Rock Climbing in Arches National Park

Rock Climbing

Excellent rock climbing routes can be found in Arches National Park, and in nearby areas. The information below talks about routes and rules in Arches. Also see our info on guides and climbing areas around Moab.

Most climbing routes in Arches require advanced techniques. Permits are not required, unless the trip involves an overnight stay in the backcountry. Regulations are designed to minimize environmental damage. Climbers are encouraged to access climbing routes via established trails, slickrock or sandy washes.

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.

Closures

  • Any arch or natural bridge named on the United States Geological Survey 7.5 minute topographical maps covering Arches National Park is closed to climbing year-round.
  • Balanced Rock is closed to climbing year-round.
  • Bubo is closed from January 1st to June 30th.
  • Industrial Disease on the Devil Dog Spire is closed from January 1st to June 30th.

Slacklining is prohibited anywhere within Arches National Park year-round.

Restrictions
No new permanent climbing hardware may be installed in any fixed location. If an existing bolt or other hardware item is unsafe, it may be replaced. This will limit all climbing to existing routes or new routes not requiring placement of fixed anchors.

Climbing anchors and/or protection points may not be placed with the use of a hammer except to replace existing belay and rappel anchors and bolts on existing routes, or for emergency self-rescue.

If an existing software item (sling, runner etc.) is unsafe, it may be replaced. Software (webbing, accessory cords, etc.) that is left in place shall match the rock surface in color.

The intentional removal of lichen or plants from rock is prohibited.

The physical altering of rock faces such as chiseling, glue reinforcement of existing holds, and gluing of new holds is prohibited.

The use of motorized power drills is prohibited.

Fixed ropes may not be left in place for more than 24 hours. Fixed ropes left in place longer than 24 hours shall be considered "abandoned property" and removed.

The use of chalk for climbing must be of a color that blends with the native rock.

Definitions
Technical Rock Climbing is defined as ascending or descending a rock formation utilizing rock climbing equipment.

Free Climbing and Clean Aid Climbing are minimum impact approaches that employ chocks, stoppers, nuts and camming devices, rather than pitons or bolts, for protection or direct support. These are climbing aids that are removable and do not damage the rock.

Slacklining is defined as walking on a rope or other line that is anchored between rock formations, trees, or any other natural features. Height of the rope above the ground is immaterial.


Canyoneering/Rock Climbing/Rappelling
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