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*Flagstaff Crags

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Mt. Elden 
Overlook, The 
Pit, The 
Pumphouse Wash 
San Francisco Peaks 

*Flagstaff Crags  

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Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 35.17487, -111.65958 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 659,007
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Jan 24, 2012
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Dan Schwarz piecing together the cruxy beta on Cha...


Flagstaff is the epicenter of Northern Arizona climbing, and there are dozens of crags within an hours drive.

In the backyard, however, we have Mt. Elden which is now showcasing a very diverse collection of sport crags, as well as, the more traditional venues. Development of different areas on the mountain began in the late 1960's by local legend Scott Baxter and friends, and continues to this day.

P. Davidson gunning through on the FA of Retiremen...
P. Davidson gunning through on the FA of Retirement Crack 5.11, West Elden 1970's.

The San Francisco Peaks are just a hop and skip out of town and open up a number of different climbing opportunities such as the beautiful Peak's Crag, and the short approach Hobo Jungle.

Colin enjoying a little quality time on the Peaks,...
Colin enjoying a little quality time on the Peaks, while firing off a flash 2nd ascent of Burning Point 5.12, at The Peaks Crag.

A rare and elusive Flagstaff climbing shot with a climber, and some of the San Francisco Peaks in the back drop. Challenge is on....

The Pit, just south of town on Lake Mary Rd is an infamous Kaibab limestone sport crag, which first saw development in the early 1980's by Alex McGuffie and Mike Lawson. In the late 80's and into the early 90's sport climbing swept the nation, and this crag quickly filled up with routes, established in all sorts of different styles from ground up hooking to rap bolting. These days, The Pit is the local refuge for sport climbers who like short approaches, and predictable conditions.

Joel Unema getting serious on No Joke 5.13b, at Th...
Joel Unema getting serious on No Joke 5.13b, at The Pit.
Photo by Carrie Albrecht. Making the Pit look good.

South of town on 89A you will come across The Oak Creek Overlook, which is a classic moderate traditional crag favored by the local crack addicts for full days, or after work affairs. Development first started here in the late 1960's when local police officer Chuck Martens free/aided The Trinity Cracks (which he called The Three Bears) around the same time he did the first ascent of Queen Victoria Spire in Sedona, which he simply called Tower 1. It would be some years before other, well known early locals turned The Overlook into the superb moderate crag it is today during the 1970's and into the early 80's.

J.Snyder on Looked Over at The Overlook.
J.Snyder on Looked Over at The Overlook.

Pump House Wash, which empties into Oak Creek Canyon is the closest soft rock to town, where any seasoned climber might find a few bones to gnaw on. Shorter multi pitch adventures are strewn among confirmed classics in a dreamy, rugged canyon setting.

wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of ...
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon.

photo: Blake McCord

Getting There 

Flagstaff sits at the intersection of interstates 17 and 40, in North Central Arizona.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.9 miles from here

486 Total Routes

['4 Stars',28],['3 Stars',217],['2 Stars',198],['1 Star',40],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for *Flagstaff Crags:
Clean Slate   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Peaks Crag : Middle Area
Isaiah   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   The Overlook
Man On the Moon   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 4 pitches, 350'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Mr. Slate   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Pit : Swiss Tower
New River   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Peaks Crag : *North End
Giggle Drops   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Peaks Crag : South End
Mulligan Stew   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 75'   San Francisco Peaks : Hobo Jungle
Mulligan Pie   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 90'   San Francisco Peaks : Hobo Jungle
Prosthesis   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 70'   The Peaks Crag : Middle Area
Be Yourself   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Peaks Crag : *North End
Ultimate Finger Crack   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 165'   Pumphouse Wash : The Ultimates
Be the Burn   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Peaks Crag : South End
Solitaire   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Higher Solitude Canyon : Main Wall
Chasing Dragons    5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 69'   The Peaks Crag : *North End
South of No North   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 75'   San Francisco Peaks : Hobo Jungle
Burning Point   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Peaks Crag : South End
Up In Smoke   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Peaks Crag : South End
Black Swan   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   The Peaks Crag : Middle Area
Shaman School   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Peaks Crag : Middle Area
Steel Reserve   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   San Francisco Peaks : Hobo Jungle
Browse More Classics in *Flagstaff Crags

Featured Route For *Flagstaff Crags
Sun King  Emilia Anderson photo

Sun King Direct 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  AZ : Northern Arizona : ... : Sun King Tower, West Face
Sun King Direct is one of the most aesthetic lines to be found up here. The route tackles a vertical 80' pillar, with the middle section dominated by a large and unique scoop/hueco. This is a mixed line, and the gear in the middle is hard to place, with the best pieces being small #4 wires. A #2 TCU can also provide some reassurance. A couple moves above this there is a good #2 Camalot pod before launching back into the scoop and the final two bolts of business. Crack system t...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Local Information for *Flagstaff Crags
Comments on *Flagstaff Crags Add Comment
Show which comments
By Osprey Overhang
From: ...
Mar 10, 2012
Weather link for Flagstaff, AZ: forecast.weather.gov/MapClick....
By pseudalpine
Apr 26, 2015
It seems strange to post a bunch of internet photos for an area that was previously claimed as "word of mouth" .

Will Cobb wrote:
1. The crag developers have always advocated a "word of mouth" system for the area. They understood that this area would attract many climbers due to the quality and variety of routes. They also understood that this particular area is quite small and would not handle huge crowds. The idea was to slowly dissemenate information out to the community and spread out people coming to climb there. From my personal experience I can say that finding the crag and exploring it without a guide book was really fun. No grades, no names, and no expectations made the climbing unique in a world of internet and foldout guides.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 26, 2015
Though The Peaks Crag remains word of mouth as you say, sort of, it is no secret at this point. Anyone who climbs there with any regularity can attest to that. Honestly, at this point, most of the community would rather see it published, so issues of real concern could be addressed. The forest service has no problem with us climbing up there, but they do take issue with irresponsible parking along FR 522. That is their biggest concern. IF THE LOT IS FULL, DO NOT PARK ALONGSIDE THE ROAD. DO NOT PARK IN DESIGNATED CAMPSITES UNLESS YOU ARE ACTUALLY CAMPING THERE. Basically, don't park like an asshole. Being one of the few good roads into that section of Peaks, they need it clear incase of emergencies, fires, or whatever they might need to do

Issues and concerns change, and if we don't adapt to the changes, then we are just moving backwards.

As far as photos of the crag on the internet go, well I'm not the first, and people have been posting them all over the place on social sites for years. Again the place is no secret.

Sorry this upsets you Psuedoalpine, but you seem like an easily upset kind of guy. If you have personal issues with me, which it seems like you do, why don't you PM me, and we can go from there, instead of playing it out on Mountain Project like kids.
By pseudalpine
Apr 26, 2015
Somewhat of a strange fourth paragraph response, that is your projection that I'm upset. It was a relevant statement clarifying if the crag advocation had changed. Apparently it has and you've reinforced no concern with linking to the available info.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 26, 2015
My bad if I misread your intentions. I've talked with forest service personell, and all they care about is keeping the road clear. That's it. I've left encouraging notes on poorly parked vehicles. Unfortunately, word of mouth works well to spread the where abouts of a crag, but not so much when it comes to spreading the word about responsible parking.... That's where I'm at with it. By keeping the crag word of mouth, we fail to publicly address the only real issue.
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