Colorado National Monument is home to one of the West's most famous desert towers: Independence Monument. This 450' freestanding sandstone tower has a 5 pitch, 5.8 route to its classic tabletop summit.
A Perfect "First Desert Tower"
If you have never climbed a desert tower before, and you're intrigued by the thought of climbing a "Candlestick in the Sky", Independence Monument is the perfect tower for your first experience. The climbing is moderate, the cruxes are short, there is very little crack climbing, and the rock is clean from many ascents. It also offers quality movement at the grade and a truly memorable summit.
Independence Monument, Otto's Route: 5 pitches, 5.8
Climbing Independence Monument is a wonderfully unique climbing experience that is achievable for intermediate level climbers. The route follows the line of first ascent that was done by John Otto, the original caretaker of the Park. Otto did not have knowledge of roped climbing techniques so he drilled holes and inserted pipes for handholds to overcome difficult sections of the climb. He reached the summit on Flag Day in 1911. Most of Otto's handiwork is gone now, although some drilled holes remain that make the climb achievable with just a few moves in the 5.8 range.
Climb with an AMGA Certified Instructor/Guide
We are the only company in the region to guarantee your climb will be led by an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) certified instructor/guide. Our guides have industry leading credentials, many years of professional guiding experience, and they're great climbing companions! These qualities ensure you are in good hands when you climb with us in Colorado National Monument.
Follow Up Programs
We also offer guided climbs of Looking Glass Rock (5.5, 3 pitches), Ancient Art Tower (5.9, 4 pitches), Castleton Tower (5.9+, 4 pitches), The Rectory (5.11, 4 pitches) and a host of other classic towers in the region. Contact us for details or visit our Moab Rock Climbing page for additional information.
*Peak Mountain Guides' Colorado National Monument climbing programs are operated under a commercial use authorization with the National Park Service.*