With the close vicinity of so many canyons near Salt Lake City, Utah it is no surprise that a slew of good rock climbing sites abound. What’s nice is that there are spots so close, if you only had an hour or two, you could still get a good climb in.
Ferguson Canyon, which I also featured as a hike, has some great climbing. The climb we did is called Inner Light. It is not a sport route so you need trad gear if you want to lead climb it. We don’t have trad equipment so we hiked up the backside and top roped it. The climb is rated a 5.7 but as an avid climber, I would say the bottom half is much more technical than your average 5.7. The holds are small and crimpy and for a 5’5″ gal some of them are a big stretch. Once you get to the crack halfway up the rest of the climb is a breeze. But I would say the bottom of it is more similar to a 5.8+ just because of the small size of the holds.
To get to Ferguson Canyon: The canyon is off Wasatch Blvd. in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. To get there, take Wasatch Drive to the four way light at Bengal Blvd. At the light, take a left and head east to Top of the World Drive. Take a left on Top of the World and a right onto Timberline Drive. There you will find a small parking area at the base of the trail. Dogs are allowed in the canyon and a lot of climbers bring them along.
While a few places have anchors already set in the walls, be prepared for traditional or “trad” climbing. While there are some great crack climbs, those will require all equipment.
Some of the walls with anchors already set are flat and challenging. Many of those walls are accessible from a scramble behind to set up anchors from up above. However, be careful. Climbers fall every year attempting this without ropes. Be safe, not stupid.
Grab your climbing ropes and harness and pack your climbing gear. It is about a half mile hike to get to the walls. However, the trail head is within city limits so you can easily go after work and get a couple of good climbs in. From the trail head, you will hike to the water tower, down some steps and then up a good incline into a rocky area where you will find a variety of cliffs.
This area gets crowded on the weekends even in early spring.
That makes it fun to watch other climbers. I learned a lot about lead climbing just by watching.
Next week, we’ll be climbing in Big Cottonwood Canyon so stay tuned.