REI Community
Devil's Castle

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Black Streak T 
Bush Bullshit S 
Des Teufel's Bollwerk T 
Dick Cheese Ball Cheney S 
Evil Eye T 
Friday the 13th T 
Gothic Miller S 
Gothic Pillar T 
Hellevator Shaft T 
Horns Of Satan T 
Political Prisioner S 
Poon Limp or Eat Crust T 
Portable Darkness T 
Shadow of the Blade T 

Devil's Castle Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 10,000'
Location: 40.56562, -111.61357 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 26,781
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: James Garrett on Jun 18, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Devil's Castle North Face Routes

  • Please respect this beautiful area. Stay on established trails and do not trample any vegetation
  • Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    The North Face of Devil's Castle is within the Alta Ski Area boundary and within a 20-30 minute approach hike from the Albion Basin Campground. Spring to late summer snow forms a bergschrund type barrier to the beginning of the routes which adds to the alpine flavor. Take more clothes and weather protection than you think....even if valley temperatures are really hot! Prone to late afternoon thundershowers. Wear a helmet for all climbing here. The rock is limestone and considered chossy by some people, so if you are a sport climber never accustomed to touching possible loose rock...go elsewhere. This is great climbing in a beautiful setting and rarely crowded. If other parties are on the wall, walk off instead of doing the rappels of BLACK STREAK, which can be rappelled with one 70m rope.

    Getting There 

    Drive as far up Little Cottonwood Canyon as possible. Continue on the dirt road (when open) up to the Albion Basin Campground. Ice axes and big boots may be helpful for early season approaches that should not require more than 30 minutes. A fine trail leads out of campsite #13 which passes some private homes. If making reservations for camping, this campsite gives you awesome views and the closest approach to the Castle. Respect these properties and stay on the trail and avoid passing through too close to the homes. Above trail and tree line, the approach is obvious.

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 2.6 miles from here

    14 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',1]

    Classic Climbing Routes in Devil's Castle

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Devil's Castle:
    Portable Darkness   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600'   
    Black Streak   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 800'   
    Horns Of Satan   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 750'   
    Shadow of the Blade   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 750'   
    Evil Eye   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 700'   
    Gothic Miller   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, Alpine, 2 pitches, 220'   
    Gothic Pillar   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 750'   
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Devil's Castle

    Featured Route For Devil's Castle
    Rock Climbing Photo: POON limp drawn in red.  Portable darkness and oth...

    Poon Limp or Eat Crust 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  Utah : Wasatch Range : ... : Devil's Castle
    Three pitches of mostly bolted climbing with a couple cams interspersed in. Good Devils castle climbing up rock that seems steeper than it appears. All belays are at great ledges. Follow the line of bolts and place cams where there aren't any bolts. Rap the route with one 60 meter rope via 3 raps. This is a great route to climb before doing portable darkness if you want more pitches. Pitch one: Climb straight up past bolts to a crack below "the ear." Place cams till you climb in...[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

    Photos of Devil's Castle Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: devil's castle
    devil's castle
    Rock Climbing Photo: Alta heli woking away before winter.
    Alta heli woking away before winter.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking over the Castle
    Looking over the Castle
    Rock Climbing Photo: View From top of Devils Castle
    View From top of Devils Castle
    Rock Climbing Photo: Approach View from the trail
    Approach View from the trail
    Rock Climbing Photo: me and my bro Nico on the summit
    me and my bro Nico on the summit
    Rock Climbing Photo: View of Devils Castle from the road going up
    View of Devils Castle from the road going up
    Rock Climbing Photo: Devil's Castle from the trail.
    Devil's Castle from the trail.

    Comments on Devil's Castle Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 6, 2017
    By Tristan Higbee
    From: Ogden, UT
    Aug 3, 2010
    Here's a bit more approach beta: From the parking lot, walk through the campground on the main road. You'll pass a small gate on your right and a minute later you'll see a larger gate on the right. The main road goes left here over a bridge thing, but you want to go right through the gate on that road. This will take you through some houses. After the houses, the road will veer left and you'll see a great singletrack trail going straight. Go straight on this trail. After 15 minutes or so you'll pass by a cool looking cliff on your left and you'll be directly under the face. A broad, shallow, rocky, talus-filled gully leads to the base of the face from here. Follow the gully to the base of the routes. It takes me 45 minutes at a not-in-a-hurry pace.
    By Christian "crisco" Burrell
    From: PG, Utah
    Aug 4, 2010
    Spoke with some guys who had just finished the raps off Black Streak. They reported that it was easy and not a problem. Problem is, you are rapping down the most popular route on the wall.
    A good idea would be for more of the routes to get equipped with chains for raps so as to avoid traffic jams and lose rocks falling on those below.
    Maybe think next time about bringing up one set of chains to donate to a belay for the benefit of everyone else.
    By Ben Folsom
    Aug 4, 2010
    Or consider walking off which is quick and easy.
    Rappelling and pulling the rope = increased chance of knocking loose rocks down on yourself or people below.
    By Boissal
    From: Small Lake, UT
    Aug 4, 2010
    Agreed. This ain't the Thumb, the 'convenience first' attitude will kill someone on the Castle. When I did Horns a few years ago I was belaying tucked in the mini alcove on top of P3 when I heard a loud thud and was showered with dirt. When I followed the next pitch I found a head-sized block embedded in the dirt 10' directly above the belay. Failed to mention to my partner that one of us came within feet of the Pearly Gates.
    Spontaneous choss fall happens all the time on the castle. Pulling a rope through the death ledge will result in someone dying. The walk off sucks. A broken ankle sucks more. Brain splatter sucks most.

    Consider donating chain to restrain ravenous bolters instead...
    By bsmoot
    Aug 5, 2010
    I don't think the walk off sucks. You have a good trail down to Cecret lake, It goes fast and it's quite scenic too.

    Edit addition: When climbing any route on the Castle, make sure you stick to climbing on the underlying bedrock. Try to avoid pulling on blocks, flakes or fractured rock. Always test holds that look suspect. On the lower angled rock and ledges use your feet as much as possible. Be careful not to drag or angle the rope over much loose stuff. Don't rush it.
    By Boissal
    From: Small Lake, UT
    Aug 5, 2010
    Brian, do you rack up at the car? I've always dragged a pack up there and had to walk back down to the base of the lines. That walk-off sucks big times unless you're with Shaft and he's throwing a fit and threatening to call Ono every time he finds the remains of a bamboo stick...
    By Shaft
    From: Salt Lake City
    Aug 5, 2010
    I have kinda come to terms with the prevalence of the invasive species of alpine bamboo.

    Need an impromptu axe to negotiate the slippery snowfield? Look for a sturdy specimen. Need walking sticks to recon the next killer line? Locate the longest mysteriously splintered 'boo sticks and stability reigns.

    Plus chicks dig dudes that have rockfall scars AND haul out trash.
    By Brian in SLC
    From: Sandy, Utah
    Aug 5, 2010
    Reasonable to get back to the pack if you take the trail down before you get to the hike up to Pinchaloaf, uhh, Sugarloaf. Cut down the gully and then head to to the base. Keep the radar on, as, any wind and/or goats could nail you with a loose rock.

    Not that bad.
    By bsmoot
    Aug 6, 2010
    When I'm up there, the climber going second carries a small pack. This is one of those times when it's better to be on the sharp end!
    By notmyname
    From: Sandy, UT
    Aug 4, 2013
    Unless I got hit by a severe storm, I can't imagine a single reason not to walk off. After climbing any one of the routes the first thing throug my mind is there's now way I'm pulling a rope through that. It's one of the easiest walk-off I've ever done and spits you right back to your packs below the routes, or if just doing one, straight down to the car. How would you know somone isn't on Black Streak if rapping? I'd be pissed if I was climbing black streak and someone was rapping above me.
    By matt steward
    Aug 18, 2013
    I'm with notmyname and others in recommending that you don't rap the Castle from the top. Unless there is an emergency the walk off is the way to go. The approach is only 30 minutes so what do you have to leave at the base? Your shoes? I don't really like to tell other people how they should do a climb/descent but rapping from the top across all that low angle loose choss??? Not a very good idea.
    By steve edwards
    From: SLC, UT
    Jan 20, 2014
    I had to rap this wall once. Would never, ever, do it again and would rather take my chances with lightning, which is something I try and avoid at all costs. Even Black Streak is a crap shoot. If there are others on a route don't climb it. I wouldn't want to be on this wall if there were other people on any route if it meant that at some point they were walking off above me. Big stuff comes down this cliff everyday, even when you've got it to yourself.
    By Creed A
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Jul 3, 2016
    It's worth noting that the Albion Basin road isn't always open. We climbed DC a few days ago and the road was closed. We hiked the Albion Meadows trails from Sunnyside, and then followed Tristen's beta from the campground. For us, the approach took about 1.25 - 1.5 hours. The Alta employees said the road probably won't open until 7/10/2016.
    By Jake Davis
    Jul 5, 2017
    How do the grades here compare to other local spots, i.e. Hellgate?
    By Boissal
    From: Small Lake, UT
    Jul 6, 2017
    Grades are somewhere in between the spot on ratings of old Hellgate (Towers area) & the soft grades of new Hellgate (Melting Mud).
    Seems like most of the routes have gotten easier as they're cleaning up and everything is settling around 10+/10d with the exception of the first couple pitches of Gothic Pillar which may push into 11a terrain. The lower wall is steep and exposed though and makes for a rough warm-up.

    Mountain Project

    The Definitive Climbing Resource

    MTB Project

    Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

    Powder Project

    Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
    FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About