REI Community
Fisher Towers

Select Area...
Ancient Art 
Carson's Tower 
Cobra, The 
Cottontail Tower 
Dock Rock 
Dragon's Tail, The 
Dunce Rock 
Echo Tower 
Great Googly Moogly 
Lizard Rock 
Netherworld, The 
Oracle, The 
Projects, The 
River Tower 
Rocky Top 
Titan, The 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

An outstanding section of the Dead Horse Point network. Near Moab, Utah
Short ups and downs on good quality trail. Near Moab, Utah
A great new addition to the Klondike trail system with good flow and a fun descent. Near Moab, Utah
Dead Horse Point Tour
Stunning scenery and great singletrack. One of the very best beginner/intermediate trails in Moab. Near Moab, Utah
Klondike Bluff 4x4
A classic beginner ride with slickrock and views of Arches National Park. Near Moab, Utah
Monitor Merrimac
A great beginner/intermediate introduction to Moab slickrock. Near Moab, Utah
From MP's sister site:

Fisher Towers Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 38.724, -109.3083 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 222,852
Administrators: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on May 12, 2002
This Afternoon

74° | 49°

74° | 52°

85° | 60°

80° | 55°

79° | 53°

77° | 52°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [2 people like this page.]
Fisher Towers base perspective

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 MORE INFO >>>


The Fisher Towers is one of the most difficult places in the desert to climb, but also one of the most spectacular. The towers are huge soaring fins of mud up to 1000 feet high. Nearly all the routes on the major towers are at least Grade IVs, and there is more than one Grade VI here.

The Fishers have a lot of history. Shortly after making the first ascent of Castleton, Layton Kor came here to climb the largest tower, the Titan. The extremely difficult ascent of the Finger of Fate route was the subject of a National Geographic article, and is one of the 50 Classic Climbs of North America. After Kor climbed the Titan, Harvey Carter dominated the scene by making first ascents of every other major tower and most of the smaller ones.

The Cutler sandstone is actually very hard, but doesn't fracture into continuous crack systems like most other sandstone. The rock is also covered with a thick layer of mud, which makes the climbing dirty, loose, difficult, and sometimes very dangerous. The caprock for the towers is Moenkopi.

Stolen Chimney on the corkscrew summit of Ancient Art is by far the most popular route here, and at 5.9 A1 the only real moderate route. The Colorado NE Ridge of the Kingfisher, Phantom Spirit on Echo Tower, and the Finger of Fate route on the Titan are all fairly popular and increasingly difficult. Some of the hardest routes in the desert are here, many put up solo by Jim Beyer. Stevie Haston has freed Echo Tower as a long scary 5.12 and nearly freed the Titan.

Getting There 

From Moab, drive north on the River Road(SH 128) past Castle Valley to the Fisher Towers turnoff sign(about 27 miles). Drive to the parking lot at the end of the road.

All routes are accessed via the Titan Trail, which is quite good and well marked, though it can be hard to follow in the dark.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.3 miles from here

47 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',13],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',17],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Fisher Towers

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Fisher Towers:
North Face (a.k.a. Wyrick-Merrill)   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c C1 R     Trad, Aid, 4 pitches, 400'   River Tower
Original Route   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Carson's Tower
Rasta Wall   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b A3-4     Aid, 5 pitches, 440'   River Tower
Entry Fee   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Lizard Rock
The Flow   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C1     Trad, Aid, 4 pitches, 400'   River Tower
Colorado Northeast Ridge   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2     Aid, Grade IV   Kingfisher
Finger of Fate   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A2     Aid, Grade V   The Titan
Beaking In Tongues   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A4     Aid, 7 pitches, 700'   The Oracle
Phantom Sprint   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C2     Aid, 5 pitches, 500'   Echo Tower
West Side Story   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C3     Aid, 10 pitches, 850'   Cottontail Tower
Sundevil Chimney   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A3     Aid, Grade VI   The Titan
World's End   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A4 X     Aid, Grade VI   The Titan
Leapin' Lizards   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Lizard Rock
Fantasia   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a C2+ R     Trad, Aid, 8 pitches   The Oracle
Stolen Chimney   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad   Ancient Art
Death Of American Democracy   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A4 X     Aid, Grade V   Kingfisher
Great Googly Moogly   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Great Googly Moogly
The Cobra   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R     Trad   The Cobra
Brer Rabbit   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c A3+ R     Trad, Aid, 10 pitches, 700'   Cottontail Tower
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Fisher Towers

Featured Route For Fisher Towers
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo

Trick of the Tail 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A3+  Utah : Moab Area : ... : Cottontail Tower
The route pretty much starts about 100 feet right of the start of West Side Story. You will be able to see 1 bolt about 20 feet off the deck.Head up following good cracks till you eventually hit Road Kill. At the top of the initial Road Kill pillar, climb road kill for 20 feet or so (clipping a Road Kill bolt) and start working right.Eventually you will surmount a roof and belay. Head right on 5.10++ no hold slab climbing to a bolt (possible 40 footer over the roof and onto the belay) keep headi...[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

Photos of Fisher Towers Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Storm over the Fisher Towers
Storm over the Fisher Towers
Rock Climbing Photo: Travis Coster rappeling the Colorado Northeast Rid...
Travis Coster rappeling the Colorado Northeast Rid...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of the Fishers from near the Colorado River
View of the Fishers from near the Colorado River
Rock Climbing Photo: oh yea.
oh yea.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the Fisher's from the Titan's summ...
Looking down at the Fisher's from the Titan's summ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Shadows cast by the Titan and the Oracle
Shadows cast by the Titan and the Oracle
Rock Climbing Photo: A painting done from a photo taken from the Titan....
A painting done from a photo taken from the Titan....
Rock Climbing Photo: The Fishers and La Sals
The Fishers and La Sals
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing off climbing all the 6 major fisher towe...
Finishing off climbing all the 6 major fisher towe...
Rock Climbing Photo: The beginning of the pitch 5 bolt ladder of West S...
The beginning of the pitch 5 bolt ladder of West S...
Rock Climbing Photo: Midget faded rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus concol...
Midget faded rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus concol...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fisher Towers December 2003
BETA PHOTO: Fisher Towers December 2003
Rock Climbing Photo: Ancient Art
Ancient Art
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt Tello Journeys to another planet
Matt Tello Journeys to another planet
Rock Climbing Photo: 500 vertical feet of Cutler sandstone. August 2012
500 vertical feet of Cutler sandstone. August 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: At the top of Sundial Tower just east of the Cobra...
At the top of Sundial Tower just east of the Cobra...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset on the mud.
Sunset on the mud.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Fisher Towers at night.
The Fisher Towers at night.
Rock Climbing Photo: Echo Tower. As seen from the ledge that connects t...
Echo Tower. As seen from the ledge that connects t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex on the "Diving Board".
Alex on the "Diving Board".
Rock Climbing Photo: Not all fixed gear in the Fishers is to be trusted...
Not all fixed gear in the Fishers is to be trusted...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ancient Art with snow
Ancient Art with snow
Rock Climbing Photo: Titan in snow with clouds
Titan in snow with clouds
Rock Climbing Photo: The Towers .Photo Carol Crockett
The Towers .Photo Carol Crockett

Show All 52 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Fisher Towers Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 29, 2016
By Brad Schildt
From: Boulder, CO
May 28, 2002
Don't keep putting it off. Get out there, climb Ancient Art, and understand that the rock is not so bad. Do the Colorado Arete of King Fisher and realize, these towers can be climbed. Gaze East from the summit of King Fisher towards the Titan and know, it can be done. And from the summit of the Titan, retire from Fisher Tower climbing, content.
By david goldstein
Nov 7, 2002
The Fisher Tower trade aid routes all suffer from serious rock abuse, the result of nailing.To the best of my knowledge, the following routes have all gone hammerless (some have even gone free!) without excessive trickery, yet continue to be nailed:Phantom Spirit (Echo Tower)Colorado Northeast (Kingfisher)West Side Story (Cottontail)Finger of Fate, Sundevil Chimney (Titan)

When I climbed these routes in the mid 90's, they all suffered from significant rock scarring, much worse than anything on The Nose or Salathe; I'm sure it's worse now. Desert sandstone is a very soft medium that simply doesn't stand up to repeated piton placements. I feel that we desert climbers should adopt the Yosemite ethos that once a route has gone hammerless, subsequent ascenders should make every effort to avoid nailing. This seems to be happening in Zion.

What do others think about this subject?
By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 8, 2002
Has the Finger of Fate on the Titan gone hammerless? I didn't think it had yet. Does anyone carry a hammer on the Kingfisher anymore? That route goes clean really easily, though I'd buy someone a bunch of bolts and beer if they wanted to do a public service on the bolt ladder pitches. Maverick on the Hindu on Onion Creek is the same way - I was never even remotely tempted to bring out the hammer on that one.

I haven't done any of the other routes you mentioned, but I do think most people try to leave the hammer in the bag if at all possible.
By Anonymous Coward
Mar 12, 2003
I just climbed the Finger last week and was appalled by the scarring. Perhaps Fisher climbers should adopt the Olevsky technique and constructively sculpt some nut placements out of those boxy pin scars. After all, nailing is chiselling, too- just less deliberate in its effects on the rock. Any thoughts?
By Colin Coulson
Mar 31, 2003
"Creatively sculpt nut placements..."? All a pin scar is, is a chance to cratively place a nut. Or better yet, a tricam. Just like in hard sport, if you don't have the skill (in this case, gear), don't make the route bend (or break) to fit your needs by altering the rock. Go buy some better gear (e.g. tricams-esp. small ones, tapered nuts, off-set cams...). These routes are amazing to climb clean, somewhat scary, but amazing none the less. A climber skilled in variable placements shouldn't be exposed to more than a 10 foot fall at just about any time on the Finger of Fate, and imagine it is the same on many of the other moderates in the fishers.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2003
Anybody know who or what these towers were named after? Fred Knapp claims "Fisher" is a modification of "fissure". I don't believe this as cracks are not evident on most of these towers, at least they are certainly not their most striking features. Bjornstadt told me he thought they were named after a local rancher, but he didn't know for sure.
By Andy Johnson
Jun 2, 2003
I am 99% sure that the Fishers were named after either a rancher or a miner the used to live around the towers.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 8, 2003
Quoting "Desert Rock III" p. 169:

"The Fisher Towers are named for a miner who, in the 1880s, lived near them..."
By Stiles
From: the Mountains
Apr 19, 2004
Finger of Fate can be done hammerless almost "easily". Even Sundevil Chimney has gone clean. Just bring LOTS of tricams and healthy appetite for some fear...Each new pin that is placed increases the size of the scars; if you can't do a trade route clean, don't do it. If you want to hammer, get on something A4.
By Ben Kiessel
Sep 11, 2006
Brad, Bill, and I did Fantasia on the Oracle this last weekend. In case anyone is interested the final bolt ladder either needs to be rebolted or bring a really long stick clip. I took a fall and ripped a screamer when one of the bolts pulled under my weight.(and i am not even that fat!) then after batmaning back up i pulled two more out of muck with my finger tips. Just letting you know in case anyone was planning an ascent. Also we did it hammerless so don't bring one unless you are replacing bolts.
By James Garrett
Oct 22, 2006
I have a sense that many routes in the Mystery Towers and Fisher Towers suffered the consequences of huge rains this past month in Moab. I would approach alot of the routes where3 mud is known to flow, more cautiously. though you climbed it in September, I bet much more time bombs have erupted out there since!
By Unassigned User
Mar 5, 2009
Actually, It's Phantom Sprint.On Echo. Weird route.
Weird frickin' place, but great fun too.
By Brian Boyd
From: Kowloon, Hong Kong
Oct 27, 2009
The Fisher Tower turnoff is actually by milepost 21, not 27 as listed in the description. And, as of October 2009, the sign is missing on the side coming from Moab. We ended up driving all the way until we crossed the Colorado before turning around.
By Aaron Child
May 1, 2010
As of Tuesday, April 27th, 2010, every single bolt has been replaced on Fantasia on The Oracle by me and Darren Knezek including a new bolt or two at each anchor. The anchors at the top of the very last pitch and the pitch before that have been completely replaced. Enjoy either a hefty glue-in or a half inch bolt in place of the old, scary manky bolts on the pitches that had bolts.
By David A
From: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mar 24, 2016
Just heard a rumor that Ben Kiessel and Matt Pickren recently climbed the Oracle, Titan, Cottontail, Echo, Kingfisher, and Ancient Art in a sub-24 hour push. If this is true, then HOLY f*&kballs!
By Matt Pickren
Mar 25, 2016
Correct, who did you hear this from?
By David A
From: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mar 28, 2016
Hi Matt, I saw it mentioned in comments on Ben's instagram feed. I can't even comprehend this....what order did you guys do them in? Short fixing mostly? Simuling? My mind is blown.
By Matt Pickren
Mar 29, 2016
Ok, I always forget about social media. It's like wild fire.
Yes, we short-fixed almost every pitch, swapping once per tower. KF and AA we just did in a single block. The order was Oracle, Titan, Echo, KF, AA, Cottontail. It was a very fun, albeit long, day out.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

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