Login with Facebook
Owl Rock

Select Route:
West Crack T 

Owl Rock  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Page Views: 22,777
Administrators: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Tradkelly on Nov 29, 2001
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue
82° | 47°
81° | 51°
74° | 41°
62° | 36°
65° | 40°
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [2 people like this page.]
Know the location? Show us! We need it for cool new features!
A view from the top of Owl Rock after a cold winte...

Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions in Arches National Park MORE INFO >>>


Owl rock is a one pitch 100' roadside spire that offers one of the easiest summit spires in the desert. Not that it's easy, but it's one of the easy ones. Hint. The rock looks like mud but really feels solid as you go up, and takes gear and slings well. It's the most popular route in Arches (for obvious reasons), and worth a climb if you're starting out in the desert. There is a scenic parking area 200' from the start of the climb to park in.

Getting There 

Go 9.3 miles from the Arches visitor center (entry fee $10 for a week) and turn right (E) on the Windows turnoff. Drive 1.1 miles and turn left into the Garden of Eden parking area. Owl is the spire ESE of the parking area. Approach on established trails and avoid cryptobiotic soils in the area. Gain the base of the route from the west ramp, not up the steps on the north side of the ramp (crumbly sandy with groundfall potential around 20').

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.1 miles from here

1 Total Routes

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

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Owl Rock:
West Crack   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   
Browse More Classics in Owl Rock

Featured Route For Owl Rock
Evening sun on Entrada Sandstone. Owl Rock, Arches National Park.

West Crack 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  UT : Moab Area : ... : Owl Rock
The Standard Route, climb up the west ramp to the base of the obvious crack system. Climb the crack using horns, jugs, knobs, some jams and stems, and at least one awkward left-stepping face move to a ledge with 3 bolts 10' below the summit. The majority of the route goes at pretty decent 8, but be prepared for some slightly harder moves - the sandstone has eroded a bit and the climb is getting harder. Belay from here - there's plenty of room for several people on the ledge. Scrambl...[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

Photos of Owl Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Me putting in a piece before the crux.
Me putting in a piece before the crux.
Green line shows line
BETA PHOTO: Green line shows line
top out on the owl
top out on the owl
Owl Rock from the SW (the left pillar)
BETA PHOTO: Owl Rock from the SW (the left pillar)
Owl Rock in the setting sun.  Climber on West Crack just below rap anchors.
Owl Rock in the setting sun. Climber on West Crac...
Yet another picture of Owl Rock.  Photo; Todd Gordon Collection.
Yet another picture of Owl Rock. Photo; Todd Gord...
Expect many spectators on this climb.
Expect many spectators on this climb.
Owl Rock
Owl Rock
Robyn beating the heat on an early morning ascent of Owl Rock in Arches National Park - Utah
Robyn beating the heat on an early morning ascent ...
Owl Rock
Owl Rock
there's your beta, b!tches.  Owl Rock, west crack...you can see it from the parking lot...just in case you have no compass.
BETA PHOTO: there's your beta, b!tches. Owl Rock, west crack....
owl rock
owl rock
Faving Fun on Owl Rock
Faving Fun on Owl Rock
Panoramic view from the top of "Owl Rock". <br />Photo by: Matt Johnson
Panoramic view from the top of "Owl Rock"...

Comments on Owl Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
By Anonymous Coward
Feb 15, 2002
Large hexes work better than cams as the crack flares open in the back.
By Anonymous Coward
May 17, 2002
One of the better 5.8 routes I've done. Aside from the gapping tourist less than 100ft away. The climbing is sustained throughout the entire route, with the crux up high. I found the pro to be solid, but bring long slings for rope drag.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 16, 2004
As I remember, actually summitting this tower required that one downclimb to the chains, as there is no summit rap anchor.
By Blitzo
Sep 12, 2006
A cool little spire!
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Feb 19, 2007
On February 15 we beefed up the newer anchor on Owl Rock, adding a 1/2 SS bolt to the in-place angle and large ring bolt (probably placed by local guides). This was equalized with brown-(camo)-heavy-gauge chain, and the chain one might use for tying up a dog was removed.

Over the years, the older anchor that once existed on the summit had created rope grooves. The newer anchor, which was in place prior to
us beefing it up, is in an improved anchor position and should mitigate those grooves and thus help preserve climbing access.

An angle-piton exists between the summit and the anchor to protect leaders in the 8 feet of 5.3 to the summit. You have to also down-lead this portion. This angle can be clipped and unclipped from the same ledge you clip the anchor from.
By Scott Heisler
From: SLC, Utah
Mar 24, 2007
Great pro', fun climbing... Wait until dusk to climb it if the place is packed. As with any climbing area, don't TR or bring up the second through the new rap-rings!
By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 16, 2011
Great climb! My first desert tower lead. Awkward balance and movement but really not very hard.