Castleton Tower

RMFI constructed the steep trail accessing Castleton Tower and The Rectory rock formations in the mid-1990s.
Trail crew with Castleton Tower in the background

Castelton Tower is a 400' wingate sandstone tower located in Castle Valley, just northeast of Moab, Utah. The famous Kor-Ingalls route is featured in 50 Classic Climbs of North America. Castleton Tower shares a ridge with the sandstone formation known to climbers as The Rectory, home to classic climbs including Fine Jade. Castleton Tower is accessed from the south by a trailhead in Castle Valley. RMFI constructed the steep trail accessing Castleton in 1995 following a study by The Nature Conservancy that identified the federally-listed threatened & endangered species Jones cycladenia (Cycladenia humilis var. jonesii) and T&E candidates Shultz blazing star (Menzelia shultziorum) and Isely milkvetch (Astagalus iselyi). RMFI mapped the locations of the plants and the trail was located to prevent disturbances to them and their habitat. In 1997, RMFI constructed the side-trail to the Rectory. RMFI completed technical reconstruction in the area in 2001 and 2008 due to severe storm events. RMFI continues to monitor the trail and provides routine maintenance when necessary.

The Castleton Tower trail winds its way over steep and fragile desert terrain. Castleton sits on a 1,000' talus cone rising high above Castle Valley. Given the arid terrain, the trail necessitates the use of stabilizing structures such as rock steps, risers, and retaining walls to provide stabilization and sustainability.