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    Castleton Tower Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    4.2 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    416 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Castleton Tower Trail is a short but challenging hike to the incredible Castleton Tower Rock formation. This trail is most often used as an access trail for rock climbers who are looking to ascend this impressive spire. This trail, however, does make a great hike to an epic sandstone formation just outside of Arches National Park.

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    Route Description for Castleton Tower Trail

    The hike to Castleton Tower is a short but steep trail up to an impressive geological structure just outside of Moab. This hike is challenging and should only be done by experienced hikers in good physical condition. Proper footwear and lots of water is essential for this trail, we also recommend bringing along a set of hiking poles to aid in the ascent and descent.

    This trail makes up for the effort with stunning views. This unique tower is an imposing presence in Castle Valley and is a cool contrast to the more popular arch formations of the area. This hike is primarily used as an access route for people looking to climb Castleton tower, so keep an eye out for these adventurous folks on the trail and wish them luck. When you are at the base of the tower, look up and see if you can spot climbers making their way up this sandstone structure. Be mindful of rockfall they may send down as they make their way up the Castleton Tower.

    From the small camping area, hike up the wash heading northeast. Follow the cairns that mark the trail until you reach a dirt road. Cross the road, and look for the signpost that points you in the right direction of the Castleton Tower. From here, the trail will get steeper and steeper as you near the tower itself.

    Just over a mile past the road you will arrive at the base of Castleton Tower. Take a rest here, and admire the impressive stance of this sandstone spire. When you’re ready to turn back, just follow the same path back to the parking lot.

    Trail Highlights

    The Castleton Tower

    At just under 457 m, Castleton Tower is one of the most famous desert towers in the world and a sought-out destination for rock climbers from all over the planet. This tower features some of the best rock climbing in North America. Look for climbers making their way up this impressive structure when you are on your hike.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why is Castleton Tower Famous?

    Castleton Tower is most famous for its world-renowned climbing routes. The Kor-Ingalls Route (5.9, trad) is featured in the book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.

    What type of rock is Castleton Tower?

    Castleton Tower is formed of Wingate Sandstone on top of a Moenkopi-Chinle cone.

    Insider Hints for Castleton Tower Trail

    • This trail is steep and loose, wear proper footwear and take your time on the descent
    • If you’re looking for a scenic place to spend the night, this trail has a small, free campground at the trailhead.
    • Bring a camera with you! This trail is jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

    Getting to the Castleton Tower Trail Trailhead

    Turn up highway 128 from highway 191 just northwest of Moab. Follow highway 128 for 24.9 km along the Colorado River. After 24.9 km, take a right onto La Sal Mountain Loop Road. Follow this road for 7.6 km to the small camping area on the north side of the road. Park at the campground, the Castleton Tower Trail begins here.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Camping near trailhead

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Castleton Tower Trail Elevation Graph

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    Castleton Tower Trail Reviews

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