing section, just before the "endless staircase".
-The trail goes up a gully and amidst our conversation we followed the gully to the top, passing the appropriate turn towards the endless staircase. See Picture marked "Don't go this way" Instead head West (Right) uphill out of the gully and in 50 yards or so you'll come to the final steep obstacle. Many painted (though faded) arrows, cairns, and carved foot steps will lead the way. May 6, 2017
Jacob Schmidt
Spokane, WA
Jacob Schmidt   Spokane, WA
Just did this route with a friend on March 30. We had to kick some steps in snow but nothing bad. A rope was nice for rappelling, but we definitely brought too much of a rack. I would recommend only bringing​ a .4 for the first pitch and a 2 for the second. The pitches are barely over 30 feet, so a single rack is overkill. We stashed our rope and extra water at the rapp anchors after the second pitch which made the rest of the ascent much more barable.

3 hours up, one hour on the summit, 2 hours down. Pretty average time for two out of shape losers. Apr 2, 2017
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Soloed this in 1995 - a guy up top scoffed at me as I arrived, having seen me on the way up: "They have a trail up here, you know..." (shaking his head). Sep 18, 2016
leeds, ut
fossana   leeds, ut
The arrows to all of the Emerald Pools now point to the right after the bridge since a landslide took out a section of the Middle Pools trail. Ignore the sign and go left, then up onto the Middle Pools trail when the lower trail dips down to the corral. Head upcanyon. Sep 18, 2016
Richard Shore
  Easy 5th
Richard Shore  
  Easy 5th
Good scramble/hike to a scenic summit. We did this a rest day activity between harder technical climbs, and found it very worthwhile. Fit parties can do this in a 4-6 hours round trip. I've seen this listed as 5.6 elsewhere, but there is not much actual climbing - there are maybe 2 ten-to-fifteen foot sections of easy 5th class. The rest is hiking/3rd/4th on many chiseled steps and past old rusted relics of the former park service "trail". Painted markers are a bit of an eyesore, but allow for easy route finding. Jan 15, 2016
Portland, OR.
brucelacroix   Portland, OR.
I have done this route twice. I did not find a need to be roped up. Webbing is useful for the exposed sections. Jan 2, 2016