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Arches National Park

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Arches National Park Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 38.6242, -109.5994 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 186,978
Administrators: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on May 12, 2002  with updates from Evan Deis and 1 more
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Arch and sun. Photo by Blitzo.

  • Raptor Closures 2017: Check status and details at: nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/roc... -Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions in Arches National Park
  • RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek MORE INFO >>>

  • Arches National Park Climbing Rules 

    Arches National Park rangers would like all climbers to be familiar with the special rules in the park. Please visit the NPS website before your trip!

    nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/roc...

    Description 

    Arches National Park is an amazing place to climb. The area has everything - serious multipitch towers, easy one pitch towers, and hard cracks on long buttresses. Best of all, routes in Arches are usually only a few hundred feet from the road so the approaches are casual.

    Most of the routes here are on Entrada sandstone, which is much softer than the Wingate found at Indian Creek. It often fractures vertically so there are a lot of splitters, but they are much sandier than in other parts of the desert. On aid routes, avoid nailing whenever possible as the incredibly soft stone doesn't hold up well to abuse.

    This area sees a lot of tourists, and since most of the routes are very near the road climbers must maintain as low a profile as possible. As always in the desert, approach climbs via washes to avoid trampling cryptobiotic soil. Some areas are closed seasonally for nesting, so check in at the visitors center before climbing. Finally, this is a national park, so be prepared for the entrance fee.

    Water is available at the visitors center. Moab is only a few miles south, and there is lots of camping on BLM land along River Road or near Moab. There is a national park campground in Arches, but I've never stayed there so I can't vouch for it.

    Getting There 

    From Moab, drive north along US 191 to the turn off for Arches National Park. Arches is only a few miles out of town. All climbs are accessed from this entrance - pick up a map at the visitors center. The map has most of the formations marked on it.

    Climbing Season



    Weather station 1.1 miles from here

    82 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',20],['2 Stars',35],['1 Star',23],['Bomb',1]
    ['<=5.6',6],['5.7',8],['5.8',8],['5.9',17],['5.10',20],['5.11',16],['5.12',1],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',2],['V2-3',1],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in Arches National Park

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Arches National Park:
    Standard (West Fins)   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, 1 pitch, 1100'   Elephant Butte
    Zenyatta Entrada   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c C2+     Aid, 6 pitches, 450'   Tower of Babel
    Tezcatlipoca   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Sunshine Wall : Sunshine Wall Routes
    Northeast Chimney   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   Off Balanced Rock
    Learning Curve   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Sunshine Wall : Sunshine Wall Routes
    Standard Route   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0     Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 90'   The Pickle
    Melanoma Shuffle   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   Sunshine Wall : Sunshine Wall Routes
    The Doil   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   The 100-yard Wall
    West Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   Owl Rock
    Love Hurts   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Sunshine Wall : Sunshine Wall Routes
    Regular Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1     Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 100'   Devil's Golf Ball
    Science Friction   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 160'   Sunshine Wall : Sunshine Wall Routes
    Chinese Eyes   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   The Great Wall
    Virgin Wool   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a C2+     Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400'   Sheep Rock
    Heart of the Desert   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Park Avenue
    Lesson in Braille   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 80'   Sunshine Wall : Sunshine Wall Routes
    Right Chimney   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   The Three Penguins
    West Face   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   Dark Angel
    West Face   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, Grade III   The Three Gossips
    West Face   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Argon Tower
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Arches National Park

    Featured Route For Arches National Park
    Rock Climbing Photo: Science Friction (5.9+). Sunshine Wall, Arches Nat...

    Science Friction 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13  Utah : Moab Area : ... : Sunshine Wall Routes
    A nice route, especially for aspiring slab leaders. (Yes, there are such people...) Technical crux is well protected (between bolts 3-5). The "mental" crux begins mid-route at the odd and tricky right-angling seam (sandy in spots). A couple widely-spaced drilled pitons protect this section. Follow seam to top.Occasional rests....to reflect and question yourself, of course. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

    Photos of Arches National Park Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset in Arches NP...  Photo Credit: Harlan Humph...
    Sunset in Arches NP... Photo Credit: Harlan Humph...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Arches National Park
    Arches National Park
    Rock Climbing Photo: I didn't think I'd find a good photo that Blitzo h...
    I didn't think I'd find a good photo that Blitzo h...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Arches at night. Photo by Blitzo.
    Arches at night. Photo by Blitzo.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Skyline Arch
    Skyline Arch
    Rock Climbing Photo: Argon Tower Photo by: Frosty Weller
    Argon Tower Photo by: Frosty Weller
    Rock Climbing Photo: Double Arch. Photo by Blitzo.
    Double Arch. Photo by Blitzo.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Arches National Park and the La Sal Mountains.   P...
    Arches National Park and the La Sal Mountains. P...
    Rock Climbing Photo: not sure of the name of this one, seen from tower ...
    not sure of the name of this one, seen from tower ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Park Ave.-Arches National Park. Photo by Blitzo.
    Park Ave.-Arches National Park. Photo by Blitzo.
    Rock Climbing Photo: My partner Graham.  He's a dick.
    My partner Graham. He's a dick.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset
    Sunset
    Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise. Photo by Blitzo.
    Sunrise. Photo by Blitzo.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Park Avenue - Tower of Babel, Argon Spire, Jello T...
    Park Avenue - Tower of Babel, Argon Spire, Jello T...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The view from Double Arch.
    The view from Double Arch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: I think this is "Double Arch", Arches NP...
    I think this is "Double Arch", Arches NP...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Delicate Arch Photo: Dave Fiorucci
    Delicate Arch Photo: Dave Fiorucci
    Rock Climbing Photo: Delicate Arch, 2003?
    Delicate Arch, 2003?
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking west from the Tower of Babel.
    Looking west from the Tower of Babel.
    Rock Climbing Photo:
    BETA PHOTO
    Rock Climbing Photo: Arches National Park
    Arches National Park
    Rock Climbing Photo: Winter in the Garden of Eden. February 2013
    Winter in the Garden of Eden. February 2013
    Rock Climbing Photo: Arches National Park
    Arches National Park
    Rock Climbing Photo: Arches National Park
    Arches National Park

    Show All 35 Photos

    Only the first 24 are shown above.

    Comments on Arches National Park Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 22, 2002
    I find this a scary place to climb, due to the sandy rock. I've never seen very many climbers in the Park. When you do see climbers, they are usually on the Three Penguins, Heart of the Desert, or Owl Rock. I find it more relaxing to wander around and marvel at all the arches.
    By Jay 1975
    From: Bonedale,CO
    Aug 31, 2002
    the northeast arete of Argon tower is an excelant climb that is a little stiff.weird and possibly dangerous first entry pitch.the best part is the exposed tips layback on the second(real) pitch after the off-width pitch.

    sick!!!!
    By Anonymous Coward
    Sep 4, 2002
    Has anyone done the aid route about 50 feet right of Heart of the Desert? I and a friend, Baker Bent, did it in the spring of '94, there was no evidence anyone had done it before (we drilled the baby angle anchors). There were some significant sections of very thin pins, a few beaks, and a hook move, and since then I believe park policy has changed so that all aid must be hammerless. It's a great line, really splitter cracks up to about finger size(we aided, but sections would certainly go free) and some spicy thin sections. Unfortunately, we stopped after the third pitch, as I had to be back at work, or something lame like that. At any rate, I think it might go clean with some thin cam hooks and some of the smaller micro cams/tiny wires, but would certainly have some pucker-factor. It awaits a full ascent, to my knowlege. I told Crusher about it a few years ago, but I didn't detect much interest from him at the time. Anyone done it, or care to? I'd love to hear, as i always wondered what's become of it.

    davef@climbhigh.com
    By Anonymous Coward
    Sep 27, 2004
    Inside Arches what are some good bouldering routes? thanks. FYI - I'm not really an anoymous coward, I just signed up and my name won't be in the database until tomorrow :)
    By Andrew Gram
    Administrator
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Sep 28, 2004
    There really aren't any inside the park, and if you explore keep in mind that chalk is a no no in the park. There are some decent boulders along 191 near Arches, and lots of good bouldering at Big Bend along River Road.
    By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
    Aug 4, 2010
    Arches National Park is asking for comments on future climbing acccess.

    For several years now, the park has banned all hammered aid. It's banned all new fixed anchors, of any and every kind.

    Existing (non-piton) climbs are grandfathered in, and open. New climbs are now a real challenge, unless you can walk off or use an existing rappel anchor. Also established aid climbs requiring hammering are banned.

    We have an opportunity to tell the Park what we'd like to see. Maybe we don't need to open up hammering again? But maybe we should advocate for giving future climbers the opportunity to find and climb new routes? See Access Fund link below for more details and ideas.

    Either way, by August 10, comments please (The Access Fund has made this easy):

    accessfund.org/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b...

    Thanks!

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