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Mt. Elden

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Elysian Buttress 
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Middle Elden Canyon 
Oaklands 
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Red Dragon 
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Solitude Canyon 
West Elden 

Mt. Elden  


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Elevation: 9,299'
Location: 35.2429, -111.6048 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 278,950
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Will Cobb on Apr 20, 2006
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Found this cool shot of Mt. Elden online. Furthest...

Description 

Sitting just north of Flagstaff, Mt. Elden is marked by radio towers and a fire watch tower on top and by the large burn scar on it's southeastern and eastern slopes. Composed of Dacite, Mt. Elden has great bouldering, fun cragging, and even a few multiple pitch climbs of good quality. The rock tends to be sharp and rough providing great friction and the perfect Joshua Tree training ground.

J.Snyder on the possible FFA of Lost Elden Crack P...
J.Snyder on the possible FFA of Lost Elden Crack
Photo: Jeff Deikis


"Mt. Elden dominates many of the views from town, and as such the daydreams of many local climbers. Home to well established oldschool areas such as West Elden and Secret Canyon, it has in the last decade also brought to town a very unique style of sport climbing. The newer crags like Solitude Canyon, Red Dragon, and the One Wall boast some truly excellent pitches on priceless formations where a climber can expect to find every sort of hold imaginable.

JJ Schlick on the classic move to the "Black ...
JJ Schlick on the classic move to the "Black Diamond" hold during an early send of Solitaire, before the bolt changes. 2009

Wade Forrest photo


The areas themselves are spread out across the southern flanks of the mountain with considerable distance in between them. The actual cliff aspects cover every range, so there can be quite a bit of sun/shade searching throughout the seasons, and in light years climbable all year round.

Moe Jorgan sending Pabst Trap, way up at the strik...
Moe Jorgan sending Pabst Trap, way up at the striking One Wall.


Mt. Elden was formed about 50,000 years ago in the course of several months, and is technically a 'lava dome' formed of Dacitic lava flows. There was never an explosion, rather an out pouring of flows along lateral vents. Which simply means that the crags we climb on today were once huge flows of lava slowly oozing from the mound. Evidence of these flows can be seen on top of many of crags and elsewhere on the mountain in very cool waves and fins.

Paul Davidson on the FA of Retirement Crack in the...
Paul Davidson on the FA of Retirement Crack in the late 1970's, at West Elden.


There are a lot of nooks and crannies to explore on Elden, so have fun!"

JJ Schlick.


Wintery conditions on The Elysian Buttress, Mt. El...
Wintery conditions on The Elysian Buttress, Mt. Elden's "premiere" multi pitch venue.

Getting There 

Mt. Elden is located just north of Flagstaff. Highways 180 and 89A are used to access the climbing areas. Approaches vary from several minutes o 45 minutes.

Climbing Season



Weather station 4.1 miles from here

183 Total Routes

['4 Stars',11],['3 Stars',95],['2 Stars',63],['1 Star',13],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',5],['5.7',7],['5.8',9],['5.9',9],['5.10',37],['5.11',51],['5.12',38],['5.13',13],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',2],['V4-5',9],['V6-7',2],['V8-9',1],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',1],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mt. Elden:
Five Easy Pieces   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   West Elden : Uptown
Zit Slab   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   West Elden : Uptown
Right Deception Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   West Elden : Uptown
Elysian Buttress Original Route   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 5 pitches, 450'   Elysian Buttress
The Prow   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   West Elden : Uptown
Man On the Moon   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 4 pitches, 350'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Rusty Blade   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Freedom of the Hills   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Oaklands
La Diosa    5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   West Elden : Downtown
Thunderbird ArÍte    5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Lucky Old Sun   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Bold is Love   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 95'   West Elden : Uptown
Mechanical Persistence   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 4 pitches, 400'   Elysian Buttress
Broad Axe   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Sporting the Line   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Oaklands
Solitaire   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Runaway Train   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Oaklands
Modest Mouse   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Solitude Canyon : Lower Solitude Canyon
Continental Drift   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Crown Jewel   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Red Dragon
Browse More Classics in Mt. Elden

Featured Route For Mt. Elden
Wade Forrest, done with the traverse crux, and clo...

Lucky Old Sun 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b  AZ : Northern Arizona : ... : Main Wall
Lucky Old Sun is a deceptive and unique line... It's steeper than it looks, harder than it looks, and better than it looks. And it's a good looking line.Start as for the Scythe, up the rampy slab to the high first bolt. Throw a runner on the first bolt and move up to the second bolt. After the third bolt, start moving up and right past a good sidepull, a 1 foot tall finger crack, and up to a good jug. Keep moving up and right on bulging bronze shields. The holds are good but hard to see witho...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Photos of Mt. Elden Slideshow Add Photo
Tiny Horned Toad found on the approach
Tiny Horned Toad found on the approach
The Radio Fire on Mt Elden (1978).
The Radio Fire on Mt Elden (1978).
Mt. Elden topo and some of the areas.
BETA PHOTO: Mt. Elden topo and some of the areas.
Some Mt. Elden pockets found on a boulder problem....
Some Mt. Elden pockets found on a boulder problem....
Many of Elden's climbing areas can be seen in this...
Many of Elden's climbing areas can be seen in this...

Comments on Mt. Elden Add Comment
Show which comments
By Todd Savoy
From: Flagstaff
Mar 2, 2010
Howdy! Does anyone have any info on Secret Canyon? I've got a copy of "A Cheap Way to Fly" but it kinda only scratches the surface. Thanks!
By Garrett Jones
Dec 19, 2014
Hey everyone I went climbing here over this summer and i lost my wedding ring . Its a black wedding ring. I never took it off till i started climbing and i slipped off grip and my wedding ring was stuck, thought my finger was going to get skinned. I have always put it on a carabiner and haven't lost it until now. So if anyone sees this i am pretty frustrated and would give just about anything to have it back. I have torn my house apart and have found nothing and i am missing a carabiner(always buy everything in sets of 8 so i can be sure i keep track of my counts)
I am going out this week to look and if i can find a metal detector ill be looking there too.
Ill be posting this in the forum so if this is the wrong place just delete it.
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