Assembly Hall Peak - Heavy Metal Route |

San Rafael Swell

Climbing Assembly Hall Peak - Heavy Metal Route - San Rafael Swell Climbing Assembly Hall Peak - Heavy Metal Route
San Rafael Swell

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


TICKS & TODOS: 0 Todo Lists / 1 Ticks
RATING: 5.10 A0 3-Pitches
LENGTH: 3-5 hours
GEAR: 2-60 m ( 197 ft. )Ropes - 1 set of Cams, Quickdraws (10 or so)
MAPS: Bottleneck Peak, UT
SEASON: Spring, Fall
Sat Hi:52 Lo:31 Sun Hi:55 Lo:34 Mon Hi:60 Lo:30 Tue Hi:63 Lo:35 Wed Hi:65 Lo:38
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Assembly Hall Peak looms over the San Rafael campground. Although the upper pitches are poor quality, the first pitch is really good, and the views from the summit are second to none. I know several groups that have bailed from the start of the third pitch. It is indeed run-out and looks tricky. Those comfortable with desert runouts and sketch factor only!

Getting There

The trailhead starts at the San Rafael Campground. To get to the San Rafael Campground, depends on where you are coming from:

  • From the North
  • Just before the town of Castle Dale, at milepost 39.4, go east on the signed San Rafael Swell Access road. Reset your odometer as you turn off the highway onto the dirt road. ( 12S 500218mE 4341289mN / N39° 13' 15" W110° 59' 51" )
  • Continue on this road, passing a cattle guard after 12 miles, and reaching a 4 way junction at 12.7 miles. ( 12S 518059mE 4336281mN / N39° 10' 32" W110° 47' 27" )
  • Continue east at this 4 way junction for 2.4 miles to the signed Buckhorn Wash road. ( 12S 521483mE 4335782mN / N39° 10' 16" W110° 45' 05" )
  • Go right, down Buckhorn Wash about 9.5 miles to the San Rafael Campground. ( 12S 529457mE 4326049mN / N39° 04' 59" W110° 39' 34" )
  • From the South
  • Take the exit 131 from I-70 (about 30 miles west of Green River), turning right. This road goes east, paralleling the freeway for a couple of miles before turning north. ( 12S 529541mE 4303709mN / N38° 52' 54" W110° 39' 34" )
  • Follow this road 19 miles to where the San Rafael campground is, and the bridge over the river. The cattle guard marks the lower end of Buckhorn Wash. Start from the campground on the south side of the river. ( 12S 529065mE 4326048mN / N39° 04' 59" W110° 39' 50" )


From the campground, you have a great view of the entire route. It starts on the north west side of Assembly Hall, below the obvious bowl. Leaving the campground, follow an old road, and washes to the gulley leading up to the base of Assembly Hall. There is a cliff band up high that had a fixed rope to facilitate climbing it when we did the route (7/7/2007). Once above this cliff band, it is a short distance to the base of the climb.

Pitch 1: Below the bowl are several cracks. The route starts in a hand crack in a corner on the right. The hand crack is short (10 m ( 33 ft. ) ), then traverse left and up to a bolted anchor on easier ground. (5.9/5.10)

Pitch 2: Scramble 3rd and 4th class up the bowl to the base of the steep headwall. As you near the headwall, you can see the rappel anchor high on the right. The final pitch climbs a bolted line a bit left of the bolted anchor.

Pitch 3: The final pitch has many bolts (7+), but is no sport route. The first bolt is about 10 m ( 33 ft. ) up. You can get a small cam in midway up to the bolt, but the rock quality is very poor. Follow the line of bolts to a small overhang. Place a small cam here, and then traverse right and up to easier ground and the final bolt. Due to rope drag, we built a gear anchor here.

The rappel anchor is off to the right from the last bolt, and easy scrambling gets you to the top. Admire the views, particularly of Window Blind Peak. It is an amazing perspective on the area.

Scramble down to the rappel. Rappel 60 m ( 197 ft. ) back to the base of pitch 3, scramble down the bowl, then make a single rope rap 20 m ( 66 ft. ) from the bolts at the top of pitch 1 to the ground.


Printable Maps:
Windowblind Trailhead

12S 530854mE 4324579mN

N39° 04' 11" W110° 38' 36"

Assembly Hall Trailhead

12S 528949mE 4325546mN

N39° 04' 43" W110° 39' 55"


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