Rock Climbing and Canyoneering in Arches National Park
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- Fodor's Choice
Rock Climbing and Canyoneering
Rock climbers travel from across the country to scale the sheer red rock walls of Arches National Park and surrounding areas. Most climbing routes in the park require advanced techniques. Permits are not required, but you are responsible for knowing park regulations and restricted routes. Two popular routes ascend Owl Rock in the Garden of Eden (about 10 mi from the visitor center), the well-worn route has a difficulty of 5.8, while a more challenging option is 5.11 on a scale that goes up to 5.13+. Many climbing routes are available in the Park Avenue area, about 2.2 mi from the visitor center. These routes are also extremely difficult climbs. No commercial outfitters are allowed to lead rock-climbing excursions in the park, but guided canyoneering (which involves ropes, rappelling, and some basic climbing) is permitted. New climbing policies were put in place in 2006; before climbing, it's imperative that you stop at the visitor center and talk with a ranger.
Outfitters and Expeditions
Desert Highlights. This guide company takes adventurous types on descents and ascents through canyons (with the help of ropes), including those found in the Fiery Furnace. Full-day and multiday canyoneering treks are available to destinations both inside and outside the national parks. Desert Highlights does not offer guided rock climbing. 50 E. Center St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–4433 or 800/747–1342. www.deserthighlights.com.
Moab Cliffs & Canyons. In a town where everyone seems to offer rafting and 4x4 expeditions, Moab Cliffs & Canyons focuses exclusively on canyoneering, climbing, and rappelling—for novice and veteran adventurers. This is the outfitter that provided technical assistance to the crew on the movie 127 Hours. 253 N. Main St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–3317 or 877/641–5271. www.cliffsandcanyons.com.
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