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Monitor and Merrimac Buttes

Utah > Southeast Utah > Tusher Canyon
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

Description

These are two impressive formations that can't be missed as you drive about 3 miles southwest into Tusher Canyon. They are a softer sandstone; easy on your hands, but can crumble with pressure. Most climbs are hard trad mixed with aid. Be prepared to leave webbing since any you find is most likely years old. This area is not climbed in much, and the isolation is a big part of the fun. Any climb on these rocks takes big balls since the softness of the rock makes even good looking gear placements questionable.

Getting There

The directions for the Tusher Canyon area will get you in view of these formation. After that, you can continue to try following the directions or, as I did, just follow any 4x4 road heading towards them. A little trial and error is just as quick as stopping at every crossing or Y to reread the directions. If you are in a jeep, and you should be, it's fun just getting there anyway. Just don't be a jerk by taking shortcuts off the existing roads. Allow yourself a full day to get in, do a climb or two and get out.

Routes from Left to Right

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

One of the large potholes atop Monitor Butte.
[Hide Photo] One of the large potholes atop Monitor Butte.
One of the many huge potholes atop Monitor Butte.
[Hide Photo] One of the many huge potholes atop Monitor Butte.
Looking at the Monitor from the base of the Merrimac
[Hide Photo] Looking at the Monitor from the base of the Merrimac
The summit of Monitor Butte.
[Hide Photo] The summit of Monitor Butte.
Merrimac Butte as seen from the 4x4 "road".
[Hide Photo] Merrimac Butte as seen from the 4x4 "road".
Monitor Butte from between the two.
[Hide Photo] Monitor Butte from between the two.
A giant pothole on the summit of Monitor Butte... Aeolian and Echo can be seen in the distance across Courthouse Pasture.
[Hide Photo] A giant pothole on the summit of Monitor Butte... Aeolian and Echo can be seen in the distance across Courthouse Pasture.
Monitor and Merrimac
[Hide Photo] Monitor and Merrimac
Taken 3/13/02 two or three miles east of the Buttes.
[Hide Photo] Taken 3/13/02 two or three miles east of the Buttes.