Dogwood Crag is located just beyond the Dogwood Picnic Area—roughly one mile up Big Cottonwood Canyon. The crag rests along the banks of the Big Cottonwood Canyon stream. It rises nearly out of the stream and leans back along its western edge at an angle that makes the slick, water polished holds climbable.
What Makes It Great
Most of the routes on Dogwood can be top roped, and there are scout groups that use this area for rappelling basics as well as climbing. Be mindful of those around you. The routes are enjoyable to climb and stay pretty shaded during summer mornings. It can get quite crowded at Dogwood, so it’s a good idea to check a route before you start climbing to make sure that no one will be rappelling down on top of you.
The rock is quartzite and the crag has about 12 different sport climbing routes ranging from 5.6 – 5.13a.
Wading and playing in the water is forbidden, and it is a watershed area so domestic pets and livestock are not allowed. This is a day-use area only and gates close at 10:00 p.m. Make sure you bring plenty of drinking water and food/snacks to keep yourself properly nourished during your day of climbing.
There are two different approaches to Dogwood. The first approach trail, at about .95 miles up the road, requires a bit more of a hike to the climbing routes. This is the road that must be used during high water time, since the other will not be passable. The second route is closer to the climbs and makes for an easier approach, but can’t be used during high water or during the melt season. The pullout for the second approach trail is about 1.15 miles up the road. This is a US forest Service area, so there is an $8 parking fee. From the far eastern parking area in the picnic ground, walk east along a trail that parallels the stream. You can head to the top of routes 1-7 by following the trail that leads uphill at the end of the chain link fence. To reach the routes at the western end of the wall (routes 8-12) continue straight ahead along the trail that follows the river until it drops down to the base of the wall.
Who is Going to Love It
The variety of routes at Dogwood Crag makes it fun for climbers of every ability level.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Dogwood Crag is pretty easy to find. From downtown Salt lake City, take I-80 East toward Park City. Get on I-215 and head south to exit 6 for Wasatch Blvd. Take Wasatch until you reach the intersection for Big Cottonwood Canyon. Take Big Cottonwood Canyon east (up the canyon). The parking area will be a 1 mile or 1.15 miles up the canyon. Generally speaking, the closer parking area is best to use in the spring and early summer, and the farther parking is best in late summer and fall.