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Independence Monument

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Geezer Highway T 
Independence Chimney T 
Otto's Route T 
Slavery T 
South Face Direct T 
Sundial Dihedral T 
Unknown handcrack T 

Independence Monument Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.09581, -108.72343 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 23,824
Administrators: Jesse Zacher, Jared LaVacque, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Monty, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001
Forecast:
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Here we have a series of photos depicting just how...

Description 

This is a great tower with many different types of routes on its soft sandstone. Most routes get to the awesome summit in 4-6 pitches and all routes require double ropes to rappel. This tower should definitely be on your tick list if you haven't done any climbs here, and if you've never done any desert climbing like the Fishers or Moab, you'll get a nice introduction to that type of climbing.

The rock is generally solid, but flakes and small holds sometimes break off and all the climbing is sandy, nearly negating the need for chalk.

Getting There 

Going South on 340 from Fruita, go past the entrance to Colorado Monument on the right a couple miles. As you pass over the crest of a hill with a housing division on the right look immediately for a right turn down what appears to be a driveway to the Monument Trail parking lot. This small lot leads about 2 miles (45 minutes to 1 hour+) to the base of the monument.

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.6 miles from here

7 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',2],['5.9',2],['5.10',2],['5.11',1],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Independence Monument

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Independence Monument:
Independence Chimney   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C1     Trad, Aid, 6 pitches   
Otto's Route   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Chipped, 5 pitches, 400'   
South Face Direct   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C3+     Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400'   
Unknown handcrack   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Sundial Dihedral   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c C1     Trad, Aid, 6 pitches, 400'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Independence Monument

Featured Route For Independence Monument
Rock Climbing Photo: Otto's Route pitches.

Otto's Route 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  CO : Grand Junction Area : ... : Independence Monument
This is a nice climb in four short pitches that finishes with the last exposed and dramatic prow to the summit. It's on the shady side of the monument, so warm days are preferable. The FA, Otto, drilled and chopped many holds in the soft sandstone to aid up this route with pipes in the holes, but now just the holes remain, which gives the route a moderate rating.P1: Start on the NW side near the East end at a right-angling ramp (5.4) past chopped steps to a large ledge with a crack to protect ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Independence Monument Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Wondering how my shadow ended up looking like Mrs....
Wondering how my shadow ended up looking like Mrs....
Rock Climbing Photo: A long way from the English Lake District.... Chri...
A long way from the English Lake District.... Chri...
Rock Climbing Photo: Just another butt shot.
Just another butt shot.
Rock Climbing Photo: While John Otto worked his way up Independence Mon...
While John Otto worked his way up Independence Mon...
Rock Climbing Photo: Evening light.
Evening light.
Rock Climbing Photo: Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Carl Pelletier and Kurt Johnson enjoying a moment ...
Carl Pelletier and Kurt Johnson enjoying a moment ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: "I think I dropped my keys!" Charles Ver...
"I think I dropped my keys!" Charles Ver...
Rock Climbing Photo: Full moon in the valley.
Full moon in the valley.
Rock Climbing Photo: Carl Pelletier getting a different perspective on ...
Carl Pelletier getting a different perspective on ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: A climber rappelling Otto's Route at the end of th...
A climber rappelling Otto's Route at the end of th...
Rock Climbing Photo:
BETA PHOTO
Rock Climbing Photo: A closer view of the south face.
BETA PHOTO: A closer view of the south face.
Rock Climbing Photo: A last look back after the climb.
A last look back after the climb.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Monument.
The Monument.
Rock Climbing Photo: Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rae walking into Independence Monument.
BETA PHOTO: Rae walking into Independence Monument.
Rock Climbing Photo: Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Independence Monument is right behind Eli Powell, ...
BETA PHOTO: Independence Monument is right behind Eli Powell, ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Indy from the hike in.
Indy from the hike in.
Rock Climbing Photo: Independence Monument
BETA PHOTO: Independence Monument
Rock Climbing Photo: Independence Monument.
BETA PHOTO: Independence Monument.

Show All 26 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Independence Monument Add Comment
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By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 15, 2003
It looks like there is no unchipped, free route on this tower. Otto's route goes free, but using some large gouged artificial holds. It would seem unlikely to me that Otto's top pitch it could be freed without these pockets.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 15, 2003
I'm just saying that surprisingly there appears to be no natural free route up this tower, at least nobody has discovered one yet. Bell Tower, Sentinel Spire, these all have free routes, but apparently not Independence Monument. No I am not saying that this justifies Otto chipping a free route up the thing, of course not. The search should now be on for a natural free route up the tower!
By phil broscovak
Nov 25, 2004
I am in total agreement with Brent on this one! Think of WHEN this was done an give the ole' boy the respect he deserves. Thankfully climbing evolves. Apparently, closed minded arrogance is eternal...
By Jon Cannon
May 24, 2005
Heading up to the Monument in a little over a week, and am stoked. Just one question: Is it possible to hike from the base of Sentinel Spire (with its convenient rap-in) to Independence Monument by way of, say, Wedding Canyon? Ideally, we'd like to have the opportunity (perhaps overly ambitious) to do Otto's Route and then Fast Draw. And if one were able to do this, how does one get back to the CG? Any and all beta would be much appreciated.
By Anonymous Coward
May 25, 2005
It would be easy to combine the two, either via x-country/trail travel, or by doing Independence and then driving up to rap in for Fast Draw.
By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 2, 2006
Jon: I just now saw your comment posted 8 months ago. In fact, it is very do-able to rap in as for Sentinel Spire, leave a fixed line, hike over to and climb Otto's, rap down, climb Fast Draw, then jug back out to get back to the campground.

I actually have a funny story about doing just that. I met my friend Robert out there a few years ago with that very plan in mind. We were both trying to travel light, so between us we just had 2 full-length ropes. We forgot that we'd need another rope to leave fixed to jumar back out! Well, luck was on our side. Robert was in-between Outward Bound courses, and driving a 15-passenger OB van with about 100 feet of retired, chopped up rope being used as tie-downs for gear on the roof rack. Well, we figured it was probably good enough to rap on, so we tied about half dozen pieces together and rapped down in. The main difficulty was in passing the knot multiple times! I don't think anybody at OB ever found out.
By Joe Forrester
From: Palo Alto
Mar 10, 2006
Does anyone have any info on the South Face or South Face II routes on the monument? I was trying to find a topo but was having a hard time locating one. Also, if anyone has done the South face clean I would be interested to hear how it went.

Thanks,

joe forrester
By Max Supertramp
May 7, 2013
You can get down with three raps with a 70m rope. Summit-->Time Tunnel; top of the 5.8 OW -->top of P1; P1-->ground.

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