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Oak Creek Canyon is a Grand Daddy of Mogollon Rim drainages! This expansive canyon takes root in Flagstaff, but really starts just south of town in beautiful Pumphouse Wash. Oak Creek Canyon runs all the way down until it opens up at the entry of Munds Canyon from the east rim, and empties into Sedona... This canyon holds a myriad of side canyons, sub drainages, and a staggering amount of stone, climbing, exploration, and adventure to be had right off the heals of HWY 89.
If you are looking for sport routes, then you have the options of exploring Pumphouse Wash, and the Doctor's Office... Though the sandstone is soft, there are some excellent routes to discover, and some out of the way CLASSIC lines to track down... Pumphouse Wash is also the stunning showcase of the "Ultimates"... These lines are an almost fabled collection of cherished, traditional routes that will test the best, up to 5.11+ fingers, and some burly offwidth if you are so inclined... There is a lot to see down there, and some excellent "hot summer" swimming holes as well...
The Waterfall Area boasts 100 or so routes now, trad and mixed, with the majority of them going down in the 5.10+ through 5.13 range... Indeed! You can expect splitter cracks, steep jug hauls, and very thin technical lines! The climbing really starts at solid 5.10 trad, and only gets exponentially better from there! Bring a 70M rope, a robust rack including a triple set of TCUs, and your game! Not a place for the faint of heart.
And, on top of all that, if you want to get in a superb sandstone bouldering session, The Anvil Boulders are a collection of wonderful and rare blocks all conveniently (or maybe not so because of the creek crossing?) located 200 yards on the East side of Oak Creek just a hop and skip drive north out of Sedona. V-easy to V-super-hard- inspiring! Some very cool steep lines! Find this area in the Northern AZ Bouldering section.
Oak Creek Canyon is a treasure to many, and a focal point to climbers in this area for harboring a wide variety of crags, which can be intimidating, but also accessible year round, if you play your cards right. It is an awesome place to visit, and climb in, and an arduous place to explore off the beaten path! Watch out for tourists, rattle snakes, rock fall, hard approaches- and mellow ones, slow drivers (with their cameras stuck outside the window), soft sandstone, hard sandstone, and impeccable stone as well...!
There is obviously much more to be found in this expansive canyon than is listed here.... Be ready to "earn your burns", and engage with an environment that always seems to be coming after you! Yah, you personally...
An intriguing landscape!
Take 89 south from Flagstaff, or north from Sedona.
192 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in Oak Creek Canyon
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Oak Creek Canyon:
Natural Enhancement 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13 Trad, 1 pitch, 130' The Waterfall : The Right Wall
Ultimate Finger Crack 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, 1 pitch, 165' Pumphouse Wash : The Ultimates/Mexican Pocke...
Double Helix 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, 1 pitch, 115' The Waterfall : The Double Clutching Wall
Super Chronic 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, 1 pitch, 115' The Waterfall : The Double Clutching Wall
Featured Route For Oak Creek Canyon
Heart and Soul 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a AZ : Northern Arizona : ... : Sterling Pass
Heart and Soul ascends the prominent blunt aręte on the east face of St. Christopher’s tower. This aesthetic spire was originally done via the north face A2 route, “The Well of Souls” in January of 1996 by Raimonde, Stih, Clark. Heart and Soul is one of the finest sport spires anywhere and a true Burcham/Tatum masterpiece! The arrangement of fantastic climbing and a surreal location is sure to put this spire near the top of the list of classic Northern Arizona routes. While the climbing is thoug...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
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