Lance enjoying the view. Photo: Jay Miller
Solstice Tower is the chair shaped formation located in Dripping Springs Basin. It sits atop a steep talus ridge shared with the Carousel Butte. It consists of 4 separate summits, although the 2 tall summits on the west seem almost connected. The formation was first climbed (as far as I could tell)up the tallest east summit, on the south side, facing away from the river on June 21st, 1999. The crack on the opposite side, facing the river, was recently climbed to the same summit. The second summit from the west now has an anchor by an unknown route. If you are the type that gets off on adventure climbing, this summit, and the approach, make for an unforgettable day.
There is no easy way to get there, but that's part of what makes it so cool. There are two ways that it can be approached. The first is to travel down Kane Creek and up over Hurrah Pass. Keep heading down Lockart Basin Rd, until you get to the Wind Caves (aka The Catacombs), the Carousel Butte and Solstice Tower will be visable on a ridge to the south. Head South on a progressively worse road aiming for the left side (east) of the Carousel Butte. Get as far around the Butte as you can and head up the talus, looking for a break in the cliff bands under the middle of the butte, then hike west on the ridge to Solstice. Or approach from above by driving out the Anticline Overlook Rd.(aka Hatch Point Rd.)From 191 its almost 30 miles total. At about 26 miles take the left toward the Canyonlands Overlook. That road eventually heads North, after a few miles there is a four way intersection. Canyonlands Overlook heads to the left (rd 38), you will want to go right. After about a half mile there is a road on the left that heads north, then east. Follow this for a short while. Park where the road starts heading a bit south. Start hiking North, you will get to a rim that drops into a huge drainage area. Search the rim for a way in and head down the drainage, toward the ridge that runs out to the tower. Where the wash drops into the basin, stay left and follow the rim around until it is possible to get on top of the ridge, follow the ridge out. Rappel off trees to the west a couple hundred feet from the end. Hike down and over.
Weather station 13.2 miles from here
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['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
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The tower actually has four detached summits. We climbed up the middle of the tall tower on the right. On the southeast side. (facing away from the river)Pitch 1. Climb up the perfect splitter crack, from .5 camalot to #1. C1 for me, or 5.11 or harder. 110' ending under a roof.Pitch 2. Aid out the overhang to the left and follow the crack through the steep headwall on less than perfect gear. C2, again maybe possible to free. The summit is almost perfectly flat and square....[more] Browse More Classics in UT
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View from the west rappel approach.
Looking at the South face.
Solstice Tower and the Carousel Butte as seen from...
Unclimbed line up the river side of the shorter ea...