For next few days, REI will DOUBLE your gift to the Access Fund - up to $65,000. Donate Now!
Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Jailhouse Rock

Armed Robbery S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Assault with Battery S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Climb Spree S 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Cold Hand Luke T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Crime and Punishment T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Finger Prince S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Grand Theft Otto T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Hard Time T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Jailbreak S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Just Punishment T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Petty Theft T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Prison Overcrowding S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Safecracker T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Sentenced To Hang S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Sentenced Traverse V4 6B
Solitary Refinement S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Yard Boss S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Order Wrong? Sort Routes

Description [Suggest Change]

Prison Camp's premier wall features hard sport and traditional lines on slightly overhung water-polished stone. While the routes are a short fifty feet they tend to be full value. The slippery nature of the rock, powerful initial moves, and sometimes sporty bolting may be off-putting to some; nevertheless, this unique wall should not be missed by those climbing at the grade.

Due to its northeast orientation and breezy dry riverbed location this wall is surprisingly chilly in the winter. In the winter this wall sees only an hour or two of morning sun. The best time to project these routes is spring and fall afternoons.

Petty Theft, Grand Theft Otto, and Cold Hand Luke are found at the left end of Jailhouse Rock. The rock is vertical to less-than-vertical and not as water polished.

Hard Time and Assault With Battery are actually not part of Jailhouse Rock proper but are further downstream and south facing. These two routes receive all-day sun.

Getting There [Suggest Change]

Follow the dry riverbed past the Dragon Tower and Guard Tower. When you reach the Cell Blocks bypass the riverbed drop-off by travelling either to the left or right. Moving up and left past the Mr. Meanor Wall will lead you to the base of the sector; Moving up and right provides toprope access to many of the anchors. If you choose to toprope yield to lead climbers, watch for people below, and be careful setting up anchors.

17 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Jailhouse Rock Change
Type:  to 
Sort by:   then:

Classic Climbing Routes at Jailhouse Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Jailhouse Rock »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
But! Watch out for loose rock and "temporary" holds. I have seen three holds break off with each resulting leader falls. No injuries in those cases but... . This area, although convenient and home to several fun climbs has a lot of bad rock. Jan 6, 2003
Climbs on Alcatraz wall can be top roped by approaching via a trail to the left of Dragon Tower, slinging a boulder as an anchor and belaying to the chains. Nov 23, 2003
GPS Coordinates for Jailhouse Rock: N32.33323 W110.72487 WGS84 Feb 15, 2004
there is no hanger on the bolt on Parole (5.10+) so it's an all gear climb Sep 17, 2005
It's a very short and easy hike to access this area and very easy to set up topropes, so expect crowds and monopolizing of routes for long periods i.e. don't go there deadset on doing one route, have some back-ups in mind. Sep 23, 2005
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
Joseph Stover   Batesville, AR
Has anyone ever looked at the rock about a third of the way to Rivendale from prison camp along the same trail/wash. I only looked at it from the satelite photos on google, but it looks like it is the same size and shape, if not bigger that the prison camp L. Feb 28, 2006
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
Does anyone know the name and difficulty of the route that's immediately right of the large, obvious crack just to the right of Mr. Meanor on the N side of the creek? It's got an interesting, hemispherical feature about chest level when standing at the base. People often avoid the harder, direct start and opt for using the large plate leaning against the wall just to the left of the direct line. Apr 30, 2006
Scott Tucker
Tucson, AZ
Scott Tucker   Tucson, AZ
Jerry, I believe the climb you are thinking of is "Off Scott Free". It is a 5.9+. I just added the description. I believe I found a description after climbing it on the old site. I think the original post was by Vince Greene, but it must not have carried over. Jun 5, 2006
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
So where is "Mug Shot". I was thinking this might be it except that in the Lemmon guide Mug Shot is listed as a gear route... Jun 7, 2006
Scott Tucker
Tucson, AZ
Scott Tucker   Tucson, AZ
I believe Ben added bolts to Mug Shot, so it's mixed gear now despite the trad listing in STL. I was confused for a moment myself because I was pretty sure I had climbed Mug Shot last winter but also don't recall any pure trad routes on that wall. But I seem to remember a post to that effect a while back. I haven't been to the wall in a few months, though--you know, that triple-digit temps thing... Jun 8, 2006
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
So... Mug shot would be the route a few feet to the right of "Off Scott Free"...? Jun 9, 2006
Scott Tucker
Tucson, AZ
Scott Tucker   Tucson, AZ
Okay, I decided I was confused, so I went and looked at the Mr. Meanor wall to sort out the climbs. There are five routes. From left to right they should be 40 to Life, Mr. Meanor, Mug Shot, Off Scott Free, and St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Mug Shot starts with the bowl-shaped feature on the face, Off Scott Free is directly in front of the tree, right of Mug Shot. (I had them backward before, sorry.) A second opinion wouldn't hurt, but I'm pretty sure that's right. I fixed my route descriptions. (See Mr. Meanor Topo for details and proof that I have too much free time.)

And, in response to Joseph Stover's older question about the next bend in the stream: it looks killer from space on Google Earth, but it's pretty chossy in person and all the tall faces are broken by ugly, loose, vegetation-infested ledges. Not much promise. Now, the crag up on the hill directly north looks fantastic (aside from the approach). Jun 11, 2006
Casa do Cacete
Christian   Casa do Cacete
Thanks for the topo Scott Jun 28, 2006
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
Nice topo Scott. However, there's no way that Mug Shot is 5.8+ if started from the ground directly under the first bolt. If you step up on the large flake to the left, yeah, but not the way it's drawn... Jul 17, 2006
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
Joseph Stover   Batesville, AR
Where are hoosgal, machinegun, scarface and solitary with respect to the climbs drawn on the nice looking topo above in this post? Sep 11, 2006
Casa do Cacete
Christian   Casa do Cacete
The Alcatraz Wall is basically around the corner from the climbs on the topo i.e. as you're looking at the topo climbs, you head right and then turn left at the corner and trudge uphill, should only take a couple of minutes.. Sep 12, 2006
I think the topo is wrong. The route to the right of the crack with the round dish was put up by Kevin Carmichael. I will get the name at dinner tonight. Mug shot was a single bolt by the tree. Contact Ben Burnham or Vince Greene to get the lowdown. Oct 21, 2006
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
Eric, Did you ever get a chance to find out what the "bowl" route's name and official difficulty rating are? Jerry Mar 11, 2007
Braxtron   ...
Anybody know anything about the routes just around the corner from Jailhouse Rock? I don't mean The Exercise Yard, but rather the east-face just before it, on the same side of the wash. Mar 27, 2007
Hey Braxton, Check out this site under Jailhouse rock. They are all listed. I think it is a great wall for beginning climbers. Mar 27, 2007
Braxtron   ...
Ah, I think I get it now. It seems to me that Assault With Battery is on the face I was wondering about. It's just before The Exercise Yard, and on the same side of the wash, right? Mar 31, 2007
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
Joseph Stover   Batesville, AR
Any word on the route name and rating corrections?

I climbed "Mug Shot" today, the one starting in the dish. Even coming in from the boulder on the left is a bit sandbagged at 8+ if you ask me. I would call that at least 9- and the direct start 10a or even 10b or harder, but what do I know. I thought it was a fun route. After the start it is a reasonable 8. Apr 2, 2007
Braxton, Assault with Battery is on a South facing wall on the same side of the canyon as Jailhouse rock. It's between The Exercise yard and Jailhouse Rock. Look for 2 bolted routes. Assault With Battery is the right one closer to the wash. The left one is Ben's route and takes a few bits of gear. Apr 4, 2007
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
Joseph Stover   Batesville, AR
Found a nice New Balance shoe in the wash. Brand new, couldn't find the other one. If it's yours, PM me and I'll get it to you.

Also: watch out for kids(campers, etc...) playing around the top of the cliffs. Saw some uninformed youngsters tumble a huge death block down by the entrance to the canyon. It didn't come too close to the base of the Dragon's Back route, but never-the-less is a scary hazard. Mar 23, 2008
I have to say I've contemplated posting for a bit now and as I see my name on so many of the climbs I'd like to leave a bit of info about what is in majorty, Ben Burnham's legacy to the climbing community. Ben isn't climbing all that much any more and I've had a litany of injuries but back when Ben and I put these climbs up which have my name, his name or both we were climbing both weekend days three weekends a month. It was the good life.

Ben took me to Prison Camp, seemingly to us Jailhouse rock being the tough wall after the stream drops off for the second time, to help with an area he felt would add moderates to the mountain. It sure did.

The cell blocks were the first to have me be a part of them, Ben had already put up two climbs on the Misdemeanor(Miss Demeanor, Mr Meaner) wall. We did them from the top down with a set of chains placed at the top and as I remember at least one set revised later to a lower location. The scramble up was not fun. The numbers on the climbs referred to their difficulty and only cell block six is all bolts, the other two taking some gear, or "mixed climbs".

That is what in some way prompted me to write as I saw a party low on CB9 when the leader yelled out "are you sure this isn't a mixed climb?" From across the way I answered., it was.

Ben and I next moved to the guard tower, the six on the left was there so I could do toprope laps on the 10b. Never thought much of the 9 on the right, seemed to lack aesthetics.

One day Ben and I walked downstream to take a look at what is called the Exercise Yard. I will always lament that I didn't put anything up on it, and often thought about it, but Ben and I had other projects more moderate. I spotted what is now the Alcatraz wall, which initially we thought lacked promise thinking it probably too chossy, but it turned out to be pretty popular for newbies and beginners and when I haven't climbed in ages I still go back to get my head straight. Again we walked out and put in the chains and then the climbs followed. Best guessing from the bottom, looking at the lines to place the chains above. The bottom was pretty untamed compared to the way it now looks and the belayer was in peril of trundling down the slope, perhaps this explains some of the belay anchors. Vince Greene and Ben have put the best route up on the wall, though, and kudos to them, it remains a favorite of mine. I'll post a few other comments on the individual climbs and wax nostalgic but it seems,for now, the best(?) of what we put up is missing: Hard Time which is opposite the Alcatraz wall and just slightly up stream from Exercise Yard and sits perpendicular to the stream bed. After we put the chains up I tried and tried to make it go to the right where I understand there is now a 10d(I don't know the name) but finally resigning myself to my limited abilities, stepping off the rock with the traverse and reach to the bolt and beyond.kas Nov 30, 2008
tucson, az
Myk BROWN   tucson, az
Does anyone have a current Topo of the area? As best as I can figure the routes on the main wall from left to right are Solitary Refinement, Safe cracker, Yard Boss, Crime & Punishment, Armed Robbery, Climb Spree, Sentenced to Hang, Jail Break, Finger Prince, Prison Overcrowding.
Does that look right?
Thanks Jul 27, 2009
I think you have it Myk. Jul 27, 2009
We found a pair of flip flops at Jailhouse Rock on Saturday April 3rd. Describe them and we will get them back to you.

245-1163 Apr 3, 2010

I was up at the Jailhouse with a friend today and we found some bolts on this wall and it looked near our skill range. Possibly 5.8 or 5.9 at the most. I don't have a picture for it in my guide, can any tell me what this is? Oct 4, 2010
Rachel Speer
Marana, AZ
Rachel Speer   Marana, AZ
Dude that's at boot hill. I think its a 5.8

I both loved and hated the hike. Oct 5, 2010
Joe Kreidel
San Antonio, TX
Joe Kreidel   San Antonio, TX
If we are thinking of the same spot, it is easily passable. Where the canyon makes the sharp turn, you need to do an easy scramble onto the rocky ledge up and left, out of the streambed. From there you walk about 20 yards up and around, and you are at the base of Ms. Demeanor and those climbs, and right across from Armed Robbery, etc. Aug 30, 2011
Tucson, Arizona
NickMartel   Tucson, Arizona
So just a little bit down stream from Petty Theft but before the Excercise Yard" are a fun looking tower and some other walls that look like they could have some FUN climbs. I am wondering if these have been done yet, If so by whom, info, ect..., If not why not? Here are some pics of what I am talking about:

The tower:

Closer Up of the possable 5.6/7ish? trad route:

The downstream face of the tower also looks like it could have some potential trad or sport routes:

Shorter cliffs to the right of the tower. These may not have been climbed because the are kinda short but the look fun. like the offwidth on the left:

Close up of the offwidth:

Oct 3, 2011
For Nick Martel: Sorry was out of town and......haas it really been three years since I last posted?? Oh, well. About the Photos: from top to bottom.
1.Ben Burnham and possibly another put up routes on this and photo 2 which seems to be a different perspective of same. 5.7-5.8 trad, I climbed these only one day but remember a pair of chains in a cleft at the top. To the right out of the picture of 1 is Cold Hand Luke. This put up as the routes to the left in the picture had already been put up.

#.3 has a route right up the face one starts on the step moves right then up past a bolt. I don't think we ever named it(Ben and I) always known as the 10b. To the right of our route I understand a 10d was put up. I tried very hard before it was put up to toprope up, but beyond me.

4and 5 look only familiar but I don't remember putting anything here. Hope this was helpful. kurt Nov 7, 2011
Hey Nick,
The photo you labeled downhill south face of the tower, has two routes on it. One is left of center and has a few bolts and gear, 5.10. The other is right of center and is all bolts, 5.10+
This wall is discussed on MP in the Jail House area. Now see if you can figure out the name.
Another hint for you about finding routes. Walk up to the base of the climb and look up. If you see bolts that's your clue as to whether there is a route there. Nov 8, 2011
Luke Bertelsen
Tucson, AZ
Luke Bertelsen   Tucson, AZ  
So...........the new Mussy Hooks are nice, I guess. I never had problem with the chains. I guess cutting seconds off of your top rope transfer could be nice if you really got to get those pitches in though.

While guiding today I took down two sets today that were placed up there with carabiners that were taped closed with athletic tape?? These were on the Alcatraz Wall.

I am not trying to be a jerk to anyone who is going to replace hardware at our local crags, but let's try not to ghetto rig the anchors.

How much did the Mussy hooks cost? If you must have them then how much are the quick links that would make this a much safer setup?

I will replace them with quick links attached next time I am out there. Feb 19, 2012
tucson, az
Myk BROWN   tucson, az
Hey Luke,
Sorry you don't like the Mussy hooks. I like the convenience of them, but I also like the safety factor of people not having to untie at the top of every climb to lower off. If you are climbing with a beginner and lead a route you either have to run the rope through the chains and top rope off that,(Bad form) or hope your new second can remember how to tie a new figure eight safely. On harder routes where there aren't many beginners, I figure if Lynn Hill can forget to tie in correctly to her harness and take a 70 ft grounder it could happen to anyone.
My bad on the carabiners. Ran out of quicklinks. Bought another 100 and was planning on replacing the 4 out of 50 routes I've put Mussy hooks on that had taped shut carabiners. Don't see the safety issue since we lower off of carabiners every day, but I get the ghetto part, it was only temporary. If you want to leave them at the Block I'd be happy to put them back up with quicklinks. May 4, 2012
Tucson, AZ
Geir   Tucson, AZ
Hey Myk,

Just a quick word of thanks for upgrading all those anchors! :) May 4, 2012
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
My understanding of the routes. Hope it helps.

Dragon Tower (Left to Right, Upstream to Downstream)
Dragon's Butt (8, ?)
Dragon's Back (10-, BC)
Dragoon (Unknown) (8, BGC)

Guard Tower (Left to Right; Downstream to Upstream)
Probation (6, BGC)
Parole (10+, BGC)
Pardon (9+, BGC)

Opposite Guard Tower
Warden (7, BC)

Cell Blocks (Left to Right; Downstream to Upstream)
Cell Block Eight (8, BGC)
Cell Block Six (6, BC)
Cell Block Nine (9, BGC)

Jailhouse Rock (Left to Right; Downstream to Upstream)
Solitary Refinement (10-, BC)
Safecracker (11-, BGC)
Yard Boss (12d, BC)
Just Punishment (12, BGC)
Crime and Punishment (11, BGC)
Armed Robbery (11, BC)
Climb Spree (11+, BC)
Sentenced To Hang (12b, BC)
Jailbreak (12, BC)
Finger Prince (12b, BC)
Prison Overcrowding (11-, BC)

Left of Jailhouse Rock (Left to Right; Downstream to Upstream)
Hard Time (10b, BGC)
Assault with Battery (10d, BC)
Petty Theft (6, GC)
Grand Theft Auto (9, BGC)
Cold Hand Luke (7, BGC)

Mr. Meanor Wall (Left to Right; Upstream To Downstream)
40 To Life (10a, BC)
Mr. Meanor (8+, BGC)
Safe Cracker (6, GC)
Off Scott Free (9+, BGC)
Mug Shot (8+, BGC)
St. Valentines Day Massacre (8-, BC)

Alcatraz Wall (Left to Right; Downhill to Uphill)
Hoosgal (5, GC)
Solitary (7, BC)
Scarface (7, GC)
Birdman (7, BGC)
Machinegun (5, BC)

Exercise Yard (Left to Right; Downhill to Uphill)
Exercise Yard (Left) (10, BC)
Exercise Yard (10c, BGC) Nov 10, 2012
Found a lonely pair of 5.10 shoes at the base of the wall on the morning of Nov. 9th. Climbed here all day and the owner never showed so I figured I would post here and see if I could get them back to the original owner. Shoot me a message if they're yours! Nov 12, 2014
Mike Kane
Tucson, AZ
Mike Kane   Tucson, AZ
Data point: 63 in Tucson today and a nw wind and there was no wind at the crag and quite pleasant temps. 62 in Tucson last Sunday with a w wind and it was unbearably freezing and windy Dec 3, 2016
Alex Burton
Alex Burton   Tucson
Lost 5 draws they are orange and silver with a black dog-bone (CAMP Orbit Wire Express). I was climbing and it seems like someone accidentally took it with their gear around November 2016. Hope someone realizes that it is mixed up in their gear. Feb 15, 2017
Isaiah Foulks
Isaiah Foulks   Monterey
Found a national parks pass in the creek bed enroute to jailhouse. Name clearly written on it. If the glass slipper fits, send me a Facebook message! I'm here for 4 more days. Jan 7, 2018

More About Jailhouse Rock

What's New
Guidebooks (8)

All Photos Within Jailhouse Rock (93)

Most Popular · Newest · Random