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1 - Lower Highway

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Amateur Hour Crag 
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Gatehouse, The 
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Hairpin Turn Area 
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1 - Lower Highway 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 2,500'
Location: 32.33746, -110.69046 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 345,192
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: James DeRoussel on Jul 11, 2010
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View from Thimble Peak lookout before a monsoon

Description 

This area covers climbs from the bottom of the highway (milepost 0) up to Kessler's Corner (milepost 8.6).

The lower portion of the Catalina Highway offers varied climbing in a Sonoran Desert setting. Warm temps among towering saguaro cactus make climbing here a unique experience.

Rock quality in this area tends to be poorer and more varied than higher on the mountain, so take that under consideration. Still, in the winter months, the crags here are hard to beat for climate and accessibility.


Getting There 

Catalina Highway


Climbing Season


476 Total Routes


['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',71],['2 Stars',236],['1 Star',152],['Bomb',4]
['<=5.6',15],['5.7',29],['5.8',52],['5.9',53],['5.10',133],['5.11',93],['5.12',21],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',14],['V2-3',35],['V4-5',14],['V6-7',3],['V8-9',5],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',11],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for 1 - Lower Highway:
Hammer of Hate   V8 7B     Boulder   Molino Basin Boulders
Guanica   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 140'   Hairpin Turn Area : Left Hand Wall
Cheers   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Boot Hill
Dragon's Back   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabay... : Dragon Tower
Blood Book   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 60'   Forgotten Wall, Control Tow...
Big Bull   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 90'   Hairpin Turn Area : Backhand Wall
Medicine Bag   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Ruins
Virgin's Airline   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   Forgotten Wall, Control Tow...
Black Feather   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Ruins
Go Speed Racer   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 80'   Pinhead Wall
English Breakfast Crack   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Sun Spot Crags
GAC Rulz   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Hairpin Turn Area : Backhand Wall
It Crack   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   It Cliff
Crime and Punishment   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch   Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabay... : Jailhouse Rock
Solar Flare   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Sun Spot Crags
Moms Rock   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 90'   Hairpin Turn Area : Backhand Wall
Armed Robbery   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabay... : Jailhouse Rock
Solar E-clips   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Sun Spot Crags
Sentenced To Hang   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 50'   Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabay... : Jailhouse Rock
Jailbreak   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 40'   Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabay... : Jailhouse Rock
Browse More Classics in 1 - Lower Highway

Featured Route For 1 - Lower Highway
Eric Rhicard warms up on the newly sportified Armed Robbery.  <br />

Armed Robbery 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  AZ : Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin... : ... : Jailhouse Rock
Easier after the first 15 feet but sustained and steep long but safe fall potential. In 1988 we had two starts to this route. The left is 5.11 and the right is 5.11+. The right start now has an independent finish. The line is called Climb Spree and is still 11+. A new start that begins below the crack (Crime and Punishment) and uses small holds to reach the same good ledge as the original start. Not any easier but if you are sick of the original start it is different. Clip the first bolt ...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Local Information for 1 - Lower Highway
Photos of 1 - Lower Highway Slideshow Add Photo
stick and move or bob and weave
stick and move or bob and weave
Reachy for me...
Reachy for me...
Blinded by the Light (5.10a), Mt. Lemmon
Blinded by the Light (5.10a), Mt. Lemmon
Comments on 1 - Lower Highway Add Comment
Show which comments
By Derek Anderson
From: Tucson,AZ
Dec 27, 2010

Hello fellow Mountainprojectors(ha) Just wondering if anyone could help me find out any beta for an area. The crag is just before the pay station and the pull out everyone shoots at, It has 3 bolted lines up the first face( directly off the road)with various trad slings on other lines in the surrounding area. I see people climb here a lot, but I'm not sure on the beta. Any info would be helpful! Thanks and climb on!

By Jimbo
Dec 29, 2010

Chris Pruitt did these routes I believe. PM him for more info. He also did a bunch of stuff at the Butterfly Wall.

By Chris Prewitt
Jan 2, 2011

I climbed several trad lines on those cliffs but never got around to actually bolting anything, and I think Tony Lusk said they climbed there WAY back in the day. A couple months ago I saw some folks on that wall so I'd expect they placed the hardware. Not sure who it was. What I did climb was fun enough given the amount of effort needed to get to the crag. Rock quality varies greatly.

By Derek Anderson
From: Tucson,AZ
Jan 10, 2011

Cool , thanks for the info. Chris/Jimbo if you get a chance
to try the bolted lines there let us know what you think, ;)

By Jimbo
Jan 11, 2011

EFR and I stopped by several weeks ago and did the 3 bolted lines.

The two on the right were good. Worth the stop for sure. 5.9ish maybe easy .10.

The left hand one was bolted strangly and contrived if you tried to stay one the line of the bolts. Still worth doing but the worst of the 3 for sure. Some 5.10 moving on this one.

By Derek Anderson
From: Tucson,AZ
Jan 17, 2011

cool ty for the info/beta.. I kind of leaned that way on the bolted lines aswell Jim. Seemed the left one was contrived.