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C. Lower Tier

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A. East Wall 
B. Recessed Slab 
C. Middle and West Walls 

C. Lower Tier Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 6,000'
Location: 39.74393, -105.24208 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 26,275
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Josh on Mar 26, 2015

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BETA PHOTO: The Tiers of Zion from the lower approach trail.


The Lower Tier is larger than it appears from the parking area - the bottom 2/3 of all the walls are hidden in the trees. It is broken into several sections, with an upper face perched above the East Wall and the Recessed Slab on the left side. This upper face allows for a few high-quality 2-pitch routes. Many of the climbs at the Lower Tiers are characterized by low cruxes. In some cases, the crux is just getting off the ground....

The Lower Tier gets direct sun only in the afternoons, but in the summer, the sun can break over the ridge line above at midday and shine directly down the lines of ascent, making it hard to look up at your next holds when you’re climbing or at your partner above you when you're belaying. It is a bit of an annoyance, but the effect only lasts for an hour or so.

The Lower Tier has a narrow strip of terrain that hugs the base of the walls, but after that the ground drops off steeply. Thus, it is not the safest place for bringing small children.

Getting There 

For Lower Tier, use the lower approach trail. From the lower parking area (on the switchback) described on the main page for the Tiers of Zion:

Cross the road (watch for descending cyclists and longboarders), and find a faint trail that starts next to the guardrail. The main trail turns immediately left (uphill) and follows the crest of the long, blunt ridge toward the front edge of the mountain top. After 500 feet, turn at a cairn on the right. Follow a trail of cairns headed more or less straight for the base of the crags on the other side of the gully filled with talus, willows, and grass. Aim first for some lone juniper trees between you and the crag. From there, follow the trail across the gully.

On the far side of the gully, enter the woods by a juniper, somewhat lower than the base of the rocks. Switchback uphill to the base of the Lower Tier. You will arrive right at the start of Buffalo Soldier on the left side of the Middle Wall. Be cautious - this is exactly where one of the area's rattlesnakes has been seen on several occasions.

Click here for an overview photo.

To reach the top of the two longer climbs on the Lower Tier (top anchors of Zion Train and Don't Rock My Boat), take one of the upper approaches to the sandy patch above the Upper Tier and keep descending along the blunt crest of the ridge to the left (west) of the Fourth Triangle, always dodging any drop-offs or difficulties by going left. At the final broken band of rock, take one of two chimneys through the short vertical band (the one on the left, very close to the edge of the rock band, is the easiest; the other has a large chockstone and a drop). The anchors for both climbs will take some looking to locate, but they are just below the lip. To reach the bottom of the Lower Tier from this summit, go west down one of the grassy gullies; the descent to the east (toward the Upper Tier) is not safe.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.7 miles from here

16 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in C. Lower Tier

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for C. Lower Tier:
Irie   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   A. East Wall
Don't Rock My Boat   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 2 pitches, 205'   B. Recessed Slab
The Belay Brothers Bounce Back   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   C. Middle and West Walls
Three Little Birds   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   C. Middle and West Walls
Zion Train   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 2 pitches, 215'   A. East Wall
Buffalo Soldier   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   C. Middle and West Walls
Old Pirates   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   C. Middle and West Walls
Small Axe   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   C. Middle and West Walls
Please Pick Up Your Trash   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   C. Middle and West Walls
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in C. Lower Tier

Featured Route For C. Lower Tier
Rock Climbing Photo: Zion Train upper pitch, crux section.

Zion Train 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  Colorado : Golden : ... : A. East Wall
A thrilling position and good moves on the upper pitch make this one a highlight of the area.P1: 5.7, 130 feet. Start as for The Burning Bush, and climb past the anchors (optional belay here) to continue over the broken, ledgy terrain (5.2-5.3) of the Promised Land Ledge up into a spacious alcove with a mossy floor (11 bolts + 2-bolt anchor).P2: 5.10a/b, 85 feet. Climb out of the alcove toward the roofs above (5.8), aiming for a bright yellow lichen streak. Dodge the first roof on i...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of C. Lower Tier Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower Tier topo. (c) Josh Pollock.
BETA PHOTO: Lower Tier topo. (c) Josh Pollock.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower Tier of the Tiers of Zion - overview photo.
BETA PHOTO: Lower Tier of the Tiers of Zion - overview photo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower Tier from the east above Jericho.
Lower Tier from the east above Jericho.

Comments on C. Lower Tier Add Comment
Show which comments
By plantmandan
From: Brighton, CO
Aug 9, 2016
Saw THREE rattlesnakes today. Two were hanging out about 25 feet to the right of where the trail hits the lower tier crag. Another was on the trail about halfway to the parking area as we were fleeing an incoming thunderstorm.
By Ivan G
May 28, 2017
Dropped my belay device from the alcove on Zion Train (I'm a dumbass, I know). Let me know if you find it.
By Jonathan Stickel
From: Golden, CO
Sep 11, 2017
Is it really necessary to split up Lower Tier into sub-areas?

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