The ground rules for climbing location "yeahs" and "neahs"
- Each location will receive an opinion rating - "It Rocks!", "Worth It," "Meh," or "Trash."
- Each crag has its own personality with unique advantages and challenges, which are highlighted.
- It is tempting to list “beautiful” as a “yeah,” but that is true for a lot of crags. I allude to beauty and scenery in the summary. You can also (sometimes) tell by the photo. If the place is a dump, then that will be listed in the “neahs” and rated as "Meh" or "Trash.
Located in the southwestern corner of the state, St. George, Utah has numerous climbing areas. This review focuses on the Prophesy Wall.
Prophesy Wall is a small crag with about 40+ sport climbs on solid, juggy, beautifully patina-ed sandstone. The cliffs rise about 200 feet above the desert floor, allowing numerous 2-3 pitch climbs.
Prophesy Wall is in the desert so it can get quite hot in the summer.
WARNING SANDSTONE AND RAIN: Please do not climb here if it has rained in the previous 24 to 48 hours or if the sandstone is still wet. The rock absorbs the water and holds break off easily.
NOTE: People like to shoot guns nearby… sometimes a little too close to the wall (or at least it sounds like it when you are on the wall).
From I-15 in St. George, take Bluff Street (HWY 18) north (right). Go past Snow Canyon State Park to a gravel road near milepost 18. There is a BLM sign for Gunlock and Sand Cove Reservoirs. Follow this gravel road for about 2 miles past lower Sand Cove Reservoir. You will see the wall on your left. Turn left on a dirt road and park near the pipe.
Grading, Boltings, and Guidebook Tips
This is primarily a sport crag, but there are few trad lines. The grading is on the softer side on the first pitches of many of the multi-pitch climbs (e.g. a 5.10a on pitch 1 climbs more like a 5.7 or 5.8. Upper pitches tend to have a few 5.10 moves). There is some odd, wandering bolt-lines here and there and a few shared anchors. Most climbs have closely-spaced bolts.
- Rock Climbs of Southwest Utah and the Arizona Strip, by Todd Goss, 2015
- Sharp End Publishing (when buy from here it includes a free 2-year digital subscription): http://stores.sharpendbooks.com/rock-climbs-of-southwest-utah-the-arizona-strip-includes-a-free-2-year-digital-edition-subscription/
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Climbs-Southwest-Arizona-Strip/dp/1892540940
- Mountain Project: https://www.mountainproject.com/v/prophesy-wall/105717250
Rock Type, Climbing, and Style
The rock is solid sandstone with fun, juggy holds, including side clings and underclings. Some areas can have small roofs and bulges to add a little interest. The style of climbing is primarily face and there are quite a few multi-pitch lines (3 pitches that can often be combined into 2).
Primitive camping used to be available, but alas, it is no more! The road and land adjacent to the wall is actually private and although the owners are still allowing access they are not allowing camping.
Still, the area is primitive and beautiful so, be sure bring your own water, trash bags, and ways to poop cleanly (i.e. poop in a bag and pack it out – this keeps the area cleaner! – or dig deep and pack out toilet paper. There is a pit toilet about 3 miles away back on Hwy 18 (towards St. George) at an equestrian/hiking trail head.
- Excellent rock
- Well protected bolting
- Nice vistas and setting
- Camping adjacent to climbing
- Long routes
- Smaller crag but there are a descent selection of routes
- Comfortable climbing temperatures most of the year except summer
- Gun shooting, sometimes a little too close for comfort
- Camping is no longer allowed
Photos and beta for the Prophesy Wall