CLIMBING & CAMPING
The Indian Creek Special Recreation Management area is in the northern portion of Bears Ears National Monument and is managed by the BLM. Management for the area seeks to protect the area’s fragile resources and prevent unnecessary developments that would forever change its primitive character. Access to the crags traverses both public and private land. Please respect the landowners and landscape. Keep dogs on a leash when traversing to the base of the crag. Unless signs say otherwise, leave gates open or closed as you find them.
Climbing and Cultural Resources
Indian Creek and Moab climbing areas are in the ancestral lands of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah Ouray, Hopi Nation, and Zuni Tribe. Climbers who Visit with Respect help maintain climbing access and show that climbers care about the landscape we recreate in. It is illegal to damage, disturb or remove anything from archeological or historical sites. Do not develop or climb routes in direct conflict with cultural resources (like Pink Flamingo and other routes near rock art and ruins). Please keep your pet from digging at the base of cliffs in areas with cultural resources..
There is a 14-day limit on camping on BLM Land. Dispersed Camping is allowed 150 feet off designated roads in Indian Creek in previously disturbed areas. Pack out all trash and pack in all firewood. Use existing fire rings, or bring a fire pan. Desert water is scarce! Camp at least 300 feet from water sources or streams to allow for wildlife access. Developed campsites are available at Hamburger Rock, Superbowl, and Creek Pasture.
Human waste has long been a concern of Land Managers in Moab and Indian Creek. We are proud to say that Friends of Indian Creek and our partners installed the first vault toilets in Indian Creek in the early 2000s. Friends of Indian Creek encourages the use of re-usable river style toilets when dispersed camping, and W.A.G. Bag style waste bags when climbing. W.A.G. bags can be deposited in designated locations in Moab, or an any trash receptacle in other locals. There are five drop off locations for W.A.G bags in Moab. Climbing Stewards are available on-site to provide W.A.G. bags and educate visitors on what to do with human waste. See below for more on How to Poo
Climbing and Wildlife
Each spring raptors return to the Indian Creek area for nesting. Eagles, falcons, hawks, and other migratory birds use the shallow overhangs and ledges on cliffs to build nests. Left undisturbed, they will often return to the same site year after year to raise their young. When these birds are disturbed, they spend less time feeding and caring for their young, and may temporarily or permanently abandon the nest leaving the the young vulnerable to predation. Raptor avoidance areas are seasonal. They typically begin in Spring and are lifted in the Summer after the young fledge or leave the nest. Please do not camp, climb, or hike near any cliffs in the raptor avoidance area. Signs will be placed at the base of these cliffs.
Dogs and other Fur Babies
In both Indian Creek and Moab, it is required that visitors pack out/dispose of pet waste. There is no garbage service in Indian Creek, so have a poo plan! Please leash your dog when traversing the valley floor to the base of the cliff. Many approaches cross the Dugout Ranch private land, and keeping your dog from chasing their cattle is critical to maintaining climbing access. Many climbs are near archeological sites. Please do not let your dog dig at the base of these climbs
What if it rains?
When sandstone is wet, it looses strength as the “cement” between the grains of sand dissolves. Cams can pull, bolt holes can wallow out, and holds can break- irreparably damaging climbs. Sandstone can take 24 to 48 hours to dry out following a rainstorm. If the sand at the base is wet, turn back! Have a rainy day plan. Go for a bike ride or hike, help pull invasive weeds, or volunteer to do trail work.
Many climbers are drawn to Indian Creek not only for its uniquely challenging cracks, but also its primitive, wide-open feeling. The “Creek” to many of us exemplifies the Wild West and freedom from society. As part of the Indian Creek Special Recreation Management area and the Bears Ears National Monument, Indian Creek is a managed landscaped. As use increases, more management prescriptions and infrastructure are put in place accordingly. Friends of Indian Creek is dedicated to working with land managers to keep these changes minimal and in-line with the primitive nature of the area. Education and a well placed pit toilet go a long way in establishing good relationships and minimizing climber impact. Please do your part.
Climbers cross Dugout Ranch private property every time they approach Supercrack Buttress, Battle of the Bulge, Donnelly Canyon, Tricks Wall, Scarface, and Love Wall (New Wall, New Wave Wall, Paragon Prow AKA the Sundial are inaccessible to climbing). We drive across Dugout Ranch property (on a county right-of-way) every time we camp or climb at Bridger Jack. Climbers are currently allowed access across Dugout land because of the positive relationship forged between climbers and longtime owner of the Ranch, Heidi Redd.