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Best Rock Climbing St George, Utah

Best Rock Climbing St George
From sandstone to limestone and basalt, and from Trad to Sport to Bouldering, St George really has everything a climber could want!

With more than 1500 routes and at least 2 dozen different crags, St George is climbing Mecca! Climbing St George is amazing year round but due to it’s mild winters, it’s one of the best places to escape the snow and climb some real rock. From sandstone to limestone and basalt, and from Trad to Sport to Bouldering, St George really has everything a climber could want! Read this blog to find out the best sport climbing in St George!

For the last 6 years we’ve traveled the world with our five kids in search of beautiful and fun rock climbing destinations. We aren’t world class climbers by any means, but when we discovered rock climbing a few years back we instantly fell in love with what a great activity it was to do as a family.

My kids would love being able to hang out at the crag, scramble over smaller boulders, play with sticks, read in a hammock, and of course, get their turn on the rope. Now, my older kids are leading routes and setting anchors and I’m the one who gets to chill in the hammock.

But this blog isn’t just about how much we love rock climbing as a family. This is to share with you why we love rock climbing in St George.

Why we Love St George Climbing

We’ve traveled through St George often, but this recent trip was the first time for us to stick around for a few weeks so we could explore more of the great climbing that St George has to offer.

Related – Ultimate Utah Road Trip Itinerary

We’ve been to Snow Canyon multiple times and enjoyed climbing there, but honestly, there is a lot of better spots to climb especially if you are a 5.10 climber like us.

Here are our favorite climbing areas in St George. We typically to search out climbing in the range of 5.10-5.11 climbs so if you are above our level these might just be good recommendations for your easier climbing days.

Also, St George has so many climbing areas, we couldn’t possibly cover it all in 1 blog (hence why you should buy the guidebook) so we’ll really just be covering our top picks!

And one last important note, we don’t Trad climb or boulder at this time so this is mostly a review of the best sport climbing in St George!

Best Time to Climb St George

St George is a real gem due it’s mild winters! It’s a perfect escape from the snow and there are only a few crags you’ll want to avoid during the colder winter season.

Much like all of the Southwest, spring and fall are prime time to be in St George climbing. Summer doesn’t have to be completely avoided, but you will only be able to climb in shade for a few hours a day so it’s not recommended.

Guidebook

Mountain Project is typically really good in St George climbing areas however, Rock Climbs of Southwest Utah guidebook is highly recommended at Utah Hills, Prophesy Wall, and Lamb’s Knoll. You can purchase the guidebook here or at a local climbing shop.

Where to Stay

There are many different camping and BLM options in St George area. Click here to find the top camping spots in St George.

Best Sport Climbing in St George, Utah

P.S. we gave some bullet points on the beta. Kid friendly scale refers to the belay area at the base (i.e. is there a sheer cliff). RV friendly refers to whether there are dirt roads to get there and if parking is limited.

Chuckwalla Wall

Best season: A great sunny winter crag, late afternoon shade in summer
Best for: Moderate (5.10a) to advanced climbers (5.12+)
Approach time: 1 minute
Kid friendly crag: Very kid friendly
RV friendly parking: Yes

What’s not to love about the huge pockets and one minute approach to Chuckwalla? Oh right, the crowds. While yes it can be quite crowded, but we often climb here mid-week in the winter and it’s empty. 

Even if it’s crowded, the climbs here are worth it. Be sure to climb Dirtbag (10a), Tombstone Bullets (10c) beginners will love the Sand of Blood jug haul (5.9), and. If you’re an advanced climber, there’s a myriad of radical project-worthy 5.12s on the left face.

Related – Best Family Sport Climbing Destinations

Turtle Wall

St George. Turtle Wall Climbing
Director of Humor Affairs, is rightfully known as one of the best 5.11a’s in St George

Best season: A great sunny winter crag, late afternoon shade in summer
Best for: Intermediate (5.11) to advanced climbers (5.12)
Approach time: 30 minutes
Kid friendly crag: Yes
RV friendly parking: Yes

Turtle Wall is just a 30 minute hike past Chuckwalla Wall, accessed from the same parking lot. This crag is about equal in size to Chuckwalla Wall, except contains routes primarily in the 5.11 and up range. There is one really rad 5.8 here that’s worth doing despite how easy it may be plus there are two 10ds.

The real gem of this wall is the epic, juggy, overhanging 5.11a known as Director of Humor Affairs. Director of Humor Affairs is rightfully known as one of the best 5.11a classics in St George.

Lambs Knoll

Best season: Best from spring through fall (often crowded in the summer)
Best for: Moderate (5.10a) to advanced climbers (5.12+)
Approach time: 10-15 minutes
Kid friendly crag: Yes
RV friendly parking: Yes

This climbing area is one of the most scenic areas we’ve ever climbed in and that says a lot because we climbed all through Spain, France, Germany, and Norway. From the climbs, you get gorgeous views of Zion NP. There are campsites right at the base of the climb and it’s a very short approach from the parking lot to the climbing areas.

Related – Ultimate Guide to Zion National Park

Crawdad Canyon, Veyo

Best season: Open May through September
Best for: Beginner (5.8)) to advanced climbers (5.12+)
Approach time: 1-10 minutes
Kid friendly crag: VERY kid friendly!
RV friendly parking: No

Crawdad Canyon is an incredible limestone sport haven that feels like a destination getaway. It’s privately owned and the only outdoor climbing park in the USA which is what makes it so cool and unique. Climbing at Veyo was honestly way better than I expected it to be. The rock and route quality is pristine!

Flytrap Wall is the most popular wall and for a good reason. The routes are amazing at Flytrap from 5.7 to 5.12, and it’s right next to pool. This makes it a great place if you have kids, so they can play at the pool while you climb. In fact, the whole canyon is super kid friendly!

If you’re looking for the best moderate to advanced routes, don’t miss The Rubicon which houses incredible, dynamic lines. Don’t miss Sparkle & Fade (5.11a) and Monkey Business (5.11b/c).

The only flaw here is that it costs $9.50 per person/per day for adults PLUS climbing access on top of that which is $8.50 for all ages. You can however, make it much more affordable by purchasing a 10-punch pass which is transferable among family/friends and brings the price down to about $9 per day instead of $18 per day.

The campground is tent only and no RVs are allowed into the canyon, you wouldn’t be able to turn around. There is a spacious dirt parking lot at the top of the canyon where you can park your rig and then it’s a short walk down into the canyon where you can swim, climb, and camp. If you want to park your RV there overnight, it’s $35.

Find more info on pricing and campsite reservations here.

Island in the Sky, Snow Canyon State Park

Best season: Year round, early morning shade/afternoon sun
Best for: Beginner (5.8) to intermediate climbers (5.11)
Approach time: 3-5 minutes
Kid friendly crag: Very kid friendly
RV friendly parking: Yes, parking lots fill up fast though

Snow Canyon is a great destination for hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and camping. Personally, I don’t think it’s the best climbing in St George (just our style of climbing), I think everyone should climb this St George crag least once.

While Roar of the Greasepaint is a popular St George climbing classic, I was really happy that Gabi led Living on the Edge. The exposure on this route is unreal and it’s awesome because the route isn’t too hard (5.10a). Living on the Edge is actually a 3 pitch 10c and I’d recommend doing it all. We didn’t have the right gear packed so we just did the first pitch and it was still awesome.

We’ve only climbed on the Island in the Sky region of Snow Canyon but there are other cool crags in Snow Canyon as well.

P.S. Circus Wall can be difficult to navigate without a the St George climbing book. Might recommend it.

Related – 12 Best Hikes in St George

Pioneer Park

Best season: Summer (provides great shade), O.K. on the warmest winter days
Best for: Beginners and TR tough guys 😉
Approach time: 3-5 minutes
Kid friendly crag: Very kid friendly
RV friendly parking: O.K., parking lot can be crowded

This is the best place to take the family climbing in St George. My kids love scrambling around the rocks and walking through the St George canyon. There are only a few roped climbs here (since it’s primarily bouldering), but the few rope routes are must-dos!

The nice thing here is that even if you aren’t a great lead climber, you can top rope everything. Most people climb the three routes by the Narrow, but there is also a great climb just around the corner on Choss Tower (Bird Nest Boulder) that’s TR only but tons of fun!

There’s also Dixie Rock which was three beginner grade TR-only routes. Finally, there’s lots of V2-V5 bouldering here but we have not tried it personally!

Related – 6 Best Beginner Rock Climbing Shoes

Black Rocks

Best season: Really good winter climbing option, shady side in summer
Best for: Moderate (5.10) climbing
Approach time: 5-10 minutes
Kid friendly crag: Yes
RV friendly parking: Yes
Special note: Closed mid-March through June

Black Rocks is one of best winter climbing areas since it gets so much sun and the rock dries fast. While I don’t think this is world-class climbing, Black Rocks has a ton of routes especially in the 5.10 range making it great for moderate climbers!

All the routes here are pretty short and the approach is easy, making it a great place to go if you’re short on time. Our favorite routes include Lunar Orbit (5.10b), Oh Shit (5.10a), and Oh my Hell (5.10c). Be warned, the grades are on the stiff side on some routes.

Coral Canyon Ridge

Best season: Great winter crag
Best for: Beginner (5.8) to moderate (5.10) climbing
Approach time: 15 minutes
Kid friendly crag: No!
RV friendly parking: Yes

What a hidden gem! We almost skipped climbing here because we weren’t sure about the quality of the climbs but I was so stoked that we did. It’s a fun approach to get here because you have to walk up a large slab of rock that reminded me of the Flatirons. Once at the top, you’ll see bolts and it’s an easy downclimb to the base of the climbs.

This is another spot that you can top rope but it is not a good climbing area if you have young kids. Some of the rock on the easier climbs feel loose so check before you pull hard and wear a helmet.

We loved climbing the 3rd Ugly Step Sister (10c) and the unknown 10a route just to the right! I highly recommend you run up both of these. The 10c is a remarkably dance-y, flowy, and exposed climb, rare to find outdoors at this grade level.

Related – Best Campgrounds in Utah

Prophesy Wall

Best season: Year round, afternoon sun/morning shade
Best for: Beginner (5.8) to moderate (5.10) climbing
Approach time: 15 minutes
Kid friendly crag: No
RV friendly parking: Washboard-y dirt road to get there

Prophesy Wall is considered by many to be of the best quality rock climbing in St George. Most of the routes on this wall are typically 2-3 pitches and there are a variety of belay stations making it convenient and easy to link things up.

The routes here aren’t quite as varied and diverse as some other St George crags are but the real fun is in the multi-pitching. Sticky Revelations and the Roofs of Jericho are some must-dos but really it’s slam dunk with any route you choose (plus they’re all very similar).

This wall is a popular winter choice due to afternoon sun, but be warned, the area is at higher elevation than St George. Meaning, snow takes longer than you’d expect to melt off.

Parking for RVs is easy here but the road is very bumpy to get there. Still doable, just don’t go after rain/snow because it gets very muddy.

Related – Southwest National Parks Road Trip Itinerary

Utah Hills

Best season: Year round
Best for: Moderate (5.10) to advanced (5.12) climbing

I unfortantly can’t give ya the beta on this one but Utah Hills is known to be one of the best intermediate sport climbing areas in St George!

During our visit to St George, this crag was initially at the top of our priority list but we discovered and loved all these other St George climbing areas and we never felt the need to go drive and explore the Utah Hills area. We also weren’t sure how warm it would be mid-winter.

Will update this section later this spring when we visit again!

Other areas worth exploring:

  • Moe’s Valley – If you’re a boulderer, I probably don’t need to explain this one to ya. Among the best bouldering areas in the US.
  • Kolob Canyon – Home of drool-worthy huecos of Namaste Wall, Kolob is a must visit form spring through fall and those willing to hike for their climbs.

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