Login with Facebook
Big Willow Canyon

Select Area...
Big Willow Cirque 
Cuban Missile Tower 
Guardian Angel, The 
Guardian, The 
Jon's Hideout 
Twilight Buttress 
Mountain Project has launched a new site: Powder Project, and we're giving away loads of gear, including skis & Oakley goggles. Check it out!

Big Willow Canyon  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 40.5404, -111.809 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 31,511
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nathan Fisher on Jun 24, 2004
Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Mostly Cloudy
62° | 35°
51° | 30°
58° | 35°
Partly Cloudy
70° | 42°
64° | 38°
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Big Willow trail in the fall


Big Willow Canyon is the nice wide glacially carved canyon that cuts the west face of Lone Peak. It ends at the obvious cliffs of Big Willow Cirque. The climbs are predominantly on granite. There are numerous cliff bands throughout the canyon, a lot of them unexplored. If you want an area to explore and free up, this is the canyon. Water may be intermittent in the upper reaches. Plan ahead.

Getting There 

The approaches are different depending on where you are going. They all start at the parking area of the park just south of the LDS church at about 11600 S Wasatch Blvd. Park here and take the paved trail towards the mountain. One will pass a sign for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Take this dirt road/trail to the north, as it climbs towards a gate. Pass by this gate, and continue up the hill. Here is where the trails diverge. For Big Willow Quartzite, and Twilight Buttress continue on this wider trail up and into Big Willow Canyon. For Jon's Hideout, The Guardian, Big Willow Cirque, and numerous unexplored granite buttresses you will take a narrow hidden foot trail about 30 feet beyond some blue spray-painted rocks. It is on the right well before any stream crossings. If you pass a stream on the main Big Willow Canyon trail, you have gone too far. Take this steep trail up and over. This trail climbs the hill separating Big Willow Canyon from Little Willow Canyon (the canyon south of Big Willow). It will pass by a nice viewpoint of Big Willow before it makes it's lazy traverse over to Little Willow Canyon. The trail will then enter and climb Little Willow just below the ridgeline, passing by some small undocumented granite problems. A fork in the trail will be your next landmark. The fork has an Avalanche Warning sign. Going straight will get you to a resting spot next to Little Willow Creek. Turning left and up is the correct way. This will give you your last leg-burning segment into Big Willow Canyon for good. You will cross over into Big Willow and enjoy the shade and relative cool of the large pines on the north face. The trail will come down into the south edge of the canyon. It will cross 2 small streams (unknown if they are intermittent). As you make your way around this end of the canyon, The Guardian initially will come into view and Jon's Hideout will also. There is a trail that bushwhacks to these formations. As of this writing, the trail was a deer trail at best, and non-existent would be more accurate. Big willow Cirque continues up the trail. The cliffs on the south of the canyon have not been documented and could use exploring.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.4 miles from here

16 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Big Willow Canyon:
Giggles   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   Big Willow Cirque
Swiss Edge   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 600'   The Guardian
Sunset Arete   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Twilight Buttress
Unknown   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 30'   Twilight Buttress
Without Wheels   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 30'   Twilight Buttress
Browse More Classics in Big Willow Canyon

Featured Route For Big Willow Canyon
Giggles Topo.

Giggles 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  UT : Wasatch Range : ... : Big Willow Cirque
Giggles is the BWC Classic. Fun climbing with a variety of techniques. True handjams can be useful but are not necessary. There are a ton of cracks all going the same direction (UP), therfore, good routefinding skills are necessary.*P1-5.5: Climb a short pitch through a variety of flaring cracks to a small belay ledge.*P2-5.7: Climb and on the right side of the dihedral stemming, jamming, or face climbing. Finish up to the right of a pine tree (has some old slings).*P3-5.7: Start out by m...[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

Photos of Big Willow Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Big Willow trail in the fall. Officially this is w...
Big Willow trail in the fall. Officially this is w...
Heres your sign. See approach description for deta...
Heres your sign. See approach description for deta...
The trail as it rounds the corner into little will...
The trail as it rounds the corner into little will...
This is the sign on the second gate encountered wh...
BETA PHOTO: This is the sign on the second gate encountered wh...

Comments on Big Willow Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By C. Taylor
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 15, 2014
Update - Just thought I would post this regarding the "No Trespassing" sign in Big Willow. The majority of that canyon is owned by Waterpro Inc. I called and spoke with a representative regarding foot traffic, and they said they really don't want anyone in there due to vandalism. . . The trail mentioned for most of these areas is still ok, as it skirts the ridge between Big and Little, and once it drops back into Big it's no longer on Waterpro land. But the features lower in the canyon are off limits for the moment. (I recall hearing about routes down there, so just a warning that they are taking things seriously. . . )
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
and Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!