The Island in the Sky District attracts serious climbers wanting to challenge its sandstone towers. Little climbing occurs in other areas of the park because of poor rock quality and lack of established routes. You do not need a permit to climb in the park unless you will be staying overnight in the backcountry.
Technical rock climbing is prohibited in the Salt Creek Archeological District in the Needles District and in Horseshoe Canyon. In addition, you may not climb into any archeological site or cultural resource, or on any arch or natural bridge in Canyonlands National Park or the Orange Cliffs Unit of Glen Canyon NRA named on a USGS map, with the exception of Washer Woman Arch in the Island in the Sky District.
The physical altering of rock faces by chiseling, glue reinforcement of existing holds, and gluing of new holds is prohibited. The use of motorized power drills is prohibited.
All climbing shall be free or clean-aid climbing with the following exceptions:
No new climbing hardware may be left in a fixed location; however, if a hardware item is unsafe, it may be replaced.
Protection 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, etc.) is unsafe, it may be replaced (software that is left in place must match the rock surface in color).
Canyoneering (cross-country travel involving the occasional use of climbing equipment ) may occur in areas closed to rock climbing, but must occur at least 300 feet away from cultural sites.