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Chiricahua National Monument
Dry Canyon, The
End of the Road, The
Mendoza Canyon (aka Coyote Domes)
Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains)
Newman Peak- "The Shady Lady?"
Santa Rita Mountains
Tanque Verde Canyon
Tucson Area Bouldering
Southern Arizona has a lot to offer most rock climbers. There are classic old school trad routes and super safe bolted climbs. Most of the climbing is lower angle to vertical face climbing. This is not to say that there isn't any steep stuff as a few crags have sections of steep to very steep (45 degrees) rock. There is some crack climbing but not many pure crack climbs. The majority of routes are between 5.8 and 5.12. For the 5.10 to 5.11 climber thousands of routes will keep you busy for a lifetime. There are only two 5.14s and 15 or so 5.13s on Mt. Lemmon at this time so super hard climbers usually move away.
Cochise Stronghold and the Catalina Mountains, more often referred to as Mt. Lemmon are where most of the climbing activity occurs. The Stronghold has lots of old school sphincter puckering trad routes and a higher number of more heavily bolted lines that make for a less terrifying day. The climbs reach to the summits of majestic domes of granite that are highlighted by green and yellow lichen. Late afternoon sunsets lighting these walls will take your breath away.
The Catalina Mountains have hundreds of multi pitch routes but most think of it as a cragging area. Located on the northern edge of Tucson it sees the highest concentration of climbers. The 30 mile long Catalina highway has a couple of thousand climbs within 30 minutes of the road. Even so if you walk a short distance you can often have the crag to yourself.
If you get away from these two areas and visit the less traveled areas you can easily eliminate contact with other climbers and still find some great climbing.
Wherever you end up the weather will usually cooperate and the warmth of the desert will have you smiling.
Tucson is the epicenter of southern Arizona. If you are flying in you might find direct flights can be a bit more expensive. Many fly into Phoenix and rent a car and head south. Most cars will get you to most areas but a few will require a high clearance vehicle. If you are driving find your way to I-10 and it will lead you to Tucson.
2,500 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in Southern Arizona
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Southern Arizona:
What's My Line? 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b A0 R Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, 400' East Stronghold : Cochise Dome (What's My Lin...
Ewephoria 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b Trad, Sport, 5 pitches, 750' Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : The Sheepshead
Days of Future Passed 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b PG13 Trad, 4 pitches, 400' Rockfellow Group : End Pinnacle
Featured Route For Southern Arizona
Perfect Storm 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6a AZ : Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin... : ... : Weathertop
Dean and I did this route back in 99 or 2000. never gave it a name and never got back on it until this year. I've lead it twice now and I have to say it's as good as any 5.12 sport route in southern AZ. A hard bouldery start leads to continuously pumpy and tricky moves all the way to the chains. Slightly overhanging with finger friendly holds on great rock. ...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
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