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The Pillars
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mini location map2015-12-20
59 by photographer avatarMike_W
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The PillarsTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
 Hiking0.50 Miles 1,700 AEG
 Hiking0.50 Miles   8 Hrs      0.07 mph
1,700 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked ALL THE WAY UP this canyon in Dec 2015, for the 3rd time I believe. This is probably my favorite "wow" area that's within an hour drive of where I live on the West side of Tucson. The boulder hopping is a lot of fun for the first hour or so. After that, the canyon gets A LOT steeper and I needed to take several 30 second breaks every 5-10 minutes or so. The grade seemed dangerous getting close to the "pillars", so use caution. Immediately past the pillar area is a 7 foot vertical wall that requires some good upper body strength and climbing ability. There are no good footholds or handholds at this area. Getting over this area was a real challenge for me without ropes, etc. but I struggled and barely made it. By the way, I would highly recommend not going down this wall because of the steepness, falling danger, and lack of grip. After getting over that wall, keep heading up higher and eventually you'll reach a high point. We found a small bottle at the top under some rocks which had very few signatures. After reaching the peak, we ended up heading East and possibly a bit North and slowed sloped down to Soldier Canyon way down below. The distance from the peak to the canyon was probably about 1/2 mile. Be careful on the descent as there are some cliffs in some areas that should be avoided! Once down in Soldier canyon, which by the way has some incredible rock formations and water, depending on the time of the year, it can be taken all the way down to the canyon that you climbed up. From that point, it's another 1,000 feet to the road. Thanks to Brian, Tyler and Tyler Jr. for coming along with me! What a GREAT DAY!

In my office I have a 3 foot poster size print of the view of the pillars looking down toward the city. I've had a lot of admirer's of this poster printout over the years. Next time I do this hike, I will need to post a GPS route, which would be useful for going down into Soldier canyon! That was the only tricky navigation in the entire hike. Every time I drive up Mt Lemmon highway, I look up and think, wow, it's amazing that I was UP THERE, especially 3 TIMES!!!
Michael Williams
IT Professional
Rocky Point Vacation Rentals
Ocean Front Condo in Rocky Point, Sonora, Mexico

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