Dogwood, Big Cottonwood Canyon
Dogwood Staging Area Improvement Project The Dogwood crag is one of the most easily accessed climbing areas on one of the busiest Forests in the country. Located in Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC), the crag can be seen 50 yards from the road and is ten minutes from Salt Lake City. It consists of a total of 18 routes (mostly beginner routes ranging from 5.5-5.9) with easy top-roping access. The amount of use by climbers has made this little gem of a crag an eyesore and an impact to the watershed with dead/dying trees, stream bank damage, and erosion of sediment directly into Big Cottonwood Creek. This is one of the first spots climbers come when they transition out of the climbing gym and into the outdoors.
The local non-profit rock climbing advocacy organization, the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance, and the Salt Lake Ranger District have initiated measures to mitigate user impacts on the west side of Dogwood. This past week, the staging area was leveled and stabilized with rock. This work will reduce erosion and sedimentation into BCC Creek, hence directly improving the health of the watershed. Additionally, the level belay area will better support of the user experience. By making our climbing crags more environmentally sustainable, this teaches new climbers the ethics of preserving the natural environments at the places they love to recreate.
This project was made possible in part by an American Alpine Club Cornerstone Grant.