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Panther Peak

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Panther Peak Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 3,000'
Location: 32.3435, -111.1586 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 9,314
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Prewitt on Oct 27, 2009
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BETA PHOTO: Panther "Bird's Eye" Topo. A few problem...


A cluster of massive conglomerate blocks on the west side of the Tucson Mountains, thirty minutes drive from downtown. Over twenty separate boulders lie on a hillside overlooking a quiet basin with Baboquivari and Kitt Peak in the distance. Panther Peak is one of the most concentrated collections of boulder problems in Southern Arizona.

The rock is a strange volcanic conglomerate with pebbles from pea-sized to beach-ball. Some of the cobbles seem like they were placed by skilled craftsmen, others by kids with gum. Rock quality can range from very good to dirt. That said, Panther has some of the steepest jugs and tallest lines around, unlike anything else in the Tucson area.

Drive and Approach 

from Tucson:
I-10 N to Ina, West on Ina to Wade (2.8mi)
Left on Wade which becomes Picture Rocks Rd.
5mi from Ina/Wade turn Right on Van Ark.
At the stop sign go right on Ina (now it's dirt.) Park at trailhead on corner of Ina and Desert View (1.3 mi from Picture Rocks Rd.) Please don't block the mailboxes.

Trail: (45 minutes out, 30 back)
Take the first right and stay on the main trail until the wash then make a right. (about 10 minutes)
Hike the about 50yds up the wash then take the branch on the right. The sand isn't as deep. Follow this to the fence, bypassing on the left. A few more minutes until a cairn marks a gap in the bushes on the left. Go right then up the short hill.

Now you should be on a plateau with open ground between saguaros. Walk in the direction of the right of two distant canyons (you are actually going to the top of the left one, but this keeps you from going uphill way to soon). This should take you across mostly flat ground and avoiding a large cholla forest. Try to stay in the center of the alluvial fan "rib". Eventually you should intersect a rocky wash. Up the wash for a few minutes then onto a faint trail on the right side.
At the upper part of the canyon the path merges back into the wash for a short distance before going up the right side to pass the first large boulder. Once above the canyon, get to the Split/HUB area by working straight up the hillside bearing slightly right. For the Pyramid, etc. it is easier to first hike up the hill to the right, finally turning toward the boulders near top of the saddle.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.3 miles from here

53 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',21],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Panther Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Panther Peak:
Quivering Beast   V3 6A     Boulder, 20'   Beast Boulder
Fat Hunk of Burning Love   V4 6B R     Boulder, 20'   HUB
Righteous Beast    V6+ 7A     Boulder, 30'   Beast Boulder
Cig Machine   V7 7A+     Boulder, 20'   Split Boulder
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Panther Peak

Featured Route For Panther Peak
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Prewitt nailing the long throw.

Righteous Beast V6+ 7A  Arizona : Southern Arizona : ... : Beast Boulder
Start as Quivering Beast, but instead of moving up at the first set jugs on the face, keep climbing the overhang further left. Move to a sloping ledge around the corner, then into a difficult section of incredible climbing involving pockets, arete slapping and technical heel hooking. Super classic for the area....[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Panther Peak Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the trail.
View from the trail.
Rock Climbing Photo: Saguaro skeleton
Saguaro skeleton
Rock Climbing Photo: lichen on rock
lichen on rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Circuit Map  1  2 Split Boulder  3  4  5  6 Javali...
BETA PHOTO: Circuit Map 1 2 Split Boulder 3 4 5 6 Javali...
Rock Climbing Photo: Incredible cobble in the rock.
Incredible cobble in the rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: A "ground view" of the approach showing ...
BETA PHOTO: A "ground view" of the approach showing ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Panther Peak parking and approach map. Please avoi...
BETA PHOTO: Panther Peak parking and approach map. Please avoi...
Rock Climbing Photo:  1 Split Boulder  2 HUB  3 11  4 Meatwad  5 Snaggl...
1 Split Boulder 2 HUB 3 11 4 Meatwad 5 Snaggl...

Comments on Panther Peak Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 24, 2015
By Chris Prewitt
Oct 27, 2009
The approach is still just desert walking for part of the way, so slight changes to some of the directions may occur. Please try to avoid placing cairns until the "best" line is found by those familiar with the area.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Oct 29, 2009
I hiked up to the wall behind the boulders 20 years ago to look at the corner and decided the hike was too long and the rock didn't warrant the hike either. That was before I became a chosstafarian bra. Perhaps the rock is worth climbing but that hike will most likely still keep me away.
By Chris Prewitt
Oct 29, 2009
The hiking here is so much easier than the Butterfly Wall. I have some interesting pictures of those upper walls; maybe I'll get around to posting some day. Yes, those do seem too far while the boulders are a different story.
This place is worth the hike. Wait, I feel like I've said that before...
By Joe Kreidel
From: San Antonio, TX
Nov 1, 2009
The hike is long, but not as bad as it looks. It is also real easy to chase shade here, so when it is warm (but not too hot) like now, the hike is a bit worse, but the climbing is nice.
By iancevans
Nov 1, 2009
I may have left a pair of 5.10 Dragons (size 9) up there on October 23. Anyone seen them? If anyone heads up there, I'd appreciate it if you could keep your eyes open for them.
By Joe Kreidel
From: San Antonio, TX
Nov 5, 2009
If anyone checks this place out any time soon, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the area and what you guys climbed. This place is cleaning up pretty well and the problems that are going up so far are very high quality.
By T Roper
Nov 8, 2009
nice looking stuff Joe, maybe I'll get to see it this winter.
By Joe Kreidel
From: San Antonio, TX
Nov 10, 2009
Come on out, mobley! There will be plenty of FAs still up for grabs.

Climbing here takes a lot of initial cleaning, but once it is cleaned a little and climbed a few times, the lines are real good. Small feet will continue to break for a while, but most of the handholds on the established climbs should be solid. Lines here should be kept natural - no chipping or drilling, and no gluing. The rock here is highly featured, and there should always be another way to climb through a section.
By Chris Prewitt
Nov 10, 2009
Try not to get discouraged by the condition of your hands on your first few times here. Well calloused tips aren't quite enough protection from the full-palm, toothy holds encountered on most of the problems. Even after climbing at Panther long enough to build steel-belted mitts you may find yourself with bruised and bleeding digits.
By Matt Fowls
From: Tucson, Arizona
Nov 18, 2009
i may have left a blue mountain hardware jacket here within the past few weeks. information on its whereabouts would be greatly appreciated.
By Squish
From: Lakewood
Nov 20, 2009
Coming back to AZ for vacation in a about a week. My climbing bro Trey told me about this place. We are so going to check it out. The hike looks so much more worth it than the hike to Linda Vista.
By Joe Kreidel
From: San Antonio, TX
Nov 20, 2009
The hike is well worth it if you are prepared to hike, and prepared for a little choss. There are some real good boulders here, but there is still a fair amount of loose rock. Many problems are cleaning up nicely, but others still need more traffic. And there are still PLENTY of new lines if you are willing to put in the effort of cleaning them up a bit.

There are some new topos, and hopefully more soon, at
By Trey Lewis
From: Glendale, Az
Nov 29, 2009
Ok, so i must say that the area has potential. The hike kinda sucks, but i can see that (like the area) the more the trail gets used, the better it'll be. Great work on the cairns marking the trail. Quivering Beast is a LONG problem and a must do.
By Ryan F.
From: Tucson, Arizona
Dec 1, 2009
Very nice area, I eyed that hillside years ago but never went through with the dedication of hiking up there and cleaning the place up. Good job Chris, Joe and others for developing this area, unlike any bouldering I've ever done in the tucson area, would like to get back out there again, good stuff.
By emmet
Feb 17, 2010
Due to rock quality, consider a spotter as mandatory.
Thanks for the trail.
By Adam Block
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 7, 2010
Like many of you and having lived out that way, I've eyed this up for several years, more so and like EFR the wall behind it which stands out as "different" even from the road. The hike is not that bad, I bushwacked it my first time and it still wasn't that bad though from the ground it does seem intimidating.

In all honesty, with some small effort this could be developed into a nice area on this side of town and at least an alternative to Lemmon with full winter sun. I checked on the wall EFR was talking about and will post a photo in a second but there is potential there, not what I'd hoped but maybe better as I've yet to pull on it.

  • *Edit** I have since pulled on it, bad, very bad, like a gigantic crouton! You could protect that wall with railroad spikes and a hammer!
By Adam Block
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 14, 2014
I'm surprised to not see more comments in here. I was up there today (I hike to the top for a sunset a couple times a year) and saw tracks and chalk so I know people make it up there.

As a side note, I almost stepped on a black tail rattler towards the top (almost stepped on a tiger rattler the time before) and on the hike out there were large eyes (it was dark) reflecting about 300 feet away that followed us for a solid 10 minutes, I thought for certain I was being stalked by a mountain lion, it was a tense few minutes before I was able to make them out as a deer. I'm just letting you know to be more vigilant in this area than you may be in others as it's traveled much less than most.
By Dominic Weinstock
Dec 24, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Panther peak
Panther peak

Area is littered with land closure signs. Are these new or have they just been disregarded in the past?
By Joe Kreidel
From: San Antonio, TX
Dec 24, 2015
Those must be relatively new. I never made it out there last winter, but those signs weren't posted previous years. If these are posted close to the parking area suggested, there may be another way to access the area further south. It would add a few extra minutes to the already long approach. I'll look into an alternative.

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