Tucson Spotlight
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Apr 26
Tohono Chul hosts docent-led walking tours of its grounds at 8:30 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Details at www....more
Apr 26
The Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists hosts a group mountain bike-ride on the last Saturday of the month. Contact club in ad...more
Apr 26
Join Citizens For Solar for the 32nd annual solar-powered information day that includes solar cooked food, solar displays, ch...more
Apr 26
Sonoita Vineyards Winery, in Elgin, hosts wine tastings with wine and food pairings, winery and vineyard tours, and a proces...more
Apr 29
Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO) presents 3-hour guided walks for bird and wildlife enthusiasts through desert gr...more

Rock Climbing

Tucson's sunny, dry climate - combined with its easy access to thousands of both traditional and sport climbs - makes this Southern Arizona city a paradise for rock climbers. The five mountain ranges surrounding Tucson offer endless opportunities for climbers of every skill level, from beginners to seasoned, wall-crawling veterans.

One of Arizona's top rock-climbing destinations is Mt. Lemmon, a short drive from Tucson in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Rising 9,157 feet above the Sonoran Desert floor, Mt. Lemmon has more than 1,200 climbing routes, ranging from single pitch clip-ups to multi-pitch traditional routes. The mountain's steep, craggy walls are ideal for practicing gravity-defying thrills at the end of a rope. Considerably higher in elevation (3,000-9,000 feet) than Tucson, Mt. Lemmon is much cooler and receives winter snow. In fact, the country's southern most ski area, Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, is located here.

Climbers looking for an un-roped adventure can have fun traversing short, steep boulders in the foothills surrounding town. Clusters of boulders make good practice sites for beginners who want to hone their skills. Bouldering areas also are popular with more advanced climbers who want to work on technique.

Rocks and Ropes, Tucson's only indoor climbing gym, now has two locations where experts teach climbing and safety skills to adventurers of all levels of expertise. Certified instructors also lead outdoor climbing trips to Mt. Lemmon and other climbing areas in Coronado National Forest, offering experiences such as bouldering, top roping, lead climbing, and multi-pitch routes. Southwest Trekking is a Tucson guide service with experience taking individuals into remote areas of Southern Arizona on custom outings featuring rock climbing and other outdoor pursuits.

Rock climbers of all skill levels are advised to climb with a partner and check weather reports before venturing into the mountains, as local weather can change quickly any time of year.


Helpful Links

Rocks and Ropes
Surrounding Mountains
Southwest Trekking
Mountain Project: Mt. Lemmon  
Coronado National Forest
Aspen Expeditions: Tucson Rock Climbing
Explore Arizona Tours
Tucson Weather Report
Mt. Lemmon Weather Report


What's New

The September 2011 issue of Climbing Magazine lists Tucson as the #1 town for climbers.