Rock Canyon is a regular cornucopia of outdoor activity. This canyon literally spills out into the bench neighborhoods of Provo Utah. Hiking, mountain biking, and all sorts of climbing abound in this stone sanctuary. Primarily quartzite and limestone, this canyon provides a ton of potential for future climbing on its seemingly endless rock. With routes already numbering in the hundreds, Rock Canyon certainly will yield many more as its popularity continues to grow.
A huge number of popular routes exist within ten minutes walking distance of the parking area at the mouth of the canyon. The "Red Slab" is the first area to be encountered. A popular destination for beginners and experienced climbers alike, Red Slab has something for everyone, with routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.10. Well Bolted, this is an ideal location for beginning lead climbers to get the feel of clipping protection, while not having to worry too much about the difficulty of the terrain.
The Red Slab is identifiable by its distinctly reddish color. Ed and Terry is directly behind and above Red Slab. Both are visible in this picture.
Directly behind Red Slab is "Ed and Terry Wall." This is the second largest rock outcrop in the entire canyon and is said to have a very high concentration of extremely good routes. Some are bolted, and others are not, so bring your rack, and have some fun. Lines range from 5.7 to 5.12c/d. The approach is the same as Red Slab just keep working your way up behind it. It takes about five minutes longer, but the added time is enough to thin out the concentration of climbers looking for something fast and easy.
Almost directly across the canyon to the north is "Superbowl Wall." most the current routes on Superbowl are very overhung, and lie within the 5.11-12a range. This is due to a huge roof that bisects every route with the exception of one on the right. Everything is bolted so bring your draws.
If you continue past this first area a mere two minutes to an old metal gate on the road, you come to one of the most popular locations in the canyon, "The Kitchen." Short and Juggy, The Kitchen is where many in Utah climb for their very first time.
Chain anchors at the top allow you to toprope several routes in the kitchen alcove, and others let you lead or toprope several more lines around the corner to the east past the gate. The kitchen is a fantastic place to learn lots of different trad and sport fundamentals, without having to be too scared while doing it. You'll need to know how lieback, jam and crimp in order to conquer this climber's playground. Many cracks and crevices allow for perfect practice of placing various types of protection from the safety of the deck. Bring your harness and a sling and try out that new gear you just bought at Mountainworks (right down the street). Routes ranging 5.6 (in the right corner) to 5.10d (right face, run out two bolt lead) A word of advice: Don't be impatient if you want to climb here. Due to its popularity, the kitchen almost always has someone on it. If you're already climbing, try to be courteous, and let everyone have a go.
Directly to the right of the Kitchen there is a trail that works its way up some steep scree to a few other very popular walls in the area. The Green Monster is a very obvious, very tall slab with a perfect hand crack toward its right side. Good for top roping or trad, this crack is a 5.9, but if you are going to lead it, be sure you have a few #3-#4 camalots. Not much fixed protection anywhere on this wall keeps traffic down, but the climbing is excellent and tons of fun nonetheless.
The Green Monster Wall. It's deceptively high. The top of Tinkertoy wall is barely visible to the right and below Green Monster
Trail leading to the Green Monster/Tinkertoys area
Just past the Green Monster, a little farther up the trail is the Tinkertoys Wall. Every bit as much fun as its name implies, "Tinkertoys" has four or five great straghtforward lines over an easy ledge, and up to chains at the top. Substantially shorter than Green Monster, This wall still has enough height to keep things interesting.
Immediately past The Kitchen is the George Wall. Identifiable by its large overhang just off the ground, George is just a few feet up and on the right. It's slightly more broken that The Kitchen rock, and is less easily accessable, therefore it is less crowded.
Beyond this cluster of locations, the climbing starts to get really interesting. The geology shifts from quartzite to limestone, and many of the clasic routes are found thereafter. With too many locations and routes to list, If you want to really know Rock Canyon, pick up a local climber's guide and just go exploring. There's a lifetime worth routes up there.
From the north, Take I-15 south to University Parkway in Orem. Exit the freeway and head east for about ten or fifteen minutes, until you begin to go down a hill with a gradual right hand turn. At the base of the hill, turn left at the first intersection, on W 2230 North just past "Plum Tree Plaza." (Incidentally, the area's best rock shop is located in this shopping area, right behind the movie theater in the left corner. It's called "Mountainworks" and is in the same building as "The Quarry," the local climbing gym.) Follow 2230 N to the east for less than two miles, til you come to a huge open field. Turn left on the road just before this grassy area. You are now on E 2300 North. Follow it right up to the mouth of the canyon.
From the south, take I-15 north to the University Avenue exit in Provo (Not University Parkway in Orem) Take University Avenue north until it intersects 2230 N (a LONG way). Turn left, then continue with directions as stated above.
Absolutely no red tape here, Just go and climb.
Pretty much self explanatory.
There is a small campsite a minute east of the gate near the kitchen. It is located right near a couple of climbing spots called "The Appendage" and "Pa's Mother Wall" Just follow the trail up the canyon, and look to the left. It's a hundred yards or so, across the dry creekbed. Camping is free, and no permits are necessary, but there are absolutely no open fires permitted in Rock Canyon due to year round fire hazard. There are potentially many more camping areas, but this one seems to be the most established.
Top of Red Slab, after a scary ascent because of too few quickdraws. Never again...... Success!