Solitude Canyon is a major drainage on the western flanks of Mt. Elden, and is quite conspicuous from a number of vantage points around the west side of town. Coined by Scott Baxter, or one of his crew, at least a couple lines were done here back in the day. These days however, Solitude Canyon is quickly becoming a sport climbing refuge nestled right in the backyard of Flagstaff. There are three distinct areas in this rugged and forested canyon, each with it's own character.
Middle Solitude is a partially developed set of small crags on the opposite side (west), and up canyon from Lower Solitude. This area sports a handful of routes on pillar type formations, with good pockets and crisp erosion sculpted edges. Some excellent warmups, and more lines that could be done. This crag starts nearly at the point where the Lower Solitude wall ends. Mixes well with either Lower or Higher though there is presently no trail.
Higher Solitude is a burly crag to access, and climb at. The elevation here is about 8600', and after the approach, you'll know it. It is host to some excellent long sport routes, as well as the Sailing Wall which is a full service warm up wall with routes that start at 5.8. The pockets will amaze you, and the views coupled with the crag ambiance are worth the hike. There is certainly a wilderness feel to it, even though you can see bits of the west side of town. And believe it or not you want colder temps (between 45 and 65 degrees) to really enjoy the this place. It doesn't seem like it when you are hiking up to it, but this area faces almost due south.
For Lower Solitude park at the same cul de sac at the end of Paradise that you would to access Glorias Boulders. Please be courteous to the residents and do not park in front of the chain link fence with gate. From the Safeway on the corner of Cedar Ave and Linda Vista head north on the latter for a block or two, and look for Paradise on the left. Follow large trails up to the boulders, and then go left (west), around them either just skirting them or at the base of them. By keeping your eye on the base and sticking with it you will enter the mouth of Solitude canyon. There are several sets of trails, but there is a distinct climbers trail which heads into the drainage as it appears. This is about fifteen minutes into the hike, and splits right from a well worn trail near a very dead gray sawed stump. Follow this trail the base of Lower Solitude.
Browse More Classics in Solitude Canyon
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Solitude Canyon:
Featured Route For Solitude Canyon
Continental Drift 5.12+ AZ : Northern Arizona : ... : Main Wall
Continental Drift is an audacious route that climbs up a wide white streak twenty feet right of Solitaire. Start on bulbous rock with big moves between big holds. Take your rest at the break, and bear hug the block to access the thin pocketed climbing above. The crux involves some serious crimping, body tension, balance, and a good huck to an undercling pocket! The crux section will either excite your puzzle mind, or terribly frustrate you... You do however get a decent shake after that, bu...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ