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Central Arizona

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**Phoenix Areas 
**Prescott Areas 
*Isolation Canyon 
*Queen Creek Canyon 
*The Homestead 
Christopher Creek Gorge 
Coon Bluff 
Crown King Area 
Dromedary Peak 
Eagletail Mountains 
East Verde 
Four Peaks Wilderness 
Lake Havasu 
Picket Post Mountain 
Saguaro Lake 
Sierra Ancha Mountains 
Stewart Pocket 
Sycamore Wall 
Tam O'Shanter 
Top of the World 
Waugh Wall 
West Clear Creek 
Wet Beaver Crack 
Wood Canyon 
Workman Falls 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Warpaint Loop
A fun flowy loop down that finishes with a gradual climb back up. Near Guadalupe, Arizona
Geronimo Trail
A fast and semi-technical downhill blast. Near Phoenix, Arizona
Desert Classic
The chillest trail in South Mountain Near Guadalupe, Arizona
Javelina Canyon trail
A nice warm up or cool-down to the harder trails. Near Guadalupe, Arizona
Double Butte Loop
Another option for looping around the northern Papago buttes. Near Tempe Junction, Arizona
Pass Mountain Trail
A take-no-prisoners loop around Pass Mountain. Near Mesa, Arizona
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Central Arizona Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 33.4314, -112.0715 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,005,749
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: RyanJames on Jan 23, 2012


64° | 39°

68° | 42°

73° | 46°

72° | 44°

69° | 43°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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What are you looking at!? Photo taken by Lucas An...

The Central Arizona Areas 

Central Arizona is a rugged, barren, arid, and inhospitable landscape. When most people think of central Arizona, they think of the sprawling metropolis of Phoenix and the emblematic Saguaro. People also think of the searing temperatures, piss-warm backyard pools, and the heinous back sweat of every insignificant car ride. Nevertheless, hidden away are back country gems - lush, water-filled canyons, shady forests, and hundreds of miles of pristine, bountiful cliff lines. To the intrepid adventurer: There is no lack of opportunity here.

The Central Arizona area encompasses the low desert of Arizona, which heats up like an oven during the summer, and several national forests – Prescott, Tonto, and Apache – whose cliff faces are climbable on even the most sweltering summer days. Within this central portion of the state, there are three main hotspots: the Prescott area, the Payson area, and the Phoenix area, each with its own distinct flavor.

The Prescott areas include the picturesque lakeside cliffs of Watson Dells Lake and the historic and towering granite cliffs of Granite Mountain. If smaller rocks strike your fancy, then thousands of erratically strewn granite boulders litter the forests and hills, awaiting your enjoyment. Climbing in and around Prescott is possible almost year round.

The Payson area also offers its share of quality climbs. Isolation Canyon hosts an incredible concentration of worthwhile classics, while the canyons – Wet Beaver Creek , West Clear Creek, East Verde, and the Anchas – are otherworldly oases that provide a perfect breather from the summertime roast of the Phoenix Valley.

And lastly there is the Phoenix area. There are several crags within city limits. Pinnacle Peak and the McDowell Mountains are great winter traditional climbing destinations that make for highly enjoyable day trips. East of the city are the Superstition Mountains, the contested Queen Creek Canyon, and an indescribable amount of other backcountry diamonds. Enduring classics hide in these mountains and offer all the finger-shredding fun you could want. Many of these areas are also climbable most days of the year. While central Arizona is not a world-class climbing destination, world-class climbs are abundant, making central Arizona the perfect prospect for those seeking to stake their vertical claim. Come get yours!

Getting There 

Most of the central Arizona areas are within a two and half hour radius of Phoenix. Standard cars can access many areas, but many require full-blown four-wheel drive, high clearance, and a willingness to succumb to “the Arizona pinstripe.”

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.5 miles from here

2,182 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',159],['3 Stars',798],['2 Stars',784],['1 Star',353],['Bomb',14]

Classic Climbing Routes in Central Arizona

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Central Arizona:
Hanging Gardens   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 2 pitches   McDowell Mountains : Gardeners Wall
East Face   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Camelback Mountain : The Praying Monk
The Classic   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Giggling Marlin   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   *Queen Creek Canyon : Atlantis
Chimera   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Sport, 2 pitches, 230'   Camelback Mountain : Gargoyle Wall
Magnolia Thunderpussy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Coatimundi / Candyland LInkup   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Pocket Puzzle   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   *Queen Creek Canyon : The Pond
Reunion   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 250'   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
The Slammer Jam   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Candyland   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 5 pitches, 450'   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Kingpin   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, 5 pitches, 450'   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
The Hotline (aka Hiccup Delux)   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Pathological Optimist   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Lower Devil's Canyon : Totem-Proto Area
The Totem Pole   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   Lower Devil's Canyon : Totem-Proto Area
Coatimundi Whiteout   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 5 pitches   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Tufa-one   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport   *The Homestead : Tufa City
Tufa Yard Dash   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   *The Homestead : Tufa City
Cold Fusion   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   *The Homestead : Rough Rider Wall
Solar Delirium   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport   *The Homestead : Tufa City
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Central Arizona

Featured Route For Central Arizona
Rock Climbing Photo: Return From the Great Mormon Experience

Return From the Great Mormon Experience 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  AZ : Central Arizona : ... : The Pond
One of the better routes at the Pond!Start by stemming over to the first bolt, then proceed up through a few increasingly difficult sections to the technical crux deadpoint. Get a good shake and blast up the route's second half, which is comprised of fun jugs on solid red rock.There is still a bit of loose rock on the arete at the bottom near the 3rd and 4th bolts that should probably be cleaned off, since it is right above the belayer.It is possible to set up a TR on this climb-- there's a bol...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Photos of Central Arizona Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Exploring new areas is one good reason to climb in...
BETA PHOTO: Exploring new areas is one good reason to climb in...
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Steve Tweito finishing the second pitch, Mark Trai...
Steve Tweito finishing the second pitch, Mark Trai...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the Hand, Dec 2012
Climbing the Hand, Dec 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: The Fortress, Miners Needle & Sisyphus Pinnacles, ...
The Fortress, Miners Needle & Sisyphus Pinnacles, ...

Comments on Central Arizona Add Comment
Show which comments
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 28, 2012
Great description Ryan. Thanks for taking that on.
By Corinne B
Feb 13, 2012
Hello Climbers, I lost my iPhone 4 at the campsite there this weekend.
If you find it, could you email me at I will gladly reward you with dinner or a bit of cash or something for your trouble. Thanks in advance :-)
By poncet
Nov 12, 2014
hi I m french...
I looking for a ride to go at homestead during the end of this month. I have a car but it s not possible to take the dirty road with a chevy van... If you ll go and you could take two people with bags it will be so nice...

By kyle nowak
From: Arizona
Oct 28, 2015
Hey everyone my name is Kyle and I have recently moved here from Colorado and are looking for climbing partners in central Arizona I have climbed a little bit in queen Creek Canyon I climb I mostly sport climb but have recently assembled a rack to get started into trad climbing shoot me a text if you're interested my number is 303-887-5943

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