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.
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.
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.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Castleton Tower:
This is probably the easiest route on Castleton, and is a fantastic climb. To reach, hike up the talus as for the Kor-Ingalls, when you reach the base, walk around to the north end of the tower and traverse out on a ledge to the base of the chimney which is right on the left hand corner of the North Face. P1- Climb the double hand cracks in the corner. This pitch is intimidating, but there are many rests. The crux of the pitch is at the top where you climb over a short bulge, and then up to ...[more]Browse More Classics in UT
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.
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.
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.
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