Elevation: 6,203 ft
GPS: 38.305, -109.866 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 221,608 total · 996/month
Shared By: Bryson Slothower on Apr 3, 2002
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
Access Issue: RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details

Description

Located in the northern sector of Canyonlands National Park, this is one of the most breath-taking places on Earth. Island in the Sky offers adventure climbing in its purest sense on some of the most impressive towers anywhere in the desert. Add a long and involved drive on rough roads, strenous approaches, scary rappels, and sometimes rotten, hair-raising rock and you have an area that will humble even the crustiest of desert rats.

Climbing began in this otherwordly place in the early 60's with names like Layton Kor and Huntley Ingalls. Other noteworthy ascents were also made in the 60's by Larry Dalke and the Horn brothers. The 70's brought Fred Beckey, Eric Bjornstad, Jim Dunn, Ed Webster, Steve Hong, and many more. The 80's saw epic free ascents by Charlie Fowler, Chip Chace, Ken Sims, Webster, Dreiman, Olevsky and others. Standards of difficult and dangerous free climbing continue to be pushed in the area and many new lines await those with the ability and courage to try them.

The best times to go to Island in the Sky are Spring and Fall. Beware of snow and ice on the road in the Spring - it's a big drop in places! It is cold in the winter and very hot in the Summer, duh. Plan on early starts for everything here and don't underestimate any route. The drive out is long and can be difficult to follow in the dark.

Climbing in the Island is dangerous, so if you can not accept this fact do not go there. Loose rock abounds and every route will have some suspect stone on it. Wear a helmet if you enjoy the use of your brain. Plan on replacing worn webbing on rappels, don't skimp, it's your ass out there. Moab is the closest hospital.

This is a fragile environment and is a national park for everyone's enjoyment, so please leave no trace. Look for existing trails and stay in rocky washes whenever possible. National park rules apply here, so don't bring your dog and don't leave any new fixed gear unless it is an emergency. Clean aid only, no hammers!!!

Getting There

Arrive at Island in the Sky via the White Rim Jeep Trail (do not try this in a low-clearance car). Head northwest out of Moab on 191, and turn left onto 313 after 9 miles. Drive 22 miles to the junction with the Shafer Trail and the ranger station. Follow the Shafer trail and descend for 4 miles to the White Rim trail. Continue for another 13 miles passing the Airport Towers to Buck Canyon and Monster Tower. Continue on for another 18 miles to reach Monument Basin. Allow at least 3 hours to reach Monument Basin from the ranger station. Buy a map but beware that Monster Tower, Washer Woman, and Sandcastle are incorrectly located on the map. A guide book is a good idea.

49 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Island In The Sky

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 11
Marlboro Cig
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a C2+
 3
Block Top
Trad, Aid 4 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 11
Smokin' Deal
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 3
River Pirates
Trad 3 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 171
In Search Of Suds
Trad 6 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 4
Zippy
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 32
Dunn Route
Trad 5 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 49
North Ridge
Trad 5 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 15
Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route
Trad 3 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
 20
Sisyphus
Trad 3 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 71
The Regular Route
Trad 4 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 3
Think Ya Should
Trad 3 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 137
Primrose Dihedrals
Trad 7 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 4
Super Ninja Chipmunk
Trad
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 24
Pale Fire
Trad 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Marlboro Cig Trad Wall AKA Green R…
 11
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Block Top Block Top Tower
 3
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a C2+ Trad, Aid 4 pitches
Smokin' Deal Trad Wall AKA Green R…
 11
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
River Pirates Horsethief Tower
 3
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 3 pitches
In Search Of Suds Washer Woman
 171
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 6 pitches
Zippy Trad Wall AKA Green R…
 4
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Dunn Route Moses
 32
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 5 pitches
North Ridge Monster Tower
 49
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 5 pitches
Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route Charlie Horse Needle
 15
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 3 pitches
Sisyphus Zeus
 20
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R Trad 3 pitches
The Regular Route Standing Rock
 71
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad 4 pitches
Think Ya Should Bird's View But… > Rim Routes
 3
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad 3 pitches
Primrose Dihedrals Moses
 137
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad 7 pitches
Super Ninja Chipmunk Trad Wall AKA Green R…
 4
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
Pale Fire Moses
 24
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad 4 pitches
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