Yellow Van Travels

Rock Climbing in Rock Canyon

I really like climbing on rocks, but I have had very little opportunity to do any actual rock climbing. The barrier to entry for rock climbing is a little high because of the equipment needed and the necessity of having an experienced person to teach you. I grew up in one of the flatest places on the planet. BYU where I went for both my undergrad and master’s degrees does not have a rock climbing class so I wasn’t able to learn there even though Provo is surrounded by mountains. This past weekend though I was able to go outdoor climbing for the first time in Rock Canyon in Provo.

Title Card: Rock Climbing in Rock Canyon, Provo, UT. Yellow Van and Rock Climber

We were fortunate to be able to go with some awesome friends, one of whom is an experienced climber and has the gear. We had an awesome time up in the canyon, and I loved being able to do real rock climbing. It is definitely something that I will want to do more of in the future.

How to Get There:
Here is how my friend told me to get to Rock Canyon: “Just drive up behind the temple and you will see two mountains coming together, where they meet is the canyon.”
Turns out that simple advice is really all there is to it. If you can find the Provo Temple you can find Rock Canyon. Follow North Temple Road and head East at the four way stop behind the temple.

When you get to the entrance to the canyon there will be a parking lot. We were fortunate to find places to park when we got there at about 10 in the morning even though it was mostly full. Bear in mind that this trip was in mid-March when it was still fairly chilly in the morning and the crowds increase as the weather gets warmer. Some people were parking on the side of the road and off it in empty areas.

From the parking lot we went to an area called Layer Cake. You can find out more about it here on Mountain Project. That is where I found this picture that shows how to get to Layer Cake.

Path to the Layer Cake route
What You Will See and Do:
We climbed an easier route on the Layer Cake. It was super fun. I felt like a real rock climber wearing a chalk bag, even though that morning the rock was still quite cool so I didn’t really need it.
Ben rock climbing the layer cake
Layer Cake has a number of routes along it, and there are more throughout the canyon. We only did this one, but you could do any. The canyon is a great place to hang out as well, it is very pretty and inviting, despite a bit of a hike to get up to where we were. Meagan did not climb but she enjoyed being up in the canyon. Here are some pictures of the climb.
our friend Sam rock climbing


yellow van and rock climber in Rock Canyon
In addition to climbing the route we also climbed around on the rock just across from it. This was easy to climb up without equipment and afforded us a great view of Provo City and Utah Lake.


Ben and friends on cliff in Rock Canyon


view of Provo City from Rock Canyon

Sum Up:

We had a great time at Rock Canyon and would definitely recommend it if you like rock climbing. Although it will likely be crowded if you go during the warmer months, so I would try to get there early to beat the crowds. Of course since it is rock climbing you won’t be able to do it with small children and you should be in good physical condition and have the proper equipment. We were there for about two and a half hours, but if you did multiple climbs you could spend much longer.

the whole group that went rock climbing
the yellow van on a rock cliff