Submitted by Erik Anderson.
From Las Vegas, head North on the I-15 to Utah. Exit I-15 to I-70 East, taking I-70 to the town of Salina. From Salina, take Highway 89 North through Ephraim before splitting off on Highway 132 West. Follow Highway 132 to the town of Moroni, where Highway 132 comes to a “T”. Take a left at the “T”, and then left again where Highway 132 (Main St.) curves to the right (essentially, you’re heading straight toward the mountains ahead on Highway 116 AKA Road 17200). Take Highway 116 for a few miles to Westside Rd., turn right on Westside Rd., followed by a left on Freedom Rd. Take the first (only) right off Freedom Rd. on the road leading into Maple Canyon (Log Canyon Rd.)
If you’re coming from Salt Lake City take I-15 South to Nehpi (Exit 225) and follow Highway 132 (100 St. N) to Fountain Green. In Fountain Green, take a right on 400 South St. which will turn into Westside Rd as it curves to left just out of town. Follow Westside Rd. to Freedom Rd. and onto Maple Canyon per the directions above.
The light crowds, awesome Fall colors, and perfect on-sight /red point temperatures all make October a great time of the year to climb in Maple Canyon. The days are normally cool and crisp with temperatures in the mid 60s. Nighttime temperatures regularly drop into the 30s this time of year, so bring a warm sleeping bag and jacket.
Maple Canyon is located in the Manti La Sal National Forest and a U.S. Forest Service campground is centrally located in the heart of Maple Canyon. The camping fee is $8.00 a night at the 13 individual sites and 1 group site, which goes for $40.00 a night. The campground has picnic tables, firepots, and pit toilets, but no drinking water with the exception of a small spring near the group site (drink at own risk). All campsites can be reserved in advance at Recreation.gov. There is also plenty of free camping up the unimproved dirt road just beyond the campground. A high clearance vehicle is recommended to drive into the free (dispersed) campsites.
Because Maple Canyon is located in a relatively rural area of Utah, plan on arriving with all the water and food needed for your stay. If you come up short on supplies, there are small stores located near by in both Moroni and Fountain Green. If you’re planning an extended stay and need to make a major food run, large grocery stores, a laundry, and hot showers can be found in Ephraim and Nephi 45 minutes to an hour drive away from Maple Canyon.
This is why you’re going to Maple Canyon! No other developed climbing area in the word can match Maple Canyon for its profusion of sport routes on cobblestone conglomerate. Top this off with easy approaches, gorgeous scenery, and 100s of climbs ranging in difficulty from 5.4 to 5.14…you’ve gotta dig the scene!
The best guide to Maple Canyon is free, and can be found on-line at drtopo.com. This guide prints out in a format that allows the pages to be folded over and stapled in the middle to create a great mini- guide to the main climbing areas at Maple Canyon. Some recommended routes for a first –time visit include Bee Keeper (11a), The Streak (11c), and Zoaster Toaster (11d). If you’re looking for more of a challenge, or a good ass-kicking, head up to the Pipe Dream cave for some 5.13-5.14 cobble pulling
Route development at Maple Canyon is on-going, and there are many routes and areas that are not detailed in the guide. The Orangutan Wall located a few hundred yards up the Left Fork (on the right side of the canyon) hosts a handful of excellent moderate routes in the 5.8-5.10 range. The Zen Garden is another great area with moderate routes and is located about 0.25 miles up the trail to the Pipe Dream Cave on the right. Explore around, and don’t hesitate to jump on an unpublished route that looks fun, there really aren’t many bad routes at Maple Canyon, so it’s hard to go wrong.
On rest days, the Middle Fork trail makes a great loop hike or go for some cobblestone canyoneering up Box Canyon!
Submitted by Erik Anderson.
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