Wilderness of Rocks Rock Climbing
Ian Evans on Hell Bitch, V8 at the WOR
Wilderness of Rocks Bouldering
The Wilderness of Rocks is a labyrinthine landscape of multicolored granite on the south flank of Mt. Lemmon, where towering domes, alien boulders, and hidden chasms rest in a forest of massive pine trees and scrubby oaks. It is truly wilderness: remote, alive, and unforgiving. The Aspen fire (2003) left many downed trees and many more ready to fall, and a lot of loose earth and locust. Lions and bears live here. There is a lot of water, but not reliably. Come prepared and be smart.
Climbers have been bouldering here for years, but development was minimal and mostly contained to rock near the northeast end of the WOR trail. As hard bouldering boomed in recent years, dedicated pebble wrestlers pressed deeper into the wilderness, uncovering hundreds of untouched problems on diversely featured stone. As of this writing (2017) the majority remain incomplete or undiscovered.
Approaches range from longish to brutal, with the deepest areas requiring complex off-trail routefinding well over an hour from the trailhead. Camping is allowed and recommended. Please camp only in established sites and be firewise.
Take Mt. Lemmon Highway through Summerhaven to the picnic/parking area at Marshall Gulch. (In winter, the last ~1/4 mile of this road is gated. Park before the gate and walk.) Pick up the Marshall Gulch trail right of the bathrooms and follow it 1.2 miles (elevation gain about 500 ft) to a 5-way intersection with the Aspen, Mint Springs, and Wilderness of Rocks trails. Follow the Wilderness of Rocks trail west/downhill. The Entrance Boulders surround the uppermost section of the trail. Other areas are further southwest/downhill and require leaving the main trail.
This is an exposed, high-elevation area and weather appears rapidly and unpredictably. Severe thunderstorms are possible year round, bringing lightning, heavy rain and hail, and flash flooding that can disrupt or block travel even on major trails. Winter storms produce heavy snowfall and very low temperatures.
Cross-country travel is cryptic and perilous. Hidden slabs, sinkholes, and wrong turns can ruin a trip fast. Trails fade. Cairns disappear. Missteps and accidents may bear cosmic consequences. Consider asking for a tour of remote areas on your first visit.
This entire area is protected as part of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. Tread lightly and take pains to follow established approach routes. Refrain from recklessly destroying vegetation. No excessive landscaping. Never feed or disturb wildlife.
Weather station 3.0 miles from here
8 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Wilderness of Rocks
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Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Wilderness of Rocks:
Featured Route For Wilderness of Rocks
Low crux of the Hell Bitch, V8