Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains)

Select Area...
Alamo Canyon 
Esperero Canyon 
Finger Rock Canyon 
Golder Dome 
La Milagrosa Canyon 
Los Viejos Crag 
Mount Lemmon (Catalina Highway) 
Pontatoc Canyon 
Pusch Ridge 
Sabino Canyon 
Ventana Canyon 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Gates Pass Trail
Straightforward desert singletrack along Tucson Mountain Park's power line. Near Tucson Estates, Arizona
Cougar Trail
A trail separate from the main Tucson Mountain Park trail system. Near Tucson Estates, Arizona
Brown Mountain Loop
A short looping tour of Brown Mountain with a technical descent. Near Tucson Estates, Arizona
Golden Gate Trail
Lots of rocky steps. Near Tucson Estates, Arizona
Tucson Mountain Park Loop
One of the many Tucson Mountain Park rides consisting of easy singletrack and great views. Near Tucson Estates, Arizona
Tortolita Preserve Loop
A scenic route through Ironwoods and Cholla. Near Tortolita, Arizona
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains) Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 2,500'
Location: 32.4471, -110.7905 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 375,433
Administrators: Greg Opland, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: James DeRoussel on Jul 10, 2010
Forecast:
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [3 people like this page.]
Panorama of the north side of the Santa Catalina m...

Description 

The Santa Catalina Mountains are more commonly known among climbers and non-climbers alike as, simply, Mount Lemmon. Although Mount Lemmon is only one of many peaks within the Santa Catalina range, its name has been casually applied to the range as a whole for some time.

Mount Lemmon, rising to an elevation of 9,157 feet above sea level, offers some of the best climbing in Arizona. More than 1,500 climbing routes can be found on the mountain, making it one of the most popular climbing areas in the state. With crags located at elevations ranging from 2,500-9,000', comfortable climbing temps can be found year round.

While the vast majority of the climbs in this area are accessed by the Catalina Highway, there are parts of the range accessed otherwise. This area has been organized based on access and geographical location.

Be aware of the many objective dangers that inhabit these mountains... loose rock, old hardware, extreme heat and cold, bark scorpions, gila monsters, lightning, multiple species of rattlesnakes and, perhaps most importantly, flash floods. Stay out of arroyos and major drainages, particularly during the monsoon season of July-August! Flash floods can present a lethal danger, even when skies are clear in your immediate locale.

Finally, be advised that many climbing areas within the Santa Catalinas are closed seasonally (mainly January-July) for protection of peregrine falcons and bighorn sheep. We have made every effort to note closures and restrictions within those specific areas on this site, so please do your homework before planning a trip.


Getting There 

The Santa Catalina Mountains are located immediately north of Tucson, and are accessible by a few different routes. See inidividual areas within the Santa Catalinas for more detailed information.

Climbing Season



Weather station 4.4 miles from here

2,160 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',63],['3 Stars',487],['2 Stars',1005],['1 Star',502],['Bomb',17]
['<=5.6',64],['5.7',130],['5.8',191],['5.9',245],['5.10',556],['5.11',431],['5.12',183],['5.13',38],['>=5.14',4],['',0],['<=V1',60],['V2-3',128],['V4-5',50],['V6-7',29],['V8-9',26],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',28],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains):
Slippery When Wet   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 130'   4 - Windy Point West : North Fin
Agatha Christie (Direct)   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 90'   4 - Windy Point West : North Fin
In Lightning   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 180'   6 - Mid-Mountain : The Druid
R-4   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   3 - Windy Point East : Rupley Towers
Chihuahua Power   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   2 - Bear Canyon : Lost Hawk
Old Man   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   4 - Windy Point West : South Fin
Steel Crazy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 4 pitches, 450'   The Fortress : Southeast Face
Centerpiece   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   2 - Bear Canyon : Chimney Rock
Steve's Arete   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   3 - Windy Point East : Hunchback Pinnacle
Two Kings And A Pawn   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Chessman Area : 4 - Queen
Armed Robbery   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabay... : Jailhouse Rock
Histoplasmosis   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   4 - Windy Point West : North Fin
The Wizard   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   La Milagrosa Canyon : Main Wall
Hard Day at The Orifice   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Fortress : Orifice Wall
Booted from the Galley   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   Reef of Rocks : Neptune
Tsunami   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   3 - Windy Point East : New Wave Wall
Orifice Politics   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 105'   The Fortress : Orifice Wall
Golden Beaver   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   4 - Windy Point West : Beaver Wall
Coup de' tat   5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 100'   The Fortress : Orifice Wall
Doubt   5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ 32 E8 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 160'   Reef of Rocks : Aegir
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains)

Featured Route For Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains)
Rock Climbing Photo: Luis sending "The Wizard"

The Wizard 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  AZ : Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin... : ... : Main Wall
An outstanding route located in the round, amphitheater portion of The Main Wall. Thin ledges down low lead to a shallow dihedral and a large flake located below the anchors. Precise footwork on meager footholds will help alleviate some of the pump at several clip stances. The rock in this area tends to hold chalk even after a rain, so don't be surprised if you feel like the holds have already been "ticked". ...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Photos of Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Aerial photo of the East end of Catalinas. Some cr...
Aerial photo of the East end of Catalinas. Some cr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lived in AZ for 25yrs, seen hundreds of rattlesnak...
Lived in AZ for 25yrs, seen hundreds of rattlesnak...
Rock Climbing Photo: Simply perfect...
Simply perfect...
Rock Climbing Photo: If you are climbing at Mt Lemon, you will probably...
If you are climbing at Mt Lemon, you will probably...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tower Solo at Sunset
Tower Solo at Sunset
Rock Climbing Photo: Wide eye.
Wide eye.
Rock Climbing Photo: Part of the wonderful light show over the Catalina...
Part of the wonderful light show over the Catalina...
Rock Climbing Photo: A superb lieback crack at sun spots. Gosh the uppe...
A superb lieback crack at sun spots. Gosh the uppe...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chrysicolla and Fishhook Pincushion Cactus (Mammil...
Chrysicolla and Fishhook Pincushion Cactus (Mammil...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pusch Ridge Area
Pusch Ridge Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Pusch Ridge Area
Pusch Ridge Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Eric Deschamps showing us how Mt Lemmon ice is don...
Eric Deschamps showing us how Mt Lemmon ice is don...
Rock Climbing Photo: On top of the second pitch of Scorpion king.
On top of the second pitch of Scorpion king.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rattlesnake Peak (6,653 ft.)
Rattlesnake Peak (6,653 ft.)
Rock Climbing Photo: Cathedral Rock (7,952 ft) from my balcony
Cathedral Rock (7,952 ft) from my balcony
Rock Climbing Photo: Pusch Ridge Area
Pusch Ridge Area
Rock Climbing Photo: The view from high on the northwest slopes of Moun...
The view from high on the northwest slopes of Moun...
Rock Climbing Photo: "Golden Hour"
"Golden Hour"
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset at Rose Canyon parking lot, March 15, 2013.
Sunset at Rose Canyon parking lot, March 15, 2013.
Rock Climbing Photo: Some of the local legends, ...or the usual suspect...
Some of the local legends, ...or the usual suspect...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hen House
Hen House

Comments on Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains) Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 25, 2016
By Andy Bennett
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 19, 2010
Thanks for re-organizing this, looks great!
By 1Eric Rhicard
Aug 18, 2010
That is some funny shit Andrew. I thought you were working construction, but you are going to film school. Good for you! Ha Ha
By Ken Isaacson
Sep 6, 2010
Mt. Lemmon can't be a decent place to climb when there are headless bodies being found in the Arizona desert.
By ryan dillon
From: Tucson, AZ.
Sep 6, 2010
That's just what happens when you get caught adding bolts to an existing route or taking the biners from the anchors.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Sep 6, 2010
Ken, Mt. Lemmon is one of our "sky islands" that rises far above the Sonoran desert and is therefore a safe haven from the epidemic--the ORGY--of beheading that's been going on around here. But I might add that the desert regions themselves are getting safer--Jan Brewer has did everything she can.
By Ken Isaacson
Sep 7, 2010
Say what you will. I trust the governor. Elected officials never lie. I'll just take my Bosch and my swag, and go where I can be appreciated.
By mariaji
Jul 31, 2011
2 weeks ago there was a momma bird sitting in a moss nest at the Lower Wall on one of the first holds of a route to the far right (don't know the name of it).
Somebody decided to either move/discard the nest. Would have been nice to just leave her alone and pick a different line for the time that she needed to be there.
By Meghan
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Oct 17, 2011
Someone has scattered rat poison around the base of The Orifice Wall here on Mt. Lemmon, presumably to kill the mice that occasionally raid lunches. This is obviously NOT COOL. Whomever did it obviously wasn't thinking about the squirrels, chipmunks, birds, reptiles that eat them, and other people's dogs. We may not like for animals to get into our things, but this is their habitat-- even the mice-- not ours. Not that any rangers would ever know about it, but this would also be a great way to get access to a crag taken away. Everyone there today was on the same page that this is VERY bad form by some fellow climber. Whoever you are, please don't be an embarrassment to our sport or a menace to the environment again.
By aaron voreis
Feb 23, 2012
Hi I will be in Tucson next week and am looking to get out climbing. I have a flexible schedule and would like to get down to Cochise if possible. I am a very competent, yet out of shape climber who would like to stay in the 5.8-5.9 rang. I don't mind taking a competent intermediate climber out.

Thanks!
Aaron

e-mail
aaronvoreis@gmail.com
or text 612+759+1876
By jborof
Mar 9, 2012
Never climbed in the area. Wondering if anyone can recommend some crags and camping. I will be with my kids, 5&8 yrs. burgeoning climbers who really like a short approach! Single pitch would be best. Any advice?
Cheers
Josh
By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Mar 10, 2012
Prison Camp/Jailhouse might work, there's camping there but usually full. Molino Basin lower should have spots.

Also Hairpin Turn, though watch the runouts on some of the older climbs. Also some are mixed but on MP as sport.
By Daren
Dec 26, 2012
just want to clear up, is this place closed during jan-?

the ENTIRE place? or just certain parts? Thanks!!
By Robert Flore
Jan 22, 2013
Jan. 20, 2013 near Barnum Rock, found Canon Digital Camera, apparently dropped heavily, could be repaired? I cannot retrieve photos to ID owner. Please give camera description and means of returning. Can contact me here through E-mail.

Robert Flore
By Robert Boutell McLeod
Aug 27, 2013
Left six BD quickdraws at the Outcroppings on 8/20. They were picked up before we went back on 8/24. I'm very attached to this gear, as they were given to me by my best friend, who died of cancer recently. Please contact me about how I can get them back. Thanks...Robert McLeod biblebob54@gmail.com, 520 270 4714.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 27, 2013
Robert is a really nice guy. If you found the draws it would be great to get them back to him. Thanks!
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 27, 2013
With all due respect, Geir, I don't think getting one's draws back should have anything to do with whether one is a "really nice guy" (or was climbing with the first ascentionist, or etc.). If it's the right thing to do, then it's the right thing to do--period.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 27, 2013
You are right Charles. He should get his draws back. I figured it couldn't hurt to say that he's a good person, though.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 28, 2013
Even jerks and reprobates should get their draws back :)
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 28, 2013
Ha! You are beating me Charles!

What if Darth Vader lost those draws but he took them from a band of Ewoks he slaughtered? F*** that!

By the way Robert would never kill Ewoks he is much too kind. Please return his draws because of this. :)
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 28, 2013
If Darth was the first ascentionist's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate, I might consider giving them back.
By Jimbo
Sep 23, 2013
Ben,

Go look up sarcasm in the dictionary, and read the whole post.
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Sep 23, 2013
Jimbo....go look up irony in the dictionary and get back to the thread.
By caesar.salad
From: earth
Feb 19, 2015
Is there any general reason that the majority of the routes are only 2 stars? Rock not solid? Bad bolting? Just bad lines in general? I want to move to the area because of the option to climb outside year round but I am dissuaded by the mediocre evals the majority of the routes have.
By jbak
Feb 19, 2015
Senor salad...

Around here 2 stars is a strong rating. We are used to a 3-star system (local guidebook) and so we don't give 3 stars very easily. And usually 4 is reserved for something really special. So don't let the 2 star plethora put you off. 2 stars means good....GOOD !
By caesar.salad
From: earth
Feb 19, 2015
Thanks! Good to know. I'll put Tucson higher on my list of possibilities.
By Jimbo
Feb 20, 2015
To reinforce Jbak's comment. We often go back to a climb we did years ago and after climbing it wonder why we only gave it two stars.
The new guide book will have a four star system.
By jbak
Feb 20, 2015
One small cloud...if you are a truly high-end sporto you will run through our meager offerings pretty fast. A site search of routes 13c and up reveals only a dozen recorded in the southern AZ section.
By caesar.salad
From: earth
Feb 22, 2015
Nah, I lead in the 10s. I doubt I will suddenly start crushing 14s anytime soon. Though I do like to boulder and I noticed there is a minimal amount... though I did see tucsonbouldering.com and oldpueblobouldering.com so it's nice that a lot of development is happening.
By Baul Powron
Mar 1, 2016
Looking to get started on a trad rack. For Lemmon climbing, should I go with 2 sets of Metolius size 1-4's or 1 set of size 00-6?
By Paul Zander
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 2, 2016
Baul Powron - a good starter rack would be a single set of metolius from 2-8. Or the equivalent in BD - 0.3-3. Plus nuts!
By Victoria Gamache
Apr 15, 2016
Is there a good guide book for Mount Lemmon?
By Kurt Jensen
From: Aptos,CA
Apr 23, 2016
Hi. We have been climbing for almost a week at Mt. Lemmon, visiting from NorCal and climbing with some local friends. On Wed. April 20, we were at Ridgeline as a ground of 6, and 3 of my draws got left by accident. I went back on the 22nd and they were not found. Did anyone climb there and find draws on the 21st? Thanks!
By Abby S.
Jun 25, 2016
Victoria, check out the following:
mountainproject.com/v/new-guid...

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!