Rock Climbing in Capitol Reef National Park
In recent years Capitol Reef National Park has become a popular spot for rock climbing. When climbing in Capitol Reef be sure and know the regulations and concerns (see below).
The rock at Capitol Reef is made up of mostly sandstone, which varies in hardness from soft crumbly Entrada to harder rock Wingate. Although Wingate is harder and can handle the use of chocks, nuts, and camming devices, it is unpredictable and can flake off easily. Climbers should use caution at all times while hiking within canyon country.
Permits are not required for climbing. However, if you plan to camp overnight on a climb, you are required to obtain a free backcountry use permit, available at the visitor center.
The information below was provided by the National Park Service. Stop at the park visitor center to obtain current information on routes, closures and regulations.
- Due to the abundance of prehistoric rock writings, the section of the rock wall north of Utah Hwy 24 between the Fruita Schoolhouse (Mile 80.6) and the east end of the Kreuger Orchard (Mile 81.4) is closed to climbing.
- In other areas, climbing is not permitted above or within 100 feet of rock art panels or prehistoric structures.
- Hickman Natural Bridge and all other arches and bridges, Temple of the Moon, Temple of the Sun and Chimney Rock are closed to climbing year-round.
Restrictions and Concerns
Capitol Reef National Park is a clean climbing area. Minimum impact techniques that don't destroy the rock or leave a visual trail are encouraged.
The use of white chalk is prohibited. Climbers using chalk must use chalk which closely matches the color of the surrounding rock.
The use of power drills is also prohibited. Bolts may only be used to replace existing unsafe bolts.
Where it is necessary to leave or replace existing webbing, the webbing should closely match the color of the surrounding rock.
Ropes may not be left in place unattended for more than 24 hours, and these ropes must be out of reach from the ground or other points accessible without technical climbing.
Technical Rock Climbing is defined as ascending or descending a rock formation utilizing rock climbing equipment.
Additional information about Capitol Reef National Park can be obtained by contacting:
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