Sitting on the eastern edge of the Great Basin, Ibex is known as a world class bouldering area by climbers. It is located in the Tule Valley, west of Delta Utah. With its unique landscape, solid quartzite rock, mild winter temperatures and rural location, Ibex is an amazing destination for climbers looking to experience something extraordinary and different. It is not uncommon at all to have Ibex all to yourself and the solitude you will find adds to the experience. Ibex was discovered by climbers in the early nineties, but did not become a destination until later in the decade when some of the Salt Lake locals started developing the area.
Due to its location Ibex is one of the driest areas in the country and it only receives a few inches of precipitation every year. It is not uncommon at all to leave Salt Lake City in a full blown snow storm and arrive to sunny skies in Ibex. The temperatures are generally very mild from fall through spring and this allows for great climbing during the winter months when the more popular Little Cottonwood Canyon is buried under snow. The summer months are typically too hot for climbing in Ibex.
Ibex has about 15 developed areas for climbing with the most popular being the Ibex crags. The Ibex crags sit next to a dry lakebed and the center of the action at the crags is the "The Red Monster", which is the most well known of all the boulders in Ibex.
The following are developed climbing areas:
- Ibex Crags
- The Corral
- Sundev's Area
- Topus Mountain
- Stagger Area
- Carters Corral
- Black Hill
- Lukes Area
- Warm Point
- Owl Hollow
- Candy land
- Fossil Canyon
- Hillside Area
- Crystal Peak
In depth descriptions for all of these areas can be found in the book "A Bouldering guide to Utah" and there is a link for it below. There are still boulders in the Ibex area that have yet to be developed and they are being discovered from time to time.
From Salt Lake City head south in I-15 to the town of Nephi. Take route 132 west to Route 6 and follow this highway west to Delta. Continue on Route 6 through the town of Hinckley (This is the last town with services for several miles) and continue heading west for about 50 more miles. At mile marker 41 you will see "Skull Rock" on the south side of the road and a little over a mile past this point you will see a dirt road on the left side of the highway with a sign to Ibex Well and Crystal Peak. This is the main dirt road (Tule Valley Road) that will take you to most of the climbing areas. To get to the Ibex Crags take the Tule Valley Road for about two miles and there will be a dirt road on your right that heads to the lakebed. Take this road and cross the lake. The path is obvious as there are tire tracks leading right to the Red Monster/Ibex Crags area.
The Tule Valley Road is a very good dirt road and it is usually well graded.
There are no permits or fees to climb in Ibex, but the area is very fragile and steps should be taken by climbers to preserve this unique climbing location for future generations. Only drive on dirt roads and lakebeds to limit impact. Do not build fires at all in this area. There are no established campgrounds and leave no trace camping methods should be employed. Remove all human waste.
There is some rock art in the area and every step should be taken not to damage these ancient pictographs. Do not touch them at all.
Food and Supplies: You will need to bring everything that you need to survive during your stay in Ibex. There are no convenience stores and no water sources that can be counted on. The nearest gas station is in the town of Hinckley over 40 miles away. Once you start driving on the Tule Valley road you will not see any signs of civilization for miles and miles, so make sure you have enough fuel.
External LinksA Boulderring Guide to Utah
Utah Bouldering guide book
Ibex and selected Climbs of Utahs West Desert
Utah Climbers Forum
There are no campgrounds in Ibex and there are only a few areas that are suitable for camping, although you can camp anywhere on BLM land. There are a few crude camp locations at the Red Monster, but keep in mind that at night the temperatures drop dramatically and the wind can be very bad in Ibex. There are no facilities for camping, so you will need to bring plenty of food and water and a warm shelter. A good tent is advised because of the cold nightly temps and wind.
There are a few other areas that can be decent because they will offer some protection from the elements. Topus Mountain has a few spots that are suitable for camping near the boulders. It is located about 4.9 miles from Highway 6 on the Tule Valley Road. About 15.2 miles from Highway 6 on Tule Valley road is the Candyland area. There are also some good places to camp in the trees here.
Leave no trace camping methods should be employed in all areas of Ibex.
There are about 15 developed climbing areas in Ibex. The Ibex Crags is the most popular area and there are well over 100 boulder problems that can be found here. There are numerous V0-V1 problems and the grades go up to V14b with a recent FA of "All around Routine" put up by Chris Linder.
The cow or Warm up boulder right next to the Red Monster provides a great warm up for climbers and has several excellent problems on the front and back side.
The Red Monster boulder is probably the most challenging boulder in the Crags area with several difficult problems. The boulder is extremely high which adds some extra flavor to these difficult problems. The top outs are not the most technically difficult because the slope eases, however because of the height of the boulder it is bound to scare even the most experienced climbers. There are no easy climbs on the monster and the easiest route to the top is a V2 crack on the right side. The Red Monster frequently attracts the most accomplished climbers in the world and it is clear that this unique area is fast becoming one of the best climbing destinations in the United States.
Some of the Red Monster problems:
The Rusty Sheriffs Badge- V9
Big Gulp- V8
Crack Addict- V6
Bruce Lee- V10 (Put up by Chris Sharma)
Other notable boulders in the Ibex Crags:
This is a fantastic boulder that has some very difficult problems. The boulder is very high and the top outs are over 20 feet, so there really isn't anything on this boulder that will let you take down your guard. There is also no easy way off of the boulder and you have to down climb the west face. A fall anywhere on this boulder could be very serious, so be careful.
Thing 2 is also high and scary, but the problems are much more difficult than on Thing 1. There are many challenges for serious climbers on this boulder with the "Bone Collector" V-11 being the most difficult.
This is one of the most unique boulders you will see anywhere. The boulder has a hollow side with a nice overhang and it is definitely loose and chossy, unlike most of the rock in Ibex. The overhangs have some excellent problems and the lip on the right side is fun and not that difficult.
The Bomb boulder has a little bit for everyone. The "Bomb" is a difficult V-10, while "Slap Happy" is a fun V0. This boulder is just behind the Red Monster.
There are also several trad and sport climbs in the red Monster area on a large cliff face on the west side of the boulders. There are still many climbs that are not developed at all and new lines get put up from time to time. There are no easy routes up the face. There are some descriptions to some of these climbs that can be found here
Ibex and selected Climbs of Utahs West Desert