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Canyonlands National Park Towers
Mountain/Rock

Canyonlands National Park Towers

 
Canyonlands National Park Towers

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.63611°N / 110.04694°W

Object Title: Canyonlands National Park Towers

Activities: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Fall

 

Page By: Dow Williams

Created/Edited: Oct 11, 2010 / Jan 28, 2013

Object ID: 669788

Hits: 4743 

Page Score: 82.48%  - 15 Votes 

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Overview/Approach

 
Washer Woman
Washer Woman

Technically, the north face route on Castleton (5.11) is my favorite Moab desert tower climb. However, from the perspective of a full desert alpine experience (read remote), my two favorite climbs include Primrose Dihedrals (5.11) on Moses and In Search of Suds (5.10) on Washer Woman, both located in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park west of Moab. Canyonlands National Park is divided into four “districts” by the Colorado River and its tributaries: Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the rivers themselves. Island in the Sky offers some of the finer and more remote crack climbing routes in north America. The other districts of Canyonlands offer little in the way of sustained climbing or quality of rock in comparison. Unlike the easy access to Castle Valley or the River Road Towers, the classic tower climbs located in Island in the Sky are quite remote, most requiring a 4x4 and a considerable amount of time to reach. The remoteness makes these climbs much less traveled and thus the routes less clean than what most climbers are use to. But the size of these towers along with some of the incredible splitters that reside within their unique formations, make them classics among hard desert climbers.
 
Monster Tower
 
 
Moses
 

Island in the Sky is a 6000’ high mesa in Canyonlands National Park to the west of Moab, Utah towering over the Green and Colorado Rivers. This section of Canyonlands is home to the most infamous of desert towers, the most notable of which are Moses, Zeus, Washer Woman, Monster Tower, Standing Rock and the Witch. The extreme temperature range in this region is one of the widest in the world at -25F to 115F. My first climb there was In Search of Suds, a stellar route up Washer Woman. My second was the ultra classic Primrose Dihedrals up the southeast face of Moses, perhaps the most prominent of all towers in Canyonlands, located in Taylor Canyon. Both of these climbs offer remote climbing experiences where on many occasions you are likely to have an entire tower to yourself and possibly an entire canyon as well.

There are two paved entrances into Canyonlands: Highway 313 leads to the Island in the Sky, while Highway 211 leads to the Needles. Roads to the Maze are a mixture of graded dirt and 4WD. These roads may become impassable when wet. To get to most any of the towers will involve 4WD. From Moab, there is actually a lesser known access road that runs through the Potash mine at the end of Potash road by Wallstreet. The main entrance can be reached by heading north out of Moab on US 191, turning left on the paved road heading for Canyonlands National Park (Island in the Sky). A paved road (Highway 313) leads to the park’s visitor center.

Route Description(s)

 
Primrose Dihedrals, 5.11d
 
 
Washer Woman and Monster Tower
 
 
Moses
 
 
Zeus
 
 
Moses
 

The Towers and Routes of Canyonlands National Park
From North to South

The Witch
  • Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route- 4 Pitches- 5.11R/

  • Charlie Horse Needle
  • Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route- 3 Pitches- 5.11b/

  • Moses Tower
  • Primrose Dihedrals- 7 Pitches- 5.11d/
  • Primrose Dihedrals’ 7 pitches breaks down into five stout pitches at the 5.10 grade or more. Although Supertopo calls for eight pitches, it makes more sense to combine the final two pitches into one. A traverse first pitch can replace one of the 5.11 pitches making the entire route more of a moderate objective. This is a commonly used variation. Dow
  • Pale Fire- 4 Pitches- 5.12c/
  • Dunn Route- 5 Pitches- 5.11/

  • Zeus Tower
  • Sisyphus- 5 Pitches- 5.11R/
  • Northeast Ridge- 2 Pitches- 5.7, A0/

  • Aphrodite
  • East Ridge- 4 Pitches- 5.10c/

  • Hardscrabble Tower
  • Hardscrabble- 4 Pitches- 5.9, A3/

  • Chip Tower
  • Stuffing Nuts- 4 Pitches- 5.9R, C2/

  • Don Juan Spire
  • Don Juan- 3 Pitches- 5.10R/
  • Yesterday’s News- 3 Pitches- 5.9+, C2/

  • Luminous Being
  • Lizard Action- 2 Pitches- 5.10+/

  • Candlestick Tower
  • East Face- 6 Pitches- 5.10/

  • Washer Woman
  • In Search of Suds- 5 Pitches- 5.10+/
  • Remote, incredible tower and arch climb, fantastic route. First pitch had damn hard crux until I finally bounced off of a fist jam. 2nd pitch offered great exposure through a window, just incredible. Getting through the roof and the "burly" mantle on top were the cruxes on lead. The third pitch was enjoyable 5.10 vs just scaring the shit out of you. The final pitch was a piece of cake after the first 3 pitches. Wild rap through the arch window. Have only done two other raps to rival it. Approach and remoteness make this one hell of a climb. Almost stepped on a Midget Faded rattlesnake on the descent. We came in via Potash and left via the park entrance steep switchback road. The park entrance/exit is quicker and more interesting if dry. 2hrs vs 2.5hrs via Potash. Dow

    Monster Tower
  • Kor Route- 7 Pitches- 5.10R/
  • North Ridge- 5 Pitches- 5.11/

  • Black Top Tower
  • Black Top- 4 Pitches- 5.9+, C2+/

  • Islet in the Sky
  • Regular Route- 6 Pitches- 5.9+, C3+/

  • Standing Rock
  • Original Route- 4 Pitches- 5.11c/

  • Shark’s Fin
  • Wiggins Route- 5 Pitches- 5.8, C4/

  • Staggering Rock
  • Sobriety Test- 5 Pitches- 5.11aR/

  • Meemohive
  • Meemohive- 4 Pitches- 5.9+, C2/

  • Bruce Smith Tower
  • Sack Dance- 5 Pitches- 5.11aR/

  • Mock Turtle
  • Mud Wrestling- 5 Pitches- 5.10+/
  • External Links

  • Tons of Moab Area Tower Climbs from Radek's and my first hand perspective as well as a few others
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Moab
  • Images

    Washer WomanMoses