Planning a climbing trip in the West? The federal government wants to help.
On Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management unveiled a new online, interactive map to help people discover popular rock climbing areas such as Sinks Canyon in Wyoming and Joe’s Valley in Utah.
“The Trump Administration is committed to expanding and promoting the untold number of recreational opportunities for Americans to enjoy on public lands," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt in a statement. "We have some of the best rock climbing sites in the world, and I hope that this new map can help to further highlight these locations and encourage more outdoor enthusiasts to explore our great outdoors.”
Each climbing area on the map contains information about directions, places to camp, climbing restrictions and difficulty levels.
The BLM garnered support from the outdoor retailer REI and the nonprofit climbing advocacy group Access Fund to help create the map.
“The BLM really wanted a one-stop shop where you can visit, look at the map, see what climbing areas are available, as well as all the other considerations that you need to know about when you go climbing on BLM land,” said Erik Murdock, policy director for the Access Fund.
Serious climbers are often secretive about some of their favorite destinations, but Murdock said they can rest assured that lesser known spots will remain off the map.
“We only highlighted climbing areas that are well-known and well-travelled, just to share more information and combat crowding and the impacts that are associated with large amounts of climbers visiting sites,” he said.
The project was first initiated four years ago during the Obama administration, according to Murdock.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.