Last year, our annual Labor Day family climbing trip headed south an hour or so to the infamous Maple Canyon. Not having ever been there, and not having ever lead a large group into the area, I was a little nervous as to what we would find. Maple Canyon is well-known for its sport climbing. Over 140 bolted routes are available with climbing grades from 5.4 to 5.14. But would it hold up under a group of six families, totaling twelve adults and fourteen kids??
Yes. It was awesome!
I reserved the group site early in the spring and it holds a maximum of 40 people and has one 35′ driveway with additional parking in the parking lot a short walk (50′) away. We could easily fit one 16′ camper and a small RV in the driveway as well as 3-4 family tents scattered around camp. Vault toilets are provided but there is no water. Roads and parking spurs are dirt.
This has been one of my favorite camping places as a family and as a group! The campground is tucked down in the green and scenic canyon. The climbing is very near by and varied in difficulty, making it optimal for large groups. We’d often pack up some toys and climbing gear in the morning and head out to climb until nap time. Others would take turns watching kids and heading out on some harder climbs in the afternoons and evenings.
This is a great place to climb as a family. The cobblestone is easy and natural for kids to climb on, unlike some of the sandstone slabs we usually frequent in southern Utah. The approaches are super short depending on the climbs you are headed for, and the bases are not exposed…many of them resembling the sandy bottom of a cave floor. Natural features like forest, logs, rocks, and sand provide plenty of non-climbing fun!
The short approaches were also great for short hikes and biking with the kids. All the famous features Maple Canyon is known for, The Pipeline and other caves are super fun for the kids to play in, granted there aren’t groups of climbers working on projects there.
From Fountain Green, Utah, head south on West Side Road for 7 miles to Freedom Road in Freedom. Turn right onto Freedom Road and watch for Maple Canyon signs. Travel 3 miles northeast of Freedom to the campground.
The group site, and other sites at Maple Canyon can be reserved here. I’d suggest reserving in late winter/early spring to ensure a spot for a large group. The group site, when not reserved, is available on a first come, first served basis for $15/night.
Campground closed for the season till May 18, 2013.
This is a high cliff area, please exercise caution.
Day-use will be charged $3 / car per day.
There is no electricity, water, or sewer hook ups.
Please call the ranger station if you are coming with a larger trailer or RV, as they are not recommended.