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Castleton Tower

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Arrowhead, The T 
Bjornstad Traverse ( The Girdle of Castleton Tower), The T 
Black Sun T 
Burning Inside T 
Discrete Start to Black Sun T 
Hollowpoint T 
Kor-Ingalls Route T 
North Chimney T 
North Face T 
North Face Original Pitch 1 T 
Sacred Ground T 
Stardust Cowboy T 
West Face T 

Castleton Tower  

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Location: 38.651, -109.3678 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 501,027
Administrators: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on May 12, 2002
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Registration required for camping starting 01 Oct 2010. MORE INFO >>>


Castleton Tower is probably the most famous desert tower in the world, and was the first major tower climbed in the Moab area. The Kor-Ingalls route is one of the 50 Classic Climbs of North America, and Castleton also has one other 5.9 route of the same caliber. Harder classic routes both aid and free exist on its fantastic Wingate sandstone with its unique calcite crust.

Castleton is most climber's first desert tower, and it is common for lines to form on the Kor-Ingalls during the spring and fall. All the free routes are trad, and you should be solid at the grade - this is not a good place to break into 5.9.

Getting There 

Drive as far up the dirt road as you dare, and start hiking. The road winds around the base of Castleton. Look for a cairn on the right made from white rocks and do not be tempted to leave the road too early. There is an excellent trail to the base of a small cliff band, at which point it turns towards the Rectory and the Priest. Scramble easily through the cliffs(if you are scared there is a better way) and hike up steep scree to the base.

The approach takes an hour if you are in shape, but it is strenuous.

Camping/Utah Open Lands 

Utah Open Lands owns the land at the base of Castleton Tower where the historical primitive camping area exists. This land has been protected for its wildlife, ecological, and scenic value in addition to its recreational value.

Use of this camping area has increased dramatically in recent years. Historically, no fee was required for camping or day-use of this area. This area has been maintained as a fee-free area in the face of increased use and the conversion of the surrounding areas to no-camping or fee-only camping.

Utah Open Lands has no intention at this time of charging a fee. Due to high levels of use, however, certain requirements have become advisable. You can find these requirements on the Utah Open Lands website (www.utahopenlands.org).

Please be advised that the appropriate donation for a wag-bag is $2.00. In addition, please note that donations cover all costs for maintaining the area. Donations of all sizes are appreciated.

Beginning October 1, 2010, campers will be required to register to camp on the Property. There will be no cost for registering at this time. You will be able to register at the Utah Open Lands website. Past experience has shown that almost all campers use the area respectfully and appropriately. Help us maintain this tradition by taking personal responsibility for the care of this protected area.

Thank you. Please contact Utah Open Lands with any questions or comments.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.7 miles from here

13 Total Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Castleton Tower:
North Chimney   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches   
Kor-Ingalls Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Grade III   
Black Sun   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 350'   
West Face   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 4 pitches, 350'   
North Face   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, Grade III   
North Face Original Pitch 1   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   
Sacred Ground   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad   
Browse More Classics in Castleton Tower

Featured Route For Castleton Tower
Rich Schroeder on the 3rd pitch of the North Face route on Castleton.

North Face 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  UT : Moab Area : ... : Castleton Tower
I've done this route a couple of times, the last time on New years eve just before the millenium. To reach, hike up to the base of Castleton and traverse left until you are directly below the North Face.P1- Climb a perfect wide hands crack in a right facing dihedral to a thin lieback on white calcite up higher. Then climb up ledges to the belay ledge. (5.11b)P2- Climb a very nice handcrack past a short wide section to nice ledge and the belay anchors. (5.10)P3- Climb up nice wider cracks to ...[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

Photos of Castleton Tower Slideshow Add Photo
A storm rolled through the valley. The weather in the desert can change quickly, be aware!
A storm rolled through the valley. The weather in ...
Castleton at Night (w/ headlamp streaks accidently visible)
Castleton at Night (w/ headlamp streaks accidently...
Castleton (and realtives) from Onion Creek rd.
Castleton (and realtives) from Onion Creek rd.
Josh keeping his feet warm.  This might explain some of his strong sends.
Josh keeping his feet warm. This might explain so...
Castleton as seen from Sister Superior
Castleton as seen from Sister Superior
castleton tower in the lower left.
castleton tower in the lower left.
Kimmmmyyyy J. and I had to snip the old chain out cus it just wasn't right... 1/2 inch bolts  worth 10,000 pounds down to a $1.29 coldshut rated to 900 pds when brand new (years ago). The only way to upgrade the system to at least two rings worth a lot more than that was to remove the old and start over again. Hopefully the new stuff will last a very long time.
Kimmmmyyyy J. and I had to snip the old chain out ...
Fog / Snow in March
Fog / Snow in March
CASTLETON TOWER SKETCH <br />SOUTHEAST FACE ROUTES: <br />A.  Kor-Ingalls, 5.9 <br />B.  Discrete Start for Black Sun, 5.9r <br />C.  Black Sun, 5.10 <br />D.  Burning Inside, 5.10 <br />E.  Arrowhead Left, 5.9 <br />F.  Stardust Cowboy, 5.11- <br />G.  Hollow-point, 5.11+ <br />H.  Little White Lieback, 5.11- <br />
Fun things you can do on the top off Castleton... FOUR!!!! <br />(notice the dog bone on the club used to haul this up the route. soo worth it, best drive EVER!)
Fun things you can do on the top off Castleton... ...
Castleton with a halo
Castleton with a halo
Castleton Tower Shine on
Castleton Tower Shine on
Castleton Tower from the North. Photo by Tony Bubb, 2003.
BETA PHOTO: Castleton Tower from the North. Photo by Tony Bubb...
Duke and CT descending past Castleton.
Duke and CT descending past Castleton.
Castleton thanksgiving stars <br /> <br />Photo By: Brian Cooper
Castleton thanksgiving stars Photo By: Brian Coop...
Castleton and Friends
BETA PHOTO: Castleton and Friends
The North Face of Castleton Tower
BETA PHOTO: The North Face of Castleton Tower
castleton campground
castleton campground
Castleton Summit, 10/13/06. Rectory & Priest in background.
Castleton Summit, 10/13/06. Rectory & Priest in ba...
Really windy conditions at the base of Castleton, David P. messing around.
Really windy conditions at the base of Castleton, ...
parting shot
parting shot
Mini Castleton Tower juxtoposed with the real thing.
Mini Castleton Tower juxtoposed with the real thin...
looking across Castle Valley to the La Sal mountains
looking across Castle Valley to the La Sal mountai...

Show All 63 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Castleton Tower Add Comment
Show which comments
By Charles Konopa
Mar 16, 2005
Climbed the North Chimney the day after the Moab Half-Marathon. Along with 3 groups from Kor-Ingalls we used 4 60 meter ropes to set two double rope raps down the north face. The second rap left us 6 feet off the ground; untying on a pillar and then downclimbing to the ledge. After the third person came off rappel and was nearly finished downclimbing, the 6 foot high pillar fell over. No one was squashed and we caught the downclimber. We set up a trad anchor to assist the other 5 rappelers in unclipping and downclimbing. Two 70 meter ropes would be enough for the last rappel; and recommended since the easier pillar is now laying on the ledge. Or just do three raps.
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Sep 28, 2007
On the 26th of September Kimmyyyyyy Jacobs and I completed the cleanup and backup of the North Face anchors. We dragged a bunch of chain up and the big 1/2 inch steel snippers. We removed the old chain and equalized the stuff I dragged up there last spring. ON that previous job the drill broke down so I wasn't able to add the stainless bolts. All anchors now have at least 1 stainless halfie with the chain. The old chain was probably good for a few more years (though it was rusted together), but the way it was wset up, to one single cold shut worth only 900 pounds when brand new, was unnaceptable. Those things are made of soft metal and are never tested... the 900 pounds is an average. IN any event, it is now set up with big rings and rated to way over what we can generate. It should last a while.

You will notice there is about 5 feet of chain linking the long halfie to the orginail bolts. This is because I had to go 5 feet back from the rim to find a non-hollow spot in the cap rock. Its not pretty, but it makes it easy to get over the lip and is a much more stout rap anchor.

We also brought the top anchor on the Kor Ingals up to speed with chain. We ran out of time and were not able to do the lower rap... that will have to wait.
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Oct 16, 2007
The lower-rappel anchor on the Kor INgalls is now chain and half inch bolts. Two rappels with double 60's get you down.
By David Shiembob
From: slc, ut
Sep 26, 2008
We climbed the N Chimney on Sept 25. The trail is mostly still in, but the last 1/5 or so is completely destroyed, making the last bit hard going. I had read on here somewhere it was possible to rap the N face with one 70m rope, so that is what we tried, but found that our rope came up about 8 feet short on the first rappel. The other two rappels reached fine.
By Chad Wagner
Oct 11, 2011
There are some updates that need to take place on this page, so I will highlight them in this comment.
The Approach: You will find the campground on Castle Valley road about 1/4 to a 1/2 mile after the cattle guard in the road on the left. From the campground/parking lot hike up the wash following the cairns until you get to a dirt roa
By bryant
Oct 25, 2012
Around the 2:00 mark of this video it shows some footage from Kor-Ingalls route, and some other Moab fun! - takeslack.com/thanks-moab/
By Brennan Crellin
From: Draper, UT
Mar 16, 2014
Summit Log could use a new small notebook (all existing are full). Whoever ascends next after reading this should take one up to leave in the ammo can. I'll take one up but it may not be until fall.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Oct 14, 2014
Rap of N Face with a single 80M is good. I just did it Raps are 38M (A 70M WILL NOT REACH), 31M, and then 35M.