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Mystery Towers & Top of the World Overlook

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Atlas, The 
Doric Column 
Gothic Nightmare 
Hunchback, The 
Merrymen Tower 
Top of the World Overlook 

Mystery Towers & Top of the World Overlook Rock Climbing 

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Location: 38.7191, -109.2836 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Oct 4, 2004
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A somewhat typical bolt in the Mystery Towers.

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 >>>


Seeing the Mystery Towers for the first time is an awe-inspiring experience. One gets the sense of something sacred: perhaps only a tiny portion of the human population has ever laid eyes on them, even though they are less than a mile northeast of the Fisher Tower parking lot!

Layton Kor, Huntley Ingalls, and George Hurley were probably the first (climbers) to discover them - from the summit of the Titan in 1962. After some unsuccessful attempts, the Doric Column and the Citadel were first summitted by Hurley in 1969; a year later the Gothic Nightmare was conquered by Bill Forrest and Don Briggs. Since then, many new routes and smaller towers were climbed by these guys as well as Rob Slater, Keith Reynolds, Alan Stevenson, Matt Laggis, Crusher, Tony Wilson, Kevin Chase, Duane Raleigh, and others.

The towers are Cutler Sandstone (the Fisher stuff), capped by Moenkopi. Of the Doric Column, Hurley said "Belaying in a vertical flute in this rock is like standing below a loading spout at a sand and gravel works." Expect mud or dry mud, advanced and innovative aid, including but not limited to, bat hooks, ring angle claws, beaks and peckers, fishhooks, bugaboos, warthogs, ice axe tosses, dwarf tosses, and general lassoing skills.


Getting There 

Viewable from the top of the Titan or Top of the World Overlook, but accessible from the Onion Creek road (see that description). Check out Bjornstad's "Desert Rock III" for a detailed description of the approach and a general topo of the area.

Climbing Season

For the Moab Area area.

Weather station 5.7 miles from here

11 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Mystery Towers & Top of the World Overlook

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mystery Towers & Top of the World Overlook:
Something Wicked This Way Comes   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A2+     Aid, 6 pitches, 650'   Gothic Nightmare
Cooler than Jesus   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Top of the World Overlook
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mystery Towers & Top of the World Overlook

Featured Route For Mystery Towers & Top of the World Overlook
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo of Wait of the World

The Wait of the World 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A3  Utah : Moab Area : ... : The Atlas
Start near the right (east) end of the expansive south face, on a rib just left of a large, deep hollow. Look for two bolts to start.1. From the bolts head up and left to a nice crack on the arete. Work up this. Ease past a closet-size, barely-attached block with care. Thinner nailing ends at a 3-bolt belay (A3, 80').2. Thin seams lead up and right to a bold ladder with occasional hooking. End at a nice ledge (A3, 80').3. Climb a flake system at the left end of the ledge, past one bolt, to a sha...[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

Photos of Mystery Towers & Top of the World Overlook Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Atlas
Rock Climbing Photo: The Aliens
BETA PHOTO: The Aliens
Rock Climbing Photo: Going mad on the summit ridge of Gothic Nightmare
Going mad on the summit ridge of Gothic Nightmare
Rock Climbing Photo: Gothic Nightmare on the left and The Citadel on th...
BETA PHOTO: Gothic Nightmare on the left and The Citadel on th...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Citadel
BETA PHOTO: The Citadel

Comments on Mystery Towers & Top of the World Overlook Add Comment
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By Colin Coulson
Sep 22, 2005
Read "Sherman Exposed" for an excelent trip report from the Mystery Towers!
By fat cow
From: St. Paul, MN
Sep 29, 2011
While hiking out to the Titan i decided to go a bit further and spotted these towers when i got about as far out on the ridge level with the base of the titan as i could go. What an awesome site! After hiking back to the titan where my group of friends were i tried to explain what i had saw but to no avail, words did no justice. There just happened to be a gentleman there who was hauling gear for an attempt at a new line on the titan (Gimp Warfare, Paul Gagner) that he completed a few months later who was able to fill me in on what they were. Unbelievable to lay eyes on, one of the most amazing places i have ever seen, just as the description states. It Gave me a strange feeling while looking at it, like it was otherworldly. absolutely worth the extra 10 minute hike if u are ever near the titan. Has anyone gotten on the tower Atlas?

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