Maple Canyon was not on the original Raffâ€™s Summer 2019 itinerary. After lots of discussion over happy hour wine in Jackson Hole, we decided to head there next as a stopover on our way to Tuolumne. We were originally planning to spend a week alpine climbing in The Winds in Wyoming, but we were feeling too rushed and decided to add the extra time to Tuolumne instead.
Our travel day brought on a little feeling of sadness for both of us, almost like our trip was over. I am not sure if it was because we were heading west, or if we were just tired. We werenâ€™t going home, and our epic vacation is still in its early stages, but we were both feeling a little down. Nothing that a few days of cragging couldnâ€™t fix.
We decided to splurge and stay in an Air B&B for the 3 days. We got a great deal on a room in a Victorian mansion built in 1894 in Spring City, UT. Spring City is a National Historic City with lots of old homes and a cute little downtown. It was also only a 20-minute drive to the crag! The place was great, and we were the only guests, so we had the whole house to ourselves. The only downside, there was no shower, only a giant tub! I felt very olden times, rinsing my hair with the pitcher!
Spring City and Maple Canyon are in rural Utah. There isnâ€™t much around except for farming. As luck would hold it, we encountered our second animal driveâ€¦ this time it was 200 sheep! We saw them headed toward us and just stopped the car to let them pass. This time, I was able to document the evidence!
Maple Canyon is famous for its cobblestone. The walls are basically different size stones all held together with sandstone. The stones range from golf ball size to beachball size. When you climb, you use the stones and/or the depressions where the stones used to be as handholds and footholds. It is a weird feeling to grab onto this stone and hope that it stays in place. I only had one small one break off, and I was luckily balanced enough not to fall!
We spent 3 days climbing in different areas within the canyon. We didnâ€™t push our grades here as we were both worried about falling and hitting our ankles on the strange stones. Instead, we just enjoyed the many moderate climbs in the shade. The climbing was fun, a little like gym climbing. A good place to spend a few days, but not at the top of our list to visit again.
Iâ€™m glad we flexed our schedule to include Maple Canyon as a stop over and saved The Winds for another year. Tuolumne Meadows is calling our name and having a place to call â€œhomeâ€ for 2 weeks sounds lovely.