It doesn’t matter what part of the world you’re from, if you’ve been climbing long enough you’ve probably already heard of Moab. Tucked away in a valley on the banks of the Colorado River in Southeastern Utah, Moab is an oasis in the desert and a mecca for sandstone climbing. The locals are borderline religious about red rock, and for good reason. If you’ve never tried it, rest assured, climbing sandstone is a completely different game with unique challenges and striking objectives to be taken on. You can climb 50 or 500 feet of crack in Indian Creek, massive towers a thousand-plus feet above Castle Valley, and hundreds upon thousands of other routes in the various canyons around town.
Trad climbers and multi-pitch enthusiasts, rejoice. You will never run out of fresh objectives to take on around Moab. But if that doesn’t describe you – don’t be dissuaded. There are plenty of opportunities for beginners and sport climbers, and even some great bouldering in the area. Moab’s weather makes visiting manageable most of the year, but the best times are spring and fall, when the weather is mild and the peak season crowds aren’t around. If you’re looking to make a short pilgrimage to the holy land of soaring orange cliffs, look no further. Moab, Utah is one of the ultimate USA climbing destinations. We’ve compiled some ideas on how to fill your time.
Itinerary For 57 Hours in Moab
So, why 57 hours? Simple. 57 hours is exactly the amount of time you have from 3 PM Friday (cutting out of work early) until midnight Sunday (when you should probably be in bed so you can go back to work Monday). 57Hours.com is a service that connects weekend warriors with guides to help you make the most out of those 57 hours of freedom. They offer guided trips all around the US, for all sorts of adventure sports activities including – you guessed it, climbing in Moab. We used 57hours’ guided adventures to create an itinerary for how you could spend a weekend doing some unforgettable climbing in Southern Utah.
Ready to tie in? Here’s what that weekend looks like.
You arrive in Moab chock full of beef jerky and gas station coffee, ready to check out some of the surrounding scenery. Depending on how you’ve managed your time so far, you may have enough daylight left for a guided half day guided climbing of climbing around town. For $140 per person, climbers of any skill level could explore some of the areas right around Moab, including the famous Wall Street, River Road, and Kane Springs Creek Canyon areas. You could warm up on some easy slabs, try your hand at some classic crack routes, or go for some less time-consuming bouldering. You’ll quickly find that the benchmark for difficulty in Moab is higher than most places, but don’t fret. Working with a guide, you’ll be able to find routes that will challenge you and help you grow as a climber.
If you’ve used your time right, you should be getting done with your first day’s activity in the dark. There are plenty of great campsites around Moab to post up at. For its simplicity and easy access, we recommend one of the campgrounds along the River Road. This will position you perfectly for tomorrow’s big adventure. Provided you brought a well-stocked cooler, you can fix yourself up some dinner over an open fire, kick back, and rest up for what’s to come.
Whether you’re looking for a treehouse for the weekend or an entire home for the whole family, a warm welcome awaits at an Airbnb. Here are some of our favorites:
It’s time to start getting to the big stuff. Saturday you should be meeting up with a guide for a full day of climbing in Moab.
Beginners could take this time to learn to lead with a course offered on 57hours. Lead climbing is the first step to taking on bigger objectives, and something that every climber should aspire to. For $175 per person, you’ll gain the knowhow to lead and earn your stripes.
Intermediates could spend the day doing a custom day of climbing around Moab ($190 per person). This would be a great time to go for your first desert tower. Some “easy” options include the Spear of Destiny and Bullwinkle Tower. If you’re not feeling up for that yet, there are plenty of classics like 30 Seconds Over Potash at Wall Street and Brush Your Teeth at the Ice Cream Parlor to fill out the day.
Experts who are hungry for something a little meatier can opt for either a custom full day of climbing, or a day of multi-pitch climbing ($175 per person). Either way, you’d be wise to check out Indian Creek, which has its fair share of intense single- and multi-pitch routes. The name of the game here is crack. You’ll gain a whole new appreciation for trad gear and probably lose a good amount of skin from your hands finding out why Indian Creek is revered by so many.
By the time you’re done, you’ll be good and ready for a beer (or three) and some hot food. We recommend the Moab Brewery for both. If you didn’t guess it by the name, Moab Brewery is the premier place in town to toast your victory and drown in greasy pub fare. If you did your day right, you will have definitely earned it.
For quick, easy, and cheap accommodations, we recommend the Lazy Lizard Hostel, a local favorite of every kind of dirtbag under the sun. It’s the cheapest bed in town, and after the kind of day you just had, you’ll be glad for an actual mattress.
For your last full day in Moab, go huge. This is the day to take on a desert tower. This adventure has completely jaw-dropping options for both intermediate and expert climbers.
But don’t worry there’s something for rookies too. One of the adventures available above is Looking Glass Rock, an easy climb that will allow you to learn the technical side of big wall climbing.
Intermediates will have fun with the insanely exposed Ancient Art, or even the Kor-Ingalls route of Castleton Tower.
Experts who want something even more challenging have the most options. You could go for one of the other routes up Castleton Tower, climb the Honeymoon Chimney of The Priest, a legendary big wall route, or climb the Sister Superior. As you stand on top of a narrow pillar of rock, hundreds of feet in the air, you’ll be shocked at how much progress you’ve made. Who knew you could accomplish all this in just a weekend?
On your way out of town, be sure to stop for a burger at Milt’s Stop & Eat, a mid-century drive-in with some of the best burgers and shakes in a few hundred miles (and yes, we checked, they’re open Sundays). While you make your way back home, think about how much you learned and grew over the weekend. It really is incredible what you can get done with some proper planning, a little elbow grease, and the help of a certified guide. Soak it up while you can – 57 hours is drawing to a close and you need to be to work tomorrow!
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