The appendage is a good place to take older children for their first time climbing. The routes are decent, but not top shelf. If you live in Utah County and want to expose your kids to climbing without going to far this a good place to go. If you are visiting from out of town, there are better places in Utah.
The Appendage has routes for older children, beginners, and hard intermediate climbers. The climbs here according to The Mountain Project are…
You can find information about the appendage at…
A note for finding beta on the area – Provo is full of college kids that are cheap on money, but whenever they aren’t studying, rich with time. The Mountain Project as a wiki is the best beta I can find for the canyon, even beyond a guide book. A lot of climbing areas are difficult to navigate simply by using Mountain Project, but Rock Canyon has good information.
Why I like the routes
The routes are good for beginner climbers and older kids. There are a few extra easy routes for those who are just getting exposed to rock climbing. Also, it is always nice when the easy area has a really good difficult climb. This is so you can show off to your kids. This area has one of the best hard intermediate climbs in the canyon; The Bulge Rating 5.11b. Really it is a lot of fun.
Why I don’t like the routes
They are pretty short. As far as really cool fun tall climbing routes go, these are not them. Also, I have found a problem with the spacing of the holds on this wall. Even though the routes are easy, if the child is not tall enough, they really struggle with getting up these climbs. I’ve seen younger kids that could easily get up a 5.8, struggle on the 5.7 here.
Most of the other areas that we highlight in this blog for kid climbing have fantastic, next to nothing approaches. Depending on how small your kids are, this approach can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. It is a good hike from the entrance of the canyon. This can be particularly miserable when they make you carry them. We have dragged our kids up her plenty of times and it wasn’t undoable, just not particularly easy.
The hike is not difficult, but slightly strenuous. Near the end you will have to hike slightly steeper terrain. You will get tired, but you shouldn’t die.
There is no danger getting to the appendage. Maybe a few steep parts on the trail.
The landing here is great. I’ve spent an entire day in this area and kids have plenty of room to move around and do their thing. It is flat and big so there is room to throw all of your stuff everywhere as well. Also, because of the long approach, you might not have as much as you normally do; we usually did still.
I don’t think I have ever been to The Appendage without someone else being there. That said, we were always able to figure out a way to get us on the climbs we wanted to do. The kids climbs to the left usually get less traffic than the rest of the climbs, so if that is what you are going for, you should be fine.
Extra Kid Fun:
There is nothing extra special about this area. There are potentially some places to hike around the area, but mostly they will spend there time close to the landing.
I can’t imagine this area being dangerous, but I could see a curious child getting himself into trouble. The trail to the right (while facing the rock) leads to PA’s Mother and on the right of this trail is not exactly a cliff, but a really steep hill. I could see a kid getting hurt on that if the parent was not careful.
The other potentially dangerous thing about this area is that the top of the cliff is easily accessible. Both to the right and to the left of the crag are trails that could potentially lead to the top of the rock. It would take some pretty masterful hiking to get there, but as parents, I think we should be aware.