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Santa Rita Mountains

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Elephant Head 

Santa Rita Mountains Rock Climbing 

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Submitted By: James DeRoussel on Nov 3, 2003

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The Santa Rita Mountains are located 30 miles south of Tucson. This impressive range is home to Mt Wrightson, one of the taller peaks in Southern Arizona. While popular among hikers and bikers, there is precious little established climbing in this range. The remoteness and inconsistent rock quality of the crags here have probably deterred route development.

Nevertheless, there are a few 'gems', and the spectacular scenery is hard to beat.

Getting There 

From Tucson, drive I-19 south to exit for Madera Canyon. This is the developed recreational area, run by the USFS. Other parts of the range can be accessed by various forest roads.

Climbing Season

For the Southern Arizona area.

Weather station 2.0 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Santa Rita Mountains

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Santa Rita Mountains:
Hiker's Route   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad   Elephant Head
West Gully   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R     Trad, 8 pitches, 1000'   Elephant Head
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Featured Route For Santa Rita Mountains
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd class rock scramble up the ridge line

Hiker's Route 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a  Arizona : Southern Arizona : ... : Elephant Head
2nd and sometimes 3rd class terrain. The summit ridge drops dramatically away on both sides, but one can usually avoid undue exposure during the scramble to the summit. Once on top, Elephant Head rewards hikers with its famed “Elephant Shrine”, and sweeping views of the Santa Rita Mountains and across southern Arizona. beta credit:[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

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By Casey Erin
From: San Diego, CA
Aug 22, 2010
I hiked the Old Baldy trail to Mt. Wrightson for the first time yesterday and the amount of rock towards the top is incredible. It is too bad it is a hike of 5 miles and 4000 feet of elevation gain away. There are a lot of boulders right in the canyon though, don't think they seem much climbing though.

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