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Solitude Canyon

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Higher Solitude Canyon 
Lower Solitude Canyon 
Middle Solitude Canyon 

Solitude Canyon Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 35.2393, -111.62071 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 13,875
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Sep 2, 2010
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Best climbs for YOU in this area
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The View from the "Break" atop Middle So...


Solitude Canyon is a major drainage on the western flanks of Mt. Elden, and is quite conspicuous from a number of vantage points around the west side of town. Coined by Scott Baxter, or one of his crew, at least a couple lines were done here back in the day. These days however, Solitude Canyon is quickly becoming a sport climbing refuge nestled right in the backyard of Flagstaff. There are three distinct areas in this rugged and forested canyon, each with it's own character.

Lower Solitude boasts close to thirty routes which usually involve body english, crimp strength, and a mind for puzzles. Unique dihedrals line up with steep aretes to offer up burly routes which often times involve boulder problem cruxes. This area is a place to hide from the sun when hot, or to really get after it in early fall. But there are a lot of days throughout the year when this crag is climbable.
Rock Climbing Photo: Colin Cox, "The Godfather of Dacite" on ...
Colin Cox, "The Godfather of Dacite" on Blow, 5.11, Lower Solitude.

Middle Solitude is a partially developed set of small crags on the opposite side (west), and up canyon from Lower Solitude. This area sports a handful of routes on pillar type formations, with good pockets and crisp erosion sculpted edges. Some excellent warmups, and more lines that could be done. This crag starts nearly at the point where the Lower Solitude wall ends. Mixes well with either Lower or Higher though there is presently no trail.

Higher Solitude is a burly crag to access, and climb at. The elevation here is about 8600', and after the approach, you'll know it. It is host to some excellent long sport routes, as well as the Sailing Wall which is a full service warm up wall with routes that start at 5.8. The pockets will amaze you, and the views coupled with the crag ambiance are worth the hike. There is certainly a wilderness feel to it, even though you can see bits of the west side of town. And believe it or not you want colder temps (between 45 and 65 degrees) to really enjoy the this place. It doesn't seem like it when you are hiking up to it, but this area faces almost due south.
Rock Climbing Photo: Dean sticking the crux throw on Holy Roller 5.12, ...
Dean sticking the crux throw on Holy Roller 5.12, Higher Solitude.

Getting There 

For Lower Solitude park at the same cul de sac at the end of Paradise that you would to access Glorias Boulders. Please be courteous to the residents and do not park in front of the chain link fence with gate. From the Safeway on the corner of Cedar Ave and Linda Vista head north on the latter for a block or two, and look for Paradise on the left. Follow large trails up to the boulders, and then go left (west), around them either just skirting them or at the base of them. By keeping your eye on the base and sticking with it you will enter the mouth of Solitude canyon. There are several sets of trails, but there is a distinct climbers trail which heads into the drainage as it appears. This is about fifteen minutes into the hike, and splits right from a well worn trail near a very dead gray sawed stump. Follow this trail the base of Lower Solitude.

For Higher Solitude, check out the approach beta on that page.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.0 miles from here

61 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',36],['2 Stars',17],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Solitude Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Solitude Canyon:
Man On the Moon   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 4 pitches, 350'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Rusty Blade   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Thunder Moon   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Thunderbird ArĂȘte    5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Lucky Old Sun Direct   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Lucky Old Sun   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
The Sundial   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Higher Solitude Canyon : The Sailing Wall
Nature Boy Rick Flare   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Lower Solitude Canyon
Blow   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Lower Solitude Canyon
Whiplash   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Broad Axe   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Slipstream   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Solitaire   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
A Faint Horizon   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
The Assassin    5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Holy Roller   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Modest Mouse   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Lower Solitude Canyon
Continental Drift   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Radical by Nature   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport   Lower Solitude Canyon
The Black Solitaire   5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Solitude Canyon

Featured Route For Solitude Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Zoltan piecing together the details of this crypti...

Continental Drift 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b  AZ : Northern Arizona : ... : Main Wall
Continental Drift is an audacious route that climbs up a wide white streak twenty feet right of The Black Solitaire. Start on bulbous rock with big moves between big holds. Take your rest at the break, and bear hug the block to access the thin pocketed climbing above. The crux involves some serious crimping, body tension, balance, and a good huck to an undercling pocket! The crux section will either excite your puzzle mind, or terribly frustrate you... You do however get a decent shake afte...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Photos of Solitude Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Colin Cox staring down the crux of Solitaire, at H...
Colin Cox staring down the crux of Solitaire, at H...

Comments on Solitude Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 17, 2013
To whom it may concern,

Seriously people, quit running off with the fucking anchor biners. Aside from being a douche baggy thing to do, it shows a severe lack of respect to the community, and especially to those individuals who put in the effort to establish new lines. The reason I put those big lockers on the anchors is because they will last a hell of a long time, and every body gets to benefit from them.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 17, 2013
Hey JJ,

Have you tried spray painting them? It makes them much less attractive to booty.
By john crawley
From: flagstaff, az
Feb 17, 2013
I hear you jk. Sorry its been happening up there. Noticed it happened up at Oaklands as well.
From: Chino Valley, AZ
Apr 15, 2014
I put up a few routes here in the early 80's with Dan Dingle. They were on the north facing side lower down. I can remember one with a bolt or two. Seems like we had some weird home made hangers too. Can't remember what we called it. I think we did a few more right near that one.
By Colin Cox
Jun 28, 2014
Hey CJD....I know the old bolted route with home made hangers you mentioned. I called it "Original Route" in the Lower Solitude area. It's a good route. All the little bolts wiggled in their holes as I trembled my way up later I came and replaced them with new bolts....and later some anchors. It rarely gets done because it's further up the wall but I still consider it one of the best lines up there. I'd love to know the original name. I'll credit you with the F.A..

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