Alamo Canyon is home to some of the most spectacular rock formations on the north side of the Santa Catalinas, and provides a rugged backcountry experience to those willing to endure the long approach. Leviathin Dome, rising over 1000' from the base, is Alamo Canyon's crown jewel.
From Bob Kerry's Backcountry Rockclimbing in Southern Arizona:
Drive to Catalina State Park on Oracle Rd. (AZ 77) in Oro Valley. Pay the entrance fee and drive to the parking lot at the road's end. From the trail head, follow the sign for "birding loop" and then go left. After the "stairs", a dirt road intersects the loop at a bench. Take the dirt road, which turns into a horse trail, then into a sandy wash, and then back into a horse trail. This takes you to the mouth of Alamo Canyon.
Don't drop into the Canyon here, because it's very brushy. Instead follow the vague trail as it continues along the left side of the drainage. Eventually it peters out, but there are cairns and open spots for a ways which help you stay out of the canyon bottom. Drop into the canyon bottom when it becomes too much trouble to cross the intersecting washes on the side (about 1/4 mile). Follow the stream and then go straight uphill when you are just below the dome. Allow 2-3 hours.
Weather station 0.3 miles from here
5 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Alamo Canyon:
Featured Route For Alamo Canyon
North Face 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
: Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin...
: ... : Leviathan Dome
This climb is a serious undertaking with some big runnouts in places. Most notably the 4th pitch with 60 feet of unprotected 5.7, the fifth pitch which has a 110 foot traverse with widely spaced pro so the second can enjoy it too, and the 8th pitch where falling could lead to a big swing into a corner. The cool thing is that doing this you are following in the footsteps of some inspired and daring people. In Bob Kerry's Guiedbook Backcounty Rockclimbing in Southern Arizona he writes that the ...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
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