Baboquivari Peak Rock Climbing
|GPS:||31.771, -111.597 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Shared By:||James DeRoussel on Jul 26, 2002|
|Admins:||Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick|
DescriptionFor those seeking a backcountry climbing experience with big payoff, Baboquivari Peak may be just what the doctor ordered. This 7,734-foot peak, visible to the west from Tucson, is one the few in Arizona that requires technical climbing to summit. It also rewards climbers with a rare 360-degree summit view, as most Arizona peaks are obscured by heavy forest.
Though Baboquivari hosts all of the Grade VI climbs in Arizona, one need not climb A4 to enjoy the summit. The Southeast Arete (III 5.6) is the most popular route, with three-star climbing and breathtaking exposure. There are also two 'hikers' routes, one of which includes only about 80 feet of easy technical climbing on the famed 'Ladder Pitch'. Routes are accessed via Lion's Ledge.
While the climbs can be approached from the east or west, the western side of Baboquivari Peak lies on the Tohono O'odham Nation. The mountain is of immense cultural and religious importance to the native people, and should be treated with due respect.
Descending from the summit of 'Babo' can be notoriously epic. It is customary to bring a small gift to the summit to appease I'itoi. This, and some detailed beta, should help greatly with the descent.
For more information and a bit of interesting background on Baboquivari, see Bob Kerry's guide 'Backcountry Climbing in Southern Arizona.'
Caution should be exercised when visiting this area, due to human and drug trafficking.
Caution: Human and Drug Trafficking Details
Traffic from drug smuggling and illegal immigration is high in this area. Exercise caution. US Border Patrol recommends avoiding this area completely after dark.
Getting ThereDrive south on I-19 from Tucson, and exit Ajo Way (Hwy 86), heading west towards Robles Junction and Sells. Depending on your intended route and willingness to bushwack, make a decision to approach from east or west.
East:A four wheel drive or high clearance vehicle is recommended for this approach. Drive Hwy 86 west to Robles Junction and turn south on Hwy 286. Continue on for 29 miles, then take the first right after mp 16. Stay on this road for 2.7 miles, taking the first dirt road forking to the right. You will reach a sign and a gate at 6.5 miles. Park and continue through the gate on foot. After about a half mile, you will directed around the house and corrals to the trail up Thomas Canyon. This trail will put you on the saddle below Babo in two to three hours. Expect difficult route-finding.
West:Continue on Hwy 86 past Robles Junction to Sells. In Sells, take the 'business loop' and make a turn south toward the settlement of Topawa. Turn left at the sign for 'Baboquivari Park' and follow a good dirt road 10 miles to a fork. Go right. This will take you to Baboquivari Camp, which is operated and maintained by the Tohono O'odham nation.It is a great place have base camp. From camp, it is about two hours to the saddle, depending on party speed. The trail is well established and nearly impossible to lose.
East/West: From the saddle, it is another half hour to an hour hike to Lion's Ledge. Many parties drop packs and rack up at the saddle. It is also a nice place to bivy if you want to hike in the night before. Lion's Ledge is the large, heavily vegetated ledge running across most of the east and south faces, by which most routes are accessed.
Classic Climbing Routes at Baboquivari Peak
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season