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Areas in Southern Arizona

Arivaca Lake 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Baboquivari Peak 11 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 13
Chiricahua National Monument 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Cochise Stronghold 151 / 143 / 14 / 15 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 294
Dry Canyon, The 1 / 98 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 98
End of the Road, The 3 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Farmhouse, The 3 / 34 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 37
Kitt Peak 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Kofa Mountains 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Mendoza Canyon (aka Coyote Domes) 11 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains) 720 / 1353 / 102 / 356 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 2353
Mustang, The 3 / 19 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
Newman Peak- "The Shady Lady?" 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Pinaleno mtns. (Hell's Hole) 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Rincon Mountains 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 8
Santa Rita Mountains 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Stone Canyon 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Tanque Verde Canyon 0 / 16 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Texas Canyon 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Tinajas Altas 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Tollgate Pass 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Tucson Area Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 172 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 172
Tucson Buildering 4 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Tucson Mountains 0 / 0 / 6 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Elevation: 2,422 ft
GPS: 32.253, -110.924 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,589,132 total · 19,901/month
Shared By: 1Eric Rhicard on Jan 23, 2012
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick
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Description

Southern Arizona has a lot to offer most rock climbers. There are classic old school trad routes and super safe bolted climbs. Most of the climbing is lower angle to vertical face climbing. This is not to say that there isn't any steep stuff as a few crags have sections of steep to very steep (45 degrees) rock. There is some crack climbing but not many pure crack climbs. The majority of routes are between 5.8 and 5.12. For the 5.10 to 5.11 climber thousands of routes will keep you busy for a lifetime. There are only two 5.14s and 15 or so 5.13s on Mt. Lemmon at this time so super hard climbers usually move away.

The approaches range from sixty seconds to three or more hours. Most however, are between fifteen minutes and one hour. Elevations range from 2300 feet to 9100 feet. The ability to climb at various elevations make it possible to climb all year. On top of that the scenery is pretty spectacular with some of the prettiest sunsets you can watch. You can climb next to giant Saguaro Cactus or in the tall Ponderosa pines at the top of Mount Lemmon.

The West Stronghold on a gorgeous November night. flickr.com/thedan86

Cochise Stronghold and the Catalina Mountains, more often referred to as Mt. Lemmon are where most of the climbing activity occurs. The Stronghold has lots of old school sphincter puckering trad routes and a higher number of more heavily bolted lines that make for a less terrifying day. The climbs reach to the summits of majestic domes of granite that are highlighted by green and yellow lichen. Late afternoon sunsets lighting these walls will take your breath away.

Orifice Politics, Mount Lemmon, Arizona. Photo by: Aaron Lavinsky

The Catalina Mountains have hundreds of multi pitch routes but most think of it as a cragging area. Located on the northern edge of Tucson it sees the highest concentration of climbers. The 30 mile long Catalina highway has a couple of thousand climbs within 30 minutes of the road. Even so if you walk a short distance you can often have the crag to yourself.

If you get away from these two areas and visit the less traveled areas you can easily eliminate contact with other climbers and still find some great climbing.

Wherever you end up the weather will usually cooperate and the warmth of the desert will have you smiling.

Getting There

Tucson is the epicenter of southern Arizona. If you are flying in you might find direct flights can be a bit more expensive. Many fly into Phoenix and rent a car and head south. Most cars will get you to most areas but a few will require a high clearance vehicle. If you are driving find your way to I-10 and it will lead you to Tucson.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Southern Arizona

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b A0 R
 169
What's My Line?
Trad, Aid 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 231
Moby Dick
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 144
The Wasteland
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 296
Ewephoria
Trad 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 111
Steel Crazy
Sport 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
 104
Bee Line
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 101
Old Man
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 83
Forest Lawn
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 225
The Peacemaker
Sport 7 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 162
Absinthe of Mallet
Trad 7 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 126
Endgame
Trad 5 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 85
Days of Future Passed
Trad 4 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
 128
Warpaint
Trad 5 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 182
Steve's Arete
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 92
The Wizard
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
What's My Line? Cochise Stronghold > E Stronghold > Cochise Dome (What's…
 169
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b A0 R Trad, Aid 3 pitches
Moby Dick Cochise Stronghold > W Stronghold > Whale Dome
 231
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 6 pitches
The Wasteland Cochise Stronghold > E Stronghold > Wasteland
 144
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 6 pitches
Ewephoria Cochise Stronghold > … > Sheepshead Area… > Sheepshead
 296
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 5 pitches
Steel Crazy Mount Lemmon (S… > … > Fortress > Southeast Face
 111
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 4 pitches
Bee Line Cochise Stronghold > E Stronghold > Stronghold Dome
 104
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R Trad 3 pitches
Old Man Mount Lemmon (S… > … > 4 - Windy Point… > S Fin
 101
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Forest Lawn Cochise Stronghold > … > Rockfellow Group > Bastion Towers
 83
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
The Peacemaker Cochise Stronghold > … > Sheepshead Area… > Sheepshead
 225
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 7 pitches
Absinthe of Mallet Cochise Stronghold > … > Sheepshead Area… > Sheepshead
 162
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 7 pitches
Endgame Cochise Stronghold > … > Rockfellow Group > End Pinnacle
 126
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 5 pitches
Days of Future Passed Cochise Stronghold > … > Rockfellow Group > End Pinnacle
 85
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad 4 pitches
Warpaint Cochise Stronghold > W Stronghold > Westworld Dome
 128
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13 Trad 5 pitches
Steve's Arete Mount Lemmon (S… > … > 3 - Windy Point… > Hunchback Pinnacle
 182
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
The Wizard Mount Lemmon (S… > La Milagrosa Ca… > Main Wall
 92
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Southern Arizona »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
manuel rangel
Arizona
manuel rangel   Arizona
Bighorn Sheep calving closure on Pusch Ridge Wilderness. This includes Leviathan. I found it out the hard way last weekend. The area is closed from January 1 until April 30. Mar 18, 2014
brian benedon
tucson
brian benedon   tucson
what do you mean about finding out the hard way? Dec 5, 2014
Christopher Grayson
Royersford, PA
Christopher Grayson   Royersford, PA
For more information on bouldering in the Tucson area see oldpueblobouldering.com Jul 30, 2018

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