Salt lake City’s proximity to the mountains makes it a climber’s paradise. Legendary crags pepper the mountains surrounding the city, offering plenty of real rock for pros as well as beginners. The valley also features quite a few climbing gyms for in-town alternatives, as well as excellent climbing and camping areas within just a few hours of the city.
Just over 30 miles south of downtown, American Fork Canyon is a sport climber’s paradise. There are tons of routes, mostly sport climbs ranging from 5.9 to 5.13. There are plenty of climbs for beginners too, all an easy walk from the car, plus some top-roping, bouldering, and even ice climbing in the winter.
Just minutes from downtown, The Front Climbing Club boasts more than 10,000 feet of wall. It’s mostly bouldering, but there are some top-ropes too. Other pluses include a consistent rating system, frequently updated routes, first-rate staff and instructors staff, and even a dog run out back.
For an unforgettable road trip, head two-and-a-half hours south of Salt Lake City to Joe’s Valley, peppered with hundreds of sandstone boulders. Boulder problems are striking and aesthetic, with a lot of gymnastic movement and good friction. Many of the best problems are just feet from where you park, and there are plenty of climbs for every skill level. Camping is free and easy, and dogs are allowed.