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.
| || Blow has the juggiest holds at Lower Solitude, interrupted by an excellent crux past the last bolt, then more deep jugs to the anchor. |
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.
| || Dean sticking the crux throw on Holy Roller 5.12, Higher Solitude. |
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.
50 Total Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',27],['2 Stars',18],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Solitude Canyon
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Solitude Canyon:
Featured Route For Solitude Canyon
Solitaire 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a AZ
: Northern Arizona
: ... : Main Wall
For the grade, Solitaire stands out as one of flagstaff's more classic sport routes, and one of the most beautiful...Start by small pine tree on the right side of the squaty pillar, just up hill from Man on the Moon. Surf through a large weakness, via jugs to the first bulge. Eye your footholds on the right, below the bulge, because they will disappear all too quickly as you start to move up. Clever stemming, a hand jam, and a little laybacking (there are a hundred ways to do these moves, but...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Colin Cox staring down the crux of Solitaire, at H...
|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.
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 17, 2013
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 it.....so 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..