Temple Mountain located along the San Rafael Swell is a interesting climb with a prominent view and lots of mining history. The climb overall isn't too exciting but it's uniqueness more than makes up for that. You'll need to be able to climb a bit of low class 5 rock on this one so beware. Bring a 60 meter rope, a small rack and extra webbing.
West of Green River Utah, take exit 149 off I-70 going south on highway 24 for 22 miles to Temple Junction. Their will be a sign for Goblin Valley. Follow this road 7.1 miles to a trailhead with picnic tables and facilities on the right. You can start here or back a bit 0.3 miles after the pavement ended. If you have 4WD and high clearance, you can take the access roads all the way to the base of the mountain 1.5 miles further (see map and pictures at the bottom of page).
Although we went up from the SE, it appeared the easiest route to the lower ridge was from the roads on the west. No gulley climbing would be required (shown on map below). If you do go up the east side, there are several gulley routes to the lower ridge. We went up the north gulley which required some tricky but not too exposed rock steps to get over. The south gulley (shown in pictures below) is the easiest but requires a bit of easy traversing along the lower ridge to reach the base of the upper ridge. Once there, at the base of the upper ridge, the route gets steep then vertical. The first obstacle is a 15 foot wall that is awkward to get over. Rocks have been stacked to help but it's still lacking good holds. Above that, class 4 terrain takes you to within 40 vertical feet of the summit ridge. Here you will want to rope up unless you don't have anyone waiting for you to come home. Luckily, the holds are excellent as well as places to place rock pro. Once on top, it is an easy stroll to the summit block. For it, a class 3 scramble goes up the south side, through a small hole into the north side and then west up to the top.
www.willhiteweb.com - Hiking, Climbing and Travel
Distance: 1 mile (4WD) to 2.5 miles (2WD)
Elevation Gain: Under 1,000 feet
Summit Elevation: 6,773 feet up to 6,800ish (unknown summit elv.)
Access Rating: Level 1 (2WD) or 4 (4WD)
Went up on right, came down on left
Going through the hole just below the summit
Trailhead, picnic area and bathrooms
#1 This is a wash road behind the parking area that (if dark) looks like the main access
#2 This short spur connects up to the main road you want #3 This is the road
The summit block, a class 3 scramble if you climb the ramp on the south, then through the hole to the north
Rapelling down near the ascent route
View north from the summit
Looking south from the summit to the Henry Mountains in the distance
Getting ready for the summit plateau pitch
Happy to be on the summit plateau with only the summit block to go
View of the access to the summit plateau
Easiest route to the summit plateau. B is the nice belay station for the 5th class upper portion
The rock ladder helping to get over a 15 foot mid class 5 section that was a real pain
Inside the north gulley
Showing the route we took down the south gulley, class 3
Showing the route we took up the north gulley, class 3 with a few sections of class 4
From the end of the road above the 4WD parking area, summit is on right, class 3 ridge access on left
Got the Jeep to the trailhead, an adventure itself
Temple Mountain from the southwest
There is a western summit too but most agree it is lower. We descended where we came up. There are only 2 places to sling a rope in this area, both are far from the lip. A large amount of webbing is needed as well. Others have descended to the west near the lower summit where there are a few more options. To get to the west summit requires some down climbing and a traverse to reach it.