Elevation: 5,701 ft
GPS: 36.104, -115.495 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 70,730 total · 385/month
Shared By: phil broscovak on Feb 20, 2004
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen
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Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


This beautiful 1000 foot wall with the prominent patina shaped like an eagle flying west is the home of several Urioste classics like Eagle Dance (V 5.10 A1) and Levitation 29 (V 5.11).

Getting There

Expect a long approach. From the Wilson Pimple head up Oak Creek canyon for about an hour. Then 30 to 45 mins up the North Fork. Finally follow an easy eastwardly leading ramp system to the base of stunning Eagle Wall.

7 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Eagle Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Rainbow Buttress
Trad 8 pitches
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b A0+
Eagle Dance
Trad, Sport, Aid 11 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Trad, Sport 5 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Mountain Beast
Trad 8 pitches
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Levitation 29
Trad, Sport 9 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Rainbow Buttress
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 8 pitches
Eagle Dance
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b A0+ Trad, Sport, Aid 11 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Sport 5 pitches
Mountain Beast
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 8 pitches
Levitation 29
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Sport 9 pitches
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Approach:The start of the approach ramp is marked by 2 large, healthy pine trees on either end of the creekbed. If you feel like you need a rope, you're probably not on the right ramp.

Descent: Head west on the crest until you reach the end of the sandstone to a red saddle. Drop down to the left and follow the creek back to your packs. Apr 12, 2004
We recently had the opportunity to trash in and out of Oak Creek Canyon on our way to Eagle Dance. Having done the hike before, we knew that it would not be fun.

Because we were expecting a thrashing and were paying lots of attention to cairns and bypasses for the large boulders, the first part of the canyon (up to the fork junction) went surprisingly well.

Just as we were commenting on how this was really not that bad, we started getting religion, crawling under prickly bushes with a full pack while avoiding the cactus is always humbling. After a while we sighted the two gigantic Ponderosa pines, about 150 yards from us and thought we were there... The last damn 100 yards are pretty bad and made the other two miles feel like a walk in the park.

So in the end we got our thrashing. This approach doesn't seem to get any easier even when ypou know where to go.

WT May 5, 2004
Nate Furman
Salt Lake City, Utah
Nate Furman   Salt Lake City, Utah
What a beautiful wall.

We linked Black Orpheus with Eagle Dance. The approach from Orpheus was easy...once you drop into Lower Painted Bowl you can scramble up a 3rd/4th class ramp to the shoulder that divides Eagle Wall from Lower Painted Bowl. It takes less than fifteen minutes from the point you veer off the Orpheus decent route to the base of Eagle Wall.

After rapping Eagle Dance, we decended by going back over to the Black O decent and continued from there. It seems much quicker than having to walk back up canyon from the base of Eagle Wall then walk back down it.

There was very little thrashing to be had. Jan 28, 2007
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
Hint for the approach: as you get close to the pine trees, the creek bed gets fairly brush filled- cut left out of it onto some easy slabs and follow this all the way to the pine trees. Step through one bush and you're on the ramp.

Edit: For those who dont quite get where that so-called secret approach is up to the eagle wall is- it's the descent for Black Orpheus- this approach takes you up onto the slabs just after the canyon forks, then up the shoulder directly below Ringtail. For those who aren't in shape, this approach takes about 90 minutes as opposed to the 2+ hrs of the std approach. Mar 14, 2007
forget everything you heard about a long approach. you can be at the base of the eagle wall in an hour from oak creek parking if you hustle and take the direct approach.

walk into oak creek, under the solar slabs, and stay high on good trails, occasionally braided, and OUT OF THE DRAINAGE until you are forced in just as the canyon pinches down.

then follow the drainage upstream until you are in full view of the black arch wall on your right. ahead of you is the fork where other slower approachers go.

you- the wily climber, will take the big slab immediately after (left of) the black arch wall. its a low angle slab, started with some varnished plates (4th class or maybe 5.0 for 35', then low angle) then split with a big featured crack system (3rd class) all the way up and out of sight, in the direction of the hidden eagle wall.

approach this slab not from directly below, but from to the left or right. may require pushing a few bushes around, depending on where you go.

follow the crack up the middle of the slab, then where it gets exposed exit right into the mellow gully for a few yards, then routefind up ledges heading towards the painted bowls. maybe a spot of 4th class. no 5th here. this soon spits you out next to the IBM boulder, and you can look down at the poor saps still laboring up the standard approaches.

it is blazing fast, and i cant figure out why more folks dont go this way. the new handren guide has a good aerial photo that maps it out, in case you want to see the sneak preview. Mar 11, 2009
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Thanks for the fast approach beta, Anthony! Is this also the fastest way down (i.e. can it be downclimbed quickly)? If so, it would speed up the Black Orpheus descent, etc.

Also, can one get further up canyon from the base of the Eagle Wall? If so, this would also speed up the approach for Coltrane and Catwalk. Mar 11, 2009
well, i dont know. ive never gone down it, and the idea isnt too appealing to me. thats partly because i enjoy weaving down the orpheus descent.

its also partly because i dont treasure the idea of downclimbing the little steep 4th class section at the very bottom, but then ive always gone up that in shoes and a pack, and im no hero. it would probably be a little harder (or feel a little harder) to go down it without ever have gone up it, but it could probably be sussed out on the way down by looking over the edge just past the IBM boulder.

i think for the most efficient descent off the painted bowls i would rap the black arch wall. orpheus will rap with a single rope easily into the lower painted bowl, iirc, and the black arch wall also was a straightfoward rap, although it has been a while there.

as for approaching the next rock upcanyon from the base of eagle wall, im again- not sure. ive never walked up to the eagle wall along the base (always coming in from the slabs from the IBM boulder) so i dont know how easily it connects to the upper canyon. i know it goes, but i dont know how useful it is. Jun 16, 2009
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
Maybe not as good as the Handren Guide photo but here is one I took of the area from across the Canyon.

The approach crack as mentioned in above posts tops out near the bushes in the bottom left-hand side of the pic.
Jun 17, 2009
leeds, ut
fossana   leeds, ut
Great beta, Andy. John W and I used it in Nov to approach Mt Beast and I plan to use it again this weekend. Jan 19, 2011
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
My group and I, the wily climbers, used the "fast approach" to eagle wall last weekend, which we thoroughly enjoyed. A couple notes:
-You can see the bottom of the approach slab as you enter oak creek. Keep an eye out, it isn't hard to find. Stay out of the wash for as long as you can.
-We may have missed the best way to initially get on the slabs, but the first 30 feet of the huge crack system on the slabs is easily 5.6/5.7 of hand crack with jugs, not 5.0. It splits 2 roofs and was easy enough but just a heads up. Following the crack system up that initial slab was a bit steeper, so we stepped right. Just take whatever way looks best.
-After the initial slab it may seem overwhelming as the ledges appear non 3rd classy. But miraclously the ledges all weave together with only a few scrambles. A few crux cairns. Once you hit IBM boulder its over. easy routefinding up the final slabs.
-Its fast, but not 1 hour fast. It took us 2 hours first time. Guess if you get it dialed maybe. Beautiful views, and no schwacking!
-The walkoff descent of eagle wall is amazing. I thought it was one of the most scenic, neat descents I've ever done. Lots of rainbow colored slabs with blue water flowing into green pools, and great views of eagle wall. Highly recommend it over stuck ropes. It took us 2.5 hours summit to car. Feb 22, 2012
Hiked in from the Oak Creek Canyon parking area off Scenic Loop today using the middle approach for Eagle Wall labeled "A few Fourth Class steps, the best option for both approach and decent" from Jerry Handren's guide. Took us 2.5 hours with probably more-than-average stopping. 1 hour for this approach is VERY optimistic. 1.5 hours is certainly possible. I think 2 hours is a more reasonable expectation, especially for your first time there.

My partner didn't seem to mind the slabs. I was uncomfortable with the high exposure both near the bottom slabs of our approach as well as the upper portion just below and right of Eagle Wall (I believe this part of the route is shared with the 4th/5th class eastern-most route over the shoulder of Black Arch Wall). I was wearing climbing shoes and didn't think I'd slip, but on the other hand, slipping here would be bad. There were a few places that seemed like you wouldn't stop sliding. For perspective: I'm probably more scared about this type of stuff than most multi-pitch climbers.

We walked off via the traditional, longest approach and I preferred it. A few slabs, but they were easier and with less death risk.

Regarding wind:
Forecast for today was sustained winds between 20 and 30mph with gusts up to 50mph. We decided against climbing because the wall it seemed to be in a high-wind area. The base of the wall easily had 30mph gusts. Seemed a little dangerous to climb. There were also a very small number of rain drops--not enough to be a problem, but we were worried about doing the decent if it got wet. Mar 26, 2014
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
I think 1 - 1.5 hours is the estimated time for the most direct/easterly approach? (Took us 1.5 hours, last week. Familiar with the area, but had never done that exact approach before.) Mar 27, 2014
Kevin Dahlstrom
Boulder, CO
Kevin Dahlstrom   Boulder, CO
I have some new and improved beta for the fast wily climber's approach to Eagle Wall. This new beta avoids the 5.7 section in the crack described by Anthony Anagnostou. This approach never felt sketchy or overly exposed and I made it from my car to the base of Levitation 29 in 90 minutes at a pretty casual pace. Next time I could probably shave 15 minutes but it would be tough to go sub-60 minutes even for an uber-fit climber. I don't know why anyone would use another approach - this one is way faster and less strenuous. Save your strength for climbing!

Here's the beta:

1) As suggested by others, stay high and right of the wash as long as possible. You'll pass directly below Lower Solar Slab on a variety of trails.

2) When the canyon pinches you'll be forced into the wash. Once in the wash you'll be able to see the formation described by Anthony (a small buttress split by a prominent crack) directly ahead and to the immediate left of the black arch wall. You are not going to climb that crack, but will use it as a landmark.

3) Boulder hop up the wash until you're a little PAST the formation with the crack. Look for a path through the brush toward the wall. Work your way toward the rock.

4) When the path ends at a big boulder (or small buttress) work your way around to the left until you can start scrambling up and right toward the base of the crack. It will feel improbable but just keep moving up. I added a few cairns to mark the way.

5) Rather than climbing the prominent crack that was your landmark continue past it, traversing right about 50 feet to a gully on the right of the formation. When you round the corner and enter the gully you'll see a large slanting crack on the left wall. Move up the gully on easy terrain and find a good spot to climb up to the crack and follow it up the formation. There may be one 5.easy move to reach the crack but once you're there it's all 4th class or easier.

6) Continue up the formation on 3rd and 4th class terrain. The easiest path is pretty obvious and it's fun scrambling! Eventually you'll reach a long flat-ish ledge with a steeper terraced wall on your right. Climbing this wall seems improbable but it's pretty easy to pick your way up, avoiding 5th class. The easiest path makes long zig-zaps up the terraces and is all 3rd class, but you can also take a more direct route.

7) After 200+ feet of scrambling the angle will ease and you'll eventually see the IBM boulder right in front of you. The rest of the approach is straightforward, although I will add that you should trend left up and over the formation in front of Eagle Wall traversing as low on the left shoulder as possible (don't try to go around to the right).

8) If you descend in daylight I recommend this approach as the descent. If it's dark, I'd take the 4th class descent outlined in Handren's guide.

Have fun!

UPDATE (April 2016): I recently did this approach again and made it from the Oak Creek parking lot to the base of the wall in 80 minutes. We were moving with purpose but not pushing it by any means and felt pretty fresh when we arrived. May 22, 2015
Kevin, thanks for the awesome approach beta. We used it last week. Never got lost. Took us about 100 minutes. It felt pretty casual, and even enjoyable. Oct 23, 2016
Christian Mason
Westminster CO
Christian Mason   Westminster CO
The approach beta to use the "wIlly climber approach" and avoid the 5th class, as described by Kevin above, is good and easy to follow.

We did the approach in around 2 hours this way, not pushing especially hard and not knowing where we where going.

This approach does involve a lot of 4th class on slabs, and a lot of easy walking where a fall could be catastrophic. It could be challenging to do as a descent, or in the dark, but was very reasonable for the approach.

Nov 29, 2016
Jason Albino
San Francisco, CA
Jason Albino   San Francisco, CA
More comments on the approach/descent:

- We did it in ~2 hours, first time, with the aforementioned "improved wily climber's approach", at a fairly casual pace. Would definitely approach the same way again, as we were the first ones to the wall even though two other parties started hiking before us via other paths.
- Note that the cairn leading the way out of the wash as per step 3 is a bit hard to spot, but it's there and well-established, leaning against a right boulder. Don't leave the wash until you see the cairn.

- We used the same approach to descend back to the car. Done carefully and in the light, I think this is a reasonable option. I would definitely NOT suggest trying this as a descent without full daylight, as it's harder to ID the path down reversing steps 7-6-5 as it is going upward on the approach. It's particularly easy to get a little lost finding the right mini-gullies/cracks to downclimb given all the cairns on the open slabs, so if you're trying this descent, when you approach be sure to look behind you and take some visual landmarks as to where to turn Mar 18, 2018