Elevation: 5,164 ft
GPS: 38.697, -109.549 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 38,186 total · 180/month
Shared By: Tradkelly on Nov 29, 2001 with improvements by Mark P Thomas
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures 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


Owl rock is a one pitch 100' roadside spire that offers one of the easiest summit spires in the desert. Not that it's easy, but it's one of the easy ones. Hint. The rock looks like mud but really feels solid as you go up, and takes gear and slings well. It's the most popular route in Arches (for obvious reasons), and worth a climb if you're starting out in the desert. There is a scenic parking area 200' from the start of the climb to park in.

Getting There

Go 9.3 miles from the Arches visitor center (entry fee $10 for a week) and turn right (E) on the Windows turnoff. Drive 1.1 miles and turn left into the Garden of Eden parking area. Owl is the spire ESE of the parking area. Approach on established trails and avoid cryptobiotic soils in the area. Gain the base of the route from the west ramp, not up the steps on the north side of the ramp (crumbly sandy with groundfall potential around 20').

1 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Owl Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
West Crack
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
West Crack
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
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Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Large hexes work better than cams as the crack flares open in the back. Feb 15, 2002
One of the better 5.8 routes I've done. Aside from the gapping tourist less than 100ft away. The climbing is sustained throughout the entire route, with the crux up high. I found the pro to be solid, but bring long slings for rope drag. May 17, 2002
As I remember, actually summitting this tower required that one downclimb to the chains, as there is no summit rap anchor. Aug 16, 2004
A cool little spire! Sep 12, 2006
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
On February 15 we beefed up the newer anchor on Owl Rock, adding a 1/2 SS bolt to the in-place angle and large ring bolt (probably placed by local guides). This was equalized with brown-(camo)-heavy-gauge chain, and the chain one might use for tying up a dog was removed.

Over the years, the older anchor that once existed on the summit had created rope grooves. The newer anchor, which was in place prior to
us beefing it up, is in an improved anchor position and should mitigate those grooves and thus help preserve climbing access.

An angle-piton exists between the summit and the anchor to protect leaders in the 8 feet of 5.3 to the summit. You have to also down-lead this portion. This angle can be clipped and unclipped from the same ledge you clip the anchor from. Feb 19, 2007
Scott Heisler
SLC, Utah
Scott Heisler   SLC, Utah
Great pro', fun climbing... Wait until dusk to climb it if the place is packed. As with any climbing area, don't TR or bring up the second through the new rap-rings! Mar 24, 2007
Bill Olszewski
Colorado Springs, CO
Bill Olszewski   Colorado Springs, CO
Great climb! My first desert tower lead. Awkward balance and movement but really not very hard. Jul 16, 2011
Ben Hobgood
Conifer, CO
Ben Hobgood   Conifer, CO
I found this to be very fun with a great stemming move with great exposure and very solid gear placements. A lot of onlookers taking pics but it is off the trail enough that no one is standing around bothering you. Jun 21, 2017
Truckee, California
Jskierpx   Truckee, California
Adding to what Sam Lightner stated above, there now appears to be 2 angle pitons in the top 15 feet to lead (and down lead) back to the rap anchors safely. Nov 1, 2017
I left a cam purple cam with either red or yellow tape on the route. If anyone finds it, I'd really appreciate it if you could get it back to me. I'll pay for shipping and something for your troubles. Thanks so much.
(505) 306-9899 Apr 9, 2018
Brian Cook
Midway, UT
Brian Cook   Midway, UT
I second the large hex recommendation. They felt BOMBER for someone just learning to use jams on lead.
You can get away without them (and most of the jams for that matter) but some of the flaring cam placements are less than warm and fuzzy. Nov 5, 2018