REI Community
Middle Earth

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bobbin' for Hobbits S 
Breeze, The S 
Bump, The S 
Centennial S 
Delirious S 
Earth Angel S 
Elfin Warrior S 
Fireball S 
Grand Opening S 
Hobbit In A Blender S 
Hobbitual Offender S 
Infectious S 
Irresistible S 
Just a Fantasy T 
Middle Earth S 
Planet Eater, The S 
Premonition S 
Pull Me Up S 
Red Hot S 
S'Blended S 
Silmarillion S 
War Of The Worlds S 
You Betchy It's Sketchy S 

Middle Earth Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 32.3804, -110.70245 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 10,175
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Hendrixson on Apr 7, 2006
This Afternoon

71° | 51°

68° | 46°

65° | 44°

68° | 45°

70° | 49°

70° | 52°
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Middle Earth is a stellar crag consisting of mostly sport routes with grades from 5.9 to 5.13. The left side of the crag consists of bouldery, overhung lines starting at 5.11. This section of the crag stays shaded until 3pm. The middle of the crag features a trilogy of classic, vertical, friction routes: War Of The Worlds, The Planet Eater, and Premonition. The right side is marked by long less-than-vertical pitches and sees sun earlier, at perhaps 11am. Conditions are best during the spring and fall months; however, it is possible to climb the left hand routes during the summer. Some routes have high quality second and third pitches; some require a second rope to descend. There is cell phone reception (Verizon, April 2016).

Getting There 

Pass Hoodoo Vista Point on your right at mile post 15. Park at the very next pullout on the downhill (left) side of the road. This parking lot is next to a natural rock bridge and is used to access both Middle Earth and The Helmet. From the north or upper end of the pullout, hike up a gully. Prior to the crest the trail forks. Take the right branch for Middle Earth. Continue right along the ridge line before circling back and downhill to the left. The hike takes 15-20 minutes and accesses the crag from the left.

Rock Climbing Photo: Parking For Middle Earth & The Helmet
Parking For Middle Earth & The Helmet

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.6 miles from here

23 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Middle Earth

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Middle Earth:
Silmarillion   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 150'   
Middle Earth   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 155'   
Pull Me Up   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   
The Planet Eater   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 2 pitches, 160'   
The Breeze   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 40'   
Delirious   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 60'   
Premonition   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
War Of The Worlds   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 2 pitches, 180'   
Irresistible   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 70'   
The Bump   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Infectious   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Middle Earth

Featured Route For Middle Earth
Rock Climbing Photo: Aliex in the buisness

War Of The Worlds 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  Arizona : Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin... : ... : Middle Earth
The most striking line at Middle Earth, War of the Worlds ascends a clean, rounded, vertical arete. When the angle lessens one can veer left for the complete two pitch experience or pull a small overhang for the lesser, but still 5.12-, variation.The climbing is a stark contrast from the overhung routes to the left. This one is all footwork. A true gem for the technicians.(Note: I have only climbed the mini-pitch so I can't speak to the rest of the route)...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Middle Earth Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jesse works the laybacks at the start of War of th...
Jesse works the laybacks at the start of War of th...
Rock Climbing Photo: From the trail as it turns back to the south to re...
BETA PHOTO: From the trail as it turns back to the south to re...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aleix fishing for feet on War of the Worlds, 5.12 ...
Aleix fishing for feet on War of the Worlds, 5.12 ...

Comments on Middle Earth Add Comment
Show which comments
By Joseph Stover
From: Batesville, AR
May 14, 2007
There are several(at least 2) bolts missing hangers left of "The Breeze". I think the route left of the breeze has all of its hard ware but the two left of that are missing some stuff. Maybe more, I am not sure.
By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Sep 12, 2007
Would it be faster to approach Middle Earth via the Lizard Rock area?
By jbak
Sep 12, 2007
Christian....the short answer is no...not faster. But it's not that much longer either.
By JSchultz
May 15, 2011
Adam Block is a bad@#&! Yesterday he sent War of the Worlds and The Bump. The Bump went 2nd go after not getting on it for several years.
Not bad for a day of climbing. Last time I take him to work my project...
Good job Adam!
By WAGbag
From: Denver, CO
Apr 18, 2012
The "Getting there" section of most areas in AZ could use a little help. For middle earth, try this:
After mp15 you will pass Hoodoo Vista Point on your right, the very next pullout (on your left) is for Middle Earth and The Helmet (just below 2 blocky towers). Start at the upper end of the pullout and walk up the gully. Just before you reach the crest cairns will either continue straight up (Helmet) or go right (middle earth). Follow right and sidehill (uphill to right) above a large slab area then circle back around left to arrive at the climber's left side of the crag.
By Hendrixson
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 24, 2016
I updated the 'Description' and 'Getting There' sections. I also filled in the missing FA information. Let me know if changes or additions need to be made.

Additionally let me know if you would like to improve other Southern Arizona areas -- I can reassign ownership. I believe parking and trailhead information / photos are incredibly useful. I also am interested in shade and cell reception details.
By EWod
Apr 26, 2016
Perfect John! Nice work.
By Chris Henson
Dec 30, 2016
We are wrapping up our trip to Mt Lemmon today. Love this place!
However, I'm hoping that soon in the future, something can be done about the lack of good trails and info on approaches. Today we tried to find Middle Earth.
After finding middle earth after an hour or more of some trail, but mostly bush whacking, I'd like to suggest something, anything, to help protect the fragile systems up here from getting trampled because of it not having clear descriptions. We used the book and this app for info.
A more direct description after you are in the trail would be something like, "go straight to the top of the ridge in the gully. (Why is there any mention of 60' up?). From the top of the ridge you can see the top of middle earth down and right. Follow the only trail on the ridge to the right side where you can drop in..."
Telling people to go to a saddle and then "back down"...??? Huh?
Make some trail markers! Why this isn't standard? Red tape, unsightly yes, but better than crashing throw manzanilla and scrub oak. Access fund uses them. Copy the idea? Make your own out of form stakes and reflective tape?
We are excited to donate to arizonas climbing fund for stuff like this as are LOTS of others that shared the same sentiment on this trip. I'd even place markers in the way to crags if this was made available at local shops to help with the work load.
Love that mtn, and we hope it gets the love it deserves!

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