(Photo Credit: Mary Eden

Winter in Moab can be rough for climbers. The temperatures dip below freezing for most of the day, the rain or snow makes climbing sandstone treacherous, and the few climbing areas that might be accessible when the rock is dry, get very little sun since everything is in a canyon. With the days getting shorter and shorter, it makes it very difficult to get motivated for a day of climbing when you can only make use of five hours of daylight. However! The temperatures in Moab fluctuate in the winter time and when you’ve got a week of sunshine and dry sandstone, there are a few walls that you can visit to squeak out a sunny (but cold!) few days of climbing. 


Wall Street

(Photo Credit: Alexa Glover

The classic Moab climbing area: Wall Street! Close enough to drive to before or after work, and absolutely ZERO approach makes this climbing area clutch when all you have is a few short hours of daylight. Wall Street gets morning sun, so you’ll want to make sure you set your alarm somewhat early when heading out there. The climbing itself is known for being sporty and bolted, but don’t let that fool you, there are some rad trad lines out there for the adventure seekers among us. 

Classics to Try Out

Skeletonic, Static Cling, Flakes of Wrath


Reptilian Wall Left/Right

Kaya Lindsay Fyfe Seventh Serpent

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

If you have a vehicle with decent clearance then Reptilian Wall (both left and right) is a fantastic sunny crag. The approach is moderate but a little bit loose, so keep your eyes peeled when approaching, and be careful of the cryptobiotic soils! The classic route on the wall, Seventh Serpent (do it!), gets shade around 1 or 2ish, so you should tick that first. 

This crag is full of long splitter routes so bring the 70-meter rope! There are tons of moderates for beginning climbers as well as a few harder routes for those who are working their way up into 5.11’s and 5.12’s. You may want to start at Reptilian Wall Left and move right as the sun goes down. It’s kind of annoying to switch crags halfway through the day, but the left side goes into the shade much sooner than the right. Use this information to your advantage!

Classics to Try Out 

Seventh Serpent, Triceratops Right, Unnamed Splitter


Deadman’s Buttress

Kaya Lindsay Mary Eden Deadmans Buttress

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Deadman’s Buttress roasts, and I mean roasts, in the sun all day long. From the moment the sun comes up to about forty five minutes before the sun goes down, Deadman’s Buttress gets full sun. The drive is a bit easier than going all the way down to Reptilian Wall, so if you have a Honda Civic or something else with low clearance then this crag is for you. The actual approach is slightly scrambly, so you will want to wear approach shoes and make sure you keep a keen eye out for kairns. As always, be careful when hiking through areas with cryptobiotic soils! 

The routes are slightly spread out at Deadman’s, but there are some classic splitters at this wall that deserve more attention than they get. Bring the wide gear too! Kill Artist and Dark Passenger (unfortunately not on Mountain Project) are well worth the climb for the adventurous wide climbers out there. 


Classics to Try Out 

Head Stack, Dawn of an Error, Mocha Chocolate Yaya


Abraxas Wall

Just a short drive down Kane Creek Road is Abraxas Wall. Any old vehicle will get you there so don’t worry about needing high clearance or 4×4 capabilities. You do have to hike down through the wash in order to approach, but it’s a mild distance compared to Indian Creek approaches. 

The climbing is stellar, with the classic Wingate making the whole area crisp. There are tons of 5.10 routes for folks just breaking into trad leading, and a few harder routes if you want to push yourself. Overall, a great place, with a decent view of Kane Creek to enjoy on colder days. Don’t let the cold weather stop you from having a great time. 


Classics to Try Out 

Xylokane, Navajo Warrior, Abraxas Tower


Ice Cream Parlor

This crag offers something to everyone. It’s stacked with routes ranging from 5.6-5.12 and has both bolted sport routes and funky trad lines. The approach is simple and straightforward, making it even more ideal for folks with busy work schedules. It happens to be a high impact area, so please be respectful of guides when you see them on the job. It’s a popular spot for people with both babies and dogs, so play nice! Pick up your trash and dog poop, and try not to blast music at the crag. We are all here to climb and enjoy this space. 

There are some great single and multi-pitch routes at the Ice Cream Parlor, so get after it! 


Classics to Try Out 

Ice Cream Parlor Crack, Hot Karl Sunday, Critical Mass 

Kaya Lindsay Shawn Cope Sunny Climbing

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

The rock climbing in Moab is world-class. Folks from all over the world come to Southeastern Utah to climb these desert splitters. While it’s true that Spring and Fall are the more popular seasons, there is nothing stopping the enthusiastic climbers among us (except for wet sandstone, don’t climb when it’s wet) from climbing all winter long. If you want to stay in climbing shape this winter, wait for the sunny stretches and visit a few of these great climbing walls. 

To be comfortable at the crag, remember to pack your warmest puffy, and you might want to pick up a few hand warmers to put in your chalk bag, and maybe a sturdy pair of belay gloves. It will be great practice for Alpine climbing in the summer in just a few short months. 

Happy climbing!