BETA PHOTO: Just before the final uphill push to the base of G...
Golder Dome is worth a visit. You'll likely have the place to yourself. (Edit: That is, unless you post it on the internet, raising interest and thus causing other people to visit at the same time as you yourself go back there because you liked it so much, but I digress. It's all good.)
This is the northernmost dome on the northwest side of the Catalinas and has a much shorter approach than Leviathan, Table Mt., etc. It is the clean-looking 500' high rock that sits above the town of Catalina and faces north. It catches your eye when driving south on highway 77 (Oracle Rd.). The dome has a number of 4-5 pitch routes from 5.8 to 5.10+ with mixed bolts and gear, and a few shorter routes as well. Two ropes are typically needed to rappel. The dome is split in half by a large gully. The left side is sunny until mid-morning, while the right side gets sun starting in late afternoon.
Bring a knife and some extra webbing.
Bob Kerry's Backcountry Rock has a section
on Golder Dome.
Take Oracle Rd. north out of Tucson and turn right on Golder Ranch Road, which is after Oro Valley and Catalina State Park, and just before the town of Catalina. Follow this road until it turns to dirt. Bear right when a sign indicates that the main road is private. A passenger car can do this portion, but it's kind of rough. Eventually, you reach a fence and a sign for F.R. 643. Unless you have a jeep or something similar, it's probably best to park here. Go through the gate and hike the jeep road across the wash and up to the mesa. After about 1/2 hour, it intersects the Sutherland trail from Catalina State Park. The dome is obvious above and there are several ways to get there. One way is to walk up the jeep road a few hundred yards more until it is possible to cut across to a sort of ridge, with some open slabs, that leads up to the dome. This way takes you to the base of Ten Years After. Alternatively, you can take the Sutherland trail back toward Catalina State Park for about 5-10 minutes. A few minutes after crossing the wash and the fence, look for a faint but consistently cairned path on your left. This leads to the far right side of the dome.
The approach took us about an hour from the start of the jeep road.
An alternate approach takes the Sutherland trail 2.5 miles from Catalina State Park until you're below the dome. This is a good approach if you've got a low clearance car or you're heading for the far right side of the dome.
Climbing Season For the Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains) area.
Weather station 4.4 miles from here
3 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Golder Dome:
Featured Route For Golder Dome
Ten Years After 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b AZ
: Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin...
: Golder Dome
This is a really fun route with three pitches of absorbing face climbing, topped off by a nice crack (particularly by Southern Arizona standards!) on the fourth pitch. The climbing is technical and hard to read; there is a lot of micro-route-finding and mini-traversing, and some mild spice. Pitch 2 in particular is a gem. Kerry's description and topo are both very ...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
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