These Towers are composed of Wingate Sandstone and offer some fantastic crack climbing. In general, the free routes here are 5.10 or harder.
From a parking area just beyond the Taylor Canyon campsite, follow an obvious cairned trail up the talus cone to the base of the tower. Moses is the largest and most obvious tower.
You can almost walk entirely around the Moses/Thracian Mare formations, except for a major cliff on the east end of the formation. Keep this in mind when approaching various routes.
Moses and accompanying towers are located in Taylor Canyon, which is accessible from the western end of the White Rim Trail. The road up Taylor Canyon wasn't always so good, and the first climbers in this area approached by driving an obscure 4WD road off the Mineral Bottom road to get near the north rim of Taylor Canyon, where they would do several raps into the canyon. It was quite a long day rapping down, climbing Moses, and then jumaring back out. Fortunately more modern climbers can drive quite close to Moses even without a SUV.
Drive on highway 313 into the Island In the Sky. Just before the 10 mile mark, turn right at a major junction towards "Mineral Bottom" (this is just before the Gemini Bridges trailhead). After 13.2 miles of washboard, the road suddenly dives steeply down 2000 feet to the Green River. Do not drive down this hill if significant rain or snow is forecast, you will never get back up until things dry out.
At the bottom of the hill, turn left and continue west and south along the banks of the Green River, and 2.5 miles after the National Park boundary sign, turn left up Taylor Canyon. Drive about 5 sandy miles up Taylor Canyon to the campsite. Reserve this campsite well in advance as it is generally full during high season.
The road up Taylor Canyon can be rough depending on the last flash flood, but is generally passable by 2WD cars with modest clearance or short enough wheelbase. Be sure to carry a shovel in case you need to level out the road.
Somewhere I read that if you free the first pitch, you've done Pale Fire, and if you don't free it, you've done the North Face. Whatever.The first pitch is the business. While the technically hardest moves are below the splitter (.12b/c), the splitter rattly fingers crack is stout and sustained. It's .11d, but it ain't no Indian Creek .11d (meaning, if you struggle on .11d at the Creek, then you'll get your ass whooped on this section). Mostly #1 Friends, .5 and .75 camalots. I wouldn...[more]Browse More Classics in UT
Can anyone tell me what other possibilities exist for camping near Moses, other than the Taylor Canyon site? Is it permitted and feasible to camp on what I assume is BLM land outside of the park boundary? Also, about how long does it take in a good, high clearance, 4WD vehicle from where you leave the paved road and turn on the mineral bottom road?
Charles, I believe you can camp (crash) along the Green River on BLM land before entering the National Park, although I have not tried this. Expect it to take somewhere over an hour to drive from the paved road turnoff all the way into Moses, although I suppose if you are a gonzo washboard driver you could do it in less.
It was still chopped as of April 2003 and is unlikely to have been re-installed, as it would require dealing with the Canyonlands N.P. bureaucracy. You might want to call them for the latest info on the status of the bolts.
As of april 2011, in regards to the drive in, a 2WD vehicle can easily make it down to the canyonlands park boundary via the mineral bottom switchbacks, but no farther. The road from the park entrance to the parking lot up Taylor Canyon(about 8 miles) is quite bad, very sandy and lots of steep ravines and rocky sections to negociate. We never used our 4WD but high clearance was mandatory. The road conditions change daily with windblown sand. Plan on 1 hour from the highway to the parking lot in a high clearance vehicle. Fee free camping can be found near the boat ramp at the bottom of the switchbacks on BLM land, while park permits cost $30 to camp at labyrinth or the 1 site up Taylor, or $125 if you get caught camping without one.