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Independence Monument

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Geezer Highway T 
Independence Chimney T 
Otto's Route T 
Slavery T 
South Face Direct T 
Sundial Dihedral T 
Unknown handcrack T 

Independence Monument  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.09581, -108.72343 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 184,887
Administrators: Jesse Zacher, Brad Edwards, Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001
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Here we have a series of photos depicting just how...

Description 

This is a great tower with many different types of routes on its soft sandstone. Most routes get to the awesome summit in 4-6 pitches and all routes require double ropes to rappel. This tower should definitely be on your tick list if you haven't done any climbs here, and if you've never done any desert climbing like the Fishers or Moab, you'll get a nice introduction to that type of climbing.

The rock is generally solid, but flakes and small holds sometimes break off and all the climbing is sandy, nearly negating the need for chalk.

Getting There 

Going South on 340 from Fruita, go past the entrance to Colorado Monument on the right a couple miles. As you pass over the crest of a hill with a housing division on the right look immediately for a right turn down what appears to be a driveway to the Monument Trail parking lot. This small lot leads about 2 miles (45 minutes to 1 hour+) to the base of the monument.

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.6 miles from here

7 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',2],['5.9',2],['5.10',2],['5.11',1],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Independence Monument:
Independence Chimney   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C1     Trad, Aid, 6 pitches   
Otto's Route   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Chipped, 5 pitches, 400'   
South Face Direct   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A4     Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400'   
Unknown handcrack   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Sundial Dihedral   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c C1     Trad, Aid, 6 pitches, 400'   
Browse More Classics in Independence Monument

Featured Route For Independence Monument
Otto's Route pitches.

Otto's Route 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  CO : Grand Junction area : ... : Independence Monument
This is a nice climb in four short pitches that finishes with the last exposed and dramatic prow to the summit. It's on the shady side of the monument, so warm days are preferable. The FA, Otto, drilled and chopped many holds in the soft sandstone to aid up this route with pipes in the holes, but now just the holes remain, which gives the route a moderate rating.P1: Start on the NW side near the East end at a right-angling ramp (5.4) past chopped steps to a large ledge with a crack to protect ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Independence Monument Slideshow Add Photo
Wondering how my shadow ended up looking like Mrs. Butterworth 400 feet below the summit of Independence Monument.
Wondering how my shadow ended up looking like Mrs....
Just another butt shot.
Just another butt shot.
A long way from the English Lake District.... Chris Bonington and Paul Ross.
A long way from the English Lake District.... Chri...
While John Otto worked his way up Independence Monument, drilling holes and placing steel pipes, his wife carved into a rock nearby, the last line of the Declaration of Independence: "And so in support of this Declaration, with affirm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
While John Otto worked his way up Independence Mon...
Evening light.
Evening light.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Carl Pelletier and Kurt Johnson enjoying a moment of meditative bliss on the summit of Independence Monument.
Carl Pelletier and Kurt Johnson enjoying a moment ...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
"I think I dropped my keys!" Charles Vernon on the summit of Independence Monument.
"I think I dropped my keys!" Charles Ver...
Full moon in the valley.
Full moon in the valley.
Carl Pelletier getting a different perspective on Independence Monument.
Carl Pelletier getting a different perspective on ...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
A climber rappelling Otto's Route at the end of the day.
A climber rappelling Otto's Route at the end of th...
BETA PHOTO
A closer view of the south face.
BETA PHOTO: A closer view of the south face.
A last look back after the climb.
A last look back after the climb.
Independence Monument.
BETA PHOTO: Independence Monument.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
The Monument.
The Monument.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. ...
Rae walking into Independence Monument.
BETA PHOTO: Rae walking into Independence Monument.
Indy from the hike in.
Indy from the hike in.
Independence Monument is right behind Eli Powell, with Kissing Couple in the background.  Jon Cannon clowns on the right.  Taken from the overlook by the CG.  Photo by Brian Wandzilak.
BETA PHOTO: Independence Monument is right behind Eli Powell, ...
The last part of the approach, in the shadow of the tower.
The last part of the approach, in the shadow of th...

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Comments on Independence Monument Add Comment
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By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 15, 2003
It looks like there is no unchipped, free route on this tower. Otto's route goes free, but using some large gouged artificial holds. It would seem unlikely to me that Otto's top pitch it could be freed without these pockets.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 15, 2003
I'm just saying that surprisingly there appears to be no natural free route up this tower, at least nobody has discovered one yet. Bell Tower, Sentinel Spire, these all have free routes, but apparently not Independence Monument. No I am not saying that this justifies Otto chipping a free route up the thing, of course not. The search should now be on for a natural free route up the tower!
By phil broscovak
Nov 25, 2004
I am in total agreement with Brent on this one! Think of WHEN this was done an give the ole' boy the respect he deserves. Thankfully climbing evolves. Apparently, closed minded arrogance is eternal...
By Jon Cannon
May 24, 2005
Heading up to the Monument in a little over a week, and am stoked. Just one question: Is it possible to hike from the base of Sentinel Spire (with its convenient rap-in) to Independence Monument by way of, say, Wedding Canyon? Ideally, we'd like to have the opportunity (perhaps overly ambitious) to do Otto's Route and then Fast Draw. And if one were able to do this, how does one get back to the CG? Any and all beta would be much appreciated.
By Anonymous Coward
May 25, 2005
It would be easy to combine the two, either via x-country/trail travel, or by doing Independence and then driving up to rap in for Fast Draw.
By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 2, 2006
Jon: I just now saw your comment posted 8 months ago. In fact, it is very do-able to rap in as for Sentinel Spire, leave a fixed line, hike over to and climb Otto's, rap down, climb Fast Draw, then jug back out to get back to the campground.

I actually have a funny story about doing just that. I met my friend Robert out there a few years ago with that very plan in mind. We were both trying to travel light, so between us we just had 2 full-length ropes. We forgot that we'd need another rope to leave fixed to jumar back out! Well, luck was on our side. Robert was in-between Outward Bound courses, and driving a 15-passenger OB van with about 100 feet of retired, chopped up rope being used as tie-downs for gear on the roof rack. Well, we figured it was probably good enough to rap on, so we tied about half dozen pieces together and rapped down in. The main difficulty was in passing the knot multiple times! I don't think anybody at OB ever found out.
By Joe Forrester
From: Ft. Collins, CO
Mar 10, 2006
Does anyone have any info on the South Face or South Face II routes on the monument? I was trying to find a topo but was having a hard time locating one. Also, if anyone has done the South face clean I would be interested to hear how it went.

Thanks,

joe forrester
By Max Supertramp
May 7, 2013
You can get down with three raps with a 70m rope. Summit-->Time Tunnel; top of the 5.8 OW -->top of P1; P1-->ground.