Grand Canyon Rock Climbing Guide

Grand Canyon Rock Climbing

Although most of Grand Canyon National Park is unfit for rock climbing because of the soft chossy rock, there are several established sport and trad climbing areas in the park, as well as some bouldering.  Most of the established routes are on the South Rim in the Area area around Grand Canyon Village and Desert View Drive.  There are also several classic routes in the inner Grand Canyon.  Although the soft sedimentary formations of the Canyon are a big reason why a place with so much exposed rock is not a climbing mecca, access also has a lot to do with it.  For those willing to put in the time, there are still first ascents available below the rim. Learn more about rock climbing below, or check out our Grand Canyon climbing map.

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Grand Canyon Climbing Areas

Grand Canyon Climbing on the South Rim

The climbs in the Grand Canyon village area are composed of Kaibab Limestone.  Near the Bright Angel trail there are several short sport climbs with limited bolts, but fairly good anchor points.  There are also a couple (literally) boulder problems here.  Other established climbs can be found further east along Desert View Drive. Since the Kaibab Limestone is along the rim, it gives climbers the best access to one of the most solid layers of the Grand Canyon to climb.   

Inner Grand Canyon Rock Climbs

The classic Inner Canyon Ascent is without doubt Zoroaster Temple.  This stout 5.9 requires a strenuous approach of a day or more each way for the average human, which almost guarantees solitude for those who make it.  Bouldering options can be found along the Redwall Limestone on the Tonto Platform, in side canyon and near the harder rock along the Colorado River. Check out the Falcon Guide to Rock Climbing Arizona to get more info. 

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