Rock Climbing and Rappelling in Bryce Canyon

When visiting Bryce Canyon, you will find that there are countless amounts of activities to partake in. Some of these activities are physically demanding, like hiking, and some are leisurely, like fishing. None of these activities, however, are as heart-racing and challenging as rock climbing and rappelling in Bryce. Rock climbing in Bryce requires skill, determination, and bravery. You will dangle from the edge of high structures. You will struggle to reach the summit of steep cliffs. You will look down and be amazed, and maybe scared, by how much space is between you and the ground. Be sure, climbing and rappelling in Bryce Canyon is not for the faint of heart.

There are many things to know before heading out on your climbing adventure in Bryce Canyon. There are various rules to follow and areas to stay in. Being mindful of these different guidelines will help to ensure that you have a successful climb.

You will also want to get an idea of what the area is like to climb, where you will be climbing, what type of climbing you will be doing, and what gear you will need to bring along. By reading the following information, you can better prepare yourself for rock climbing in Bryce Canyon.

Common Rock Structures

In Bryce Canyon alone, there are a lot of different structures you can utilize for climbing. The areas you climb has been formed of millions of years. This means that as you climb, you will be surrounding yourself in history, literally. With their age comes fragility. There are some structures that should not be climbed because they are too delicate. It is important to be sure of where you can climb and keep off the areas that you cannot. Also, be careful of limestone and sandstone, as they can be loose and more fragile than other rock times. If you are unsure about which type of structures you can climb once you get to the area, consult a park official or local climbing store.

Canyons are formations that have been made by moving water. Over a long period, a flowing water source wears away the rock in a certain area. These canyons are terrific for hiking through and for climbing and rappelling in Bryce. Canyons can be massive, like the Grand Canyon, or just big enough to squeeze through. There are a lot of canyons to choose from in the area, so you can have a variety of canyon climbing experiences.

Hoodoos are some of the most unique, impressive structures in the area. They resemble chimneys, protruding from the ground and shooting upward. These structures can be up to nearly 200 feet tall. Southern Utah has some of the most impressive hoodoos around the world. Hoodoos are formed by a softer rock core, which has harder, but more fragile, rock surrounding the exterior. These structures are not for climbing, but are wonderful to look at as you climb other structures. It is important that you keep off these structures to preserve their integrity and natural beauty. There are plenty of other structures available for you to climb.

Cliffs are the perfect areas for both climbing and rappelling. More experienced climbers can scale cliffs that seem to go on forever. There are some cliffs in the area that have holds for you to attach your rappelling and climbing gear to. Sometimes, choosing to rappel can get you into a desirable hiking area, and then you can climb your way back up after you’ve explored. Map out the cliffs you would like to try to climb or rappel before your trip. Then, once you get to Bryce Canyon, you can embark on the thrill of a lifetime.

Climbing Bryce Canyon

There are many areas in, and on the outskirts of, Bryce Canyon that provide a terrific climbing experience. Climbing enthusiasts flock to this area because there are so many challenging, exciting areas to explore. It is important to make sure that the structure you are intending to scale is suitable for climbing. You can find various climbing guides online, or speak to local professionals and park officials once you arrive.

It is a good idea to, while you’re in the area, consider other places to climb in the surrounding areas. The beautiful thing about Southern Utah is the availability of National Parks and their climbing areas. There are very few places in the world that offer such a variety of climbing and opportunities in such a small area. Once you get to Bryce Canyon, be sure to ask around to get the scoop on the best places to climb not only in Bryce, but also the surrounding area.

When to Climb

The time of year that you decide to climb is a matter of personal preference and capability. However, the most desirable times to climb would be during the warmer months of the year. Summer can experience very high temperatures, so climbing during this time will be more strenuous and dehydrate you much more quickly. Depending on where you are climbing, sun exposure may heat up rocky surfaces, as well. This can make climbing both difficult and dangerous. The spring experiences a bit more rain, so it is possible that your trip could get rained out. However, the more temperate weather and beautiful flora and fauna are worth the risk of rain. The fall is also a temperate and enjoyable time of year. This time of year offers gorgeous colors, cooler weather, and less chance of rain. No matter which time of year you would like to visit Bryce Canyon for climbing, you will be amazed at how enjoyable your experience is. You are guaranteed to have an unforgettable time while climbing in Bryce Canyon.

Necessary Gear

With the different types of climbing, there are very different types of gear. The type of gear you will need to bring, whether you are doing traditional rock climbing or rappelling in Bryce Canyon, will vary based on what you are doing. It is very important to have the proper gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Some things you will need are:

  • Climbing Shoes
  • Helmet
  • Climbing Harness
  • Chalk
  • Carabiners
  • Belay
  • Ropes
  • Climbing Permits

Keep in mind, there is a lot more gear available for climbing and rappelling. It is important to map out where you will be going and planning what you will be doing. You will want to customize the gear you pack based on the obstacles that you will be encountering. If you are unsure about which gear you should bring, consult a professional who will be happy to help you sort out your gear. Having the right supplies will ensure you have a safe and fun time rock climbing in Bryce Canyon.

Climb through Bryce Canyon

When you arrive in Bryce Canyon, you will understand why so many climbing enthusiasts travel to this area. There are countless places to climb. These places will challenge you like no other locations can. As you climb a difficult canyon, or rappel down a cliff side, you will connect with nature like never before. You must trust your instincts and strength. Relying on yourself to stay safe and move forward will help you to gain confidence on, and off, the rocks. When you visit the area for rock climbing in Bryce, you will create memories that will never fade.