Elevation: 6,123 ft
GPS: 38.137, -109.668 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 58,071 total · 280/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on Apr 1, 2002
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
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Access Issue: Raptor Nesting Climbing Avoidance Areas Details
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


Compared to the view from the top of North Six Shooter, the top of Castleton Tower might as well be buried under Lake Powell. This is absolutely the most amazing summit I have ever tagged. The climbing ain't bad either.

North Six Shooter is the northwesterly of two spectacular towers (the other being South Six Shooter) that come into view on the left when Indian Creek Canyon opens up, past all the established cragging. It sits atop a massive talus cone and the east face offers one of the very best tower routes, the famous Lightning Bolt Cracks. A series of subsidary summits reach to the south. I don't know whether they have been climbed, but the southernmost summits in particular have some beautiful crack lines.

Lightning Bolt Cracks has cracks of every size with comparatively only a little offwidth. All the other routes follow crack systems that appear to have an inordinate amount of offwidth climbing. The first ascent was made in the early '60s by way of the chimney between the main tower and the next summit. It finished up a decrepit bolt ladder-these days, I'd sooner be bludgeoned to death.

To descend, rappel south from the summit into the aforementioned chimney/notch (check out the bolt ladder). Then, rappel from three somewhat dubious bolts down the *west* side of the formation to the ground.

Getting There

Drive west/north past Newspaper Rock and all the main buttresses to the Davis Canyon Road, around 14 miles beyond Newspaper Rock. The road turns 4WD pretty quickly. At one point you can follow a track to the right that bends around toward the base of the talus cone (the tower is west of the road, which curves back east after a couple miles). Our guidebook suggested approaching from the south. We attempted to do this and ended up following a line of cairns that led to horrifying 5.awkward soloing over the obvious white rim. Instead, aim for a break in the rim further north, then follow the rim until below the east face, where a passable trail takes you the final hump. Lightning Bolt Cracks and Liquid Sky are obvious above.

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Classic Climbing Routes at North Six Shooter Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Shadows Route
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Lightning Bolt Cracks
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Liquid Sky
Trad 3 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Shadows Route
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Lightning Bolt Cracks
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Liquid Sky
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad 3 pitches
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George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
If you only have a 2WD vehicle, you can try a different approach. Go past the Davis Gulch turnoff, continuing on the paved road a mile or so until there is a road left that heads up the drainage north of North Six Shooter (this drainage is marked "Corral Pocket" on the quad). A 2WD gravel road heads up this drainage, park soon and climb up to the NE ridge of the formation, and circle around to the south side to reach the trail going directly up to the SE face.

This is perhaps shorter distancewise than the normal approach. I did this probably 8 years ago, so the gravel road may be worse now or even gated off, but it's worth checking out. Apr 5, 2002
How's this for a memory? While schlepping up the original free/aid route (in the chimney left of Lightning Bolt)in 1980, I chanced to watch off-width technique perfection from the crack's perspective. Gazing through the 12" or so crack all the way to the other side of the rock, I saw the hands, feet, knees, etc. of a calm and collected soul about 50 feet out from a rattly tube chock. He made short work Pratt's Crack. We met the man after the descent: the late Mugs Stump.

Brian Hansen Dec 3, 2002
Awesome climb! Truly a classic. There's nothing better than pulling through the cave on pitch 3 to the overhang, perfect hand jam and hundreds of feet of pure air below you, dangling on a prow high above the desert with South Sixshooter behind you!! Then the squeeze chimney. Had to take our helmets off so our heads would fit; helmet somehow came unclipped from my harness, it fell out into The Void, the wind blew it back into the crack 15 feet below and it stuck like Velcro! WOW!! Go climb this! What an experience!

Gear if you want the beta: 1-small cam (purple TCU) or nuts, 1-#0.5 BD, 2-#1, 2-#2s, 3-#3s, 1-#4, 1-#5. A single 60-meter rope will get you down fine (no worries about a 'sketchy downclimb' mentioned in the guidebook); three sets of rappel anchors down the chimney to the south and east. Nov 28, 2006
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Why isn't Chuck Pratt's route listed? It's one of the few routes he ever wrote about. Perfect 5.10 off width. A great climb and I believe I've done five times simply because it's super cool. Aug 27, 2010
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
Ken Trout   Golden, CO


-Red box marks Creek Pasture climber's camp.
-Red dots mark 1.8 mile dirt road to parking.
-Look for unlocked gate from highway.
-Pencil marks steep hiking (1,000ft gain).
-Shortest way to all routes. Nov 21, 2013