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Author: Alex and Lani

Maple Canyon: Box Canyon

Maple Canyon: Box Canyon

Overall (climbing for kids): three-cheerios

This is an awesome canyon with tons of additional fun things for the kids but if you want your day to be about your KIDS CLIMBING then there are better areas because there is only one kid route (5.4). Everything else is basically hard 5.10 and up. Although the beginning of some of these routes can be converted into a kid climb as well  as they are like class 4 climbing to the first bolt.

Overall (crag for adults that is safe for kids):five-cheerios

Now if the day is going to be about YOU CLIMBING and your bringing your kids a long for the adventure than this canyon is perfect. You will have an endless supply of projects and your kids will have a great place to play and explore.

Routes:

You can find information about this area at…

MountainProject.com

Rockclimbing.com

Maple Canyon Guide Book pg. 62-89 (The link is to a site where you can purchase the book.  Really, if you are going to Maple, you should have it.)

Approach:four-and-a-half-cheerios

Time

I kind of depends on which area in the canyon you are going to. You could be looking at a 2 minute approach ora 15 minute approach with kids.

Difficulty

It is a flat approach which makes it easy and kid friendly. The only problem is that its rocky so its not level and my really little kdis tend to stumble and need to hold your hand.

Danger

There are no dangers.

Landing:five-cheerios

Fantastic everywhere in this canyon.

Traffic:four-and-a-half-cheerios

Box canyon always always always has climbers but there are SO MANY areas here that you could always find a route (as long as you can climb at this grade) to get on and I’ve never seen anybody on the kids route if thats what your going for.

Extra Fun:five-cheerios

This is an awesome slot canyon to hike through with kids if you want to keep going. There are also plenty of ‘caves’ and kind of a real one to go in with your kids. Every kid I’ve taken here just LOVES exploring it.

Also, because there are always awesome climbers here it can be really fun to hunker down and watch.

Potential Dangers:five-cheerios

Your kids might be enticed in some areas to go free climbing so keep an eye out and set up some rules so they don’t get stuck anywhere.

Climbing Pregnant

Climbing Pregnant

I only became interested in the climbing sport the summer after my first was born. After that I was hooked and climbed through my two other pregnancies.

I know there are plenty of contrasting opinions in the world on the subject of climbing while pregnant especially since many in society seem to become all the more opinionated when the topic pertains to others’ pregnancy or parenting. Rest assured I care deeply about my children and their safety as well as my own body’s health and those thoughts are always at the forefront of my mind. With that being said, it is my opinion that…

ROCK CLIMBING CAN BE THE PERFECT PREGNANCY ACTIVITY.

Let me explain:

The type of climbing matters

602336_10152374233743268_1072257206_nThere are different types of climbing – lead climbing, top rope climbing, and bouldering. If you’re a climber than that’s not news to you. If you aren’t, than it ALL might seem dangerous, but its actually not. When lead climbing, you are connecting the rope to the wall as you climb and therefore may take a several-foot fall before being caught by the rope. When bouldering, you are climbing generally low to the ground without a rope, but may take a several-foot fall onto a pad on the ground. When top-rope climbing, the rope is already anchored at the top of the wall and therefore there is no risk of fall because it is pulling you up towards the anchor. However, when you need to rest or if you slip there is a stretching of the rope akin to that of you sitting down in a chair. Definitely not jarring and very slight. In fact, climbing rope is made to stretch a little so that it’s not jarring. Of course, just as you would do if you were not pregnant, only climb with a belayer that you trust and who is attentive. If I can put it into perspective for you, top-rope climbing is what children, even toddlers, do at fairs or carnivals. Pretty safe stuff.

Some women choose to keep leading or bouldering during their first trimester but simply select easier routes and grades to avoid serious falls. I have chosen to basically avoid all lead climbing and bouldering once pregnant for fear of something out of my control happening, such as a loose rock causing me to slip and fall. I exclusively top-rope climb while pregnant and have felt perfectly safe in doing so through two pregnancies.

Climbing is low impact

You can burn tons of calories while rock climbing and it is great weight training and unlike many other sports that have these same fitness benefits, its low impact! It provides the cardio and strength exercise without strain on your bones and joints. That’s why it’s considered a lifetime sport that can be enjoyed by those in their later years as well.

The farther along in my pregnancy, the lower my grade gets. That’s just the truth. I was rocking top-roped 13s (indoor) during my first trimester this last pregnancy, but was stuck in the 11s and 10s at the end of my pregnancy. I don’t climb the same way when I’m pregnant, I don’t push my body the same way. Like I said before, I try to listen to what my body is telling me. When I’m climbing below my ability in this way, it honestly feels more like a stretching activity than anything else.

I need some type of exertion and some ME time while pregnant. Climbing has given me that. It’s relaxing. I haven’t been able to continue other sports in the same way. For this reason, I’ve climbed while full-term and just three days before going into labor and felt great doing so. I also felt so fantastic (remember your recovery is generally quicker for your later pregnancies – I’m not some kind of medical marvel) that I climbed maybe a week after that. It never caused any contractions or strains that other physical activities did for me.

If you want more than just my personal experience, a famous climber, Beth Rodden, created a survey with the help of two doctors that she knew. 339 pregnant climbing women responded to that survey. Some of the findings were published in an article in Rock and Ice, Climber’s Magazine in Sep 2017 (“What to Expect when Expecting – Rock Climbing While Pregnant” by Beth Rodden.) There has been a lot of talk about this article recently because it has very interesting findings. However, something that I wished it showed was the distribution of some of the answers and not just the average. At 20 weeks, most of the women in the study started to limit their climbing and most stopped completely at 31 weeks.  Were there any women who climbed to term, and if so, how many? I know that I did. That’s 1 person. Also, I would have liked to read what the description of ‘limiting’ their climbing entailed for these different women. There were only 6% who sustained some type of injury while climbing. Disappointingly, the study does not describe to us what type of injuries these may be. Climbing injuries vs. pregnancy injuries are vastly different. However, it does show basically none of these women having miscarried and those experiencing severe bleeding was also below the national average, though that could be because those having experienced such problems did not do the survey. In regards to climbing injuries, joints loosen during a women’s pregnancy in preparation for child birth and so this can be the likely culprit. Please be wary and do not overdo it. Joint and ligament strains can be a common climbing injury. You don’t want to have to recover from a climbing injury and childbirth at the same time! I injured a joint a few months ago climbing and I wasn’t even pregnant!  For these 339 women, it took an average of 3 1/2 months for them to return to climbing after having their baby. On a side note, I competed against a woman in a bouldering competition earlier this year who had an infant about 8-9 months old and she won first place! That’s right… she beat me, not to mention everyone else there too, and my youngest was maybe 18 months at the time. From the survey, 96% of the women breastfed and 7% of those saw a change in their milk volume when they returned to climbing.  I’m going to assume that meant a negative change, but the results do not actually specify. On that point, I noticed that the 1st place competitor that I mentioned nursed during the competition! Yeah, she was pretty awesome. It also reminded me of having to pump a few times while I was on a 22-pitch sport climb that I did with my husband 8 months post-partum. It was an awesome adventure. I was lucky to not have my milk supply negatively affected, lucky to have a grandma willing to babysit an infant for the day, and lucky that my baby was willing to drink milk from the bottle. 

So ladies, every body is different. Listen to your own body and do what you love!

Use a pregnancy harness

How you feel will vary at each stage of the pregnancy. One rule of thumb for me while I’m pregnant is to listen to my body. That’s how I know how often to eat, what to eat, what not to do and what’s ok. I switch to a full-body harness when I feel like I should. If my normal harness isn’t comfortable then I should definitely be in the full-body harness. That usually happens for me about when I start my second trimester. I have used the Mountain Mama/Mad Rock harness for two pregnancies. Click here for a review of the product.

Talk to your OBGYN or not

Of course10307197_374232319451070_5017911229173282785_n it is important to talk to your OBGYN and go to them with any questions or concerns that you have. I want to clarify that I am not claiming to know more than someone with years of specialized education and years of professional experience in that field. However, it appears to me that most OBGYNs have zero experience with climbing and therefore the above discussion on different types of climbing is completely lost on them.

With my second pregnancy, I remember attempting to discuss climbing with a nurse at my OBGYN in an attempt to get some type of verbal approval of the activity. There was none. She told me “absolutely not, under no circumstances, is any type of climbing ok while pregnant because there is risk of fall.” I tried to explain that there was no risk of fall with top-rope climbing but my explanation was lost on her. After that conversation I was a little emotional, which I blame on my pregnancy hormones, if I must admit.

My friend’s OBGYN, at the very same clinic, told her that she was cleared to top-rope climb as it was an activity her body was already use to do doing and carried no risk of fall.

Go figure.

I chose not to talk to my new OBGYN during my next pregnancy about it to avoid an emotional and judgmental conversation that I felt was unfounded… I know *gasp*

Let me state it again:

ROCK CLIMBING CAN BE THE PERFECT PREGNANCY ACTIVITY.

If you’re wondering whether or not you can continue to climb now that your expecting or if there are any sports or exercises you can do as your tummy grows, consider rock climbing. You are not the first or only woman to have these questions and you won’t be the only one out there pregnant at the crag. There are more and more climbing mommas out there.

It has been the best low-impact exercise for me while pregnant. It helped me feel fit, stay healthy and relax. Staying in shape helped me emotionally and also helped my body bounce back quicker after pregnancy. 

Rock Canyon: The Wild

Rock Canyon: The Wild

Overall: three-and-a-half-cheerios

It is a shame this area is not closer to the mouth of the canyon. Really, it is almost perfect for kids except for the long approach. The rock is super cool limestone with weird easy to grab features. There are also some fun intermediate climbs in the area. The landing is perfect, the setting is beautiful, but the walk to get there is long.

Routes:five-cheerios

So there is not anything super difficult in the area, but the climbs that are here are fun. The area has climbs for the wee’est of tinys all the way up to some fun intermediate climbs. The routes here according to The Mountain Project are…

the-wild-climbs

You can find information about the area at…

The Mountain Project

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.

If you can drag your smallest children up this far, the routes here are great for them. The entire middle section of the wall consists of large, frequent, limestone pockets. This lends to lots of handholds really close together. This is great because something that kids often struggle with is the inability to reach the handholds available. This makes it hard for kids to do climbs that would otherwise be easy if they were the right size. Because of this, I love taking my kids here.

The climbs for adults here are also a blast. The 5.9 to the left, Congo, is awesome but tricky. The 5.10 to the right, Chupacabra, is pumpy but exposed and fun. There are some other climbs as well that should provide some healthy entertainment.

Approach: two-cheerios

Time

The biggest problem with this area is the time that it takes to walk to the crag. As an adult it takes a good 20-30 minutes. With a child the time could be endless… For us it was usually about 45-60 minutes.

Difficulty

The hike is easy except for the distance. Any age should be able to do it, if you, as the adult, have the patience.

Danger

No danger except normal hiking danger.

Landing: five-cheerios

The landing here is perfect. There is room for everything that you could ever need, plus the area is nice and flat. Even better, there is plenty of shade. Drag your kids here and they will welcome the respite.

Traffic:three-and-a-half-cheerios

Despite the distance, this area gets a bit of traffic. Lots of beginning collage students come to climb here, because as an adult the hike isn’t really a problem. Every time I have come here there has been another group. There are three easy climbs on the awesome easy limestone, so usually you can find an anchor to get your kids going.

Extra Kid Fun: three-and-a-half-cheerios

There is not anything extra special about this area, but it is shaded and pleasant. There is plenty of room for kids to run around and explore, which my kids enjoy doing when we come here.

Potential Dangers: five-cheerios

Only dangers here are typical hiking dangers.

Rock Canyon: The Appendage

Rock Canyon: The Appendage

Overall: 

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.

Routes: four-cheerios

The Appendage has routes for older children, beginners, and hard intermediate climbers.   The climbs here according to The Mountain Project are…

apendage-climbs

You can find information about the appendage at…

The Mountain Project

Rockclimbing.com

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.

Approach: three-cheerios

Time

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.

Difficulty

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.

Danger

There is no danger getting to the appendage. Maybe a few steep parts on the trail.

Landing: five-cheerios

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.

Traffic: four-cheerios

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: three-cheerios

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.

Potential Dangers: four-cheerios

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.

Little Cottonwood Canyon: Lisa Falls

Little Cottonwood Canyon: Lisa Falls

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Overall:five-cheerios

This area is absolutely perfect for kids. They will LOVE it, whether or not they actually climb. I promise. The routes here are next to a year long waterfall, if that wasn’t obvious from the name.

Routes:four-cheerios

Its VERY slabby climbing here so if you aren’t use to that, it will be good practice for sure. That can make it deceiving though. Believe me, the routes are not as easy as they look.

Lisa Falls Left (5.8R) can be top roped from the steep trails that goes up just to the left. My 4 year old said this was a great ‘kid climb’.

We also set up on Fleeting Glimpse (5.9) and had our kids climb Lisa Falls Right (5.5) off those anchors.

These routes can be found at…

The Mountain Project

Rockclimbing.com

Rock 51kd2ulzrll-_sx328_bo1204203200_Climbing the Wasatch Range, A Falcon Guide, pg. 338.

There is a newer book that just came out, like two months after I bought this book… my luck of course. We don’t have it yet so I don’t have page numbers for you.

Also, a climber that was next to us at a crag in Little Cottonwood didn’t seem to pleased about the newer version which has pictures that were apparently not so helpful. The older version as detailed sketches and not pictures.

Approach:four-cheerios

Its a short hike to the falls which my two year old can do on her own. It seems less than a quarter mile, Mountain Project says 200 yards. Its very easy going Our friend with a broken foot made it up.

Landing:three-and-a-half-cheerios

Its rock so the ground isn’t perfectly level. Also, depending on the water level you’ll have to pay attention while belaying to not get your rope wet which can be kind of in the way of where you want to stand.

Traffic:three-and-a-half-cheerios

We’ve been here twice. Both times there were a lot of people, but one of those times there were no climbers and the other a climber on almost every route. We were still able to get the climbs we wanted but its something to be aware of to make sure your considerate of the other climbers.

Extra Kid Fun:five-cheerios

So much fun! All the kids absolutely loved it.

Playing in the water: They played in pools of water getting soaked – bring extra clothes if you can. It would be specially perfect for a hot sunny day.

Drinking the water: We brought our water pump filter which some kids enjoyed testing out and drinking the water and learning how the filter worked.

 

20160910_134339

Catching caterpillars:  When we went in September there were caterpillars everywhere. Everywhere. The kids loved it. Well except for my two year old who for some reason found them very frightening which was hilarious…You may even consider bringing something to carry a few back home with you and building a home for them where you can watch them cacoon and transform and then let them go. My kids love that.

Potential Dangers:four-cheerios

Well it is at a waterfall. The water was low when we were there and not problematic but as always watch your kids.

Big Cottonwood Canyon: Storm Mountain Picnic Area

Big Cottonwood Canyon: Storm Mountain Picnic Area

Overall: four-and-a-half-cheerios

There is some great climbing here as well as a picnic area, a playground for kids, and flushing toilets which is definitely a plus.

While the overall area has a lot of grade variety, a lot of the routes are trad which is great if you have the gear but incredibly limiting if you don’t.

We haven’t been to this area (yet) so we don’t have more information than what I’ve placed here but I hope its helpful. We will update as we find out more.

Routes: four-cheerios

For kids you will want to check out the Reservoir Ridge Area, Storm Mountain Island East Face, Storm Mountain Island – North Face, Psychobabble Wall , Bumble Bee Wall, and Static Wall.

Information about these areas can be found at:

Mountain Project

Rockclimbing.com

Rock 51kd2ulzrll-_sx328_bo1204203200_Climbing the Wasatch Range, A Falcon Guide, pg. 118-139.

There is a newer book that just came out, like two months after I bought this book… my luck of course. We don’t have it yet so I don’t have page numbers for you.

 

 

The Storm Mountain Island East Face is almost all Trad but it has a bolted 5.4, Bolt Route, which would be great for a kiddo.

The Reservoir Ridge Area has a variety of easy climbs for beginners and kids, sport and trad mixed.

War Clamor (5.5) the first of a multi-pitch. There are chains 15 feet off the ground which apparently are a teaching tool used by the U of U. While some consider them an eyesore,  they can be great if you have very little kids. Also, you can use it to teach some of your older kids how to clean a route and rap where you can watch what they are doing.

Reservoir Ridge (5.5) is another great climb but its Trad. At some point it had some bolts and pitons but they may have been chopped recently. Still, it may be top-roped from the War Clamor chains. However you may have quite a bit of rope drag if you do.

Also there is another 5.5, Unknown Tradline. Apparently, it can be hard to place some gear which makes it more sketchy. However, its between two sport 5.6s so it may be possible to top-rope. Apparently you can clip some nearby bolts of one of the 5.6s while on that route.

Not to mention both 5.6s would be easy excellent climbs for kids.

 Approach: four-and-a-half-cheerios

The great thing about this area are the short and easy approaches.

Traffic:three-and-a-half-cheerios

This is a super popular area for both climbers and picnickers so it may get crowded.

Big Cottonwood Canyon: Dogwood Crag

Big Cottonwood Canyon: Dogwood Crag

Overall: four-cheerios

The Dogwood Crag is a great place to take a family climbing. The routes are good for young kids and beginners, plus there are a few that will keep the experienced climber entertained. The approach and landing are good, plus the setting is gorgeous. The problem with the area is that it gets lots of traffic and the climb you are looking to get your littles on may already be taken by someone else. The location is great as it is at the very bottom of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Very easy to get to and to find.

Routes: four-cheerios

Dogwood crag has routes for kids, beginners, and intermediate climbers. The crag has a few anchors for top roping, so if you are sick of being a rope gun on easy climbs, this area is for you.  Here are the climbs as per Mountainproject.com…

dogwood-climbs

 

You can find information about this area at…

The Mountain Project

Rockclimbing.com

51kd2ulzrll-_sx328_bo1204203200_Guidebook – FalconGuides Rock Climbing the Wasatch Range Pgs. 62-64

All of the kids climbs are designed for top roping. This can be a good or a bad thing. I swear if I ever die because of rock climbing, it is going to be because I was trying to top rope something. Top roping here could be dangerous, so just be careful and anchor yourself before you do any rope work while leaning over the cliff.

Even though there are climbs here for little kids, the beginning of each route is pretty barren of handholds. For my youngest, I usually have to lift them up a few feet to where the climb gets easier. For those a little older, they can usually figure it out, but I’ve seen a few get discouraged and come down prematurely.

If you’re looking for somewhere to go quick without doing much research, this area would be good.  Without any knowledge of the climbs, you can come here and walk around and up the crag to the west and throw up some top ropes.  Your kids should be able to climb on anything you can top rope here and do fine.  While facing the crag, the farther right the easier climb it is for the kid.

Approach: four-cheerios

Time

For everyone without kids, the approach would be five cheerios, but the unique logistics of the area make this approach a little more complicated with kids. It costs money to park right next to the trail leading to the Dogwood crag. So usually people will park in a pull out slightly past the sign on the main road, outside of the parking lot. It is still a pretty short walk, but if you are going to set up your tent trailer and whatever other mountain of gear you brought, it becomes a bit of a walk with the littles. I have found it beneficial to drive up to the trailhead, dump everyone out of the car, help them walk to the climb, then come back and move the car. This makes the approach kind of a pain in the neck, but still short enough.  

But if you don’t care about paying then…   five-cheerios!

Difficulty

Easy. They can do it on their own practically.

Danger

There is a river to the left, but you’ll be next to it the entire time at the crag.

Landing: 

The landing here is amazing. Even though it is right next to a river, there is enough room to feel safe. The landing is also super flat, and has enough room for all of your stuff you have to bring to keep everyone happy.

Traffic: 

Traffic is definitely the buzz kill of this climbing area. There are only a few top rope anchors and they quickly get filled by beginners, scout groups, people on dates, etc. During the summer, some youth outdoor rehabilitation groups use this as their go to crag. If you live close, it might be a good idea to do a reconnaissance mission before bringing the entire team.

Extra Kid Fun: five-cheerios

The setting here is gorgeous and your kids will love it. The crag is set right next to a river that the kids can get down close to and play in the water. Last time I was there, my kids and their cousins were searching through the water for different river bugs and caught them all in a cup.

The area is also next to the campsite which has lots of trails around it for exploring. If your kids are old enough to go off on their own, they will enjoy walking through all the trails and the campsite, but it will just take them in a bunch of circles so they can’t get too far away.

Potential Dangers: three-cheerios

This area should be safe, but there are some very real potential dangers here. The river is right next to the crag and is not slow moving in the middle. If a ridiculous child tried to go swimming, there could definitely be a problem.

The other issue with the area is that even though the landing is flat, there is a trail very nearby that can lead to the top of the cliff. That trail is steep and a child could potentially fall and hurt themselves. But worse, if they got to the top of the cliff, who knows what could happen. I don’t trust my oblivious children in situations like that.

Maple Canyon: Road Kill Wall

Maple Canyon: Road Kill Wall

Overall: four-and-a-half-cheerios

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A short and easy approach with good routes makes this a must climb area for kids.  The area has, in my opinion, the best climb for little kids in the canyon.  The only drawbacks to this area are that it can get a lot of traffic, and the landing is only really good, not perfect.

Routes:five-cheerios

Road Kill Wall has the best 3-5 year old climb in the canyon and other climbs for beginners, plus a two solid, but short, intermediate routes. The route breakdown:

road-kill-wall-climbs

You can find information about this area at…

MountainProject.com

Rockclimbing.com

Maple Canyon Guide Book pg. 138-142 (The link is to a site where you can purchase the book.  Really, if you are going to Maple, you should have it.)

Approach:four-cheerios

Time

The approach to The Road Kill wall is slightly past The Schoolroom which is right next to the main parking lot. The approach time is minimal. With the smallest of kids it should not take you more than a few minutes.

Difficulty

The approach is steepish so it will be slightly difficult. Though short, it is still uphill and slightly farther away than The Schoolroom.

Danger

Only danger on approach is a child falling on the trail and potentially slipping/rolling down the hill. Ok, so rolling probably isn’t possible but it is a funny image.

Landing: three-and-a-half-cheerios

Honestly, after being spoiled by other areas in Maple Canyon, I don’t love this landing. Really, it is workable. There is enough space that you can spread out and take care of everything you need. I have two problems with it. First it is not very flat. This makes me nervous for my littlest ones who I have to keep an extra eye on. Second, the routes are spread out up and down the hill, so if you are climbing one route, you may not be able to see everything that is going on in other places. Basically, it is easier for kids to get lost. I rated the landing 31/2 cheerios because it was workable, not dangerous, but slightly annoying. Here are some pictures to let you decide for yourself.

road-kill-wall-landing-one road-kill-wall-landing-two

 

 

 

 

Traffic:four-cheerios

Every time I have been to this area, there are other people on the climbs. However, I have always been able to work around them. The traffic has never been irritating, just well travelled. The route Tomato Man (The 5.3 I continue to flaunt) has never been taken when I came here.

Extra Fun: three-and-a-half-cheerios

Mostly this area is pretty similar to other places in Maple Canyon. The only additional fun I can think of would be for older kids. There is room to hike around at the top of the hill.  Most kids I have taken to this area have migrated towards these hikes.

Potential Dangers:four-cheerios

This area is mostly safe, but it is smart to keep an eye on your littlest children here. Any extra adventurous child could continue to hike up the canyon and get themselves to a unsavory cliff. The other issue is that the entire area is on a slight slope. So, those of your children that have terrible balance, i.e. all of them, will probably fall down at least once and scrape something.

 

Maple Canyon: Billy the Kid Wall

Maple Canyon: Billy the Kid Wall

33236787_10156929773723268_2226438083341975552_n  Overall: four-and-a-half-cheerios

Billy the Kid Wall is one of the best places in Utah, or probably anywhere, to take kids to rock climb.  The only reason I am not giving it 5 cheerios is because there are not any difficult climbs for adults.  The approach is short and the landing is great.  The area is fun, and the climbs are easy.  For the especially tiny, the first part of the climb is really mellow, more like class 4 scrambling, and they do great on this.

Routes: four-cheerios

Billy the Kid has three easy routes 5.6, 5.7, 5.8.  Here’s the graph I like to do, just to be consistent although it probably isn’t necessary in this area.

billy-the-kid-climbs

 

These routes can be found at…

The Mountain Project

Maple Canyon Guide Book pg. 172-173 (If you are planning on doing any substantial amount of climbing in Maple Canyon you really should buy this book.  The link is for a page where you can buy the book.)

These routes are easy for kids and can be a great opportunity for them to experience the height of rock climbing without difficult climbs. We have taken a four year old and she was able to get to the top of the 5.6. For those younger, the beginning of the climbs has a mellow grade that feels like climbing for the kids, but is easy enough to deal with any problems that could arise. We have taken our kids here as young as two and they were able to climb up the route until it becomes vertical. For the younger kids we suggest using a piece of webbing or rope attached to the back of the harness on the less steep terrain, see Tips for Ages Under 4.

 Approach: four-and-a-half-cheerios

Time

The approach is not right next to the road, but close. With kids as young as two years old it should not take you more than five to ten minutes, most likely less.

Difficulty

Strait path. Nothing to worry about.

Danger

Not really dangerous, but a few years back our then two year old did stumble at the beginning of the hike. She tumbled down a hill that could have potentially hurt her pretty bad. She was fine, but a little shaken up.  You see those videos of miraculous dad saves on YouTube.  That wasn’t me.  I would say, not dangerous, but hold the littles hands at the beginning.

Landing: five-cheerios

The landing here is great. It is flat and safe with room for kids to run around and be ridiculous. There are logs for parents to sit on and room enough to set down all climbing gear. It might feel a little tight if you have a big group, but that is a mild likely unsubstantiated complaint. Here are some pictures of the landing.

billy-the-kid-landing-one billy-the-kid-landing-two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traffic: four-cheerios

I have never chosen to go to Billy the Kid wall and not have the climbs available. Maple Canyon can get busy, but Billy the Kid wall has more mellow climbs so it is not frequented by the more experienced climbers. That said, if there is a group there, it is unlikely you will be able to get on any climbs. The area is not big enough for more than one group.

Extra Kid Fun: five-cheerios

I think this area is a lot of fun. The approach is a hike past The Pipeline, which has some difficult climbs and usually people good enough to do them. It is pretty fun to watch. Slightly farther up the path is a log crossing a small ravine. It is not super dangerous so my kids and I always like to do it. My dog will even cross it.

Here is a picture of the log.

billy-the-kid-fun-log

Potential Dangers: four-cheerios

The hike is mellow, but has enough room for kids to run around and explore. Some boundaries for wandering should probably be set depending on how old your children are, but for the most part there is no where they can go to get themselves in too much trouble.  Don’t let them walk across the log on their own. The back has a steep hill.

33079957_10156929773733268_3022660127359500288_n