Ice Cream Parlor is a fantastic crag for sport/trad climbing in the quiet confines of the Kane Valley versus climbing on Wallstreet across the Colorado River. It is part of the Colorado Riverway Recreation Area managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Moab field office (which oversees almost six million acres) . At first the dirt road through the Kane Valley parallels the Wallstreet climbing area on the east side of the Colorado. But eventually the narrow dirt extension of Kane Creek Blvd meanders west away from the river to the quite mesa beyond Hunter Canyon. A left bend in the road directly across from the Echo Camp Site is where you will find the quiet climbing section known as Ice Cream Parlor. (8 miles from Hwy 191)
The routes are varied, offering typical Moab solid crack climbing on Wingate sandstone. Its cracks are much more dependable than most of the rock I have climbed on in Utah National Parks. They are coated with the “desert varnish” (thick coating of iron and manganese) I have mentioned with Island in the Sky in Snow Canyon State Park north of St. George, UT. There are more routes than are listed in Stewart Green’s first edition of “Rock Climbing in Utah”. The Ice Cream Parlor walls break down into two sections, a right and left.
I have listed just a sampling of the routes below:
Right Section, Right to Left
Knee Grinder- 5.9- Mixture of Bolts and Gear
The Possessed- 5.11a
The Coffin- 5.9- Gear
Pulp Fiction- 5.11- Mixture of Bolts and Gear
Ice Cream Parlor Crack- 5.11a- Gear
Good Day to Die- 5.9- Mixture of Bolts and Gear
Left Section, Right to Left
RP City- 5.10- Gear
Crack 1- 5.8- Gear
Crack 2- 5.8+- Gear
Crack 3- 5.8- Gear
Wolverine- 5.11- Gear/Three Pitch route that uses Crack 1 as its first pitch.
I have done most of these routes including quite a few left of Crack 3 which were not published in the first edition guidebook I have. This area gets good afternoon sun, a compliment in winter and of course a detriment in summer. I first climbed the area in March and conditions were prime on this wall. The primitive campsites are quite nice and there are tons of them along the road. Kane Springs Canyon has many more objectives than Ice Cream Parlor.
Getting ThereIce Cream Parlor is 15 minutes west of Moab. Follow Kane Creek Blvd (by the brewery) west of town until it turns into a dirt road. From the cattle guard continue another 3.6 miles to Echo Camp Site, 8 miles from Hwy 191. There is an area where you can park here that does not interfere with the camping or you can turn around and pull off on the east side of the road right below Ice Cream Parlor. There are two climber paths that head up to the base of the climbs, one to the far left and one directly above the pullout.
Red TapeThere are no climbing restrictions or permit requirements for the Kane Spring Canyon area. Rappel versus lowering whenever you get a chance to avoid producing rope grooves in the delicate sandstone. Like all southern Utah climbing, sandstone colored chalk is preferred if not required. There is a tendency for poison ivy growth at the base of the walls.
Best eats and coffee, hands down, is the organic EklectiCafe at 352 North Main, Moab and they have reliable wireless internet.
The average high in July is 98F. The average high in January is 41F. Moab is at 4000’+/- therefore the winter rock climbing can be a touch on the cold side compared to southwestern Utah. Climbing in the middle of the day during the summer in southern Utah is not recommended. Carry plenty of water regardless. Afternoon thunderstorms are common from mid-July through mid-September. Storms may produce waterfalls as well as flash floods. Sandstone is weak when wet, so avoid climbing in damp areas or right after a rain.
CampingCampgrounds are maintained by BLM’s Moab field office and cost $5 per vehicle. They have high end (by Canadian standards) pit toilets, are open all year and have fire rings. Individual Campsites are available on a first-come/first-served basis. No reservations are accepted.
Kings Bottom Camping Area= Kane Creek Rd, 2.8 miles from Hwy 191
Moonflower Camping Area=Kane Creek Rd, 3.0 miles from Hwy 191
Hunters Canyon Camping Area=Kane Creek Rd (dirt road access), 7.8 miles from Hwy 191
Echo Camping Area=Kane Creek Rd (dirt road access), 8.0 miles from Hwy 191
Kane Creek Crossing - there are approximately 28 sites located along Kane Creek where the Kane Creek Road crosses the water. These sites are free, but campers are required to carry out all garbage, including solid human waste. No wood cutting is allowed.
External LinksThe Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Moab field office website has most everything you need including trail conditions or closures, wildlife notices, weather conditions, permit information, updated wildfire information, etc.
Ice Cream Parlor
- Bureau of Land Management
trail conditions or closures, wildlife notices, weather conditions, permits information, updated wildfire information, etc.