Wall Street, the most popular climbing area in southeastern Utah, is only a ten-minute drive from Main Street in Moab, Utah. Moab offers lots of amenities for the traveling climber, including lots of restaurants, hotels, t-shirt and curio shops, and the “Best Little Library” in the United States. Wall Street is your best introduction to climbing on the sandstone cliffs and towers around Moab.
Here is the basic information you need to plan your Wall Street climbing adventure now.
Wall Street, a ten-minute drive west of Moab, rises along the west bank of the Colorado River in east-central Utah. Moab is easily reached by car from Interstate 70 by driving south on U.S. Highway 191 for about 30 miles. To drive to Wall Street from downtown Moab, head northwest on U.S. 191. After crossing the Colorado River Bridge, drive two miles and make a left (south) turn on Utah Highway 279, Potash Road, and drive four miles to the beginning of Wall Street. Numerous pullouts are along the cliff base, allowing for convenient parking and quick access to the routes.
Moab and Wall Street have a high desert climate with generally cold winters and hot summers. Spring and autumn are the best times to climb at Wall Street. Expect warm days and little precipitation. The east-facing cliff is generally well-protected from spring winds.
Summer days are hot. Moab’s average July high temperature is 98 degrees, and 100-degree days are not uncommon. The best time to climb in summer is early in the morning. While the cliff is shaded in late afternoon and evening, the air temperature is often too hot for comfort. Bring lots of water and other drinks to stay hydrated. Heavy thunderstorms occur regularly from July to September. Watch for waterfalls on the cliffs as well as flash floods. To find out more about staying cool and avoiding dehydration read Summer Rock Climbing: 5 Tips to Avoid Heat-Related Illnesses
Winter days can be good, with warm sunny temperatures. Wall Street can also be cold, especially in the afternoon. Moab’s average January high temperature is 41 degrees.
Rules and Regulations
Wall Street is on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands and is part of the Colorado Riverway Recreation Area. A permit is not required to climb at Wall Street. There is currently only one climbing restriction—no climbing is allowed at the south end of Wall Street on the closed routes that are on or near the large Anasazi petroglyph panel.
Follow some common-sense rules to avoid creating problems for yourself and for future climbers.
- Park your vehicle off the highway in one of the pullouts. No part of your vehicle can be in the road or on pavement.
- Don’t stop in the highway to look at routes. Park and walk to them.
- Make sure your rope and all gear is off the highway. Also don’t stand on the highway while belaying or watching.
- Remember that this is a highway! Large trucks from the potash mine use the road all the time, including at night and on Sundays. They drive fast and don’t like to slow down. Keep your dog, kids, and yourself safe. Accidents have occurred along this highway stretch.
- Lower rather than rappel. Wall Street is composed of soft sandstone. Lowering, as well as top-roping, from the anchors creates deep rope grooves in the sandstone.
- Don’t climb after rain or snow. Sandstone is weak when wet, so avoid climbing in damp areas or after rain to avoid damaging the rock and breaking flakes. Give the rock plenty of time to dry completely before climbing.
- Watch for poison ivy. Huge patches of poison ivy grows along Wall Street’s cliff base in summer. Look for poison ivy bushes with leaves of three to avoid contact.
Accommodations and Camping
Moab offers lots of affordable accommodations for climbers. Check the Moab website for links to different hotels and to make reservations. Prices are lowest in winter. Spring and autumn prices are highest.
You’ll find lots of campgrounds in the Moab area. The BLM’s Jaycee Campground at the northeast end of Wall Street is a popular location for Wall Street climbers with the cliff within walking distance. The self-pay campground has seven walk-in campsites and a pit toilet. Other good campgrounds are along the River Road, which follows the Colorado River, northeast of Moab. All operate on a first-come first-served basis. Bring your own water at all campgrounds.
Climbing Gear, Guides, and Guidebooks
Moab has two good climbing shops and a couple guide services.
Pagan Mountaineering, 59 South Main St. #2, Moab, Utah 84532. (435) 259-1117.
Gearheads Outdoor Store, 471 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. (888) 740-4327.
The guide services I recommend are:
Moab Desert Adventures, 415 North Main St., Moab, UT 84532. (877) ROK-MOAB or (435) 260-2404.
Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, P.O. Box 7477, Jackson, WY 83002. (435) 260-0990 or (877) 270-6622
The best climbing guidebook to Wall Street are Rock Climbing Utah and Best Climbs Moab, a full-color climbing guidebook to the Moab area. Both are published by Falcon Guides. They are available at local gear shops as well as Back of Beyond Bookshop in Moab.