We look for something close and easy for our first Tucson climbing outing, and settle on the Hidden Jewels area in the near foothills. The approach is nearly a mile of steep trail, which is a bonus for us. The giant saguaro cacti are everywhere! The heat makes us sweat, the air smells delicious, and there are expansive views out over Tucson.
The crag is split into upper and lower tiers. The lower tier is accessed via a rappel that we can’t find, but we’re able to hang a rope on the upper tier and play happily on the big edges. The rocks seems granitic, with big horizontal bands. We play on two nice 80-foot routes, not feeling too strong but enjoying the movement. The return hike supplies us with a nice sunset, a last gift before we fail to make it back to town (another story).