Type: Trad, 2000 ft, Grade III
FA: been done
Page Views: 1,343 total · 28/month
Shared By: J.McTavish on Dec 25, 2014
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

8 Opinions

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The closest thing Flagstaff has to a Flatiron. 2000 ft of scrambling up the super tacky undulating rock of Elden's south ridge. Due to its southern exposure, this ridge is the first thing to dry out when the sun comes out. A damn good way to work on endurance on days your hands need a break and a great prep for long alpine approaches.

Be prepared for burning calves on the ascent followed by a proper quad punishment on the way down. Once you puzzle out the jumble of boulders, cracks, and caves at the bottom, just keep going up, navigating the long vertical tubes of rock near the middle. Keeping to the center provides the easiest route as things get more steep and exposed on either side of the ridge.

Once you reach dirt at the top, keep heading up towards the boulders at the top of the ridge. If you have any energy left, explore and enjoy the interesting and isolated band of boulders. Work around the west side of the boulder band and navigate deer trails towards the summit, aiming for the west (left) most radio tower through a maze of brush, rock, and burnt trees.

Descend Elden lookout trail. Total elevation gain from Elden lookout trailhead is around 2500 ft and round trip should be about 4.5 miles. Great winter morning route, bring microspikes for the descent if there has been snow.


The ridge rising north from Lost Elden. Easiest approach is off pipeline trail in the small gully on the east side of the ridge. Meander through brush and scrubby oaks and over boulders to gain the clear slab. Watch out for cactus.


sticky shoes, modest route finding skills, endurance. Microspikes in winter.


Flagstaff, AZ
Flex   Flagstaff, AZ
A fun scramble. Definitely not a grade IV, that means it is an all-day affair. Most people will scramble this in a few hours total. Mar 22, 2015
Flagstaff AZ
J.McTavish   Flagstaff AZ
My bad flex...was not trying to mislead folks. I'm new to climbing terminology and wasn't entirely sure how to categorize the route. I had to list it as a trad route as well because the only other options were sport or top rope, which this is clearly neither. Hope everybody enjoys the route. Mar 31, 2015
Chris Keefe
Chris Keefe  
Great summer evening scramble. Budget 2.5-5 hours round trip, depending on your level of comfort on easy slab. Out of shape, but with plenty of slab experience, the climb took me 2.5 hours of relaxed climbing, and ~30 minutes jog back down to the car. My legs are toast! Jun 5, 2017