Elevation: 3,725 ft
GPS: 32.321, -110.739 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 6,550 total · 42/month
Shared By: Scott Tucker on May 8, 2006
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland
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Good winter climbing area with moderate sport routes. The hour-long hike keeps out the crowds, but it is well worth the approach. The climbs are fun and the area is very pretty, right along the streambed. No road noise here. The wall faces west/southwest and gets winter sun by noon. Most of the climbs start on slightly water-polished stone then work up to very nice edges. The wall is mostly vertical, but some climbs are fairly sporty and have fun moves.

Getting There

Park at the hairpin turn at the bottom of the highway. Cross the street and follow the trails/streambed up past the Lefthand and Righthand walls. Keep to the right side of the stream and you will find another trail. This drops down into the streambed again as the canyon makes a sharp right bend. Cross the stream and scramble up ten feet of rock steps to find a trail going up the side drainage to the west. This switchbacks steeply up to the west wall of Soldier Canyon. Follow the trail (overgrown here and there, but easy to follow) for about 20 minutes. Once back in the streambed, keep to the left side and scramble up and over some big boulders. Keep looking for the occasional trail sections and finally a dead tree that acts as a short bridge. Duck through an opening under a huge boulder and scramble up a shark fin of rock and there you are! The approach is half the fun! Note that Squeezing the Lemmon shows Rivendell on the wrong side of the stream. The wall is on the east side, facing west/southwest. Otherwise the route descriptions are correct. Give yourself an hour the first time, 45 minutes once you know the way.

www.climbaz.com has excellent directions with pictures and route descriptions.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Rivendell

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Notched Arrow
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Return of the King
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Notched Arrow
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Return of the King
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Rivendell »

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Not sure this area is worth the hike. It is a very secluded area, but the climbs leave a lot to be desired. If you want to kill a day, go for it. But go for the hike, not the climbing. Jun 27, 2006
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Just for the record The topo in SQ II is on the page just as I received it from the person that put up the routes. Jun 29, 2006
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
If you pass it and stay right up the stream bed, you are in cougar country for sure. I tracked a fresh set cat's prints up the streambed for about 20 minutes before turning around and coming back down to Rivendale... only to to find more prints over mine. Apparently the tracked was tracking the tracker and we were going in circles. I suspect by the size that it was not a terribly large cat, as the prints were smaller than my palms. Jan 3, 2008
This is a nice area outside the summer months, or really early in the AM when it's hot. Jonas and I just did a little enchainment of areas, starting at Jailhouse, bombing down the creek to Riv, and finishing the day at Hairpin. Good times. Plenty of wildlife down from the big falls near Soldier trail. The climbs at Riv are well bolted, mostly little crimps and edges. Solid, nothing particularly hard. I love this whole section in the spring and it's totally worth the hike in. Hell, the hike in is most of the reason that I love this area, and mostly because nobody goes there. So please stay away. Everything there sucks. May 30, 2008
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Hey Greg. It may be that Steve Johnson was referring to the LOTR but this is how he spelled it when it was given to me to put in SQ ll. He is also the one that gave me the topo with cliff facing the wrong way. He has never asked me to change it so I guess it is the way he wanted it. Perhaps there is a double meaning that we have yet to decipher. Jul 21, 2008
Braxtron   ...
IMO, this is one of those areas you go to once. The setting is pristine, but the approach is too long for just a handful of decent routes. Mar 7, 2009
Steven W. Johnson
Tucson, Arizona
Steven W. Johnson   Tucson, Arizona
Just to note: I hiked out to Revindell, which I admittedly must have spelled wrong but the editor did not catch it and call before the first guide went to press, to see exactly how bad the trail was after hearing about if over the past few years. Yep, the original very scenic trail is gone. Recently I have attempted several other ways into Revindell but have reached the same conclusion that determined the first trail. Soldier's Trail takes one to high with a unrealistic approach descent/ascent in and out. I also tried going straight up and over the ridge passing past the Beaconing Wall but that is a lot of work. So, the resolve is to still go up the canyon floor to the first curve in the canyon and put the trail back in with a slightly higher variation. I will keep you posted on when that happens; maybe in the fall. Mar 26, 2009
Tucson, AZ
JMayhew   Tucson, AZ
Steve: It's perfect the way it is. It's easy enough just hiking the canyon to the wall. If they don't find it... well it's all about the journey anyway, right? I love taking all my climbing gear out for a nice hike every now and then. See ya at the next Fest. Aug 21, 2009
Tucson, AZ
mikehilbert   Tucson, AZ
Squeezing The Lemon guidebook (and this site) state this wall is south facing (s-sw). For the record, the wall faces west-northwest. Some afternoon sun but not much, maybe a couple hours in the winter. On a side note...fun hike! Dec 27, 2012
Dan K  
Hey All, I was climbing at return of the king yesterday and a freak slip of the foot at the inopportune moment left me with a bummed ankle and 2 unretrievable draws on the wall. If anybody is heading to the area in the near future, I would appreciate it if you could retrieve the draws for me as I won't be climbing for a while. Cheers! Jan 2, 2013
Dan, got your draws today. Will leave them at the Bloc gym for you tomorrow. Get well soon. Jan 3, 2013
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
Should this crag be named 'Rivendell' as opposed to 'Rivendale'? Nov 5, 2014
Abby S.  
John, Yes. It looks like that is how it is actually spelled in the books. Plus, most importantly, it looks like that is what Steve had meant to call it -- although it looks like he still misspelled it! Nov 6, 2014
J Mo
Tucson, AZ
J Mo   Tucson, AZ
Climbers don't like beautiful streambed hikes or this place would be packed. Nothing too hard, some sporty sections, slabby edging in a special locale. Me likes. Nov 29, 2015
It took awhile to get to (well over an hour for our large slow group who got off the trail a few times), but it was great to climb here and as mentioned above - the approach was fun. There is a nice area around the base of the rock for gear and people to hang out while not climbing. Mar 22, 2016
Getting there: Hike up Hairpin. Stick to the right. The canyons branch off: take the hard right (not the left-hand canyon) that leads past Pinhead Wall. Stay in the canyon and rock hop. No trails left to follow (but lots of cholla on the hillsides). Once you enter the correct canyon, it's easy to get there - no other options. Rock hopping's pretty stellar on the hike.

Fun, funky climbing on crimps and short cracks. Jan 29, 2018
Don Fay
Tucson, AZ
Don Fay   Tucson, AZ
FYI dog owners, this is a hard approach for even very agile dogs as there is no clear trail, lots of choke points through narrow rocky slots, and LOTS of cholla. Mar 5, 2018
brian benedon
brian benedon   tucson
My two 70 pound mutts made it in with help in only two places, but they did not carry their packs. There was water off and on in the canyon, but none at the craig.
The temps in the shade were perfect when the wind was not blowing.
I like the full body workout that the hike up and down the canyon bottom offers. Mar 25, 2018