Rock Canyon is crowded. It’s natural given its location only a mile from a major university. All the same, it means that even on weekdays, the more popular walls are congested. There’s still quality climbing in the canyon and as a Provo climber you can’t discount the convenience. However, it does mean planning on making a longer approach to the less crowded climbs further in the canyon. If you are already planning on making the hike you may as well consider hitting up the Hinterlands instead.
The Hinterlands are a series of limestone cliffs located 800 feet up the side of the mountain, just north of the entrance to Rock Canyon. The cliffs themselves are primarily west facing with sections curving around to face south as well. That means direct sunlight starting mid-morning which makes Spring and Fall the peak seasons for climbing. We have to give a shout out to the folks at Mountain Works who bolted the walls and have done an incredible job maintaining the routes.
The approach is little more than an old deer trail off of an old service road that runs parallel to the mountains. From Rock Canyon Park, head west on Iroquois Dr. When the road t’s, turn right onto Piute Dr. into a small cul-de-sac. On the east side of the road there’s the start to an old dirt road. You can park alongside the east side of the street (please respect the people who live there by not parking in front of their homes) or, if your car can take it, turn onto the service road. The road will bend north and then switch back after a hundred yards or so.
Follow the road south for a quarter of a mile until you reach a patch where the road widens and there’s room to park several cars. The trail begins at the northeast end of the patch. Follow the switchbacks up the side of the mountain, it’s a steep trail with little to no shade so bring plenty of water. The trail reaches one of the more northern cliffs but make sure to follow the face further south and explore those climbs as well.
Trailhead: 3060 Piute Dr. Provo, Ut 84606 – (40.274920, -111.634332)
Wall Coordinates: (40.274873, -111.628143)
Approach Time: 30-40 minutes
Approach difficulty: Strenuous
Quality: 4 out of 5
Range: 5.4 – 5.13a
Number of Routes: 50+
Longest Pitch: 3
There’s an exceptional level of variety not only in between walls but on individual routes. On the same route you can expect to see crimps, edges, cracks, pockets, and side pulls. There are few 11’s that tout some challenging slab climbing and at least two different styles of roofs. The range of difficulty is pretty broad as well, boasting anything from little more than stone steps to low level 13’s with fixed gear. Multipitch climbs are common and the bolts are grouped closely together so have plenty of draws. New routes are still being bolted so be patient as we update you on individual route details.