OWL ROCK, WEST CRACK (I 5.8)
Owl Rock perches high on the Arches plateau, with views south to the La Sal Mountains. It’s composed of the same soft Entrada sandstone that forms most of the park’s arches.
“It was my first desert tower, and started the whole adventure,” says Jay Anderson, a guide who has climbed 30-plus towers since Owl Rock, 34 years ago. “The next day I climbed Castleton … Owl Rock was my gateway drug/tower.”
Follow the obvious crack on the west face, protecting in its depths and using the occasional hand jam between slopey jugs. Though the climbing gets progressively harder, protection remains relatively abundant. An intermediate belay/rap station is set just below the summit. FIRST ASCENT: Ron Olevsky, 1968 RACK: Standard single rack
RAPPEL: Rap to the ground with a single 70-meter rope from the anchor just below the summit.
GETTING THERE: Drive 9 miles past the Arches entrance, turn right at Windows Road, drive another mile, and turn le into a scenic pullout.