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Areas in Solitude Canyon

Higher Solitude 0 / 29 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 29
Lunchbox Rock 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Solitude Wall 3 / 28 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 30
Access Issue: Portions of Mt. Elden are closed for Forest Thinning Details

Description

Solitude Canyon is a major rift on the western flanks of Mt. Elden and is quite conspicuous from a number of vantage points around the west side of town. Named by Scott Baxter, or one of his crew, at least a couple lines were done here back in the day. These days however, Solitude Canyon is quickly becoming a sport climbing refuge nestled right in the backyard of Flagstaff.

The Solitude Wall boasts thirty+ routes which usually involve body english, crimp strength, and a mind for puzzles. Unique dihedrals line up with steep aretes to offer up burly routes which often times feature true boulder problem cruxes. This area is a place to hide from the sun when hot, or to really get after it in early fall. But there are a lot of days throughout the year when this crag is climbable.
Thomas, working out the moves of Radical by Nature in the shady confines of Lower Solitude Canyon.

Lunchbox Rock is a spire of dacite which juts out of the hillside about half way up the steep section of the Higher Solitude approach. There are three routes, and they are all worth doing at least once. Stopping to do The lunch Box .10- is a pleasant way to break up the approach if you are not used to the elevation.
Angela at the crux

Higher Solitude is a burly crag to access and climb at. The elevation here is about 8600', and after the approach, you'll know all about it. It is host to some excellent long sport routes, as well as the Sailing Wall which is a full service warm up wall with routes that start at 5.8. The views coupled with the crag ambiance are worth the hike. There is certainly a wilderness feel to it, even though you can see bits of the west side of town. And believe it or not you want colder temps (between 45 and 65 degrees) to really enjoy the this place. It doesn't seem like it when you are hiking up to it, but this area faces almost due south.
Katie near the top of the route. Wade Forrest photo

Getting There

For The Solitude Wall park at the same cul de sac at the end of Paradise that you would to access Glorias Boulders. Please be courteous to the residents and do not park in front of the chain link fence with gate. From the Safeway on the corner of Cedar Ave and Linda Vista head north on the latter for a block or two, and look for Paradise on the left. Follow large trails up to the boulders, and then go left (west), around them either just skirting them or at the base of them. By keeping your eye on the base and sticking with it you will enter the mouth of Solitude canyon. There are several sets of trails, but there is a distinct climbers trail which heads into the drainage as it appears. This is about fifteen minutes into the hike, and splits right from a well worn trail near a very dead gray sawed stump. Follow this trail the base of The Solitude Wall.

For Higher Solitude, check out the approach beta on that page.

62 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Solitude Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 19
Rusty Blade
Sport
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 70
Man on the Moon
Sport 4 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 21
Thunderbird ArĂȘte
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 8
Thunder Moon
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 12
Lucky Old Sun
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 12
Nature Boy Rick Flare
Trad, Sport
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 22
Broad Axe
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 20
Whiplash
Sport
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 36
Solitaire
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 3
Modest Mouse
Sport
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
 11
Continental Drift
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 5
Radical by Nature
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 10
The Black Solitaire
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 7
The Hermit
Sport
5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a
 3
Lost Solitude
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Rusty Blade Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 19
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Man on the Moon Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 70
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 4 pitches
Thunderbird ArĂȘte Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 21
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Thunder Moon Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 8
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Lucky Old Sun Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 12
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Nature Boy Rick Flare Solitude Wall
 12
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Sport
Broad Axe Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 22
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Whiplash Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 20
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Solitaire Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 36
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Modest Mouse Solitude Wall
 3
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Continental Drift Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 11
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Sport
Radical by Nature Solitude Wall
 5
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
The Black Solitaire Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 10
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
The Hermit Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 7
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
Lost Solitude Higher Solitude > Main Wall
 3
5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Solitude Canyon »

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Photos

Geir
Tucson, AZ
Geir   Tucson, AZ
Hey JJ,

Have you tried spray painting them? It makes them much less attractive to booty. Feb 17, 2013
john crawley
flagstaff, az
john crawley   flagstaff, az
I hear you jk. Sorry its been happening up there. Noticed it happened up at Oaklands as well. Feb 17, 2013
CJD
Chino Valley, AZ
CJD   Chino Valley, AZ
I put up a few routes here in the early 80's with Dan Dingle. They were on the north facing side lower down. I can remember one with a bolt or two. Seems like we had some weird home made hangers too. Can't remember what we called it. I think we did a few more right near that one. Apr 15, 2014

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