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Owl Rock

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West Crack T 

Owl Rock Rock Climbing 


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Location: 38.69699, -109.54944 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 12,808
Administrators: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Tradkelly on Nov 29, 2001
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A view from the top of Owl Rock after a cold winte...

  • Raptor Closure 2016: Three Penguins 2016 Raptor Closure: All climbing routes on the Three Penguins are temporarily closed due to presence of raptors displaying breeding behavior. Check status and details at: nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/roc... -Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions in Arches National Park
  • RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    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 7.9 miles from here

    1 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
    ['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',1],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['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 Owl Rock

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

    Featured Route For Owl Rock
    Rock Climbing Photo: Evening sun on Entrada Sandstone. Owl Rock, Arches...

    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
    Rock Climbing Photo: Me putting in a piece before the crux.
    Me putting in a piece before the crux.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Green line shows line
    BETA PHOTO: Green line shows line
    Rock Climbing Photo: top out on the owl
    top out on the owl
    Rock Climbing Photo: Yet another picture of Owl Rock.  Photo; Todd Gord...
    Yet another picture of Owl Rock. Photo; Todd Gord...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Robyn beating the heat on an early morning ascent ...
    Robyn beating the heat on an early morning ascent ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Expect many spectators on this climb.
    Expect many spectators on this climb.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Owl Rock in the setting sun.  Climber on West Crac...
    Owl Rock in the setting sun. Climber on West Crac...
    Rock Climbing Photo: there's your beta, b!tches.  Owl Rock, west crack....
    BETA PHOTO: there's your beta, b!tches. Owl Rock, west crack....
    Rock Climbing Photo: Owl Rock
    Owl Rock
    Rock Climbing Photo: owl rock
    owl rock
    Rock Climbing Photo: owl rock
    owl rock
    Rock Climbing Photo: Faving Fun on Owl Rock
    Faving Fun on Owl Rock
    Rock Climbing Photo: Panoramic view from the top of "Owl Rock"...
    Panoramic view from the top of "Owl Rock"...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Owl Rock
    Owl Rock
    Rock Climbing Photo: Owl Rock from the SW (the left pillar)
    BETA PHOTO: Owl Rock from the SW (the left pillar)

    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.

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