Tonka Tower is a rather obscure 150’ tower
that we had set aside for a rest/bad weather day. It makes for a good objective to combine with the Penguins
, Owl Rock
, etc. Although you park at a busy tourist trailhead (Windows and Turret Arch trails), from the parking area, you immediately lose the crowd as you meander almost due west via little to no trails to a small collection of towers southwest of Turret Arch.
Tonka tower is the single middle tower
and the only established (2010) Tonka Tower route goes up the west side of the tower to the summit and raps off of the east side with double ropes
A large group headed by George Hurley
and Earl Wiggins descended on Tonka in 1988
to put in the only established route on its west face.
Drive over nine miles
from the park entrance and turn right on a paved road leading to the Window and Turret Arches
. Follow this road for over two miles to the trail head. From the parking area, you can head due west for Tonka which is clearly visible or follow the Turret Arch trail south first and then leave the trail via a wash on the right. Either way, you will be hiking off of any official trail and mostly follow washes and breaks in the vegetation as you make your way for the middle tower which is Tonka. The route starts on the back (west) side in an obvious chossy wide crack
Route Description(s)West Face- 2 Pitches- 5.8 A0/ Start in the obvious chimney up the left side of the west face. The crux free move on this route is fairly immediate up a bit of sketchy ground above a small ledge. A .5 C4 protects a small pocket as you commit to a reachy and sandy hand jam above it or a sandy jug feature up and right......
External LinksTons of Moab Area Tower Climbs from Radek's and my first hand perspective as well as a few othersMoabGreat Outdoors Depot