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Elevation: 6,470 ft 1,972 m
GPS: 35.03049, -111.73199
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Page Views: 228,904 total · 1,026/month
Shared By: JJ Schlick on Jan 19, 2006
Admins: Greg Opland, Brian Boyd, JJ Schlick, Kemper Brightman, Luke Bertelsen
Warning Access Issue: Climbing restricted due to tourist safety DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

The Overlook is a firmly established traditional crag perched high above Pumphouse Wash and the head of Oak Creek Canyon, just south of Flagstaff. Long broken basalt columns line the rim of this area, and the result is a plethora of moderate trad climbs. Folks began exploring these cliffs in the late 1960’s but it wasn't until the middle 70’s that it started to resemble the crag we know today. Moving into the early 80’s the list of first ascentionists reads like a roster of this generation’s best talent. Guys like Scott Baxter, Paul Davidson, Tim and Larry Coats, Lee Dexter, Karl Karlstrom, Steve Grossman, Jim Haisley, Ross Hardwick, Dugald Bremner, John Gault, Mark Force, Tim Toula, and John Flemming all opened up classic routes at this crag.


These routes were cleaned by the hands of a thousand ascents. Pulling on hollow blocks is the norm, though always check them first as blocks can shift over time. The ledgy nature of the climbing here makes it a great place to learn how to lead trad but not a good place to fall.

There are no fixed anchors anywhere on the main wall of the crag. The normal procedure is to rig a separate rap line from a gear anchor, rap in, then climb back out. However, there is a trail on top of the far east side of the wall which leads down to the base. rappelling is optional. If trees are used for a rap line, please pad the tree, and then place a piece of gear near the edge of the cliff to take the full load of the rappel, leaving just enough slack in the line so the tree is never directly loaded. This way you don't have to have a full bombproof trad anchor, just a piece or two and the tree simply offers you an ultimate back up, without being affected.

A standard rack of doubles from #000 through #3.5 and a single set of wires will get you up almost everything here, though smaller and larger pieces are demanded on certain routes, and extra hand sized pieces can be nice.

The Overlook is basically a kinder, more gentle version of Paradise Forks and has a reputation for drying up quicker than the Forks during the monsoons. The wall faces south east and gets plenty of morning sun, then rolls into the shade around 2:00 in the afternoon.

ACCESS NOTE: Please note that the forest service has restricted climbing for any routes past the area of Red Wagon (just left of the Trinity Cracks) due to tourist safety.

Getting There Suggest change

From Flagstaff, The Overlook can be reached by driving south on highway 89A. At the top of the canyon, just before the switchbacks begin is the Overlook itself on the east side of the hwy.

You can park in the paved lot, but if you plan on staying later than 4:30 in the afternoon, you will want to park across the Hwy, as they lock the Overlook gates at that time. It is not uncommon to hear of people getting locked in so plan accordingly.

There are restrooms and water available during hours of operation.

82 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Overlook

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 73
Duck Soup
Trad
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 127
Angel's Delight
Trad
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 93
Gingerbread
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 70
Syzygy
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 96
Mint Jam
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 123
Morning's Mourning
Trad
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 94
Bush Rush
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 61
Obediah
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 106
Orange Out Direct
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 33
Devil's Deed
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 70
Amateur Hour
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 178
Isaiah
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 90
Left Trinity Crack
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 88
Middle Trinity Crack
Trad
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 54
Right Trinity Crack
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Duck Soup
 73
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Angel's Delight
 127
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad
Gingerbread
 93
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad
Syzygy
 70
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Mint Jam
 96
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Morning's Mourning
 123
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Bush Rush
 94
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad
Obediah
 61
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Orange Out Direct
 106
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Devil's Deed
 33
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Amateur Hour
 70
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Isaiah
 178
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Left Trinity Crack
 90
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Middle Trinity Crack
 88
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Right Trinity Crack
 54
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
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