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South Willow Canyon - Narrows

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South Willow Canyon - Narrows Rock Climbing 

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Location: 40.49243, -112.58382 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: D Argyle on Jun 9, 2014

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BETA PHOTO: Solid planks are fastened to the wall for accessin...


South Willow Canyon is found in the Stansbury Range, which forms the western boundary of Tooele valley. It is nearest the city of Grantsville, and is about an hours drive west of Salt Lake City.There are numerous limestone outcroppings along the forest service road along the canyon bottom. These are home to some quality bolted sport routes ranging in difficulty from 5.9 to 5.14a (The Big Smile). There are routes to be found in and around the lower narrows, but the majority of the routes are found in the upper Narrows These areas are shady in the summer, and though the upper narrows can be crowded at times on the weekends, a mid-week excursion can offer up a quiet and cooler alternative to the more popular canyons to the east. For trad guys, there is at least one naturally protected route (5.9ish) that climbs a crack system on a sharp and solitary outcrop (The Suicide Arete), which can be found on the south side of the road near the Boy Scout Campground.

P.S. A stick clip may be handy for clipping the first bolts on some of the south side routes that climb the walls above the creek.

Getting There 

From Salt Lake City, take I-80 west bound past the Great Salt Lake and take the Grantsville exit #88. From the exit head south on Burmester Road into Grantsville. Find your way to Main Street and turn right, heading west until you see the rec sign for North and South Willow Canyons. Turn left and follow the road south out of town until you see the sign indicating the right turn for South Willow Canyon. From there just drive west until you reach the forest service gate (closed in winter). Proceed up the roughish dirt road past numerous campsites. Once you see the solid limestone outcrop and the first narrows, you can stop and climb or continue up to the upper narrows. Always park either above or below these narrows and as far off to the side of the road as possible. Be cautious while climbing as some routes are very close to passing vehicles.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.9 miles from here

39 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',9],['3 Stars',18],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in South Willow Canyon - Narrows

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for South Willow Canyon - Narrows:
Rivers Edge   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Narrows - South
Prince of Squeeze   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Narrows - South
Walk the Plank   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Narrows - South
Unknown 11c-ish   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Narrows - South
The Eleven   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Narrows - South
Thunder Ball   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Narrows - South
Teflon Guerrilla   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 50'   Narrows - North
Refiner   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Narrows - North
Black Sails   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 50'   Narrows - North
The Mountaineer Route   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport   Narrows - North
Slim Shady   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Narrows - South
Texture   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 50'   Narrows - North
Narrowpathic   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Narrows - North
River Runs Through It   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Narrows - South
TKO   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 50'   Narrows - North
Dust   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport   Narrows - North
ATV   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport   Narrows - North
Nerve Agent    5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Narrows - South
Narrow Minded   5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 45'   Narrows - South
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in South Willow Canyon - Narrows

Featured Route For South Willow Canyon - Narrows
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbs through elongated holes

Nerve Agent 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c  Utah : West Desert : ... : Narrows - South
Walk the plank across the creek and then start off with some relatively juggy climbing for several bolts to about 2/3 height on the route. From here it turns up significantly and foot options get sparse. Moving between the big slippery pods is the crux. Great stone and an interesting climb! Certainly not easy for 13a....[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

Photos of South Willow Canyon - Narrows Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Just in case you were wondering.
Just in case you were wondering.
Rock Climbing Photo: The sun angles down both sides of the crag in the ...
The sun angles down both sides of the crag in the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach is a drive up.
BETA PHOTO: Approach is a drive up.

Comments on South Willow Canyon - Narrows Add Comment
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By D Argyle
From: Green Mountain Falls, CO
Jan 30, 2006
Summer 2005 camping was $8 per night. Because the canyon offers good car camping close to Tooele, it is VERY popular on weekends and crazy around holidays. I would also advise that you avoid the place during during hunting seasons because it is very hard to find parking anywhere along the road. You will be continously contending with hunter traffic.
By Kurt Montgomery
Jan 5, 2008
There is free camping one canyon north in North Willow canyon or Davenport Canyon. Also there are climbs in both the lower and upper narrows. My personal faves are the bolted routes on the cliff face right of the lower narrows. The large rock west of the Boy scout campground also has an awesome 5.10 tips crack that ascends near the North east arete of a beautiful limestone tower.
By Jason Shumaker
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jun 30, 2011
this road is still closed
By Jeremy Noring
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jun 8, 2014
Road is open, climbing is good. This place could really use a more concise guide because there's been a bunch of development and (as far as I can see) there's no decent guide available anymore. There used to be one on pusher's site that is long since deceased.
By tenesmus
Jul 5, 2014
"Find your way to Main Street and turn left, heading west until you see the rec sign for North and South Willow Canyons. "

When you get to Main Street, West is going right. The street with the rec signs is actually called 'West Street'. When you come back through on your way to 15 you'll have lots of dust in your eyes and it'll be less obvious but look for Kearl Street.
By Jeremy Noring
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct 5, 2014
Turn RIGHT at main street. Please fix this. Also when you're headed into town there's a slight detour even to get to mainstream. You'll make a quick left, and a quick right at a T stop based on the instructions above.
By Reedrombo
From: Home is where you park it
May 6, 2016
Hey out of curiosity, does anyone know what the route between TKO and Narrow Beginnings is? Name, grade? It runs up the bulge through some fixed draws with purple biners.
By Ned Plimpton
From: Salt Lake City
Jun 18, 2016
The route between TKO and Narrow Beginnings is called Refiner, 12a.
By D.A. LeBaron
From: Grantsville,UT
May 10, 2017
It is very important for everyone to know that this place takes a long time to dry out. A lot longer than most sport climbing crags in northern Utah. Every spring the sunny side gets a "pre-dry" but there is still frozen ground above. Then when it gets hot out in late spring, it will look like a silent waterfall, even when there is no precipitation. At this point, the creek on the other side starts to flood from the upper canyon melt-off. Throughout the process, I have watched people who are too eager to wait, or assume it's safe to climb because it's dry on the surface, or in spots, break holds because it's actually not. So please don't be one of those people. Be the kind of person that tells your friend that it's worth waiting. Like waiting for your dog to be in heat before you breed it.
This place is truly a Utah gem. So let's keep the features on the wall as long as we are able to.

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