REI Community
Wilderness of Rocks

Select Area...
AC/DC Wall 
Ghandi Slabs 
Primus Wall 
Swimming Hole 

Wilderness of Rocks Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 8,000'
Location: 32.4374, -110.7673 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 6,939
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Ryder on Sep 5, 2007
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
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.

Special Considerations 

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.

Climbing Season

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

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Wilderness of Rocks:
Pimpin' Curly   V5 6C     Boulder   Swimming Hole
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Wilderness of Rocks

Featured Route For Wilderness of Rocks
Rock Climbing Photo: sharp topout watch the achiles

Pimpin' Curly V5 6C  Arizona : Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin... : ... : Swimming Hole
Start matched on the block feature on the right side and traverse left on solid crimps to a jug and top it out. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Wilderness of Rocks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Hell Bitch boulder
The Hell Bitch boulder
Rock Climbing Photo: Low crux of the Hell Bitch, V8
Low crux of the Hell Bitch, V8

Comments on Wilderness of Rocks Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About