REI Community
Wilson Arch
Select Route:
Wilson Arch Regular Route T 

Wilson Arch Regular Route 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a [details]
FA: Lin Ottenger ?
Page Views: 6,746
Submitted By: toddgordon Gordon on May 27, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (34)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Fun simul-rap off of Wilson Arch. We used two 60m ...

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 >>>


This is a fun adventure, and it's legal, for it's not "a named arch in Arches National Park." Even though it's 5.3 , we chose to rope up, and we wanted/needed a rope for the simul-rappel one climber off each side at once. It's a very exciting thing to do, and you it gets your heart beating and blood flowing. Climb the spine of the arch fromt he right side, up cracks and grooves.


Between mile marker 102 and 103. Park just at the arch in the pull-out.


Take a few cams, and your rope. Simul-rap off the top, one climber on either end of the rope; and the rope pulls right over the top through the rock and dirt. Just don't unclip until our partner is down.

Photos of Wilson Arch Regular Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping off Wilson arch in the supermoon
Rapping off Wilson arch in the supermoon
Rock Climbing Photo: rap anchors as of March 2014
rap anchors as of March 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: top of the arch
top of the arch
Rock Climbing Photo: frictiony slab/think crack part
frictiony slab/think crack part
Rock Climbing Photo: bouldery start, the crappy rock makes it thoughtfu...
bouldery start, the crappy rock makes it thoughtfu...
Rock Climbing Photo: top of the arch
top of the arch
Rock Climbing Photo: mellow slabby part
mellow slabby part
Rock Climbing Photo: friendly arch vegetation
friendly arch vegetation
Rock Climbing Photo: Wilson Arch
Wilson Arch
Rock Climbing Photo: Wilson Arch topo. A 70 m rope is needed to climb i...
BETA PHOTO: Wilson Arch topo. A 70 m rope is needed to climb i...
Rock Climbing Photo: Wilson arch regular route - dude standing at start...
BETA PHOTO: Wilson arch regular route - dude standing at start...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gearing up to start the climbing on the ridge lead...
Gearing up to start the climbing on the ridge lead...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking southwest from start of route.
Looking southwest from start of route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Regular Route
Regular Route

Comments on Wilson Arch Regular Route Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 20, 2016
By toddgordon Gordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 27, 2007

We climbed this arch in April of 1993. I simul-rapped off he top of the arch with John Barbie as my conter-weight, and then we held one end of the rope as Cyndie Bransford rapped off the other end. It was a thrilling experience to rappel through space down the eye of the big arch. This is a really fun and exciting thing to do, and it's actual 5th class climbing to get to the summit, so it's not a place where you will see tourists with their lap dogs and lawn chairs. The rappels off the arch are a real show-stopper for the cars driving by. If you have a couple hours to burn, I suggest go do Wilson Arch; it's good bang for your buck.
By Ben Johnson
Oct 22, 2007

Do it for the simul-rap, not the climb. It is a fun little side trip, as Todd says, if you have a couple of hours to burn. There is also a decent anchor w/ slings if you are doing it solo.
By Mike McMahon
From: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
Nov 21, 2007

Soloed it.... without a rope. I found a few sections of the downclimb pretty scary! This one would have been way cooler with a partner and a rap!
By Nathan Tomlin
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 16, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R

Climbed it in 3 pitches, but really a rope is just for emotional support. It's easy, but long stretches without gear placements. The Looking Glass is nearby and supposedly rated a 5.7, but they seemed the same, so I'm splitting the difference and saying both are 5.5.

I was excited to try a simul-rap, but when we got up top, it was narrower and flatter than we expected. Didn't think it was a good 1st simul-rap, so we used the rap anchors.
By Sarah Meiser
From: Boulder, Colorado
Nov 8, 2010

If you plan to rap off the anchors on top a 60 meter rope will just barely get you down.
By paul bucher
From: moab, utah
Sep 20, 2011

the crux is the first move off the starting shoulder. well protected with finger size. 5.6 but i did it in my hiking boots. my partner in climbing shoes seemed to think it was easier than that. smooth sailing after that
By Tristan Higbee
From: Ogden, UT
Apr 25, 2012

The approach beta here says that the arch is between mile markers 102 and 103, but that's actually the Looking Glass Rock turnoff. Wilson Arch is another 2-3 miles down the road.

We climbed it in 2 long pitches (see topo) with a 70 for nearly 400 feet of climbing. The climbing is kind of crappy but the rappel makes it worth it.

A single 70m rope easily gets you down if you rappel from the anchors but it wouldn't be enough for the simul rap.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Feb 28, 2014

So a 60/70m will get you down, but 2 rope for the simul rap ?
By Josh Cameron
From: Sacramento, California
Jan 24, 2015
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13

Climbing gets half a star but the rap gets 3.
By Autumn90
May 26, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

I'll done this several times, a week ago I did it without belay and free climbed it with a couple friends and rapped down. I would say with the 2 major pitches this is not a 5.3 route. Most of it is...but those 2 pitches are 5.6 moves, maybe even 5.7, especially when you're fully exposed it'll get your heart racing. Did Looking Glass as well, and I agree that they are similar in difficulty.
By Ben Gleason
From: Durango, CO
May 30, 2015
rating: 5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c PG13

There is one easy 5th move getting off the deck, and then nothing harder than 4th class to the top. Roping up is an annoyance and probably wouldn't do anything anyway, considering how bad most of the placements are. That rappel is rad, though.
By Daniel Bologna
From: Ypsilanti, MI
Oct 20, 2016

It's possible to rap this with a single 60m from the rap anchors then, skipping the simul-rap? Thinking about heading out here this week.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · Contact · About