GPS: 38.591, -109.95 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Brad Brandewie on Dec 21, 2008
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
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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


The Kachina Spires stand proudly over the upper reaches of Hell Roaring Canyon. Though relatively easy to approach, these towers feel remote and offer an unrefined climbing experience. They’re perched atop a soaring fin that juts into the canyon from it’s southern edge and are obvious from the parking area.

To get down to the bottom hike clockwise around the first small arm of the canyon, passing a fence and keeping on slickrock as much as possible. There is a way to get down without fixing a rope but it involves crawling along a ledge system. We didn’t see these ledges so we fixed a rope for a 30 foot section of cliff and used it to batman down and up.

Once you reach the canyon floor, it’s worth taking an extra 15 minutes to check out the Barrier Canyon Style pictographs left by the Native Americans of the area. They’re located in a large alcove across from the spires and slightly down canyon.

This area went untouched by climbers until 1999 when Paul Ross and Paul Gardner bagged the North Tower. The following year Smith Maddrey and Wells Cambell climbed the South Tower from the opposite side of the fin calling their route Beyond the 80th Meridian. Regardless of which route you climb, you are likely to be the only ones in the canyon.

Getting There

Use the Spring Canyon Bottom Road Approach as described on the main Hell Roaring Canyon page.

3 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Kachina Spires

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C0
Kachina Tower South
Trad, Aid 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1
Kachina Tower North
Trad, Aid 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Kachina Tower South
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C0 Trad, Aid 5 pitches
Kachina Tower North
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1 Trad, Aid 5 pitches
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Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
Correction on first ascents. The South Tower was first ascented by a route first up to the back ridge (via 5 pitches) then the final Tower section by Paul Ross and Paul Gardner (16th Oct 1999).The Route mentioned "Beyond the 80th Meridian" up the South tower came later as alternative pitches... and finished up the tower section of the Ross/Gardner route. The North Tower was first ascented by Paul and Andy Ross ( 1st May 2000) Mar 12, 2012
A. Roberts
Boulder, CO
A. Roberts   Boulder, CO
Here are a few tips for the easiest way to get up both towers, starting with the South tower route. Hike around the west side of the towers leaving your packs at a large boulder to the west of the notch between the towers, on your way to the slabs/drainage, up and to the right. For the 1st "pitch" getting up to the ridge, stay to the right and you are able to friction up a 30 foot slab without roping up, then head back to the left to find the 1st decent looking crack leading up. Rope up here for a 40' 5.6? crack. you can either head a bit right to find a tree, or get a single 3.5 camalot on top of the ledge. From here coil the rope and head left again, finding a final 20' section 5.5? to gain the ridge. Start hiking left (North) toward the towers. Once close to the tower you will need to drop down to the left (west) to follow a bench around to the short offwidth pitch. We ended up combining the offwidth pitch and the bolt ladder/summit pitch. when at the last bolt on this pitch you either need to do a committing mantle move (w rope drag) or place a yellow metolious just above in a horizontal. To get off the S Tower the anchor seems to be set up to rap back to the South. Rap down to the ledge above the offwidth section and drop down to the east.(other side from the start of the offwidth pitch) Pull the ropes and walk the shelf around to the North. Do a short rap to the anchors in the notch between the towers. Do the step across move and follow the 2 bolts up to the single bolt anchor. Walk around to the Northwest corner of the N tower and follow the bolts/gear/ and mandatory free climbing (the rock was surprisingly good)to the top. Reverse things to get back to the notch anchor. Do a double rope rappel down west, to the slabs below. Walk back to the South to get to easier ground, and to retrieve your packs. For gear take draws, runners, a single set of cams to a #4 camalot (we used the 3.5, 3 times), and a few nuts to make use of the hangerless bolts on the N Tower. This make for an easy, fun 2 tower day. Apr 30, 2014
Trevor Bowman
Flagstaff, AZ
Trevor Bowman   Flagstaff, AZ
The previous comment by A. Roberts is very useful as a succinct and efficient way to do both towers. Only wanted to add that there is now a 2nd bolt at the anchor atop the step-across/2 bolt face to the bench below the North Tower. This allows you to rap from here after bagging the North Tower and avoid going back to the notch proper. You can also rap from this newly fortified anchor in 2 rappels with a single 70m rope using the anchor atop the 1st pitch of Beyond the 80th Meridian. You will then have to traverse some slab to the south out of the hanging bowl to reach the talus slope leading back down to your packs.

Also, someone kindly left hangers on all the bolts on the North Tower, so stoppers for hangerless bolts are no longer needed. Apr 13, 2018