Monster Tower

Coordinates: 38°23′22″N 109°50′15″W / 38.389572°N 109.837446°W / 38.389572; -109.837446
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Monster Tower
Monster Tower upper right, south aspect
Highest point
Elevation5,835 ft (1,779 m)[1]
Prominence395 ft (120 m)[1]
Parent peakAztec Butte (6,312 ft)[1]
Isolation3.91 mi (6.29 km)[2]
Coordinates38°23′22″N 109°50′15″W / 38.389572°N 109.837446°W / 38.389572; -109.837446[1]
Monster Tower is located in Utah
Monster Tower
Monster Tower
Location of Monster Tower in Utah
Monster Tower is located in the United States
Monster Tower
Monster Tower
Monster Tower (the United States)
LocationCanyonlands National Park
San Juan County, Utah, U.S.
Parent rangeColorado Plateau
Topo mapUSGS Musselman Arch
Age of rockLate Triassic
Type of rockWingate Sandstone
First ascentDecember 26, 1963
Easiest routeclass 5.11 Climbing[2]

Monster Tower is a 600-foot (180-meter) tall sandstone tower located in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, in San Juan County, Utah, United States.


The tower is situated 300 feet southeast of Washer Woman, which is a towering arch nearly as high. Washer Woman is so named because the feature gives the appearance of a woman bent over a washtub.[3] Monster and Washer Woman are an eroded fin composed of Wingate Sandstone, which is the remains of wind-borne sand dunes deposited approximately 200 million years ago in the Late Triassic. The nearest higher neighbor is Aztec Butte, 2 mi (3.2 km) to the west-northwest, Airport Tower is set 1.6 mi (2.6 km) to the east, and Mesa Arch is situated 1.5 mi (2.4 km) to the west.[1] A short hike to Mesa Arch provides the easiest view of Monster Tower. Access to the tower is via the four-wheel drive White Rim Road, which is the other way to see Monster. The top of this geological formation rises 1,400 feet above the road in approximately one mile. Precipitation runoff from Monster Tower drains southeast into the nearby Colorado River via Buck Canyon.


The first ascent of Monster Tower was made in December 1963 by Layton Kor, Larry Dalke, and Cub Schaefer via the South Ridge (class 5.11).[4] The best route on Monster is the class 5.11a North Ridge, which was first climbed in 1981 by Ken Trout and Kirk Miller. Another alpine route, Monster of Rock (5.11) on the south face, was first climbed in 1982 by Edward Webster and Chester Dreiman.[5] Los Banditos is an aid climb.[6]


Spring and fall are the most favorable seasons to visit Monster Tower. According to the Köppen climate classification system, it is located in a Cold semi-arid climate zone, which is defined by the coldest month having an average mean temperature below −0 °C (32 °F) and at least 50% of the total annual precipitation being received during the spring and summer. This desert climate receives less than 10 inches (250 millimeters) of annual rainfall, and snowfall is generally light during the winter.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Monster Tower, Utah". Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  2. ^ a b ""Monster Tower" - 5,880' UT". Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  3. ^ "Washer Woman". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  4. ^ Stewart M. Green, Rock Climbing Utah, Falcon Guides, Morris Book Publishing, 2012, page 70.
  5. ^ The American Alpine Journal, The Mountaineers Books, 1983, page 166.
  6. ^ Monster Tower

External links[edit]