Cottontail Tower

Page Type
Utah, United States, North America
Grand County
Trad Climbing, Aid Climbing, Big Wall
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
6000 ft / 1829 m
2395 Hits
87.55% Score
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Cottontail Tower
Created On: Oct 28, 2013
Last Edited On: Mar 3, 2018

The Titan, Echo Tower, and Cottontail Tower

Three Big Ones

Photo by rpc         


Cottontail Tower is the monolith that lies in the heart of the Fisher Towers of eastern Utah. Centrally located amongst the group of other similarly impressive towers, Cottontail has rich climbing history. It was first climbed way back in 1969 by a party of six: Harvey T. Carter, Art Howells, Don Doucette, Mike Dudely, Morgan Gadd, and Herbie Hendricks. The group produced the route West Side Story, which to this day remains the most "moderate" route to the summit. Another decade would pass before the tower saw a second ascent, the impressive FA of Brer Rabbit on the west ridge of the formation, made by Ed Webster, solo. In the late 1980s, Jim Beyer put up the extreme aid line Intifada, which was originally rated A6. As if these feats weren't impressive enough, Cottontail Tower was free climbed for the first time in 2009 by Rob Pizem and Jason Haas, via West Side Story at 5.12+. 

Ledge with a view

Cottontail, seen from the top of pitch 7 on the route Fantasia, on The Oracle. Photo by Brian C.

The Tower
Cottontail Tower rises about 850 feet above the trail that snakes its way through the Fishers. A unique summit rockcap, remniscient of a rabbit's tail, sits as the highest point atop the massive fin that makes up the tower. Given its proximity to the trail, the routes on Cottontail Tower all share the easiest approaches in the Fishers. But that is about where the "easy" ends. All routes to the summit of Cottontail Tower require difficult aid and free climbing. Most routes are concentrated on the tower's west face, whereas the blank east face is only home Beyer's nebulous routes Intifada and Free Gaza.Out of the 6 or so routes on Cottontail Tower, the only ones that "regularly" get done are West Side Story and Brer Rabbit. 

The Routes. Keep in mind these are Fisher ratings...all change frequently and are up to personal interpretation. What the hell is A4 in mud anyway?

Road Kill - 5.9 A4 West Face

Not So Soft - VI 5.8 A3+ West Face

West Side Story - VI 5.9 C3 West Face

Trick of the Tail - IV 5.10+ A3+ West Face

Brer Rabbit - 5.10+ A2+ West Ridge

Intifada - A4+? East Face

Free Gaza - A4?  East Face

Line In The Sand A4? South Face

Fisher Towers

                                                                                              Photo by strudolyubov

Where in the World is this Place?

Refer to the excellent directions to the Fisher Towers on the area page's Getting There section. From the parking lot, follow the winding trail for about 1 to 1.5 miles. You'll see it. 

Red Tape

The Fisher Towers are located on BLM land and do not require any permits for climbing. 

When to Climb

You can climb Cottontail Tower any time of year, depending on your ability to withstand extreme heat and/or extreme cold. 

Unnamed Image

                                                                                              Photo by Brian C


There is a campground at the trailhead, with a fee of somewhere around $16. There are fire rings, tables, and a vault toilet, but no water. Be sure you are fully stocked with water, as the nearest treated water is in Moab. 

External Links

  • entry for Cottontail Tower.
  • Also check out Desert Rock III: Moab to Colorado National Monument, written by Eric Bjornstad.