Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 39.12780°N / 108.7578°W
Additional Information Elevation: 4880 ft / 1487 m
Sign the Climber's Log


The Cowboy Hat is located in the Devils Canyon/Kodels Canyon Towers right south of Fruita, Colorado, and next to Colorado National Monument. I plan on adding a group page of Devils Canyon/Kodels Canyon Towers with more towers to the page (yes the other towers are bigger), as I climb them. Right now this page is sort of a light hearted joke, though the climb is serious enough.

The Cowboy Hat is an interesting climbing problem, and I add it for your climbing enjoyment and brain power. This climb can take a long time to figure out.

Here are some comments from

Al Al: Go buy some beer boys, because this is the route to get drunk for. This formation is very much like the Mexican Hat. The resemblance is the only similarity. Actually, this route is more technical than the Mexican Hat. If you can figure out how to climb this thing, you'll know how to get off. Let me make this more simple. Not your average gumby with the latest issue of Rock and Ice can look in the aid climbing pages and figure this route out. This short thing is more advanced than Prodical Sun in Zion. So grab a Pabst and climb the d--- thing! Tda

Not From Boulder Bob: I brought the beer folks, and had a blast (from what I can remember). Yes sir-ee this route rewarded me with stuff I haven't done before. There is danger to this route. If you don't know what you're doing, you could take a "backer" onto the slickrock below. I didn't bring summit rocks up with me, but I plan on doing it again. I'm going to search for monster rocks to leave. Lets built a collosal cairn on top. This thing is more fun than the Cobra in the Fisher Towers, and more harder than the Lost Arrow Spire in Yosemite (with the exception of the shoe-lace slung pin). Long Live the Cowboy Hat.-

The climb first ascent was done in February 2003. I won’t give away all the details of the ascent, but you will find many clues on this page. This could could take a long time to figure out.

Now I just have to get off...Now I just have to get off this thing.

Clean Climbing Ethics (Bolt Ladders Suck)

Most of the towers in this area are very pristine. Bolts are not needed to for this climb, and more would detract from the setting of this little tower. Please do not leave anything behind on this climb. If you can't figure out how to climb the tower without installing a bolt ladder, then please, either learn some skills, go somewhere else, or stick to the gym.

Three year old Kessler is...Even Kessler doesn't use a bolt ladder.

Getting There

From the I-70 exit at Fruita (Exit 19), drive south for 1.5 miles to the Kings View Estates and turn right at the sign for McGinnis Canyons Wilderness. Turn right and follow the road for 1.5 miles, before turning left and following the signed road to the trailhead.

Returning to the trailhead...Returning to the trailhead after a successful climb of the Cowboy Hat Tower.

Routes Overview

I'm going to tell you how to get to the base of the rock, but I will not give the details of the route up the rock. You will have to work out the problems of the ascent (which are many). Gotta use your thinkin' cap and this aint no climb for sissies. See the route page for details.

Summit block of Cowboy Hat...Summit block of Cowboy Hat Tower. Overhung on all sides.

Red Tape

No permits are required. No bikes or horses are allowed on the approach trail. No house cats are allowed on the summit. Children under five do not make good rappel anchors.

When To Climb

Spring or Fall. Winters are usually sunny, but can be surprisingly cold (nearby Fruita has recorded temps as low as -36F/-38C in winter). Summers are hot with temps 100F (38C) or much higher.

Kent prepares to climb to the...Kent prepares to climb to the summit on a sunny December day.


There is a campground at Colorado River State Park near the trailhead. There is also a privately owned RV/campground across the street from the state park.

Tower Conditions


Weather and climate data for Fruita is below. *National Weather Service Data 1949-2004.


Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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stroker - Dec 29, 2005 7:39 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Please add to the Cairn! I thought it would be a great idea to add one or two rocks to the top. I glad to see people send the Cowboy Hat! May the generic bolt ladders dissappear!!! -tda ps. I wasn't drunk on the first ascent. Have a few beers does not mean one is drunk! I wish I hadn't added the lip bolts, the thing would be harder. In fact on the first ascent, the rope didn't have a bolt hanger to catch on.

stroker - Dec 29, 2005 7:43 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Thank you Scott Patterson for not spilling the beans on the way of ascent. Please, nobody, write the ascent means on any website or book. Thank you, TDA

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



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