Elevation: 8,417 ft
GPS: 32.432, -110.793 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 27,969 total · 141/month
Shared By: James DeRoussel on Oct 28, 2002 with updates from Kari Hreinsson
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland
Getting weather forecast...
Access Issue: Potentially unavailable to climbing February through July if raptors are breeding here. Details

Description

Rappel Rock is located near the summit of Mt Lemmon at an elevation of over 9000 feet. Like the other summit crags, Rap Rock offers cool temps and spectacular views of Tucson to the south.

There are a number of high quality routes, including some of the longest moderate routes on the mountain.

Getting There

Driving the Catalina Highway turning right towards the ski valley immediately prior to the village of Summerhaven. Continue through the ski valley parking lot, past a gate, and up a narrow paved road. Follow this road to the observatory where it ends. Use the gravel parking lot if you have Coronado Recreation Fee pass; otherwise park along the shoulder of the road.

Pick up the trail to the left (south) of the fenced-in antennas. After a couple minutes take the left fork onto Mt. Lemmon Trail #5. Follow the rocky road-like trail for approximately 15 minutes until you've passed a metal shed on the right. Just off trail on the left is a pipe with spring water that is safe to drink. Continue past this shed for another hundred yards until you are straight above Rappel Rock. On your left will be a climber's trail marked with cairns. Follow it downhill toward Rappel Rock and Avalon.

There is a large boulder in this area just below the trail. A few minutes on this trail will put you down in plain view of Rap Rock. Follow the trail down and around the west (right) end of two smaller formations. You will be deposited at the back side of Rap Rock. Many parties rack up here to avoid hiking back down for gear after summiting. It's also a good idea to scramble up and check out the descent.

To find the climbs, follow vague, steep trail down and around east (left) end of Rappel Rock.

19 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Rappel Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 11
Not So Easy Arch
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 66
Black Quacker
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 61
Standard Route
Trad 4 pitches
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 10
Charadras
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 64
Bender-Axen
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 4
Main Gate
Trad 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 6
The Corner
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
 38
Quick Death
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 34
Chiboni
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 14
Helm's Deep
Trad 3 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 5
Black Magic Woman
Trad 5 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 13
Voodoo Child
Trad 4 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 8
Lude
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 4
Rotissima Bueno
Trad
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 3
Baradur
Trad 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Not So Easy Arch
 11
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
Black Quacker
 66
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Standard Route
 61
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 4 pitches
Charadras
 10
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad
Bender-Axen
 64
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Main Gate
 4
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
The Corner
 6
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad
Quick Death
 38
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13 Trad
Chiboni
 34
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Helm's Deep
 14
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 3 pitches
Black Magic Woman
 5
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 5 pitches
Voodoo Child
 13
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 4 pitches
Lude
 8
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Rotissima Bueno
 4
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Baradur
 3
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad 4 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Rappel Rock »

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
We did this route back in 2002.

We started on the 5.9+ at the bottom for the first pitch and then did the 5.7 variation to finish out.

The hanging belay was a bit uncomfortable as I had to wait for a long while due to some rope management issues.

The chicken head pitch was fun.

Overall, the views from this route are incredible. Apr 12, 2004
Christian
Casa do Cacete
Christian   Casa do Cacete
What's the belay situation at the tree ledge where the first pitch of most of these climbs ends up?

Is there just one tree or other belays to be had i.e. can more than one party belay on this ledge at the same time?

Thanks Jul 10, 2006
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
More than enough anchors and room for more than one party Christian. Jul 10, 2006
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
Does anyone ever actually rappel Rappel Rock...? Jul 20, 2012
Nice!! How were the temperatures? Oct 15, 2012
Is rappel rock closed for falcon nesting currently? Jun 25, 2018
Steven Brian
Tucson, AZ
Steven Brian   Tucson, AZ
Just returned from Avalon. It was my first time at Summit Crags, and I relied on STL III for approach beta. I think that the directions for getting to Rappel Rock and Avalon (p. 442) are wrong. The book directs you to a trail 25 feet past a green electrical box, 250 feet after passing the shed with the spring. These directions take you to the saddle between Ravens and Fortress (as pictured correctly on the map on p. 440). This is a lovely spot, but not where I wanted to go. Follow the map, not the written directions. Jun 27, 2018