Elysian Buttress Rock Climbing
Wintery conditions on The Elysian Buttress, Mt. El...
On the eastern slopes of Mt. Elden lies a 500' tall Southeast facing cliff. This cliff is broken in the middle by a gully. Mechanical Persistence and the Original Route up the Elysian are to the left of this gully. The Unemployment Line is on the largest face right of the gully.
There are three standard approaches for the Elysian Buttress. I have listed them in personal preference order.
1. Drive north out of Flagstaff on Highway 89A to Elden Springs Road. Turn left here and travel past houses on your right, over a cattle guard to FS road 9180. Turn left on FS road 9180 (medium to high clearance vehicles recommended) and drive south for approximately ten minutes. Take the first right hand fork in this road and park at the dead end. (Drive time is approximately 30 minutes from downtown Flagstaff.) Follow the trail out of the parking area south until a clearing appears on your right. Turn off trail here picking the line of least resistance up to the cliff face. It is a good idea to stick to ridge lines as they entail far less bushwhacking than the gullies. Total hiking time is 30 to 45 minutes to the cliff base.
2. Drive north out of Flagstaff on Highway 89A to the Sandy Seep Trail head. This parking area is on the western side of 89A a little beyond the signal light at Wanona Road. Park here and hike up the Sandy Seep Trail until you reach a T junction. Turn right (north) and hike an additional 10 to 15 minutes until a clearing appears on your left. Turn off trail here picking the line of least resistance up to the cliff face. It is a good idea to stick to ridge lines as they entail far less bushwhacking than the gullies. Total hiking time is 1 to 1.5 hours to the cliff base.
3. Drive up the Mt. Elden Lookout Road and park where Upper Oldham Trail Crosses the road. Hike down Sunset Trail to it's junction with the Heart Trail. Turn right and head down the steep Heart Trail until even with the Elysian Buttress which will be on your left (north). Cut cross country to the cliff. Drive time plus hiking will be approximately 1.5 hours.
Climbing Season For the Mt. Elden area.
Weather station 3.1 miles from here
3 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Elysian Buttress
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Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Elysian Buttress:
Featured Route For Elysian Buttress
Elysian Buttress Original Route 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b AZ
: Northern Arizona
: ... : Elysian Buttress
The start of this route has several markers. There is a cairn made of rocks and a stick that more or less marks the base. Additionally to the route's right there are three fins of rock in a row. Scramble up about 10 feet to the route's start. It helps rope management if the belayer scrambles up and sits on a fin of rock that is just left of the route's start.Pitch 1 - 5.7+ Head straight up crack system until a 3.5 or 4 camalot placement is possible and where the crack "gooves out" above. At...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
Elysian during the Monsoons, climb early and enjoy...
BETA PHOTO: Elysian Buttress
By Kevin Kent
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 11, 2014
I think FS 9180 has gotten a lot worse since the floods in the summer of '13. Unless you have a really burly vehicle I would suggest parking at Little Elden Springs and jumping right on the AZ trail (heading south). It probably only adds 15 minutes of hiking and the approach option 1 here will take at least 10 minutes of driving.
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Nov 8, 2015
Having done option 2 and option 3 on the approach beta, I can say that option 2 (sandy seep approach) is totally casual compared to option 3. Approaching from above (Elden Lookout Rd) is heinous! From below you run into the big drainage that winds its way to the bottom of the Elysian Buttress standard route. Follow this along a fairly obvious path that crosses the drainage in a few places and when things start getting steep and loose watch for cairns/trail on the right side of the drainage. Eventually there will be a relatively clear path uphill that goes past some big boulders and through mostly open ground. This will end at the base of the routes. It's actually a pretty enjoyable approach and mostly level if you come in from below. Get out here, the rock and scenery is pretty awesome!