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Routes in Castleton Tower

Arrowhead, The T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Bjornstad Traverse ( The Girdle of Castleton Tower), The T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b C1
Black Sun T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Burning Inside T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Discrete Start to Black Sun T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Hollowpoint T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Ivory Tower, The T 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Kor-Ingalls Route T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
No Other Options V1 5
North Chimney T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
North Face T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
North Face Original Pitch 1 T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Sacred Ground T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Stardust Cowboy T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
West Face T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Elevation: 6,356 ft
GPS: 38.651, -109.368 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 169,319 total · 882/month
Shared By: Andrew Gram on May 12, 2002 with updates
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq


Castleton Tower is probably the most famous desert tower in the world, and was the first major tower climbed in the Moab area. The Kor-Ingalls route is one of the 50 Classic Climbs of North America, and Castleton also has one other 5.9 route of the same caliber. Harder classic routes both aid and free exist on its fantastic Wingate sandstone with its unique calcite crust.

Castleton is most climber's first desert tower, and it is common for lines to form on the Kor-Ingalls during the spring and fall. All the free routes are trad, and you should be solid at the grade - this is not a good place to break into 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
Registration required for camping starting 01 Oct 2010. Details

Getting There

You will find the campground on Castle Valley road about 1/4 to a 1/2 mile after the cattle guard in the road on the left. From the campground/parking lot hike up the wash following the cairns until you get to a dirt road. Cross this road at a cairn and a signpost with an arrow pointing along the trail.

The approach takes an hour if you are in shape, but it is strenuous.

Camping/Utah Open Lands

Utah Open Lands owns the land at the base of Castleton Tower where the historical primitive camping area exists. This land has been protected for its wildlife, ecological, and scenic value in addition to its recreational value.

Use of this camping area has increased dramatically in recent years. Historically, no fee was required for camping or day-use of this area. This area has been maintained as a fee-free area in the face of increased use and the conversion of the surrounding areas to no-camping or fee-only camping.

Utah Open Lands has no intention at this time of charging a fee. Due to high levels of use, however, certain requirements have become advisable. You can find these requirements on the Utah Open Lands website (

Please be advised that the appropriate donation for a wag-bag is $2.00. In addition, please note that donations cover all costs for maintaining the area. Donations of all sizes are appreciated.

Beginning October 1, 2010, campers will be required to register to camp on the Property. There will be no cost for registering at this time. You will be able to register at the Utah Open Lands website. Past experience has shown that almost all campers use the area respectfully and appropriately. Help us maintain this tradition by taking personal responsibility for the care of this protected area.

Thank you. Please contact Utah Open Lands with any questions or comments.

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Dear Bruce...i hope u hav already been advised to donate the original register to a Climbing Museum perhaps...and it wuld b nice to actually see it as we climbed it in 1975 and we were under 100 of the ascent parties and i took the liberty to include Pete Townsend's name since he sang that song i can see for miles and miles and miles....i hav often wanted to take another glance at that register as we were amatures and a lot of big boy names were in there b4 us...and i cannot imagine how much water could have actually gotten inside the canister but suppose freakier things have happened....respectfully, Peter Townsend, Kyle Schucker and Tom Rafferty(me). Feb 12, 2018
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
After turning off 128, the camping and approach trail are 4.6 miles down the road on your left. Nov 19, 2017
Hi Larry,

Just so you know, 27 years ago in May I summited Castleton only to find that someone had (inadvertly I'm sure) left the lid off the box containing the register. The original register was floating in an inch of water. The thing was pulp. I removed the register took it home and carefully dryed it out. I carefully transcribed all that I could into a new book and returned it to the summit. Understand please. I have climbed Castleton well over 100 times and have complete respect for the area and it's history. If you or anybody else reading this can advise me on what to do with what is left of the original book I'm all ears. Don't need it and can assure that it's not on my coffee table.

Cheers, The asshole Bruce.
PS. We have never met have we? Feb 18, 2017
Just to let everyone know, Bruce Lella lifted the original Castleton Tower summit register many years ago. It's probably sitting on his coffee table now. If anyone knows this asshole, please hold his nose to the grindstone and make him put it back. Jan 5, 2017
360° Summit View

If you're on the fence about Castleton (or Moab in general), let this summit view sink in for a minute.

Spring 2016 marked our frist trip to the desert and we were unsure of what to expect. The beauty is almost overwhelming for first-timers. And just when we thought the views couldn't get better, we stood on top of Castleton Tower. Hope this entices some to make the journey for the first time and brightens the day of those who have seen it. Keep exploring! Jul 12, 2016
I found a red camera with a lot of canyoneering and rafting pictures while camping here. PM if it is yours. May 25, 2016
Late November 2015: Anyone rapping from to of Castleton, be sure to use the correct rap anchor. The recent high-line between Castleton and Rectory utilized new bolts near the edge of the summit. These are new, massive, about 3/4-inch diameter, not really equipped for rope retrieval, and a rappel from them will leave you stranded (yes, there was a rescue last night due to someone making this mistake). The correct anchor down the north face, has 1/2-inch bolts, hangers and lots of chains. Nov 23, 2015
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Rap of N Face with a single 80M is good. I just did it Raps are 38M (A 70M WILL NOT REACH), 31M, and then 35M. Oct 14, 2014
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
The lower-rappel anchor on the Kor INgalls is now chain and half inch bolts. Two rappels with double 60's get you down. Oct 16, 2007
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
On the 26th of September Kimmyyyyyy Jacobs and I completed the cleanup and backup of the North Face anchors. We dragged a bunch of chain up and the big 1/2 inch steel snippers. We removed the old chain and equalized the stuff I dragged up there last spring. ON that previous job the drill broke down so I wasn't able to add the stainless bolts. All anchors now have at least 1 stainless halfie with the chain. The old chain was probably good for a few more years (though it was rusted together), but the way it was wset up, to one single cold shut worth only 900 pounds when brand new, was unnaceptable. Those things are made of soft metal and are never tested... the 900 pounds is an average. IN any event, it is now set up with big rings and rated to way over what we can generate. It should last a while.

You will notice there is about 5 feet of chain linking the long halfie to the orginail bolts. This is because I had to go 5 feet back from the rim to find a non-hollow spot in the cap rock. Its not pretty, but it makes it easy to get over the lip and is a much more stout rap anchor.

We also brought the top anchor on the Kor Ingals up to speed with chain. We ran out of time and were not able to do the lower rap... that will have to wait. Sep 28, 2007

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