Elevation: 7,700 ft
GPS: 31.771, -111.597 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 15,748 total · 108/month
Shared By: Orphaned on May 13, 2007 with improvements by Joao Bras-Jorge
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland
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Access Issue: Caution: Human and Drug Trafficking Details


up to 1000' east wall which tops out just below true summit of Babo's peak. Rock varies from bad to "french bread",to decent. Southern AZ's only grade VI walls. While climbing can be done all year round, the dryer parts of spring and fall are the best. Summer can be very humid and dangerous with monsoon lightning common.

Getting There

Follow directions to the east side Riggs ranch. Continue through corrals to gain trail to saddle. To gain lions ledge, hike to within 300' of the saddle on east side. At "6" agaves, take trail to left. contour to gully and climb up and left passing cairns. A cut off for Humongous Woosey (5.10, A.0) is on this part of the route. Continue through brush until the ledge system heading off to south appears. Some scrambling allows access to the main wall routes (right to left - UT, Dreams, Luca, Fellowship, Spring route etc.). Allow 2 - 2.5 hours with load.

6 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at East Face

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Southeast Arete
Trad 6 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Easy Snow
Don's Crack
Trad, Snow 7 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Humungous Woosey
Trad 8 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Southeast Arete
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 6 pitches
Don's Crack
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Easy Snow Trad, Snow 7 pitches
Humungous Woosey
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R Trad 8 pitches
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Summit Nov 12, 2014 - Forbes Route
The trail to the saddle is quite easy to follow up to when we reach 6000 ft. And then cairns take you up to a very wrong trail. It seems it has been used quite a bit and it ends up on a terrible and dangerous bushwhack. It got dark by the time we got to this bushwhack and the trail definitely looks like it's the right one. But it's not.
Luckily I had downloaded the gps file for the entire Forbes Route (starting at parking / gate!) from a hikers website. It saved us. We simply decided to trust it and backtracked to where the trail seemed correct. And indeed! There it was! Under high grass there were old cairns that instead of going uphill stayed level before going up further. This gps track is probably a recording from a few years ago. In 2004 we didn't have a bushwhack to get to the saddle, but somehow year after year this bushwhack trail got more and more used. The trail the GPS follows isn't super easy either but at least it doesn't go above unstable rock, dirt washes and dead ends.
Is it possible to upload the gpx file?
I pinpointed the exact location where the good old trail should be taken.
This would be awesome to preserve the right approach instead of insisting on the wrong one.

So, here are the suggestions to be added to "getting there":
The trail from gate to saddle is easy to follow until 6000ft approx. At that point you MUST NOT go uphill on the obvious trail marked by cairns but stay at same altitude. There is a trail with cairns too, but hidden under grass and it will save you a humongous bushwhack. If you start using your hands on rock bed in a wash, you're on the wrong trail.
Nov 19, 2014
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
I hate to be contradictory, but that trail up the rocky wash works out fine, at least it did when I was up there earlier this year. If you get off of it, or any trail in that area it will surely turn into a horrible bushwhack. But if you stay on it it's fine and there is definitely no "terrible and dangerous bushwhack." You must have taken a wrong turn, Joao.

It appears that someone (not me or anyone I know) did re-engineer that upper portion of the trail within the last few years, probably because the old trail was turning into a nasty erosion gully/slope in the burned area. I can see the idea behind the new trail: gain elevation rapidly using the steep rocky wash, and then contour more gradually over to the saddle to avoid the erosion issues. Despite that there are inevitable issues with erosion in that area no matter which way you go (absent some SERIOUS trail work with heavy tools that is not ever likely to happen). And again, any trail that you lose--in the dark, or otherwise--is going to turn out badly, something that's certainly happened to me on more than one occasion during my first trips to the area. Nov 19, 2014
Karl Groll
Tucson, AZ
Karl Groll   Tucson, AZ
Just got back from the east side and thought the approach beta could be updated. From the right fork in the dirt road at 2.7mi, it was closer to an additional 8 miles to the parking area at the locked gate. It's signed "Baboquivari Peak Ranch." The Kerry book is over two decades old now, and the comment about bashing through this approach in a passenger car is dated. We were happy to be in a high clearance 4WD. It's probably doable, but I think it would be pretty hard on something like an Outback.

We followed the wash a while past the corrals until eventually veering hard right up a grassy hillside. This gradually switchbacked up a faint but traveled and well-cairned trail. This brings you close to the east face, but still on the right side of the main wash. We continued on cairned trail through a steeper, rockier section, and this quickly arrived at the saddle. Using a succulent as a major trail marker is an interesting choice, and the referenced "6" agaves were not spotted by our party.

I added a picture of the approach we took. I'm not sure if this is the right or wrong way to approach, but it was fairly straightforward (though loose) and we were climbing within three hours of leaving the parking spot. The green markers are just pins I dropped along the approach. The yellow star is where we racked for Humungous Woosey; orange is where we started the route. I'm not convinced it would be any easier, but the dotted orange line looked like the described rock gully shortcut to Woosey. We just followed the base of the rock.

Have fun! Jan 16, 2018