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Gandalf's Gorge

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8B Boulder, The 
Colonel Boulder 
Creek Overhang 
Creek Roof 
Cube, The 
Dragon's Den, The 
Joe's A-Frame 
Lucky's Boulder 
Random Wall 
Rick Ross 
Stinkermint Boulder 
Widow Boulder 

Gandalf's Gorge Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,500'
Location: 32.42506, -110.75318 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,320
Administrators: Greg Opland, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Matt Fowls on Apr 21, 2014

79° | 54°

73° | 52°

73° | 51°

73° | 49°

69° | 46°

66° | 44°
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BETA PHOTO: From the Sunset trail (trail off of which River Bo...


Gandalf's Gorge and the boulders surrounding the River Boulder are a much closer option for those unwilling to trek the miles out to the Wilderness of Rocks. The approaches vary between five (River Boulder) and twenty (Gollum's) minutes from the parking lot. More bouldering in southern Arizona can be found at

Color Code: The color code for the topos is as follows:

VB-V2: Green
V3-V5: Blue
V6-V9: Orange
V10-Above: Red
Project: Yellow

Stars: In contemplating the quality of these climbs, I’ve resorted to the (more) objective standards articulated by Brian Capps, Matt Wilder, & Jamie Emerson. Because the rock quality here tends to be crumbly and sharp, there are few climbs that get more than one star--—if even that. The 8B Boulder, Dragon’s Den, and Gollum’s are noteworthy exceptions.

Here are some of the determinative factors under the system used:
• Obvious start hold
• Landing
• Rock quality (Including chipping or gluing)
• Contrivance/Traverse
• Setting
• History (though an absence would never detract)

Here are some factors that are irrelevant under the system by way of their overly subjective nature:
• Movement
• Style
• Difficulty

For more, see

Getting There 

From the River Boulder, follow the obvious trail (Sunset Trail) just above the River Boulder along the hillside (above the streambed) to parallel the streambed from above. Continue through a slight left turn that interrupts the trail’s parallel of the stream. After making the slight left turn, turn right and drop down the hillside into the canyon back toward the streambed. The trail will become faint, but still visible. Take the trail along the canyon floor and then veer left upon nearing the stream. (The whole stream/canyon veers left). Even if you lose the trail, hiking down the stream will get you to the boulders.

A couple photos below display the turn off to drop down into the canyon from the Sunset Trail.

Climbing Season

For the 7 - Upper Highway area.

Weather station 2.0 miles from here

45 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Gandalf's Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Gandalf's Gorge:
Civil War   V6 7A     Boulder   The Dragon's Den
The Brute   V6 7A     Boulder   The Dragon's Den
Indian Summer Stand   V9 7C     Boulder   The 8B Boulder
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Gandalf's Gorge

Featured Route For Gandalf's Gorge
Rock Climbing Photo: topo

Civil War V6 7A  AZ : Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin... : ... : The Dragon's Den
From a left undercling and a right hand jug, heel-hook interesting features to a difficult top out.Number 4...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Photos of Gandalf's Gorge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Close up of past the turn off to drop down into Ga...
BETA PHOTO: Close up of past the turn off to drop down into Ga...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cheese grater
Cheese grater

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By Matt Fowls
From: Tucson, Arizona
Apr 21, 2014

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