Morning Glory Spire, 5.5-5.12b

Morning Glory Spire, 5.5-5.12b

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 42.08243°N / 113.72169°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 6400 ft / 1951 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Morning Glory Spire (aka Incisor) is one of the most aesthetic granite spires at City of Rocks.   Morning Glory Spire's walls rise to its sharp summit and offer one of the better collection of pure trad climbs close to the road. One of the more popular routes in all of City of Rocks is Skyline (5.8) which is located on Incisor’s north facing arête. Skyline follows hand cracks at first and then turns into jugs higher up whilst protecting in horizontal cracks.  Skyline is definitlly soft for the grade, over rated, over climbed and is often soloed.   A moderate trad route that climbs significantly better is the Incisor Chimney (5.8) which runs up the center of Morning Glory's west face. This pitch offers twin cracks at first, then some true chimney climbing broken up to enter yet another chimney that finishes with a fun and easy small roof pull.  A 70m rope will get you down from the routes on the west end. To the right of the chimney is Crack of Doom (5.11c) which might be the best climb in the entire park featuring an incredible splitter that supposedly was featured in a Powerbar advertisement for many years. Book of Dissent (aka Crack of Dung) (5.10a) is a sandbagged route full guessed it, bat guano. The route offers a stellar finger crack recessed into a flaring chimney and then opens up to a chimney climb requiring C4 #6 size to protect.  The namesake route, Morning Glory (5.10d), is an oustanding, mostly bolted, three pitch route at the north end of the east face.  It offers sustained 5.10 climbing through two fully bolted pitches and a shorter pitch requiring gear at its crux (5.10) off the deck (hanger removed off of a bolt that would protect the move as of 2020).


  • Skyline- 5.8****/ Thought this route to be a bit over rated....I thought the "Chimney" route was much more challenging and interesting.....worth doing both though. The obvious crux is a traverse (left) slab move with an undercling that you can see from below. Standard rack to 2”, double rope rap or single rope rap will get you down the Morning Glory route on the east side.  Secure climb for a soloist at this level.  Dow
  • Fall Line- 5.10b***/ This is one of my favorite sport routes in the City at this grade.  Great clean rock starts up the steep wall just left of Crack of Doom and the Incisor Chimney.  The guide warns you to watch out for the “awkward” clip at bolt 3, but it was not much of an awkward move.  Rather, kind of an off-balance ramp with positive features.  From there, nice long 100’ route on steep rock with more 5.10a or 5.9 holds than anything 5.10b.  Dow
  • Acceptable Risk- 5.10dR**/
  • Brown Flake- 5.10d***/
  • Strategic Defense- 5.11c****/
  • Incisor Chimney- 5.8*/ I enjoyed this route much more than Skyline myself, after leading them both back to back. "Chimney" has more sustained climbing and involves more thought. Twin cracks allow tons of gear, hand and finger jams. Eventually I switched to chimney technique as the lower chimney breaks up and it leads into an even deeper slot. Chimney up while protecting to the left, moving right at the end to pull the airy roof above with an easy hand jam. Full single rack, 70m rope. Dow
  • Power Tools- 5.12c***/
  • Crack of Doom- 5.11c****/ Not just at the grade, but close to if not the best route I have climbed at the City. The traverse in from the deck is interesting...some special footwork for me. The fingers went very nice with a foot behind me. The hands were so good and steep. Excellent route deserving of all the praise one can heap on it. Dow
  • Book of Dissent- 5.10a**/ One of the few sandbagged (Greg Lowe-'65) routes at the City which is a notoriously soft graded area.  A flaring chimney with a finger crack deep in opens up to a true chimney with easier climbing. Take a C4 #6 to protect the upper half as the finger crack closes down. Easier chimney like climbing up above, but run out. Its original name (Crack of Dung) is quite appropriate, plenty of bat guano and live pigeon nesting. Small pieces for the finger section you can see, then two C4#6’s if you really want to protect the chimney above or walk one piece that large. 70m rope. Dow
  • Siesta- 5.11b***/
  • Summit Scramble- 5.5***/


  • Morning Glory- 5.10d**/ Excellent three pitch route and deserving of more recommendation than the local guide gives it (2020).  The first two pitches are fully bolted.  The third pitch is a mix.  As of 2020, a bolt that protected an off-the-deck 5.10 move at the start of the 3rd pitch was missing a hanger.  A wire would be the best piece to protect the exposed move and a wire handle would work on the post of the bolt.  Without wires a  .1/.2 micro off-set cam kind of fits!  The first pitch, 5.10b, offers up sustained slab and face climbing with interesting and fun moves at the grade.  The 2nd pitch is a sustained 5.10 pitch with two interesting and fun cruxes at the grade of the route. The 3rd pitch, as before mentioned, is missing a hanger off the first bolt.  A small to medium off-set wire protects an exposed move (5.10b) off the deck. Make a few exposed layback physical moves to large handles the rest of the way to a fixed rap above.  Three single rope raps.  Gear to #.75  Dow
  • Reach for the Sky- 5.10b**/
  • Veal Cage- 5.12b**/