Ferguson Canyon: Salt Lake City’s Dog-friendly Canyon for Rock Climbing

Everlasting light
Rock climber Alyssa Myers sending “Everlasting Light,” a 5.7 Ferguson classic. Image: Martin Kuprianowicz

With world-class rock climbing in both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, Salt Lake City, Utah boasts unlimited rock climbing opportunities, both indoors and outdoors. But much of what is accessible to the public outdoors is not accessible to their dogs as well.

This is not the case for Ferguson Canyon, an excellent canyon for climbing granite walls that you are allowed to bring your dog to as well. The climbs here are in the shade for most of the day which is also a major plus, especially this time of year.

A map of Ferguson Canyon
Ferguson Canyon is a short trail with easy access and granite climbing for days. Image: Alltrails

Adjacent to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Ferguson Canyon feels like it’s in the middle of the city. But a few minutes hike up a stream through the woods and you find yourself completely surrounded by nature – and big granite walls.

We spent a day here just to show you how lovely it is. 

Ferguson Canyon trailhead
Carb-loading for some climbing in the parking lot at the Ferguson Canyon trailhead. Image: Martin Kuprianowicz

You can park directly at the trailhead to Ferguson Canyon and from there it’s about a 15 minute hike to the beginning of the climbing area. 

Ferguson Canyon trail
The start to the Ferguson Canyon trail. Image: Martin Kuprianowicz
Ferguson Canyon trail
Ferguson Canyon is a dog-friendly nature reserve. Image: Martin Kuprianowicz
Everlasting Light Ferguson Canyon
Granite walls for days up here. We hit “Everlasting Light” first, which is rated as 5.7. Image: Martin Kuprianowicz
"Everlasting Light" in Ferguson Canyon
The writer climbing “Everlasting Light” on top rope in Ferguson Canyon. Most of the climbing routes here are shaded for the entirety of the day. Image: Martin Kuprianowicz

There is plenty of both traditional climbing routes and sport climbing routes in Ferguson Canyon. We spent the day climbing only trad routes and I did my first trad lead on “November Splendor,” a mellow 5.5 flake.

"Gordon's Garden"
“November Splendor,” a 5.5 in Ferguson Canyon. It’s a perfect flake for learning how to lead. Image: Martin Kuprianowicz
A view of Salt Lake City
A nice view of the Salt Lake valley on the way back down from the canyon. Image: Martin Kuprianowicz

So if you’re in Salt Lake City and looking for a shady, dog-friendly spot to go rock climb, look no further. Ferguson’s got all you need.

Rock climber pup
Climber pup. Image: Pinterest