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Moonlight Buttress

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Looney Tunes 
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Moonlight Buttress (Clean Aid), The T 
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Moonlight Buttress Rock Climbing 

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Location: 37.27541, -112.94897 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Casey Bernal on Jun 5, 2002
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Several parties on Moonlight Buttress (3/23/10).

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 MORE INFO >>>


Moonlight Buttress is the obvious buttress on the left just after Angel's Landing. It resembles a huge pillar resting against the wall. The wall faces almost due east.

The most common route on the wall is the The Moonlight Buttress (Clean Aid) that takes a line straight up the middle (the Grand Dihedral is obvious from the road).

At the base, be careful as the 3rd class ledges are easy to climb on but a tumble down could be serious.

There is a ledge after P5 of the Lowe/Weiss route that makes a great bivy if you have a portaledge. The descent is a casual hike down a paved path. Once you top out, hike straight back and you cannot miss the path. The path is most exciting (yes, seriously) path I have ever been on. Try to save some daylight to enjoy the hike down. It would be worthy of hiking by itself. The descent is about 3 miles down.

—Casey Bernal

Getting There 

You can take the shuttle to the Big Bend stop (same as Prodigal Sun), or if you have a cool driver they will drop you off right in front of the trailhead. From the shuttle stop, jog up the road about 100 yards to the trailhead. There are trail markers posted to follow. To cross the creek, look for a wide area with islands, and you can cross with only getting your ankles wet. The approach takes maybe 30 minutes.


The Angel's Landing trail.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.9 miles from here

6 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Moonlight Buttress

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Moonlight Buttress:
The Moonlight Buttress (Clean Aid)   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C1     Trad, Aid, 10 pitches, 1200'   
Lunar Ecstasy   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b C2+     Aid, 9 pitches   
Sheer Lunacy   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c C1     Trad, Aid, Grade IV   
Sheer Lunacy (Free)   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, 8 pitches, 800'   
The Moonlight Buttress (Free)   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Trad, 10 pitches, 1200'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Moonlight Buttress

Featured Route For Moonlight Buttress
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of P1 or P2...  Photo courtesy Scott Bennett.

The Moonlight Buttress (Free) 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b  Utah : Zion National Park : Moonlight Buttress
The Moonlight Buttress, as it is most commonly referred to, is one of the most popular aid climbs in Zion, and, as a free climb, is perhaps the most spectacular, and arguably longest and hardest, sandstone climb in the world. This stunning route tackles the namesake feature, a proud prow of rock that juts out from the wall behind it, via a singular, peerless crack that extends for 1000 feet from base to summit and never widens to more than an inch or two... the Moonlight Buttress is a feature ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

Photos of Moonlight Buttress Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: P5 Bivy
P5 Bivy
Rock Climbing Photo: Watch out!
Watch out!
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Moonlight Buttress
Moonlight Buttress
Rock Climbing Photo: What a beauty!
What a beauty!
Rock Climbing Photo: Moonlight Buttress from the road.
Moonlight Buttress from the road.
Rock Climbing Photo: moonlight buttress area topo
BETA PHOTO: moonlight buttress area topo
Rock Climbing Photo: Moonlight Buttress
Moonlight Buttress
Rock Climbing Photo: Moonlight Buttress
Moonlight Buttress
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown Party on Moonlight. Photo: Doug Davis.
Unknown Party on Moonlight. Photo: Doug Davis.
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown Party on Moonlight. Photo: Doug Davis
Unknown Party on Moonlight. Photo: Doug Davis
Rock Climbing Photo: climbers on moonlight butress,photo taken from top...
climbers on moonlight butress,photo taken from top...
Rock Climbing Photo: Moonlight

Comments on Moonlight Buttress Add Comment
Show which comments
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
May 20, 2003
I wrote a trip report from this route 5 years ago that can be found at The facts stated therein hold. The opinions expressed about certain things may have expired.
By Justin Lofthouse
From: Utah
Mar 4, 2016
Is moonlight buttress part of the the seasonal closure for nesting Peregrine Falcons in Zion National Park?
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 5, 2016
No. See here:

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