Joe's Valley is one of the world's premier bouldering destinations. The sandstone boulders that line the hillsides are seemingly made for climbing: the rock is textured but skin-friendly, it's featured yet strong, and the landings are generally fantastic. Approaches are almost all 5 minutes or less, and many of the most popular boulders are just a stone's throw from the car.
There are hundreds of established boulder problems at the various areas within Joe's Valley, and yet a quick glance at the innumerable boulders farther up the hills hint at even more untapped potetntial for world-class bouldering.
While there are problems of every grade at Joe's, it is my impression that the best experience will be had at V4 and above.
Joe's Valley is just outside of the town of Orangeville, UT. Take Hwy. 29 west out of Orangeville. Shortly after leaving town you can either take a right onto Route 57 to go to New Joe's, or you can keep going straight until the road branches into the Left and Right forks.
Driving time is around 2 hours from SLC, 6-7 hours from the Front Range in Colorado, 14 from Portland, etc.
Food and Supplies
There are a handful of stores in Orangeville, but the best place to go for food is the Food Barn. They even have copies of the Utah Bouldering guide in case you forgot to pick it up before heading out.
There are 3 main areas that are well-suited for camping at Joe's. Two are in the Right Fork at .9 miles up and 2.4 miles up (the first being at the Man Size area, the second at the Boux area)-- both are on the left. The third campground is 1.2 miles up the Left Fork.
Here are some more detailed directions to get to Joe's Valley for ice climbing. These directions are from SLC.
Take the Spanish Fork exit (258?) off of I-15 to US-6, like going to Moab. Take the second Price exit to Hwy 10. Follow for 22 miles to Huntington. Continue for another 6 miles to the sign that indicates Joe's Valley on the right. This is Hwy 29. Follow this until the "T" intersection, and bear right. Follow this into Straight Canyon, and eventually to the reservoir. Most of the ice is in Straight Canyon, with some more up by the reservoir.
Also, here is a link to a remote weather station in Joe's Valley. www.met.utah.edu/cgi-bin/droman/meso_base.cgi?stn=JVAU1. You can view weather history, up to 30 days. However, the station is located at 8000 feet. Keep this in mind when making the decision whether to head down or not.
I would recommend the Video Guide to Joe's Valley a film by Nathan Cando, it goes through 28 of the classic problems and also a guidebook that plays during the movie. Found wherever climbing videos are available.
I hear (&see as posted) October is great at Joe's, but what about Mid to Late September? too hot? just right early morning late afternoon? or shady spots of canyon? Any beta the Sept weather would be sweet: thanks!
A large organic pad (grey with green & blue streaks) and a black diamond drop zone were stollen from the Left Fork of Joe's Valley on Nov 3rd. The pads were briefly left on the side of the road beneath the gentleman's project just past the riverside parking area. Please contact Matt at 973-220-8222 or email@example.com with any information. Thanks
I just got back from a trip to Joe's and I found Isaac's guidebook to be great (a million times better than anything else out there) as far as getting you to the areas and boulders. The pictures are great and do the rock justice. Some of the grades seemed off, A few route descriptions are not accurate (like Resident Evil) and there are some funny spelling mistakes (it's "Remnants" not "remnence) but I found that easy to ignore. The only thing I hate about it is the move-by-move beta description for each climb. I believe a proper guidebook should have clear description of start holds, finish and the line followed, nothing more.
I also noticed a lot of other climbers with the guide and no one was burning thier copy, so it can't be all bad
Honestly, it all depends on the year. I've climbed in January with no snow on the ground in some years, while other years you're post holing through 3 feet of snow. I would keep an eye on the webcams for the area (google it!) and see how things are playing out. If it's relatively snow free on the ground, go for it. As long as you're in the sun, you'll most likely be warm enough. If it gets too cold or snowy, bail to Moab or St. George. Camping will be cold though...
Hey everyone! A couple of friends and I are flying out to SLC to climb at Joe's over this Veteran's Day weekend, and are trying to figure out the most cost efficient way of finding crash pads. I've been looking around SLC and Price (where we're staying) for stores that rent pads, but haven't had too much luck. We're also considering Saran-wrapping several pads together and sending it as one oversized baggage for the $100/per way fee. Wondering if some of you awesome Utah locals could help us out:
1) Do you know any places that rent pads?
2) If you live nearby Joe's, or are on the way to Joe's from SLC via Price, would you be interested in renting out a few pads for the weekend (Sat-Mon)? We'd be willing to pay you in cash and/or beer, and leave ID's/deposit in case you feel uneasy. If you have 2-4 pads, that would be great!
If you want a better chance of warmer weather and less snow (both on the ground and potentially falling from the sky), go in Mid-April. Mid-March can still be pretty hit or miss regarding the weather. The good thing about going in mid-April is that even if it's on the warm side, you can always find thins in the shade and/or go to higher elevations like Dairy Canyon. Hope that helps.
While beer is always a plus, I haven't had a drink in Utah under 6% in years? JS has one good point, a kind offering of any nature will take the sting out of stuffing you into someone's already packed car?
The camping is about 2 to 3 miles from town. The camping is at the climbing. The vibe/crowd is great, just a few douchebags from avon?
I don't believe you'll have any problems at all? Meeting good folks down there is easy. The earlier/later you go the better, in the summer its a bit of a ghost town.
When are you thinking of going? I don't quite have the free time I used too, but if I'm down there when you are? I'll help zip you around.
Was at right fork yesterday the access and parking was okay but the slopes feel pretty loose and a bunch of the camping spots are now wash outs. The left fork was still closed as of last night. New joes seems to be untouched just a few trails washed out. Thanks for the beta BD guy.
Anybody know if there's a good place to get wi-fi and a charge in Orangeville? I'm a traveling designer and really want to come back to Joe's for a few months this Fall, but I rely on my laptop based tech job to keep my dog and I alive. Kind of an odd question I'll admit, so if anyone has beta I'm grateful.
1st Annual Joe’s Valley, Utah Adopt a Crag Saturday April 5th a Success!
Work gloves and coffee cups in hand, thirty rock climbers gathered last Saturday, April 5th at the Man Size camp in Joe’s Valley ready to give back to this increasingly popular rock climbing destination. The Food Ranch in Orangeville kicked off the work day with their donation of amazing donuts and coffee.
The Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service worked alongside climbers putting in 200 hours of work. Volunteers eliminated superfluous fire rings and removed at least a thousand pounds of ash from the Man Size Camp fire pits. In an attempt to curb camp site creep, parking areas and campsites were delineated. Two informational kiosks were installed to educate climbers about how to use Joe’s Valley responsibly to protect the watershed. Brats and brews were shared after the work with a BBQ provided by backcountry.com Detour and Shades of Pale Brewing Company. Leave No Trace was even on hand to discuss LNT principles to help climbers enjoy Joe’s Valley responsibly.
The climbing resources that exist in Joe’s Valley lie within both Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and United States Forest Service (FS) jurisdiction and are located in the watershed of Emery County. The Access Fund and Salt Lake Climbers Alliance have brought these land managers to the table along with local Emery County officials and Utah Tourism partners. The goal of this partnership is to enhance and protect access to the rock climbing resources while being good environmental stewards of the watershed.
The 1st Annual Joe’s Valley Adopt a Crag was a success, however Man Size Camp is but one area in Joe’s Valley in need of stewardship and climbers need to invest in the future of this area. The Access Fund and the American Alpine Club have granted the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance with funding to do a “Joe’s Valley Informal Trails, Disperse Campsites, and Bouldering Recreation Site Assessment”. This assessment was requested by the land management agencies and will advise resource planning for the future. The assessment allows climbers to influence how the climbing resources will be managed and gives ownership to climbers of a well-loved Joe’s Valley.
Please get involved with this effort by becoming a member of the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance and the Access Fund at www.saltlakeclimbers.org/membership. Membership dollars go towards future Adopt a Crags as well as to help fund the seasonal port-o-potties that the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance has provided at $2500/year for the past six years.
Thanks to all who came out to give their time and muscles to this Adopt a Crag. Stay tuned for upcoming Adopt a Crags happening in the Wasatch by LIKING the SLCA Facebook page and staying up to date at www.saltlakeclimbers.org. See you on the rock!