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Bluff

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Cottonwood Wash 
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Bluff Rock Climbing 


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Location: 37.28716, -109.5475 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Trevor Bowman on Aug 12, 2014
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Mikey Shaefer on the second ascent.

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Bluff sits on the banks of the San Juan River, about 100 miles south of Moab. It is one of the smaller towns along this lonely stretch of Highway 191, and has little in the way of amenities. There are no groceries available, other than the offerings of the local gas station. A couple of restaurants are open seasonally. The Comb Ridge Coffee offers good brew and breakfast fare; it's also open seasonally.

Bluff is much better known for its rock art and ruins than rock climbing. It is an authentic slice of the southwest, that affords vast opportunity for exploration. Scattered inconspicuously about the region are undeveloped and relatively undisturbed archeological sites that exude a timeless feel. Leave all artifacts behind, and minimize your presence while visiting these sites.

Traveling climbers have generally passed by the area without much notice en route to more esteemed zones of the Colorado Plateau. However, Bluff is surrounded by readily accessible cliffs, that can provide a nice layover for the road-weary rockhound. Throughout the years, various aficionados of the obscure explored these walls and left behind a smattering of routes. Mike Baker, Jay Anderson, Mike Friedrichs, etc. contributed routes here.

The Bluff Sandstone Member is an eolian layer unique to the area, and belongs to the Morrison Formation dating back to the Jurassic. It sits atop the crumbling Wanakah Formation and is reminiscent of the Entrada atop Dewey Bridge layering found around Moab in zones like Arches and Tusher Canyon. In many spots, the Wanakah layer is exposed (sometimes with considerable height) and thwarts climbing access to the Bluff Member above. The Bluff Member varies greatly in solidity throughout the region. In general, it is sandy and soft; however, patches of quality stone exist, protected with a reddish/brown varnish, that are of comparable quality to the "good" Entrada zones. Needless to say, this is an area for desert rats familiar with the intricacies of variable rock, and probably won't appeal those only initiated in Creek Wingate.

Getting There 

Bluff is on Highway 191, about 100 miles south of Moab, UT.

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.3 miles from here

14 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Bluff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Bluff:
Million Dollar Tower    5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a A1+     Aid, 1 pitch, 150'   Cottonwood Wash : Million Dollar Draw
Million Dollar Baby   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Cottonwood Wash : Million Dollar Draw
The Bant   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 75'   Cottonwood Wash : Sandwalker Buttress
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Bluff

Featured Route For Bluff
Rock Climbing Photo: The bant is easily seen from the parking area by t...

The Bant 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  UT : Moab Area : ... : Sandwalker Buttress
This route climbs the south face of a small tower. It has fun laybacks to a bolt protected mantle to gain the top. The second should be aware of the pendulum if they were to fall at the mantle....[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

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