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Secret Canyon
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Desert Mule T 
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Desert Mule 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 225'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: John Burcham, Seth Dyer
Page Views: 703
Submitted By: markguycan on Apr 13, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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Secret Spire as seen from Rotten Rock spire


Phallic spire north of trail as you approach Secret Canyon. P1: 5.10 OW, P2: has 3 distinct cruxes: 5.11OW off the belay, 5.11fingers midway and then 5.11bouldery move to summit cap.


hike past the spire and look for a climber trail heading up the ridge thru the manzanita. The route is visible on approach (on the west face). Just before you get there you pass a steep thin to wide 3pitch crack on the main wall: "Pink Wiggler"


at least 2 #4Camalots, a #5(new) and a #5(old)or new #6/ also recommend dbls of blue TCU and single of every thing else. plus 2 bolts on the second pitch. rap twice with a 60m rope.

Photos of Desert Mule Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The shadow silhouette.
The shadow silhouette.
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the most erect towers around
One of the most erect towers around
Rock Climbing Photo: Recent area radar.
BETA PHOTO: Recent area radar.
Rock Climbing Photo: awkward start on P2
awkward start on P2
Rock Climbing Photo: awkward finish of P1
awkward finish of P1
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike almost the P1 crux
Mike almost the P1 crux
Rock Climbing Photo: the route is visible on the approach
BETA PHOTO: the route is visible on the approach
Rock Climbing Photo: Nate bushbashing his way to the base.
Nate bushbashing his way to the base.
Rock Climbing Photo:  on P2
on P2
Rock Climbing Photo: bouldery finish
bouldery finish

Comments on Desert Mule Add Comment
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By Zach Harrison
Mar 17, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

Desert mule is one of the coolest towers in the area! Varied, steep, burly, scenic, esoteric. The gear list is pretty spot on, but mortals would like doubles of BD#.4 also. More like 140 feet long, but very worthy. One of the few mini towers worth a repeat, it has really good climbing. An overlooked gem.
By Kevin Kent
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 20, 2015

This is definitely an unheralded classic. Beautiful aesthetic tower, awesome hero climbing (especially on the 2nd pitch), and it being totally safe make for a very fun outing! If you're worried about it I didn't think any of the OW was harder than 5.10. The crux top-out on slopers is very solid 11 though!
A little note on the approach, you should be under the tower after about 30 minutes of hiking, it'll be on your right. I would advise starting up the wash that drains directly below the tower, after 3-5 minutes get up on the ridge on the left and follow the path of least resistance up to the buttress, and then traverse right to the tower.
The route sees shade until mid-afternoon all year long.
By Jake Dayley
Dec 18, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

FA - R. Black and D. Houchlin - 1984
FFA - J. Burcham, S. Dyer - 2001

On of the top five best looking spires in sedona! Sweet climbing too! I climbed this route a long time ago but this is how I remember it...

P1 - 5.10 big hands/fists up an arching crack.
P2 - 5.9 OW to 5.10+ fingers to a bolt protected 5.11 steep boulder problem exit.

140' sounds about right

Great protection

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