Elevation: 7,924 ft
GPS: 35.234, -111.602 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 12,057 total · 1,028/month
Shared By: Ewan Marsheem on Oct 29, 2018
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick
Access Issue: Museum Fire Closure Update 8/6/2019 Details

Description

The long section of cliff above the Second Tier area leading up into the center basin of Mt. Elden. Due to its altitude and aspect, it can be climbed nearly year round and offers quick snow melt in winter. The cliff goes into the sun around 1:30pm and then back into the shade around 4:30-5pm. Even though it is a bit more of an adventurous hike than other crags in Flagstaff the area offers beautiful scenery, diverse vegetation, and a remote feel for being basically in town. There are certainly at least a handful of classics for the grade up this canyon and definitely more route development potential for those that are interested. 

Getting There

Middle Elden Canyon has a large network of social trails leading to the black waterfall (The Chute area) so hike times will definitely depend a bit on familiarity with the area. With some experience a good consistent trail can be followed through the lower drainage.

Park either at the Skyline Dr or Lugano Wy (I prefer Lugano) trail easements and make your way via the many trails into the canyon. Follow social trails in and out of the main drainage past many established boulders eventually leading to two prominent small cliff features on either side of the drainage about 75 yards before the often dry black waterfall. This is known as The Chute. The right cliff feature has a handful of established trad and sport lines on it, such as Pazuzu.

From the The Chute area, follow a path leading uphill just before the right cliff feature around the backside of the cliff past an obvious built landing/step. After passing the step, the quickest way is to scramble up a small slab to the left alongside the back of the cliff but an overgrown trail to the right can also be followed that converges back with the main trail. Once over the small slab follow a decently obvious trail up the steep hillside eventually leading to the Second Tier cliffband. Follow the trail left along the cliff and around the corner then continue following the trail uphill paralleling the cliff. The first area you will run into is The Godfather Area. 

For other areas, continue following the trail along the cliff eventually leading to an obvious large amphitheater (the Choss-a-theatre) and a view of the stunning Hozho Boulder (listed under NAZ Bouldering). To get to the upper areas such as The Lair, The Hive, and Tiny Town, continue following the trail along the cliff eventually leading to the boulder and the first of the upper crags, The Lair. With knowing the trail, reaching the top crags takes around 45min. Approach shoes or solid hiking footwear recommended. 

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Classic Climbing Routes at Upper Middle Elden Canyon

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