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This is a back country dome. The Approach is 2-3 hours with less than thirty minutes of that on an established trail. The NW face is close to 1000 feet tall and streaked with orange on the right side and more whitish on the left. The climbing is a serious adventure. The rock at times leaves something to be desired. Moving over spooky blocks is at times a part of the experience. Repeating any of the existing routes here gives you a real appreciation of the courage and drive of the people that established them.
Drive north of Tucson to the Catalina State park. Enter the park and drive to the Romero Ruins trail parking area. Cross the road and follow the sandy trail that leads toward the mountains. You will see a sign for the birding loop. Turn right on a less obvious trail and follow it around and into a wash that heads back toward the mountains. A short time in the wash then the trail turns right out of the wash. This will lead you to the Alamo Wash. From the car to this point is about 30 minutes. When you reach the wash a less obvious trail takes off to the left up the ridge. This trail is marked by cairns and when we did it orange tape. Follow this as it contours along the hillside. When it turns left and begins to head up the hill for more than 100 feet drop back down to the point where it turned. From here bushwack towards some giant boulders down in the wash but up stream from where you are. Getting to the boulders should take and hour to an hour and a half from the car. It isn't fun but that is why they call it back country. From the boulders work your way up the wash until you are under the Dome. This last part of the approach is steep but not too bad. I was really dreading the approach which is why it took me 25 years to do it but I didn't find it as bad as I imagined.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Leviathan Dome:
User Friendly 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13 Trad, 6 pitches, 950'
North Face 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R Trad, 10 pitches, 1000'
Featured Route For Leviathan Dome
North Face 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R AZ : Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin... : ... : Leviathan Dome
This climb is a serious undertaking with some big runnouts in places. Most notably the 4th pitch with 60 feet of unprotected 5.7, the fifth pitch which has a 110 foot traverse with widely spaced pro so the second can enjoy it too, and the 8th pitch where falling could lead to a big swing into a corner. The cool thing is that doing this you are following in the footsteps of some inspired and daring people. In Bob Kerry's Guiedbook Backcounty Rockclimbing in Southern Arizona he writes that the ...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
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