Escalante Canyon is a western Colorado treasure and a popular destination for serious rock climbers.

Climbing On Rocks vs Rock Climbing

I wonder how many of us, as kids, loved to climb on rocks. Climbing on rocks was one of my favorite childhood activities, but, the fact is that is quite different than rock climbing. Rock climbing is for people who are athletic, fearless, strong, and skilled. None of those words would describe me.

Escalante Canyon is well-known for great hiking, camping, boating, biking, and amazing rock climbing. When we talk about rock climbing we're talking about scaling sheer rock walls - kind of like Spiderman. Rappel slings, bolts, or fixed pieces are used very sparingly.  It's fascinating to watch.

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Meet Grand Junction's Ben Rueck

Ben Rueck is well-known in the technical climbing world and he's nothing short of amazing. Born and raised in Colorado, and based in Grand Junction, Ben works in education as a substitute teacher. But, when he's not in the classroom, he's probably hanging off some ridiculously steep and dangerous rock formation or canyon wall. His strength, agility, and bravery are incredible.

There are some outstanding places to climb in Escalante Canyon. In rock climbing, the climbs are rated anywhere from easy to elite. Ben makes it look like child's play.

Easy - 5.0-5.7
Intermediate- 5.8-5.10
Hard -5.11-5.12
Elite 5.13 and higher 

Prepare To Be Amazed

In the video below you can't help but feel nervous as you see Ben scale a wall in Escalante Canyon known as Frank Zappa Appreciation Society 5.13. This is a climb that requires extraordinary strength and skill - two qualities Ben obviously possess.

Rock Climbing In Escalante Canyon

Scroll through the images below to see professional climber Ben Rueck's harrowing climb up this amazing wall in Escalante Canyon. Only those with elite climbing skills should ever attempt such a climb on the Frank Zappa Appreciation Society 5.13.

Gallery Credit: Zane Mathews

Photos: The Hike Into Beautiful Echo Canyon at the Colorado National Monument

Located just off the Devil's Kitchen trails system, you'll find the path to the incredible Echo Canyon. This beautiful trail sends you up and over several smooth rocks before descending down into a beautiful box canyon that sometimes hides a waterfall.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

Bangs Canyon Recreation Area: Mica Mine Trail

Take a day to visit the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area just south of Grand Junction, and East of the Colorado National Monument. Here you'll find some great hiking, biking, OHV trails, Jeep trails, horseback riding, and tons of fun things to do. For an easy hike that shows off the scenery check out the trail to the old Mica mine in Ladder Canyon.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams



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