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Areas in Island In The Sky

Aphrodite 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Bird's View Butte / Crow's Head Spires 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 9
Block Top Tower 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Candlestick Tower 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Captain Carbuncle 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Captain Collywobble 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Charlie Horse Needle 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Chip Tower 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Evan's Overlook 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Hardscrabble Tower 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 2
Islet In The Sky 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Meemohive, The 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Monster Tower 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Moses 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Pixie Stick, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Saddle Tower Buttress 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Staggering Rock 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Standing Rock 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Trad Wall AKA Green River Buttress 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Washer Woman 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Zeus 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 2
Elevation: 6,203 ft
GPS: 38.305, -109.866 Google Map · Climbing Map
Shared By: Bryson Slothower on Apr 3, 2002
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
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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!!!
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

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.

42 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
Marlboro Cig
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a C2+
Block Top
Trad, Aid 4 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Kor Route
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Smokin' Deal
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
A3B
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
In Search Of Suds
Trad 6 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Benson and Ledges
Trad
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Dunn Route
Trad 5 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
North Ridge
Trad 5 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route
Trad 3 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
Sisyphus
Trad 3 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
The Regular Route
Trad 4 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Primrose Dihedrals
Trad 7 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Super Ninja Chipmunk
Trad
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Pale Fire
Trad 4 pitches
Marlboro Cig Trad Wall AKA Green River Buttress 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Block Top Block Top Tower 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a C2+ Trad, Aid 4 pitches
Kor Route Monster Tower 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R Trad
Smokin' Deal Trad Wall AKA Green River Buttress 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
A3B Trad Wall AKA Green River Buttress 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
In Search Of Suds Washer Woman 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 6 pitches
Benson and Ledges Trad Wall AKA Green River Buttress 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Dunn Route Moses 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 5 pitches
North Ridge Monster Tower 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 5 pitches
Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route Charlie Horse Needle 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 3 pitches
Sisyphus Zeus 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R Trad 3 pitches
The Regular Route Standing Rock 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad 4 pitches
Primrose Dihedrals Moses 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad 7 pitches
Super Ninja Chipmunk Trad Wall AKA Green River Buttress 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
Pale Fire Moses 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad 4 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Island In The Sky »

Weather Averages

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
A day use permit IS required for the White Rim road with a limit of 50 vehicles per day. There are usually rangers somewhere on the road and they WILL ask to see your permit and possibly enforce the 15 MPH speed limit. Luckily, the permit is easily available online but can only be obtained 24 hours in advance.
nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/… Oct 26, 2015
You do NOT need a permit to either climb or drive the road. You ONLY need a permit to spend the night, and that must be done in one of the estabvlished camping areas. Mar 24, 2013
Does anyone know if you need to get a permit to climb any of the towers on the white rim? Or just to drive down the road? Mar 24, 2013
Alexander Nees
Grand Junction, CO
Alexander Nees   Grand Junction, CO
Depends on what part of the White Rim you are trying to get to. In general the road is in good shape... it's been a dry fall. Clearance is way more important than 4wd if the road is dry; a 2wd truck is a better choice than a Subaru or the like. 2wd truck will probably get you down Shaffer and as far as Chip and Dale, Airport, and Washer Woman/Monster Towers, or down the Mineral Bottom Road to Moses and Taylor Canyon. If you're trying to get to Monument Basin, I wouldn't go without a 4wd truck. Oct 28, 2012
Mike Rowley
Boise, Idaho
Mike Rowley   Boise, Idaho
Does anyone know if this road is passable in a 2WD vehicle? Any road condition reports would be super helpful. Thanks. Oct 28, 2012
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
I drove a 1978 Dodge Aspen wagon on the Shaffer Trail many times. In the early eighties. We got the wagon into Taylor Canyon at least twice. It's all in the technique. Sep 25, 2009
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
What kind of Vehicle can make it down there? Apr 13, 2007
Washer Woman Arch is fantastic! LD and I did the first recorded tandem head stands on Monster Tower, a piece of stone that hadn't been climbed for 1 yr prior to our ascent. Top grade hand cracks, stout finger cracks, capped by a series of 5.12 face moves that had us trad boys pulling A1 onto the summit block....Come to think of it....the rock is crap, the climb is crap, and the view sucks. I discourage all suitors! Feb 17, 2004

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