This used to be the old highway to get to Nevada and California in the early to mid 20th century. There was even a hermit who lived in the lower reaches of the canyon in a shack that he built into the rock. The shack is still there today. His job was to make sure the road was clear of debris so cars could pass. He often would let passers by stay the night. If you go out there think of how it would be to live there year round.
The road can be nasty as it's basically a riverbed from storms at a few places, your BMW or Prius wouldn't be the best choice of transportation IMO.
This canyon has cooler temps than Ibex and many different climbing options. Most of the traffic going through are people looking for a nice drive, a rancher, or the occasional ATV'er. Crowds aren't a problem here.
The rock is Limestone and tends to be sharp so extra finger tips are advised.
From Delta go south on Hwy 6. You will see the signs pointing the way to Marjum. Follow these. When you get out into the desert keep an eye on the power lines, follow the road that follows the power lines and you shouldn't have much of a problem finding it. The signs are non-existent at a few intersections.
You can also get there from Ibex. Go to the Painter Springs road and cruise that for about 20+ minutes. You will pass the awe inspiring Notch Peak and Sawtooth Canyon granite. You will see the road turn up (east) into a canyon, this is Marjum. The first pullout/side road you come to on the left is the Hermit shack side canyon.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Marjum Canyon:
Climb two pitches to the Eye of the needle or hole in the wall. Pitch three threads the eye and climbs the back of the wall (opposite the road) via bolts to gain the summit of the small tower. Rap back into the eye from bolts to the right (east), then two raps back to the ground. A cool summit register is located at the belay station in the needles eye....[more]Browse More Classics in UT
Neat place with a very remote feeling. The camping here is great but sort of trashed. I doubt if climbers are responsible for all of it, but it really should be taken better care of. We filled a trash bag full of refuse of all sorts including a few beer cans at the base of routes(no PBR's) and a whole Lil Debbie. I recommend other visitors do the same.
Nice suggestions Craig, I have also been used to picking up trash...even old old stuff left far before even climbers were frequenting the area out at in the West Desert for some time...a little effort on everyones part CAN make a huge difference to this very special place. I appreciate that others feel the same about this place, but then again in all the desert areas in general....burning firewood, hey I like campfires more than the next guy, but I always try to either pick up scraps on the way (lumberyards are good sources on the way or bring it from home)...trash really detracts from otherwise beautiful areas. And burning local wood lying on the ground will just eventually turn the entire area into a sand lot. Nice points and thanks for thinking along those same lines. Our Utah desert is a fragile place really and don't be hesitant to approach the fourwheelers carving their signatures into the hardpan...I mean, some people won't listen, but might become aware that it irritates others. Ya know it always gets paid forward...some recent friends did just that and while dumping it at the local grocery store dumpster in Delta scored big...I think they lived off the findings and goodies they found tossed in there for weeks! They were elated and I couldn't believe some of the cool stuff they found in the Delta Jubilee Dumpster! One person's trash can be anothers grocery list....so the story goes on. cheers, jg
The rock here is Cambrian in age, and is mostly Dolostone. The arid desert climate of the west desert is the reason why this sedimentary stone weathers differently from other areas with similar stone. Keep your eyes peeled for trilobites in the shale/clay layers.