The Mustang is a south facing limestone crag. Currently there are 27 routes from 5.8 to 5.12.
Most are sport, but 5 routes do require a light rack. Routes are from 90 to 200 feet long. All routes can be climbed and rapped on a 60 meter rope.
Most routes are slightly off vertical with churt edges and occasional holes and pockets.
Almost a mile long with an average height of 200 feet the new route potential is enormous!!!

Getting There

From Tucson: I-10 east to Sonoita exit. At Sonoita take 82 east for several miles until a twin 220kv power line crosses the road. Turn right and follow high line road for 2.6 miles. Going through 3 gates. (be sure to close them behind you!)The first gate is immediately off the main road. One hundred yards after dropping into and back up out of a wash look for a road on your right. Take this road for 1/4 mile. The cliff will quickly come into view. Park in turnaround area. Approach the cliff by scrambling into the wash and walking west for a couple of hundred yards until an obvious trail leaves the wash and heads toward cliff. Trail up to base is cairned but somewhat non discript as the summer rains did the grass a lot of good.
Trail leads to the left side of the main wall.

19 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Mustang

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Kopytem Sem Kopytem Tam (Hoof he…
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Pencil Dick
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Kopytem Sem Kopytem Tam (Ho…
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Pencil Dick
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Mustang »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Casa do Cacete
Christian   Casa do Cacete
Looks pretty cool Jim..Post some more routes when you get a chance.

Christian Jan 2, 2007
A.P.T.   Truckee,Ca
Is this place aka. the "Farmhouse?" Jan 2, 2007
No this place is not the farm house. It's closer to Sonoita and farther off the main road.
Get 'yer drill bits sharpened and go out there, Andy, there's hundreds of new routes to do!!!! Jan 3, 2007
A.P.T.   Truckee,Ca
Cool pics! Is this an area that is access sensitive due to crossing private land or is it BLM land? Anyway I haven't been out climbing for a while so I'm out of climbing shape.. Rev. Mcleod is going to be getting out soon again and (Christian Is Interested In Heading Out There) so we may see you out there. Jan 3, 2007
A.P.T.   Truckee,Ca
Heading out tomorrow with "Charlie King." He has climbed here before and knows a bit about the area.. Just hope the weather holds for a little while. If the weather is too bad to climb we will at least scope out some stuff for another day. "The ol' Bosch stays home on this trip though." Jan 4, 2007
Andy, you might try a bring a good dark stout to the crags for the cold days. Pale Ale is more of a late March to late April kind of beer at the Mustang. Jan 11, 2007
Braxtron   ...
Direction Clarification: The mention of 220KV powerlines didn't mean much to me, since I dropped out of electrical engineering before we got to that stuff (seriously), so here's something a bit more descriptive for us lay folk: Heading east from Sonoita, you'll drive under several small powerlines. After about 10 miles (mile marker 42-43ish), you'll encounter ones that are significantly larger than the others that you've seen; turn right onto the dirt road that is just after them and immediately after a guardrail. This road has no posted name and is rather sh*tty in parts, so a high clearance vehicle (no H-Deuces, please) is recommended if you're uncomfortable driving on unpaved roads. Jan 29, 2007
Braxton, I've driven a Mercedes 4 door and a Subaru Legacy wagon back into the Mustang with no problem. High clearance is always preferred but not necessary. Not to mention they graded the really rough bits sometime over the summer.
Sorry about the power line discription. I should have said "the really big metal ones" that cross the road. Feb 1, 2007
Steve Pulver
Williston, ND
Steve Pulver   Williston, ND
If it was my car, we would have driven further, but our driver thought each pebble/piece of gravel was going to damage the car. He's "careful" (Sorry Fred) Feb 2, 2007
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
Joseph Stover   Batesville, AR
This place is awesome. It was a shock to see this 'limestone' for me because I am used to Austin, TX limestone. If you want to know what that looks like. Find one of those white blotches on the ground that looks like cement, there are a few around this crag. I am really curious on what qualifies something as limestone. Maybe the stuff in Texas just has a higher lime content and this stuff has more quantities of various other minerals? The Mustang has more friction than granite it seems to me!

The views of the valleys are just insane! Yes, this place is so humongous that you can see multiple valley floors! Feb 12, 2007
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
This place is not for the faint of heart. The rock takes getting used to. A lot of time and energy has gone into cleaning these routes up, and yet a bit of stuff here and there comes off. Our goal is to clean off all of the death blocks. If it is big we probably put a crowbar to it. If you are worried climb lightly or avoid it. The rock has so many holds that you can usually work around things. The rough texture can be a little freaky too. It takes me a route or two to settle down. As far as falls go I have taken a couple out there on lower angle routes that were 10-15 ft. and I didn't even break a nail. The perception is that you will get pretty skinned up. To date I know of no one that has been hurt or scraped up.

Hey folks the bottom of the car can't be seen so a few scratches are not a problem. Just go slow and you will be fine. I have driven there in a Toyota Camry. You will not believe how much rock is there. Apr 14, 2007
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
How is the development here doing, is there still some left to put up, id like to go down there and put up some nice routes. This place sounds awesome. About how far of a drive from phoenix? Apr 24, 2007
It's 53 miles to the parking lot from my house, I live in east Tucson. So from Phoenix I'm guessing about 170 miles.
It would be great if you wanted bolt up some new routes. Definitely go for it!!
Email me if you want a tour before you start bolting. We could meet in Sonoita at the gas station or something.
It's going to be hot this time of year, the crag faces south.
When we first found this place it was April. We would hike up the hill at 4:00AM bolt until noon then go swim in a pond in the valley until 3:00P, then hike back up when the front face is in the shade.
There's room for a hundred or more routes on this formation, many of which could be 200 feet long. Apr 30, 2007
adam e
Tucson, AZ
adam e   Tucson, AZ
Friend of mine and I went down there this past weekend. We made some notes on directions and I'll post them here in hopes they'll prove useful to someone.

Getting There

Google Maps location of The Mustang

The exit to Sonoita off of I-10 is 83 South. The "twin 220kv power lines" are at mile marker 43; turn right immediately following the guard rail to start your off-roading. We measured the right-hand turn after going through the wash to be 2.2miles from 82 East.

We did the trip in a Honda Fit with only one scrape out that caused us pause. The trip out required a revved charge to get out of the wash, but was without any major bottoming out, so it can be done! May 1, 2007
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Hey Ward, glad to hear someone else is excited about this place. It is a bit early to be climbing there as it is south facing and hot until the temps drop into the low 70's. Look forward to clipping someone elses bolts. Oct 12, 2007
Thanks for the trail work, and the new routes when you do them.
How's the bee situation down there?
Let Eric or myself know if you need any specifc info about routes at the Stang.
I intend to spend some time down there over Christmas, I look forward to doing some new routes.

Nov 2, 2007
Sierra Vista, AZ
Meghan   Sierra Vista, AZ
Watch the bees on BeeWare! There aren't just a few, benign, namesakes, but rather hordes of them that swarm out of holes in the rock at roughly the 3rd bolt. It would be a great route in the winter. My partner ended up being stung at least ten times while I madly lowered him and tried to keep from being stung myself. Other than that, it's a cool area!! Jun 9, 2008
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree

You mentioned that the rock is "not for the faint of heart". I prepared for the worse (ok lie no helmet or anything) but was amazed at how solid the rock/churt really was. To me the rock was pretty solid except obvious areas of scaring.

For a relatively new area I was pleased that I wasn't getting bombed with loose rock. Maybe we just picked the good lines?

Fun, I'll go back! But it won't be on a day warmer that 65 degrees... that thing bakes! Feb 3, 2009
Daryl Allan
Sierra Vista, AZ
Daryl Allan   Sierra Vista, AZ
Anyone been up to the Mustang lately? What's the bee situation like if so?
Thanks, d Oct 27, 2010
Still pretty warm out there on that south face I would guess. Stay away from Beeware. Who owns bee suit?? Oct 28, 2010
Kirk Miller
Golden, CO
Kirk Miller   Golden, CO
Have the bees settled down sufficient for a Christmas / New Year's visit??? Dec 24, 2010
Scott M. McNamara
Tucson, Arizona
Scott M. McNamara   Tucson, Arizona
We got run off by bees yesterday (1/16/11): five (5) out of six (6) people were stung. The bees were aggressive: “Hold my comb honey, while I teach those guys a lesson.”

Here are some thoughts:

Since Steve's death from bees (not in the Mustang) and another one in Phoenix (Camelback) I have edited this post.…

It is extemely dangerous to climb anywhere near Africanized bees. These awful deaths underline that fact.
If you look up and see bees, pick another climb.
If you look up and do not see bees, it still does not mean it is safe.
If you are allergic to bee stings, think hard about climbing here and be prepared.
Wear light colored clothing, no perfumes or aftershaves.
Keep dogs’ water away from base of the cliff or use it as an attractant placed in a suitable location---understanding your dog is at risk if it gets a drink. Steve's dog was killed when it could not run away.
Do not leave food or water out—even to the extent of putting Camelback bite tubes inside your pack.
Climb with a leaver biner.
When the bees bump against you without stinging---the bouncers are (nicely) telling you it is closing time. Move away from the immediate area. They will let you know where you can stop.
Do not spread your gear out on the ground. As much as possible leave everything in your pack so you can grab it and run.
Check your shoes before putting them back on. They seem to like the funkiness.
The cooler the temperature the better—a high of around 60 degrees in Tucson might be a good guide. Windy days seem better. The bees seem to stay nearer their hives.
Start climbing very early while it is still cool.
Start by climbing routes near where the trail comes up to the cliff while it is still cool. This is near one of the hives. This hive is in the hueco near the third bolt on BeeWare! The one with the quick link or leaver biner.
Move away from this area as it warms up, i.e. climb further away from BeeWare! as the day wears on. Even on the coldest days, climbing BeeWare! is not safe.
Consider placing solid gear on the routes that have placements, because you may want to come off and onto the placement unexpectedly. 5.10bee.
Probably best not to run it out. Getting buzzed at the Mustang may take on a new meaning.
Stay off the two pitch routes or be mindful you are absolutely committed. You will not be able to get down in a big hurry. It will not be possible to rig the second rap.
On every climb you must be ready to jump off, be quickly lowered to the ground and run.
Figure out a running strategy before you have to do so. The Phoenix death involved running off a cliff.
When a bee stings it releases an alarm pheromone that other bees can sense and causes them to react aggressively. If someone gets stung, at very least, that person needs to quickly leave the immediate area.
When an attack starts do not make noise, try not to swat---it will only bring more. Run!
If you have to leave gear at the base, come back when the sun is off the cliff and the air temperature is cooler.
Get a bee veil---and carry it.
While the climbing here is quite good, climbing anywhere near Africanized bees is deadly serious business. Jan 16, 2011
I recently checked out this area and had a similar experience to Scott. The bees were quickly attracted to the dog water dish, there were probably 50 bees there in 10 minutes. Once we got rid of the dish that the bees moved on in about 20 minutes.

Scott's suggestions are good ones. Avoid attracting them to begin with and you'll be a lot better off.

(Edit to add)

This is a place to go when the weather is quite cold. We returned a week after our original trip (on a warmer day) and found the bees became quite active in the afternoon. Jan 16, 2011
This place looks there anywhere nearby to camp? I'm looking to go out here for a weekend trip sometime in the next couple months Aug 31, 2011
You can camp in the parking area. Sep 1, 2011
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Thanks for the update Angel. Can you imagine the potential without all the bees. Could be 1000 routes. If you go on the cold 60-70 degree sunny days the bees are not as bad as on warmer days. It is your back yard. Get a suit and get busy! Nov 12, 2011
Angel Mangual
Sierra Vista, AZ
Angel Mangual   Sierra Vista, AZ
It is true Eric. The potential in this area is amazing. We just have to be very careful on how to handle the bees situation. I do not know if they are protected or how to porperly remove them from there without ruining the reputation of the climbing community in the area. This is a wonderful place for us to lose it. If you guys know or have any information about how to properly remove them from there, I would be more than happy to follow up with the proper procedures or contacts. But again if it wasn’t for those bees, this location would have been a great destination for winter climbing. Nov 22, 2011
Africanized bees are not protected, which is why there are so many companies that do bee removal, not relocation.
African bees are prolific pollinators and honey producers. (Much better than our honey bees) Which is why that dip stick decided to cross breed them with honey bees down in South America. Well it didn't take long for a bunch to escape reproduce and come on up the North America.
Seeing how they are not native to our area and are effectivly destoying the American honeybee population, I have no ethical qualms with taking them all out.
They're kind of like Buffle grass with wings and an attitude.
Nov 24, 2011
Hahaha buffle grass with wings and and attitude!

The bees there are mean ones for sure. I have never seen ones as aggressive as these ones. Every time I have been to the Mustang I have had problems with them.

Generally speaking I don't think native animals should be disturbed to develop climbing areas. Invasive species, though, seem to be a different question. A couple of times I have been hired to help remove bees from native american cliff dwellings because the bees were attacking visitors. I felt kind of bad about it because I don't like killing things, but at the same time I didn't want the visitors being stung, so I helped. Tough call. Nov 24, 2011
Daryl Allan
Sierra Vista, AZ
Daryl Allan   Sierra Vista, AZ
Has anyone tried asking them nicely to leave? Nov 25, 2011
very clever Daryl! :) Nov 25, 2011
Derek Anderson
Tucson, AZ
Derek Anderson   Tucson, AZ
I talked to a local rancher who was asking me about the climbing, he told me that they call that little strip of crag that most of the routes are on "the biscuit" and that the longer crag is the mustang. not to correct or change anyones names just thought it was interesting info as he said "it gets hot as a biscuit up there" haha Dec 1, 2011
Kirk Miller
Golden, CO
Kirk Miller   Golden, CO
We're going down to Canelo and will be taking time to climb at the Mustang. Probably leave Golden the 17th. Anyone up for giving us the tour?

We'll have Beer. Dec 10, 2011
nick serrano
Albuquerque, NM
nick serrano   Albuquerque, NM
the bees were still active on Beeware in mid December. As soon as the sun came out, so did they. Jan 3, 2013
Scott M. McNamara
Tucson, Arizona
Scott M. McNamara   Tucson, Arizona
High 63 in Tucson and sunny was not nearly cold enough.

The bees were very active as it warmed up. The wall gets amazingly warm---even with snow on the ground on the north aspect of the canyon.

Two (2) new hives along the wall: One (1) small hive near Trad Lads; One (1) big hive before you get to DMBee.

We got in (3) three routes and it got too much---so we left. No one got stung.

You can no longer avoid Beeware and get on the western routes to avoid bees.

Bee Careful! Jan 6, 2013
That is so weird Scott, I climbed here yesterday, it was 63 in town, and we saw no bees at all. We warmed up on Mustang Sally and Stinkbug Cowgirl then went and did Pencil Dick and Nova Super Sport. Didn't see any bees as we walked by Tradlads.

Climbed here two weeks ago with Doug on a 65 degree day in Tucson and we saw no bees that day either. In fact wee climbed Men in Funny Hats right next to Beeware. Not even a buzz. Jan 7, 2013
Daryl Allan
Sierra Vista, AZ
Daryl Allan   Sierra Vista, AZ
Jimbo, The Bee Whisperer. Come on, you must be bribing them with something when you go.. fess up! :0)

FWIW, last year we we out there a couple times and although they were out and 'active', no one was stung. No warning 'bumps' either. Jan 7, 2013
Queen LaTufa
tucson, az
Queen LaTufa   tucson, az
For those interested in current conditions: Spent the day at the Mustang this past Saturday. Temps in Sonoita reached a high of about 50° and winds approx 15mph. I saw 2 bees the entire day, though we observed some light activity around the hives using binoculars. Aside from being slightly chilled when we first arrived around 9:30/10 the conditions were perfect. If it had been any warmer or had the wind died down completely it would have been far too warm to climb comfortably. The routes were AWESOME!
Re: the approach, much of the trail is obscured, but many of the large cairns still remain if you care to put the effort into finding them. There is also a barbed wire fence running from the wash up the hill to the east side of the wall, but it's fairly easy to get around at the south end.
Happy trails! I hope this wall gets more traffic. Its well-deserved. Jan 30, 2017
Could this place be accessed with a small, low compact car? Thanks. Oct 7, 2017
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
If you don't mind scraping the bottom now and again. Oct 9, 2017