Description

This area covers climbs from the bottom of the highway (milepost 0) up to Kessler's Corner (milepost 8.6).

The lower portion of the Catalina Highway offers varied climbing in a Sonoran Desert setting. Warm temps among towering saguaro cactus make climbing here a unique experience.

Rock quality in this area tends to be poorer and more varied than higher on the mountain, so take that under consideration. Still, in the winter months, the crags here are hard to beat for climate and accessibility.

Getting There

Catalina Highway

514 Total Climbs

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Location: 1 - Lower Highway Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at 1 - Lower 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
 61
Moral Ambiguity
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 87
Guanica
Sport 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 58
Spontaneous Conga Line
Sport
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 49
Walking the Plank
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 56
Cheers
Sport
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 44
Blood Book
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 58
Medicine Bag
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 53
Virgin's Airline
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 59
Black Feather
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 59
English Breakfast Crack
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 81
Go Speed Racer
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 47
It Crack
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 121
Armed Robbery
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 41
Solar E-clips
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 64
Sentenced To Hang
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Moral Ambiguity Crags Against H… > Draw Pile.
 61
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Guanica Hairpin Turn Area > Left Hand Wall
 87
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport 2 pitches
Spontaneous Conga Line Crags Against H… > Draw Pile.
 58
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Walking the Plank Crags Against H… > Draw Pile.
 49
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Cheers Boot Hill
 56
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Blood Book Forgotten Wall, Contr…
 44
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Medicine Bag Ruins
 58
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Virgin's Airline Forgotten Wall, Contr…
 53
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Black Feather Ruins
 59
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
English Breakfast Crack Sun Spot Crags
 59
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Go Speed Racer Pinhead Wall
 81
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
It Crack It Cliff
 47
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Armed Robbery Prison Camp (Go… > Jailhouse Rock
 121
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Solar E-clips Sun Spot Crags
 41
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Sentenced To Hang Prison Camp (Go… > Jailhouse Rock
 64
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in 1 - Lower Highway »

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Derek Anderson
Tucson, AZ
Derek Anderson   Tucson, AZ
Hello fellow Mountainprojectors(ha) Just wondering if anyone could help me find out any beta for an area. The crag is just before the pay station and the pull out everyone shoots at, It has 3 bolted lines up the first face( directly off the road)with various trad slings on other lines in the surrounding area. I see people climb here a lot, but I'm not sure on the beta. Any info would be helpful! Thanks and climb on! Dec 27, 2010
Jimbo  
Chris Pruitt did these routes I believe. PM him for more info. He also did a bunch of stuff at the Butterfly Wall. Dec 29, 2010
I climbed several trad lines on those cliffs but never got around to actually bolting anything, and I think Tony Lusk said they climbed there WAY back in the day. A couple months ago I saw some folks on that wall so I'd expect they placed the hardware. Not sure who it was. What I did climb was fun enough given the amount of effort needed to get to the crag. Rock quality varies greatly. Jan 2, 2011
Derek Anderson
Tucson, AZ
Derek Anderson   Tucson, AZ
Cool , thanks for the info. Chris/Jimbo if you get a chance
to try the bolted lines there let us know what you think, ;) Jan 10, 2011
Jimbo  
EFR and I stopped by several weeks ago and did the 3 bolted lines.

The two on the right were good. Worth the stop for sure. 5.9ish maybe easy .10.

The left hand one was bolted strangly and contrived if you tried to stay one the line of the bolts. Still worth doing but the worst of the 3 for sure. Some 5.10 moving on this one. Jan 11, 2011
Derek Anderson
Tucson, AZ
Derek Anderson   Tucson, AZ
cool ty for the info/beta.. I kind of leaned that way on the bolted lines aswell Jim. Seemed the left one was contrived. Jan 17, 2011
J Mo
Tucson, AZ
J Mo   Tucson, AZ
does the left one have you repeatedly returning to blocky holds on the arete and clipping bolts out right, and at one point committing briefly right to a questionable flake with a fingerlock and then an undercling? if so, then i say (at the risk of incurring The Interwebzian Wrath of Jimbo), that i disagree and found it superfun. definitely pull on stuff with caution. Oct 6, 2015
mikehilbert
Tucson, AZ
mikehilbert   Tucson, AZ
As yet, the crag in question here (just off the road on the right going downhill from Molino Vista) is still not listed on MP and I'm unable to find any beta beyond this thread. So, I'll throw in my 2 cents...

I found three bolted lines. From left to right, they go 5.10a, 5.9, and 5.6 (imo). Leftmost climb offers a contrived 5.10a first half, then fun juggy climbing above. Middle climb sports a blocky start up to a roof/arete, pulling left around the arete is the fun 5.9 crux (watch crumbly left hand sidepull here - it blew on me). Rightmost climb is a blocky 5.6 that is consistent to the grade the entire way with solid clipping stances making for a good potential first lead. There may be other lines here that I didn't see (since bolts and chains are camoed) but I took a pretty thorough look around.

Some of the rock here is hollow/crumbly and belayers should definitely wear a helmet. Nice camoed bolts and 2 minute approach. Still unsure of who put it up but thanks for bolting and camoing! Curious to know the FA's thoughts on names/ratings for these climbs. Oct 18, 2015
Kemper Brightman   Tucson
The area in question is now listed as Crags Against Humanity . The three original routes have been included along with 12 new lines. Enjoy! Dec 15, 2016
jbak .
tucson,az
jbak .   tucson,az
The Bertelstones !! Dec 16, 2016
Isaiah Foulks
Monterey
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