Climbs 17
Rocktype Sandstone (soft)
Altitude 1423m a.s.l
Faces all

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Chinese Eyes, Arches NP © graeme thomson

Crag features

Arches National Park is an amazing place to climb. The area has everything - serious multipitch towers, easy one pitch towers, and hard cracks on long buttresses. Best of all, routes in Arches are usually only a few hundred feet from the road so the approaches are casual. 

Most of the routes here are on Entrada sandstone, which is much softer than the Wingate found at Indian Creek. It often fractures vertically so there are a lot of splitters, but they are much sandier than in other parts of the desert. On aid routes, avoid nailing whenever possible as the incredibly soft stone doesn't hold up well to abuse. 

Access Advice

This area sees a lot of tourists, and since most of the routes are very near the road climbers must maintain as low a profile as possible. As always in the desert, approach climbs via washes to avoid trampling cryptobiotic soil. Some areas are closed seasonally for nesting, so check in at the visitors center before climbing. Finally, this is a national park, so be prepared for the entrance fee. 

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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  The Three Penguins
2 Right Chimney
5.10c 2
3 Centre Chimney
4 Anorexia
  Park Avenue
6 Heart of the Desert *
5.10c 4
  Argon Tower
8 North-Northeast Arete
9 West Face
Climb name Grade
  The Three Gossips
11 West Face
12 Lyon-Trauntner Route
13 Be There or be Talked About
  The Organ
15 Dune *
5.10c a3 *** 1
  The Great Wall
17 Chinese Eyes
5.9 *** 4
18 Mr Sombrero
5.11c *** 2
Climb name Grade
  Owl Rock
20 Owl Rock
5.8 *** 45
  Bullwinkle Tower
22 West Chimney * VS * 2
  Elephant Butte
24 West Fins 5.3 6
  Tonka Tower
26 Tonka Tower
  Dark Angel
28 West Face
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.
Volunteer to moderate Arches National Park
We rely on volunteers to moderate their local crags. You would check updates and approve climbs added to the database. It's a very easy job, and all you need is a guidebook and an hour or two each month. [ read more ]