GPS: 32.315, -110.737 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Tony B on Nov 13, 2002 with updates from Robert Hall
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland
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Description

Hidden Jewels is a small Mount Lemmon crag with a little more dust and dirt than many other area crags. All of the climbs are a single pitch. Most of the routes here have a few bolts, but require some gear as well. With a single 60M rope and plenty of webbing + gear to set up anchors, you can TR about anything there. What makes Hidden Jewels nice is the fact that it is low on the road, which means that they are at a low elevation, and thus warmer when it is otherwise cold. It is a reasonably short walk in, and that there is a high concentration of moderate grades in this one place. You can go here for a single day and climb everything.

The rock faces primarily West, giving morning shade and afternoon sun, so plan accoringinly.

Getting There

Drive to MP 1.3 up the Mount Lemon Highway, to a pulloff on your left, which can accomodate just a few cars. Hike up the steep Soldier Trail through a nice forest of Saguaro Cacti for about 20-25 min to the climber's path at an obvious cairn on the left (It looks like the "small triangular rock" mentioned in the guidebook has been incorporated into the cairn.) In 50 ft or so the path branches: left leads to a small (camping?) clearing while the right branch seems to be the main path to the cliffs. The right branch soon weaves through cacti, contouring around to the right and, in 5-10 min (depending on how fast you walk through cacti) swings around the ridgeline to the top of some cliffs.

It looked to me as if the main cliffis up to the right another 150-200 yards or so. But just where you go around the ridge there is a cairn down low on top of the (much more fractured-looking) lower cliff. I don't know if this is supposed to mark a potential down-climb ( it looked pretty fractured, and leads to what? ) or rap location (no anchors) or what?

Overall, with gear and a rope I'd think the average climber on their first outing to this cliff would take 30-40 minutes to reach the actual base. The ascent was about 600 vertical ft by my altimeter watch.

WARNING!!!

There is a well-established hive of bees in a crack to the right of the "Lazy S" chimney, as you first approach that rock, close to the ground.

8 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Hidden Jewels

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 9
Soldier's Revenge
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Soldier's Revenge
 9
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Hidden Jewels »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Pusher  
Nice morning and afternoon climbs with shade until around 1. Bit of a hike though. Aug 24, 2003
Wes Turner
az / pa
Wes Turner   az / pa
the unknown FA's are Jeff Mayhew's Jun 4, 2004
Christian
Casa do Cacete
Christian   Casa do Cacete
Would recommend belayers wear helmets here Jun 17, 2006
Braxtron
...
Braxtron   ...
Climbs not worth the approach, in my opinion. Feb 5, 2007
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
Joseph Stover   Batesville, AR
The right and left ones on the upper blocks are okay climbs, the left one has runout between bolts 3/4 (a good small nut/cam works quater inch or so) and 5/6, the gear between 5/6 is no good.

I'd have to agree that it might not really be worth the hike, can't comment on the stuff down below. The view and hike are worth it in there own right though. Rock was cold and shady, but climbable.

To get there, once you get up pretty high on the soldier trail, you'll see a cairn and a big hill to the left, a big rock formation across the valley to the right, and a ridge in front of you. You want to get around the ridge towards the left side. You will be above most of the climbs, but keep following the top of the cliff and you'll see a few big fomartions/walls/chimneys. The 2 moderates are on the obvious big face. I bet you could walk off the top, but not sure.

Good view of left hand wall, and you can hear the climbers down there yelling. Dec 2, 2007
Not worth approach. There's a cool 5.9ish crack with 2 bolts (definite runout after second bolt, need medium stoppers/cams) and new chains. Get there by way of a scrambly cliff passage just north of the upper blocks. Mar 1, 2009
Forest Hill
Denver, CO
Forest Hill   Denver, CO
There are only three climbs up above, so of course that's not worth the approach. There are a number of climbs down below that are quite fun, tho. This is an especially great crag for an early morning in the summer. Mar 3, 2009
JFox
Cottonwood
JFox   Cottonwood
This crag gets a bum rap in the guidebook, but it's a real nice, moderate, low elevation crag. It has a great view down onto Hairpin Canyon and for the life of me, I can't figure out what people mean by "not worth the approach". The approach is litterally 20 minutes, on a good trail. Sure, it's uphill, but come on people.

There are three routes on the upper tier. Two real nice 5.7's. The 5.10 is a little contrived in my opinion.

The lower tier has three routes. I did the 5.9 and thought it was fun. Some loose stuff. Rap down from good anchors, near where the trail first rounds the corner, out onto the cliffs. Feb 10, 2011
Jimbo  
I thought two of the 5.7ish routes on the upper wall were great. Feb 11, 2011
Thanks again Jeff (and company) for helping out yesterday! If the bees move out, we will be back to see about doing Lazy S again. Apr 8, 2012
JMayhew
Tucson, AZ
JMayhew   Tucson, AZ
There is a well-established hive of bees in a crack to the right of the "Lazy S" chimney, as you first approach that rock, close to the ground. Sep 8, 2013
NickMartel
Tucson, Arizona
NickMartel   Tucson, Arizona
Yes the approach is uphill but its a nice enough place, and the hand/fist crack to the right of "The Crescent" is amazing if short. It provides the rare (on lemmon) joy of climbing and entire pitch using nothing but jams, and damn they are nice feeling jams. Oct 7, 2013
mikehilbert
Tucson, AZ
mikehilbert   Tucson, AZ
How do you get to the south set of cliffs? I saw no rap station to lower down from above and the hike in to the northern set of cliffs (with the bolted 5.7s and 5.10) is already about 25 minutes.

APPROACH BETA: not sure if this is the fastest way to either set of cliffs (north or south) but I went up the Soldier Trail to where it levels off (as described here) and then went left via bushwhack into the saddle between a small hill (to the south) and a craggy hill (to the north) and went left (west) around the side of the craggy hill to get to the northern cliffs. There was no visible "triangle shaped rock" as described in SQL III nor was there any visible trail to the left off of Soldier Trail. Nov 30, 2015
Alex Burton
Tucson
Alex Burton   Tucson
Don't bring dogs. There is a lot of cacti on the route and you need to bushwack. Took 40 minutes to find since we missed the branch and kept going forward. Wasn't worth it. Feb 11, 2016
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
Robert Hall   North Conway, NH  
Re' approach: Yes, I'm old with tired knees, but we hiked it with no gear just to have look:

Up the Solider Trail about 20-25 min to the climber's path at an obvious cairn on the left (It looks like the "small triangular rock" mentioned in the guidebook has been incorporated into the cairn.) In 50 ft or so the path branches: left leads to a small (camping?) clearing while the right branch seems to be the main path to the cliffs. The right branch soon weaves through cacti, contouring around to the right and, in 5-10 min (depending on how fast you walk through cacti) swings around the ridgeline to the top of some cliffs.

It looked to me as if the main cliff (see photo I'll post in a few days) is up to the right another 150-200 yards or so. But just where you go around the ridge there is a cairn down low on top of the (much more fractured-looking) lower cliff. I don't know if this is supposed to mark a potential down-climb ( it looked pretty fractured, and leads to what? ) or rap location (no anchors) or what??

Overall, with gear and a rope I'd think the average climber on their first outing to this cliff would take 30-40 minutes to reach the actual base. The ascent was about 600 vertical ft by my altimeter watch.

Just speculation, but I think mikehilbert (post above) may have headed off the Soldier Trail much too early, perhaps using the guidebook's "20 min." total approach time. We almost turned back before reaching the obvious climber's path. Apr 20, 2018