Ascent of Aztec Butte on 2019-05-03

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Date:Friday, May 3, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Aztec Butte
    Elevation:6312 ft / 1923 m

Ascent Trip Report

A good family climb and one of the few designated trails in the national park system for tourists that actually has a bit of a challenge. First let me say, that the NP service did a marvelous job of trail finding and making a path through the steeper upper sandstone of the butte in the safest manner possible. If you have good grip boots with Vibram soles you have it made. This would NOT be a an easy tourist walk up in sneakers or sandals - be sure and wear proper footwear this is not a typical NP type hike. I wore approach shoes so was able to walk up and down nearly ever feature without ever touching with hands but Karen in a less traction shoe-wear did a fair amount of crab walking down features. The crux of the hike is just before the vertical caprock and the slab is very steep. I saw people hiking the trail with those baby carries on their back and I was thinking that is not a safe place to take a baby up.

The Butte has very good views of canyons on the backside and was a very nice hike. I would call most of the upper route class 2+ smears. I see most call it a class 3 scramble but you really do not need to put your hands down if you have proper soles and the NP service did a dang good job of making sure there was no real exposure so I am calling it class 2+ but the real good type like you never see in a NP!

On the way back, I had not my fill of scrambling on this delightful sandstone and saw several smaller prominence buttes that are all part of the "Islands in the Sky" and knew they all needed some off trail attention as well.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:262 ft / 79 m
    Total Elevation Loss:247 ft / 75 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.2 mi / 1.9 km
    Grade/Class:1 through 3; but mos
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:262 ft / 79 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 222 ft / 67 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m
    Loss on way in:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.4 km
    Start Trailhead:TH Parking Paved  6090 ft / 1856 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:207 ft / 63 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    End Trailhead:saddle between peaks  6105 ft / 1860 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Canyon Lands NP

Complete Trip Sequence:
1The Knoll2019-05-03 a136 ft / 41 m
2Aztec Butte2019-05-03 b262 ft / 80 m
3Graneries Butte2019-05-03 c77 ft / 23 m
4Islands in the Sky Point 61702019-05-03 d90 ft / 27 m
5Islands in the Sky Point 61202019-05-03 e140 ft / 43 m
10Whale Rock2019-05-03 g222 ft / 68 m
11Upheaval Dome2019-05-03 h307 ft / 94 m
12Island in the Sky Point 62602019-05-03 i258 ft / 79 m
13Islands in the Sky Point 63082019-05-03 j498 ft / 152 m
Total Trip Gain: 1990 ft / 607 m    Total Trip Loss: 1152 ft / 350 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by William Musser
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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