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Westwater Area

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Black Rock Towers 
Mee Canyon 
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Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Zion Curtain
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Desert RATS Classic 100k MTB
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Rabbit Valley 4
An easy loop on a wide trail with one big climb and some great views. Near Loma, Colorado
From MP's sister site:

Westwater Area Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.1413, -108.998 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 11,259
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Aug 25, 2006


84° | 57°

72° | 47°

68° | 43°

64° | 40°

65° | 40°
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Fluttering Butterflies


There are a number of towers, canyons, walls, and even interesting granite walls in the roadless area of Utah and Colorado east of the River Road and west of Colorado Monument. The best access is primarily via raft, though you can access places by the Kokopelli bike trail and other long cross country orienteering adventures.

There are a number of established routes, though few are documented. You can spend a few enjoyable days floating these canyons and staring at the walls searching for rap anchors. There are also a number of major side canyons with towers - Mee Canyon along the Ruby/Horsethief Canyon stretch in particular is beautiful.

Getting There 

The easiest access is by raft. Ruby/Horsethief Canyon is a flatwater stretch between Loma and the Westwater Ranger station. In can be floated in a day, but there are so many great campsites that you really should make a weekend of it. Permits are now required for this river - the BLM website is changing a lot these days so google for information. There is one small rapid around Black Rocks that can be tricky in a canoe, but nothing to worry about even for rafting novices in a raft. There are a couple of operations that rent rafts and portable toilets in Fruita, and will take care of vehicle shuttles as well.

The section of the river between the Westwater Ranger station and Cisco is another story. Westwater Canyon is the best one day rafting trip on the Colorado River, and is wildly popular - permits are not easy to come by in high season. This section of the river also has a number of Class III and Class IV rapids, some of which can be very dangerous at high water levels(above 13,000 cfs). Even under favorable conditions, these are not good rapids for the inexperienced, so look in to the numerous guide services in Moab if you aren't a solid boatman.

After the Cisco takeout, the river is tame as it winds through ranches before you get to the Moab Daily section along River Road.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 13.3 miles from here

10 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Westwater Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Westwater Area:
Ron's Tower - Standard Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1     Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 160'   Black Rock Towers
Ron's Tower - Playing the Flute   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c A1     Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 165'   Black Rock Towers
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Westwater Area

Featured Route For Westwater Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Arch Tower

Arch Tower: Dry Heaves 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A2- PG13  Utah : Westwater Area : Mee Canyon
This tower is of high quality rock in a pristine remote setting. It does have quite a bit of wide crack climbing, but it is an absolutely fantastic adventure. We would recommend not climbing it in early June like we did. It was 107 degrees during the day. (Damn work schedules!)The route starts in the shade of the northeast face, on the left side of the tower. This tower, like the name suggests, is actually a huge vertical arch. You could drive a semi through the middle of this tower.1) Cli...[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

Photos of Westwater Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Left most tower is Fluttering Butterflies and ...
BETA PHOTO: The Left most tower is Fluttering Butterflies and ...

Comments on Westwater Area Add Comment
Show which comments
By scotty mann
From: Grand Junction
Aug 25, 2006
(South Tower) Playing the Flute. (North Tower) Fluttering Butterflies
Fluttering Butterflies A2 5.11+
Playing the Flute A1 5.11-
FA Scotty Mann/Brad Winters
AUG 19-20 2006
By Brad Brandewie
Oct 31, 2006

Nice looking towers.

Why not make an Area and then add the Routes with descriptions to keep it in line with the rest of the site? Two towers are not worthy of being on the same tier as Zion NP, Moab Area, The Wasatch Range etc.

That being said, they look like a good time and you have my thanks for bringing them to our attention.

By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 1, 2006
I changed the original filler to be a catchall for the whole Westwater region. Those towers are really obvious near Black Rocks on the Horsethief/Ruby Canyon stretch between Loma and Westwater. There is a ton of rock back there to climb.
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Nov 2, 2006
Thanks Andrew. That's way cleaner.

For what it's worth, the area Mee Canyon described here:

will fit right in this Westwater area. The climbing in the Westwater area is technically almost all going to be in Colorado, but I guess it's more Southern Utah in style.
By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 2, 2006
Hey Crusher, do you anything about the routes along the river in Westwater Canyon itself? I saw a fair number of rap anchors on the walls before the rapids, and they looked like pretty impressive lines.
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Nov 3, 2006
Hi Andrew. No, I don't know anything about the routes along the river. The really nice sunset pic posted above is of the same towers as in a photo on page 179 of Bjornstad's Desert Rock IV.

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