The Best Climbing Routes in Ogden, From Beginner to Advanced
By Cody Lee | May 4, 2021
Ogden: It’s All Within Reach.
While the city’s tagline has officially been rebranded, the saying remains true. Ogden boasts some of the best access to recreation in the nation, and our locals are out there getting after it on a daily basis. From skiing to hiking, mountain biking and more, there’s a little bit for everyone in these foothills, including a lifetime's-worth of climbing routes to send. Listed below is just a snippet of the best beginner, intermediate, advanced, and trad climbs that Ogden has to offer.
Three bolted route options with easy access to anchors. Learn to top-rope, lead, and rappel from any of these routes, each with their own set of anchors. Access the top from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, or hike directly to the base from the new overflow parking at the 9th street trailhead gate.
Scenic overview of Ogden and straightforward climbing, but no top-rope access. Skirt the crux bulge or take the path of most resistance to turn this into a 5.9. Either way, it’s a joy to be on this route in the evening light above the East Bench.
Easy to scramble in from the top to set a TR, but also bolted if you’re feeling like climbing on lead. The strange cable traversing the cliff acts as your first form of protection, hence the name. Looking for something a bit more exciting? Try Sudden Exposure (5.8) on the second tier, directly over the road.
Pictured left: Phantasmagorical | Right: Sudden Exposure (via Spencer Sekiller)
A little bit of everything: runout, roof pulls, and slab. One of the longer single pitch routes in the area and a great option for hot days in the summer. I’ve always felt like the slab crux is harder than the two thuggy roof sections, but you be the judge. Optional gear to protect the first 15 feet of 5.6 climbing and mandatory 60 meter rope to get down!
Great quality limestone with sequential small holds. Low crux leads to easier ground and enjoyable bolt-protected face climbing. Worth taking a short hike to 29th street for this route and the 10b nearby, but be sure to chase the shade or you’ll be sharing the cliff with wasps.
If the Fall Doesn't Kill You, a Car Will 5.10a
A bit of a sandbag 10a - thin crimps, bad feet, and balancey climbing make this a must-do 5.10 in the Ogden area.
Solid at the grade, slightly overhanging and pumpy, an Ogden classic. Dead center of the crag, this popular route has sustained the test of time and is easily the best route at 9th street. Don’t leave without trying this route!
Pictured left: No Nuts | Right: Overlooked (via Kevin Burns)
Most exposed route in Ogden? Approach via the ramp (Schoolroom North) and ascend a fixed line to the “Gangsta Ledge” and get situated at the belay bolt. Stunning views traversing the easy rail but solid moves at the crux. The route to the right of the dihedral (Giants of Science) is another classic, also 11b.
Pumpy traverse from left to right across the lip of the cave at 9th street. Big moves on big holds, a bit easy for the grade but a fun route nonetheless. Once this route is dialed, try mixing up the alternate starts or finishes to bump up the grade (Check out Cleft Lip, Tequila, & Vile of Crack).
Great rock and an even better backdrop. Reach high to the starting holds and hold on tight until you reach the chains of Badlands (12a). Located high in the Schoolroom in the Asbury Park area, this section should be a must-visit for a climber in search of 12a/b’s.
Pictured left: Teardrops on the City | Right: Bound For Glory (via Charlie S)
Well before The Front Climbing Gym was here, legendary climbers Greg, Jeff, and George Lowe honed in their skills on the Ogden Boulder Field and the surrounding walls. They explored far and wide, putting up first ascents on the most obvious cracks and cliffs before moving on to become world-renowned alpinists. You can still find their old pitons in popular areas like The Schoolroom and Snowbasin.
Moderate trad and mixes lines from 5.6 to 5.10c. Utah Crack, Apex, and Shotgun are all great first trad leads with ample protection.
While there are bolts, nearly all of these alpine slab routes require some supplementary gear. Needles Nirvana (5.8) is a casual outing, while the Mt Ogden routes (The Gray Slabs 5.9 / Battle Rattle 5.8) are more committing and require time management skills to catch your gondola ride back down.
Splitter 5.11a that was first led by the legendary Greg Lowe in the 60s, a one-of-a-kind route on great quartzite high above Ogden’s east bench.
When Greg Lowe freed this 5.12a route in the 60s, it was among the hardest routes in the country. Recently repeated by badass locals Cass Bindrup and Wyatt Edwards, this route deserves respect!
Pictured: Tree Crack (via Charlie S)