Zion is a climber’s paradise. Zion National Park’s 2,000-foot sandstone cliffs are world-renowned for their big wall climbs. Due to their difficulty, most routes in the park are not recommended for inexperienced climbers.


There are two accessible bouldering areas in the main canyon. One is 40 yards west of the south entrance. There is a house-sized boulder that poses a variety of options and problems. The second is Drilled Pocket Boulder, located 0.5 mile north of the south entrance. It is located on the west side of the road and is a slab with an obvious south-facing crack.


Long before Alex Honnold became the subject of a 2019 Oscar award-winning documentary about his free solo efforts in Yosemite, he was scaling peaks in Zion. In 2008 in Zion Canyon, Alex awoke early one morning and without telling anyone he quietly ascended the 1,200 foot Moonlight Buttress route in just 83 minutes. But what made this climb historic was that Alex did it with no ropes or protection—just him and the rock—known in climbing circles as “free soloing.”

Everyone thought he was crazy, but over the years Alex continued to build his climbing resume with even more daring free solo ascents. But it was way back in April of 2008 in Zion that Alex first received national attention for his audacious climb of the Moonlight Buttress.

About the Moonlight Buttress Climbing Route

Moonlight Buttress is rated 5.12c—if that doesn’t mean anything to you, that’s okay. Suffice it to say 5.12c is insanely hard and that most climbers (even after years of practice) cannot climb 5.12. But to do so without ropes is not even a consideration!

The Moonlight Buttress climbing route is near the Angels Landing hike and can be seen from the road just past the Big Bend stop #8. As you go by, look up because oftentimes the route has climbers on it. But unlike Alex, almost every one of them are using ropes.