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Areas in Castle Valley

Castleton Tower 14 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 15
Convent, The 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 9
Nuns, The 5 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Parriot Mesa 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 8
Priest, The 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Rectory, The 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Sister Superior Group 6 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 7
Elevation: 4,056 ft
GPS: 38.684, -109.423 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 316,015 total, 1,667/month
Shared By: Ben F on May 12, 2002
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

Description

Castle Valley is the place to go for your baptism into desert towers. This area is one of the birthplaces of tower climbing. Maybe you've heard of the Kor-Ingalls Route, listed on the 50 North American Classic climbs? Other climbs that should be done before you become too old and fat to climb are Honeymoon Chimney, Jah Man, and Fine Jade.

Overall, the rock is as good as desert sandstone (Wingate) gets, but beware of the slippery white calcite coatings found on much of the rock here. Most routes start at honest 5.9.
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

These directions are from Moab. Basically, the turn-off for Castle Valley is about 20 miles NE of Moab off SH 128 (River Road). Look for the sign for Castle Valley. To do anything on the Priest, Rectory, or Castleton Tower, take the Castle Valley turn-off (see here for a photo)

Go about 4.7 miles on the Castle Valley road, and then turn left on a noticeable dirt road. Go until you can't anymore.

For Sister Superior, go about another mile up 128 (i.e., not taking the Castle Valley turn-off) and look for a dirt road (obviously on the right since the left will send you towards the Colorado River). See here for a photo of the turnout, which may also be seen from above here.

Hey, just look for stuff and figure out how to get there. Its not like there are tons of trees blocking your view. In both cases be prepared to walk. Look for climbers trails as much as possible to avoid trampling any cryptobiotic soil.

56 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Castle Valley

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A1
Longbow Chimney
Trad, Aid 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
North Chimney
Trad 4 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Kor-Ingalls Route
Trad 4 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Black Sun
Trad 4 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Jah Man
Trad 5 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Honeymoon Chimney
Trad 4 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Fine Jade
Trad 5 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Ministry
Trad 5 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
North Face
Trad 3 pitches
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Crack Wars
Trad 4 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
North Face Original Pitch 1
Trad
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Holier Than Thou
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Coyote Calling
Trad 4 pitches
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Sacred Ground
Trad 4 pitches
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Excommunication
Trad, Sport 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Longbow Chimney Parriot Mesa 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A1 Trad, Aid 2 pitches
North Chimney Castleton Tower 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Kor-Ingalls Route Castleton Tower 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 4 pitches
Black Sun Castleton Tower 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Jah Man Sister Superior Group 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 5 pitches
Honeymoon Chimney Priest 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 4 pitches
Fine Jade Rectory 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 5 pitches
Ministry Rectory 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 5 pitches
North Face Castleton Tower 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 3 pitches
Crack Wars Rectory 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad 4 pitches
North Face Original Pitch 1 Castleton Tower 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Holier Than Thou Nuns 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Coyote Calling Rectory 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad 4 pitches
Sacred Ground Castleton Tower 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad 4 pitches
Excommunication Priest 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Trad, Sport 5 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Castle Valley »

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Photos

Shire-mon
Moab, UT / Boone, NC
Shire-mon   Moab, UT / Boone, NC
Hi,

Today my partner fell at the top of pitch one of The North Chimney on Castleton Tower and hurt himself bad enough to lower him immediately and begin a rescue. After 2-3 hours of self rescuing we decided to call Search and Rescue to get more hands helping him down. They sent a helicopter, so that happened! ANYWAY,,,, I still have about 10 or so cams up on the first pitch. I intend on going back up to retrieve them ASAP, but weather and time dependent, it could take me until Friday to head back up. So PLEASE, if you get there before me, help me get my gear back. I left it there to perform an epic rescue! My friend is ok with only an injured ankle, which could have been soooo much worse after taking that monster whip! I live in Moab.

Brett Sherman
919-244-8744
shermanbd8744@gmail.com Feb 18, 2016
Jason Antin
Golden, CO
Jason Antin   Golden, CO
Some cool footage of Castleton Tower & The Rectory!

vimeo.com/151771519 Jan 22, 2016
fossana
leeds, ut
fossana   leeds, ut
Newish pit toilet in the campground below Castleton. Many thanks to Friends of Indian Creek. Please show your support with a donation. Mar 12, 2012
Petsfed
Laramie, WY
Petsfed   Laramie, WY
I drove down from Laramie years ago and got to the parking lot around 10pm. If its warm enough (you'll know if it is), its worthwhile to toss the sleeping bag in your pack and hike up to the base. The trail isn't difficult to find, and depending on the condition of the final 1/4 mile, it might make the trail's exposure easier to deal with. We made it to the base just after midnight, so we still got a solid 5-6 hours sleep before starting up the next day. There were some rock structures present to help block the wind as well, and since you're packing two ropes anyway, you can just lay out the tarp and sleep on them, old school mountaineer style. Plus, the ridge to the west blocks all the light from Moab, so you get a sky so dark that I could actually see color in the Milky Way.

Also, if you elect to do Kor-Ingalls, fight your Vedauwoo instincts. Climbed as a regular offwidth, it ain't 5.9. Mar 7, 2010
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
For the apres-climb time, there is a terrific little winery with wine tasting just downstream along the River Road. Castle Creek Winery at Mile 14, Hwy 128 in the Red Cliffs Lodge. Reasonable prices. Chardonnay & the Merlot are particularly enjoyable. Apr 26, 2006
Just wondering, i am from the east coast and plan on climbing Castleton Tower on my spring break; are there any updated guides or topos that might cover access with respect to the current issues with Castle Valley? If not where is the Castle Valley climber's campground located? ThanksDerek Oct 14, 2003
E.T.  
From personal expierance castle valley is nearly unclimbable in the summer. Also it is well worth your time to find and stay on the trail. Bushwaching it is very hard and dangerous. Finally if you are bold/dumb enought to attempt it in the summer plan 1.5 gallons/person per day. Sep 10, 2003
As some of the may know, the access lands and camping areas around Castleton Tower are currently threatened by development. In order to prevent this from happening, the Castle Rock Collaboration ( castlerockcollaboration.org) was formed with the goal of finding a 100% conservation solution for this land. They have entered into an agreement to purchase the land around Castleton Tower, but now they need your help to raise the funds for this purchase. Any contributions you can make, however large or small, will be greatly appreciated. For more information, please visit their web site at: castlerockcollaboration.org Feb 8, 2003
could you elaborate, please? What is the private property/access situation exactly, and how long has it been in effect? I didn't notice any no trespassing signs last time I was there, and the sign at the trailhead was still up (in November). Is there a trail from the parking area you suggest? How about better directions? Has there been anything about this in the mags? Jan 7, 2002
Access to Castleton is restricted by private property now. You need to look for a rough road to the west of the old turn-out and the approach is much longer. If we continue to use the old appraoch we run the risk of pissing off the locals and loosing all access. Jan 2, 2002

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