Elevation: 2,500 ft
GPS: 32.415, -110.734 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 2,164,328 total · 17,821/month
Shared By: James DeRoussel on Jul 11, 2010 with improvements by Kemper Brightman
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

Description

The Catalina Highway (officially the General Hitchcock Highway though nobody uses that name) climbs more than 5,300 feet and passes through five of North America's seven distinct life zones. As the road starts in the Lower Sonoran Desert and climbs to alpine forests, it offers the biological equivalent of driving from the deserts of Mexico to the forests of Canada in a stretch of only 27 miles!

The vast majority of climbing areas in the Santa Catalina Mountains are accessed via this highway. Mount Lemmon provides an equal amount of diverse rock climbing, from classic multi-pitch traditional routes to bolted sport climbs. Crags are generously distributed in elevations and aspect, making it possible to comfortably climb year round.

As of 2012 there are no fees to climb due to a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Developed areas on the mountain, such as the summit parking lot, require payment. Read the nearby signage and purchase a Coronado National Forest pass if required. Both free, primitive and pay, developed camping can be found along the highway.

After winter storms the highway may close at the base while snow and debris is cleared. Vehicular and bicycle traffic can be heavy on weekends. The sub-areas of Mount Lemmon (Catalina Highway) are listed from lowest to highest elevation.

Getting There

The Catalina Highway is accessed via Tanque Verde Rd. on Tucson's east side. Any amenity you could possibly desire is available at the bottom of the highway, and some basic supplies can also be acquired at the general store in Summerhaven, a small mountain community at the highway's upper terminus. Allow about 45 minutes to an hour to drive the entire 27 mile stretch.

2,385 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Mount Lemmon (Catalina Highway)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 128
Slippery When Wet
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 157
Agatha Christie (Direct)
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 130
Steel Crazy
Sport 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 113
Old Man
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 110
Stoner's Boner
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 147
Chihuahua Power
Sport
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 82
Centerpiece
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 97
Go Speed Racer
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 227
Steve's Arete
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 71
Two Kings And A Pawn
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 138
Armed Robbery
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 84
Arizona Flyways
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 91
Holey Moley
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 72
Hard Day at The Orifice
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 94
Tsunami
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Slippery When Wet 4 - Windy Point… > N Fin
 128
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Agatha Christie (Direct) 4 - Windy Point… > N Fin
 157
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Steel Crazy 8 - Summit Crags > Fortress > Southeast Face
 130
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 4 pitches
Old Man 4 - Windy Point… > S Fin
 113
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Stoner's Boner 2 - Bear Canyon > Chimney Rock
 110
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Chihuahua Power 2 - Bear Canyon > Lost Hawk
 147
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Centerpiece 2 - Bear Canyon > Chimney Rock
 82
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Go Speed Racer 1 - Lower Highway > Pinhead Wall
 97
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Steve's Arete 3 - Windy Point… > Hunchback Pinnacle
 227
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Two Kings And A Pawn 2 - Bear Canyon > Chessman Area > 4 - Queen
 71
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Armed Robbery 1 - Lower Highway > Prison Camp (Go… > Jailhouse Rock
 138
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Arizona Flyways 3 - Windy Point… > Anduriel Tower
 84
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Holey Moley 3 - Windy Point… > New Wave Wall
 91
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Hard Day at The Orifice 8 - Summit Crags > Fortress > Orifice Wall
 72
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Tsunami 3 - Windy Point… > New Wave Wall
 94
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Mount Lemmon (Catalina Highway) »

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