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Zion National Park

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Angel's Landing 
Carbuncle Buttress 
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Desert Shield Buttress 
Drilled Pocket Boulder 
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North Guardian Angel 
Organ, The 
Practice Cliffs 
Red Arch Mountain 
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Riverwalk Trail/ The Zion Narrows, The 
Round the world boulder 
Sanctuary, The 
Sentinel 
Spearhead 
Streaked Wall, The 
Temple of Sinawava 
Three Marys, The 
Twin Brothers 
Watchman, The 
Weeping Rock 
West of the River Cliff 
West Temple 
zion bouldering 
Rest Day:
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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Zion National Park  


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Description 

Zion is a spectacular park with excellent routes for a wide range of ability levels. It is most noted for its long wall routes on amazing sandstone. There are many good entry-level grade IV's and V's like Prodigal Sun, Touchstone Wall, and Moonlight Buttress. There are also many challenging lines that will test the seasoned wall rat. There are plenty of short, one or two pitch routes for those who don't want to venture too high off the deck.

As a National Park, Zion charges $25 for a seven-day pass or $80 for an annual pass (good at all National Parks and covers entry fees at most other federally-managed lands). A $10 fee is charged for a bivy permit for each wall you do. Overnight bivy permits are obtained from the rangers at the visitors center. Or you can book online using the Zion online permits. You still have to pick them up but at least it is booked.

Beginning sometime in March all cars have to be parked at the Visitors Center. Shuttle buses have to be ridden to access anything in the canyon during the high season. They are fairly efficient and operate from 5:45am until 11:00pm.

There is camping at the Watchman Campground inside the park, as well as lodging at the Zion Lodge (not for the standard, dirt-bag wall rat). Free camping is available in many areas just outside of the park in the Springdale and Rockville area. Some of these sites have been really trashed. Feel free to clean them up so that free camping continues.

Springdale is loaded with all of the necessary amenities for a long stay. There are restaurants, grocery stores, showers, hotels, bars, and even a gear shop.

The weather is stinking hot by May. There are sometimes nice cool spells, but the most comfortable weather usually occurs in the spring and fall. There is about a 3,000 to 4,000 foot vertical rise between valley floor and canyon rim. For this reason, weather can be different depending on your current elevation.

Getting There 

Zion is located in the southeastern corner of Utah between St. George and Cedar City. Coming from the North, take exit 27 off of Interstate 15 going to Toquerville on Highway 17. 17 joins Highway 9. Continue West on Highway 9 following the obvious Zion National Park signs to Springdale and the main park entrance. Coming from the south, take exit 16 off of Interstate 15 onto Highway 9 headed towards Hurricane. Continue west on Highway 9 to the park entrance.

Climbing Season



Weather station 6.2 miles from here

231 Total Routes

['4 Stars',38],['3 Stars',94],['2 Stars',71],['1 Star',17],['Bomb',5]
['<=5.6',5],['5.7',15],['5.8',20],['5.9',30],['5.10',74],['5.11',58],['5.12',16],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',4],['V2-3',7],['V4-5',2],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Zion National Park:
Led by Sheep   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 800'   East Side : Aries Butte
Spaceshot   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C2     Aid, 8 pitches, 800'   Leaning Wall
The Moonlight Buttress (Clean Aid)   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C1     Trad, Aid, 10 pitches, 1200'   Moonlight Buttress
Prodigal Sun   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2     Aid, 9 pitches, 900'   Angel's Landing
Ashtar Command   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Mount Carmel Tunnel : Ataxia Tower
Touchstone Wall   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C2     Trad, Aid, 8 pitches, 820'   Cerberus Gendarme
Iron Messiah   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 10 pitches, 1000'   Spearhead
Lunar Ecstasy   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b C2+     Aid, 9 pitches   Moonlight Buttress
Cherry Crack   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 140'   Cerberus Gendarme
1/2 Route, AKA Unknown   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Kolob Canyon : South Fork
The Headache   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 380'   Mount Carmel Tunnel : Headache Area
Tricks of the Trade   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b C2+     Trad, Aid, 19 pitches, 1800'   Isaac
Smashmouth   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   The Confluence
Desert Shield   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c C3     Trad, Aid, 9 pitches, 1000'   Desert Shield Buttress
Fails of Power   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 2 pitches, 80'   Cerberus Gendarme
Shune's Buttress   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 8 pitches, 800'   Red Arch Mountain
Namaste   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   Kolob Canyon : South Fork
Monkeyfinger   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 9 pitches, 900'   Temple of Sinawava
Huecos Rancheros   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   Kolob Canyon : South Fork
The Moonlight Buttress (Free)   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Trad, 10 pitches, 1200'   Moonlight Buttress
Browse More Classics in Zion National Park

Featured Route For Zion National Park
Joy on Squeeze Play

Squeeze Play 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  UT : Zion National Park : Cerberus Gendarme
This is the prominent crack to the right of Cave Route. It starts in a small-hands splitter and moves up through two broken cracks to great arete climbing. Folks most often protect in the small crack and climb the arete.You could also choose to weasel around in the offwidth crack, but that makes for some difficulty reaching the chain anchors at the top of the pitch.Super fun route. Some great strength and technique moves with a great view....[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

Photos of Zion National Park Slideshow Add Photo
Zion Canyon
Zion Canyon
Zion, winter '05.
Zion, winter '05.
In the Narrows.  One of the coolest "rest day...
In the Narrows. One of the coolest "rest day...
Zion Skyline from Virgin, UT
Zion Skyline from Virgin, UT
ZION
ZION
Angel's Landing.
Angel's Landing.
Another one of the narrows, September 2004.
Another one of the narrows, September 2004.
A hard body, stern visage, and commando style are ...
A hard body, stern visage, and commando style are ...
Zion sunrise november 2006
Zion sunrise november 2006
Autumn in Zion.
Autumn in Zion.
Virgin River. Entrance to the Narrows. Photo by Bl...
Virgin River. Entrance to the Narrows. Photo by Bl...
Zion sunrise in November 2006
Zion sunrise in November 2006
Waterfall, Zion. Photo by Blitzo.
Waterfall, Zion. Photo by Blitzo.
Forest fire in Zion, September of 2004
Forest fire in Zion, September of 2004
Odd view from the parking lot by the new Visitor C...
BETA PHOTO: Odd view from the parking lot by the new Visitor C...
Hiking in the narrows, September 2004.
Hiking in the narrows, September 2004.
Echo Canyon.
Echo Canyon.
Bob Horan bouldering in Zion.
Bob Horan bouldering in Zion.
There's more to Zion than climbing. The first drop...
There's more to Zion than climbing. The first drop...
Local resident along the Temple of Sinawava walkwa...
Local resident along the Temple of Sinawava walkwa...
BETA PHOTO
Zion National Park Gecko near Isaac Photo by Richa...
Zion National Park Gecko near Isaac Photo by Richa...
East Rim Trail view.
East Rim Trail view.
Zion at Sunset
Zion at Sunset

Show All 62 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Zion National Park Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 6, 2014
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 4, 2002
Bus hours very with the season, in April as I recall the first bus was 7 AM.
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Jun 5, 2002
on 5/25 the first bus was at 5:45 - Casey Bernal
By Andrew Klein
Jun 28, 2002
I was there in mid-May as well, and I believe we left at 5:45 am on the express bus taking hikers or climbers directly to their location, without making all the standard stops. I also remember the last bus leaving the Big Bend parking lot about 11:15 PM. These times were changed to accomodate climbers so they wouldn't have to give special use permits for parking for long day climbs (Moonlight, Prodical, Touchstone, etc.) However, you are allowed to park in any lot and overnight (with the $5 bivy permit) until Easter Sunday (~March 30th).
By Craig Quincy
Sep 27, 2002
Here's a few of the NPS regulations that are worth noting as of 2002. Most of the rangers that I've met there are friendly towards climbers (unlike Yosemite). So, let's do our part and keep it that way by following the regs and cleaning up after ourselves.

Permits are NOT required for day climbs.Permits ARE required for overnight climbs.Power drills are illegal.It's illegal to camp at the base of a climb or in a vehicle.Gardening of plants from cracks is not permitted.All human feces must be packed out. (A PVC tube or river bag with some kitty litter and some paper or plastic bags work nicely.)No tossing of human waste off the walls.Remove old slings, ropes and equipment.Do not climb above trails where dislodged rocks can hit hikers.White chalk is frowned upon, use the colored stuff if any.

Closures for Peregrine Falcons (February - Late August) usually affect the formations listed below, but it can change each year. The closures end when the young have fledged. Check at the Vistor's Center for the latest information.The Great White ThroneCourt of the PatriarchsCable MountainAngel's LandingTunnel West

Climbing and rappelling is not allowed above Middle and Lower Emerald Pools and Weeping Rock.

One note on climbing after it rains, it takes a *couple* of days for the sandstone to dry out after a good storm. Sandstone is weak to begin with and very weak when it's wet!



By Joe Collins
Nov 4, 2002
The shuttle buses stopped running as of 10/28, the day after the end of daylight savings time. You can now drive in the canyon. I assume the shuttles will start back up by easter weekend.
By david goldstein
Nov 5, 2002
If the published guidebooks contain insufficient beta for your tastes, the back country desk at the visitors' center has several rock climbing beta books which contain the most comprehensive and detailed Zion route descriptions.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 4, 2003
I'm a climber looking to hit my first C3 Zion wall. How would the site users here compare Desert Shield to Lunar Ecstacy in regards to difficulty, asthetics, and just pure enjoyment. I know that Lunar X has a slightly lower rating than Desert Shield, but I've been sandbagged in the desert enough times to know better. ;) The lines seem pretty comparable in length and gear list, though the Shield seems to have more free climbing.

Thanks.

Will
By Craig Quincy
Jun 17, 2003
Will-This time of year the staying out of the sun is probably a more important factor. Given that, I'd say do Dessert Sheild since it's in the shade most of the day. Lunar Ecstacy, on the other hand, gets full sun. I believe the two are similar in difficulty, both are classics and you pretty much nailed the pros and cons.
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 26, 2003
Anyone have any beta for Radiator? Approach/Decent?

Cheers,Brent
By Dan Russell
Nov 30, 2003
Topo here...

bigwall.com/radiator.html
By david goldstein
Feb 27, 2004
The following is copied from emails sent to me by Dave Jones, one of Zion's leading route developers.Dave scoffs at the notion that "there are only 10 good routes in Zion."

My personal top free or mostly free routes

Golden Years (Kolob)Shune'sLovelace (aka Fang Wall above Pine Creek)The VigilSilmaril (Watchman)Rites of Passage (Red Arch)Hello Mary Lou (Angelino Wall, S. face of Streaked Wall)Hue and Cry (Watchman)Bits and Pieces (Red Arch)

Shorter good routesDancing With Zully (W. Face Mt Spry)

you can't go wrong on any of these...

the new routes along the north wall of the Grotto (partial topo in the Visitor's Center) are all pretty outstanding; in particular, look for one starting with a very steep bolted face that leads to an overhanging crack -- the second pitch splitter crack on this is as good as anything anywhere. Pure fun. In same area, walk up Grotto drainage until reaching the cement water cistern, then up the open talus to the left to the base of a buttress, 'Second Sun buttress', with many cracks (we've climbed all of these); if you're at the right spot you will look up to see a right leaning flake leading into asplitter so beautiful you cannot conceive of it. The pitch goes at 5.11++ or 5.12a and is a FULL 50m of real climbing. It is called 'Second Sun crack'. Not in the guidebook. The bolted face climb I mentioned above is about 100 yards to the left of this, somewhere around Scotch on the Rocks and One For the Road, all excellent.

I should add that on 'Second Sun' crack I am going to add two bolts to keep the rope out of the lower right-leaning face crack and out on the face to the left. The reason simply being that it is nearly impossible to protect this first part, deal with the rope weight and drag, and then do the 11+/12- crux on trad RP pro, followed by the sustained climbing to the bolts. Two bolts out on the face to the left will solve this problem and make the pitch a pleasure instead of a hellish battle.

enjoyDave Jones
By Colin Coulson
Apr 21, 2004
When do the sunny walls become unclimbable due to sun exposure? Anyone know what CFS makes the river unmanageable (from looking at the gauges on bigwall.com)? I guess I am just wondering when the season ends for the summer. Little help here...C
By Will Cobb
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 30, 2004
March - May and mid September - November are generally the best times of year. June is hot. July and August are damn hot. If you climb fast, don't mind climbing at night by headlamp, and look for a route in the shade, you can extend the season by a few weeks to months. Zion is one of those funny weather spots: I have been VERY cold on a route in May and been very warm during March. It just depends.

Whatever you do be safe and have fun.

WC
By Anonymous Coward
Jan 14, 2005
Zion is a wonderful place to climb. But Don't be fooled By hip people in Springdale. My clinbing Partner and I were Celibrating yet Another great send @ the Springdale BLM Campsite, when out of the blue in the middle of the night in NOVEMBER BLM Ranger Dick Morman Rrevealed Himself. Ranger Dick was Spying on us for over 2 hours via night vision goggles. We thought it was a joke, being out in the middle of nowhere and all. but he then showed his ID Card and GUN. We were shocked to here he had Photos of us Smoking Marijuana. He then Showed me the shots on his State of the Art Digital Camera. I could not believe the U.S. Government Paid this guy To hide out in the woods Looking to bust people smoking pot. We now have to pay an $1,150.00 fine and Federal Probation wich involves taking drug tests 1 day a week for a year.So know that when your in Zion your being watched.
By Pete Hirst
Mar 9, 2005
Thanks for the list of recommended free routes. Anyone have any other reccomendations for long free / mostly free routes in the 5.10 / 5.11 range?
By Anonymous Coward
Mar 22, 2005
Ya that is a pretty lame story, I just heard one very similar to it(involving night vision video, e tc..) Apparently BLM rangers are now targeting those smelly, dope-smokin, dirtbaggin climbers all around zion. Oh the joys of visiting a police state. May be the U.S. should 'liberate' Utah?FIGHT THE POWER!!!!
By Chris T.
Feb 25, 2006
Hi everyone-

We're planning a trip out to Zion for the 1st-2nd week of march, but are concerned about the peregrine closures. For instance, we were hoping to do something like "Tricks" on Isaac in a day: big, adventurous (non-trade route), but without too much aid. I guess Isaac is closed, as is the rest of the Court of the Patriarchs. Were also thinking of the Lowe Route on Angel's landing (closed also). Not so interested in the trade routes (Moonlight, Touchstone, etc.).

Does anyone have any other suggestions for routes like the above that will not be subject to the closures? How about "Gettin' Western" on the West Temple? Is it closed? Burly? Scary? Uhh, of course it is....


thanks in advance-

Chris T.
By James Garrett
Mar 2, 2006
Oh Chris, I forgot the best part: No falcon nesting closures on WIGS, the last I heard anyway...but maybe the NPS have decided to ploantsome up there...we never saw any!
By beavs
From: Ft. Collins, CO
Jul 16, 2006
You've got to be kidding - night vision to bust stoners?!!!! If true that is ridiculous.
I haven't been to Zion for too long. Any new action on the north face of Cable Mountain? That wall always looked so nice......
By Jay Brown
From: Aspen, Colorado
Aug 9, 2006
i have the exact same story of a ranger in the mosquito cove camp area!
he also hid in the woods for a while and then gun drawn came out like we just killed someone .
fuck those assholes!!!!!!!!!!!
same fines and all that too...too bad all that sick climbing is in a mormon nazi state...they should chill out like the moab scene is! so smoke all hidden somewhere.
By nolteboy
Sep 10, 2006
Beavs, you better get up there and do it to it, boy, before some other eager beaver beats you to the punch!
By climbingguy
Jan 14, 2007
it's all true. rangers with nothing better to do in the area; can't believe they get paid for that. is there nothing better do to with our money like bust killers or something? got busted in mosquito cove at night with a ranger using night-vision goggles -- ranger harris; what a dick. lies in court too. if giving me a ticket wasn't good enough. that's a cop for ya; the most worthless people of them all, cops.
By climbingguy
Jan 14, 2007
hey the same thing happened to me too. it's real. you're better off smoking in the the car driving. then at least you won't get a federal charge, just a state charge. ranger harris was his name, down in mosquito cove. night-vision goggles too. get a life; there are better people to bust, man.
By adamgable
From: Laramie, WY
Mar 4, 2007
Hey I was wondering if anyone had any beta for lovlace. Hows the aid for one and also how is the free climbing, Is it good clean cracks ( From Vedauwoo but don't want to spend my vacation groveling) that are not all huge and gaping. Also is the free version pretty burly and sustained or can you get away with pulling most of it free and french freeing the few crux moves. Any info would be great as i will be down there next week and would like to knock this route off in a day.
Adam
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 7, 2007
Adam,

I can't comment on the climbing, but a friend tried to do this route and was greatly surprised at the length of approach (I think 4 hours). They intended to fix and blast but I believe they couldn't fix more than the first pitch or two with two ropes due to the traversing nature of the first pitch. Other than that, word is it's a stellar route. Good luck, I'll be in Zion myself in a couple weeks.
By beavs
From: Ft. Collins, CO
Mar 8, 2007
Well Nolteboy, maybe one of these days we'll just have to head over there and get er' done. Hope you like peckers....
By powerandrubber
Apr 23, 2007
FYI there is an approach pitch to Lovelace (Fang Wall) not mentioned on the topo. If you want to fix the aid pitch you'll need 3 ropes. The approach is a thrash; sand, rattlesnakes, bushwhack... I've only done the firs 2 pitches.
By Owen Tracy
Oct 20, 2007
Looking to climb "Tricks" in November. How is the weather there then, what should i be prepared for? Is it open? Just looking for general beta mostly on weather and conditions throughout the winter months there. Also on Santa Claus chimney and available placements after the belay stance on the sandy ledge, how others have done it. The first time i was there it fealt runout and scary. When done in a day did the second jug? Thanks for any info that can be given.

Owen
By outdooreric
From: Lyons, CO
Feb 7, 2008
Here is a link to the Zion National Park route closures and other useful information.

nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/cli...
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Dec 17, 2008
It's weather dependent - I've had some great times in Zion in December. If it's sunny and warm it can be a great time to climb. Just check the weather forecast and pick an appropriate climb.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Dec 17, 2008
I pass through most years around Christmas- sometimes the 100' icecycles are forming on the giant walls, sometimes they are falling off.
I can't imagine doing anything beyond cragging there over the Xmas holiday.
By Calvino
From: Bellingham, WA
Feb 22, 2011
For people visiting Zion and looking for some direction on where to start, I have a tick list/guide on my blog here

For beta on what sort of gear you may need click here

Check it out, and climb on!
By Calvino
From: Bellingham, WA
Mar 19, 2011
Update for would be dirt bag climbing in Zion

The mosquito cove campground is closed because of the winter floods depositing a thick layer of soft sand that makes driving impossible.

Fear not, there are a few other places nearby to camp on the BLM land. Check out my blog for details on a few choice areas. here
By Brian Pappas
From: silverthorne CO
Jan 29, 2012
Heading out with the family in april.Does anyone know of some single pitch moderates out there that are not listed on mountain project
By justin watts
From: Golden, CO
May 5, 2012
Climbed inner chi @ the kung fu area on 5/2/12. One of the anchor bolts is missing went to clip into it and it pulled. If you see this and know the local crew please let them know. Thanks
By Dave Daly
From: Del Mar, CA
Aug 12, 2013
Anyone have knowledge where to get a shower outside the park, besides a hotel or RV park? Surprised the park doesn't have restrooms with showers by now.
By Caleb Padgett
From: Rockville, utah
Aug 13, 2013
Zion Mountain School has 4 pay showers at their shop in Springdale. They are located at 868 Zion Park Blvd behind the Zion Pizza and Noodle restaurant. They are open from 8am-8pm daily.
By brad messinger
From: Wayne, Pa
Dec 6, 2013
Headed to zion next week. Can anyone give me beta for free climbing routes/areas that get sun? Looking at 5.9-5.11 range

Thanks!
By Austin Harris
Apr 29, 2014
FREE OVERNIGHT PARKING, CAMPING

If you are sleeping in your vehicle, you can park overnight, without bother from the authorities, in the parking lot of the...
Canyon Community Center and Springdale Library
PO Box 479
126 Lion Blvd.
Springdale, UT 84767
435.772.3676

There are even public bathrooms with running water (not hot) in a separate building by the tennis courts that are open all night long.
There is free Wi-Fi from the library in the parking lot.
There is also electricity in the posts by the library if you need to charge your phone/laptop.
You can spread a sleeping bag out under the picnic table pavilion, but not a tent.
You can even have a campfire in the nice, big, stone, fire pit by the pavilion.
Just try to keep a low profile, this is not something the library advertises. Don't drink alcohol or make a lot of noise and you should be fine.

To get there, take Highway 9 (Zion Park Blvd.) toward the main entrance to Zion N.P. After you've passed through most of Springdale, turn left on Lion Blvd. (by the Quality Inn on right and the Zion Adventure Co. on left) go 0.3 miles and it's on the right.

You could also park along Lion Blvd overnight or in a dirt parking lot on the right after the library.
There is a free shuttle that runs along Zion Park Blvd through Springdale and another one that goes through Zion N.P. once you get in.

Library
Library
By scottso
From: St. George, Utah
May 6, 2014
Apparently if it's not on Mountain Project, it's not "official." So here is the official closed climb list for 2014.

nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/cli...

And also,it's just $10 for a bivi permit. Just get one so you don't give climbers a bad name in the park. Or just do the wall in a day.