Elevation: 3,623 ft
GPS: 33.174, -110.782 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 160,145 total · 1,000/month
Shared By: Hendrixson on Feb 28, 2006 with improvements by CASA Climbing Assn. of So. AZ and 1 other
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland
Access Issue: Portions of the approach and cliffs of this area are on private land. Details

Description

The Homestead features limestone sport climbing in a remote, serene, desert setting. There are presently over 250 single pitch routes ranging in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.13b. A 70 meter rope and 16-20 quickdraws are recommended. The canyon consists of multiple walls, each with its own style and sun aspect. Tufa City, Rough Rider Wall, and North Buttress are perhaps the most glorious walls.

Please consider supporting the Access Fund's Homestead Campaign.

Getting There

To obtain directions on a map download this KMZ file, which can be viewed with Google Earth.

The Homestead is between Globe and Winkelman on Arizona State Highway 77. From Winkelman take State Highway 77 north for 13 miles. At mile marker 153 slow down and look for the passing lane to end and the road to head slightly downhill. Immediately before the guardrail turn right and drive down a short hill to a gate. This gate is marked with a white sign that reads "Close Gate Behind You" in red letters. The turn off is before Dripping Spring Road.

While the road was seriously improved by the Access Fund in March of 2016, a 4WD vehicle with high clearance is still recommended. To illustrate this point, a Honda CRV became stuck within hours of the road upgrades. If you lack an off-road vehicle make an immediate left to park. Please ensure that you are not blocking the road or access to ranch equipment. From here hike up the road (30-40 mins) to the upper Access Fund camping area.

If you are fortunate enough to have an off-road capable vehicle, continue down the road. The drive will ease after the first uphill crux section. Please drive in a lower gear, avoid spinning your tires, and maintain a reasonable speed to keep the road in good condition for everyone. Park at the upper Access Fund camping area.

From the Homestead kiosk, hike the .4 mile trail to the other side of the dirt road. Walk the road to the beginning of the trail that will take you to the crags. At the fork turn left/uphill to reach Finland Terrace, Tufa City, and Marley Wall. Continue straight/downhill to reach the other walls. Slate Nation and Mouse Wall are accessed from either trail.

Please don't drive past the Access Fund campground through the other gates as this is private property. Close all gates. Do not jeopardize future access.

Homestead Map

Homestead Road after Access Fund Conservation Team repairs on 2016-03-06.

Guides

  • John Hinrichsen created a supplement to Louie Anderson's PDF. It combined with Mountain Project is the best beta. The topos are available on Mountain Project and the PDF can be here.
  • Louie Anderson published a PDF in 2007. This guide was the best reference for a number of years. It is high quality but is now missing many routes.
  • The Homestead by Marty Karabin is a foldout pocket guide. This topo tends to be available at the Arizona Hiking Shack, Summit Hut, and REI for $5. Written in 2007 this guide is grossly out-of-date and not recommended.
  • The Homestead: Arizona Limestone. This out-of-date guide does not list a date or author. It is presently available here.

234 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Homestead

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 52
Roughians
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 44
Riders on the Swarm
Sport 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 60
John's Meat Market (aka: Fred's…
Sport
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 38
Appetite For Destruction
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 43
Morning Mate
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 57
Tufa-one
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 40
Ground Effects
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 44
Couples Fear Factor
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 80
Tufa Yard Dash
Sport
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 28
The Rough Rider
Sport
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 29
Great Northern
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 20
One With Everything
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 55
Micro Burst
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 63
Cold Fusion
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 23
Dead Sea
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Roughians Rough Rider Wall
 52
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Riders on the Swarm Rough Rider Wall
 44
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport 2 pitches
John's Meat Market (aka: F… Tufa City
 60
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Appetite For Destruction N Buttress
 38
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Morning Mate Rough Rider Wall
 43
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Tufa-one Tufa City
 57
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Ground Effects Tufa City
 40
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Couples Fear Factor Tufa City
 44
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Tufa Yard Dash Tufa City
 80
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
The Rough Rider Rough Rider Wall
 28
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
Great Northern N Buttress
 29
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
One With Everything Rough Rider Wall
 20
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Micro Burst Tufa City
 55
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Cold Fusion Rough Rider Wall
 63
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Dead Sea Tufa City
 23
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Homestead »

Weather Averages

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Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
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Photos

C Miller   CA  
Lots of good info here - huecorockranch.com/images/H… Sep 7, 2006
The best Arizona crag that nobody's climbing at. Mar 21, 2007
The road access to the Homestead traverses across State Trust Land and at least 3 large privately held parcels of land. Several gates will be encountered and at the present time there are no "No Trespassing" signs posted.

The end of the road where most people park is private property. Also, several developed crags are on private property. Again, at this time there are no "No Trespassing" signs posted. However, this could change quickly so please show all of the gates, properties, and livestock facilities a great deal of respect and honor any of the requests of the property owners or those representing themselves as such.

Camping on private property is discouraged at all and should never be done near any livestock corrals, watering areas, etc. Best to camp away from the private property on BLM property along the ridge a mile or two from the parking area. Reference BLM docs, Az Gazeteer, and/or Gila County Assessor land ownership documents for specific land locations.

An Arizona State Trust Land permit is required to access the dirt road directly off of the highway and this permit can be acquired on the web or at the Az State Land Dept in downtown Phoenix. (easy to get and inexpensive relative to the fines for not having one)

Don't endanger our future access by disrespecting the private property or the Az State Trust Land protocols. May 18, 2007
Stella  
This area is very cool though a little hard to get to, requires a four-wheel drive truck. Your subaru will not make it!! Part of the adventure is the journey. Jun 19, 2008
Beware - Finland and Tufa City are loaded with bees and wasps, at least during the fall. We found many routes with what appeared to be wasp nests, judging from the number of wasps hanging out in pockets. There were also large bee hives visible in certain areas. It would be good to post if it is known whether or not Africanized bees have made it to this area. The sheer number of the pests lurking and flying around made it annoying and it would be hard not to get stung if you stayed there for any length of time. There is also a beehive in a pocket at the handrail section of the trail along the base of Slate Nation. It would be helpful if a local posted any better information on the bee and wasp deal, particularly for Finland and Tufa City as the rock was killer (just hopefully not the bees!). Nov 21, 2008
Shirtless Mike
Denver, CO
Shirtless Mike   Denver, CO  
When were you there? I was planning on heading out there over thanksgiving. Are the routes at Finland and Tufa City still climbable? Thanks. Nov 21, 2008
Jimbo  
Tzilla,
Every bee in the wild in Arizona is an Africanized bee. The only non-Africanized bees are domestic bees that honey producers have.

A few tips: if you are climbing around a hive don't slap or kill a bee. This releases a pheromone that tells the rest of the bees that it's time to kick some ass.
If you do get attacked run as fast as you can away from the hive. They will chase you up to 1/4 of a mile, then give up.
Don't jump into the water. They will just hover above the surface and wait for you to come up for air.
They are attracted to CO2, that's were they will try to get to first.
If your being attacked cover your nose and mouth as you run away.

Bees are like any wild critter. Sometimes they just attack unprovoked and sometimes they leave you alone.

I've climbed right into a large hive and been stung a few times and they rest of the bees left me alone as I lowered to the ground.

Also swarming bees are not going to attack. They are a group that has broken away from a hive that has gotten too big and are now out find a new place to hang with there own queen in tow. They have no hive to protect so they have no reason to be aggressive.

If you really need to take out a hive that's taken up residence on your most favorite climb. Get one of those 5 gallon pump sprayers, mix a very soapy water solution and spray away. The soap does two things. It blocks there breathing pores so they suffocate, and it prohibits the pheromone release.

Remember Africanized bees are better pollinators and better honey makers than our honey bees. (That's why they were cross bread in the first place, down in South America)

So if you can just live with them that is always best. They do good work, they're just a bit cantankerous.

Nov 23, 2008
Thanks for the info on the bees, etc. It should be helpful to other visitors. I visited a USDA website that showed the progression of the Africanized bees in the southern US and it indicated that mainly southern AZ was affected and that further migration seemed to have stopped.

To me, in early November the bug situation made the place unclimbable and my partner had encountered a previous reaction to a wasp sting making the aura of the area that much less attractive. It would seem hard to run 1/4 mile through the local terrain there or when tied to the end of a rope to get away from an attack. Unfortunately the less interesting walls weren't as affected by the bee and wasp situation as Finland and Tufa City. Are there other walls with the tufa with fewer bugs? Nov 25, 2008
Jimbo  
Unfortunately the big pockets in limestone make great bee hives. We have a similar problem with bees and wasps at the Mustang.
One thing we've do is to put out a bowl of water well away from where we're climbing. The bee and wasps are more attracted to the water than us. It's not uncommon to have 20 or 30 bees on the water dish.
The hotter and drier it is the more effective this ploy is.

Of course on cold days you can always climb in a bee suit. Nov 27, 2008
Trish Houghtaling
Flagstaff, Az
Trish Houghtaling   Flagstaff, Az
Just to let folks know...had a great weekend at Finland. We saw very few bees or wasps-so, head on out. Does anyone know of an updated topo for Finland area?? The old one is not very helpful and we were guessing at routes. Road was tricky but manageable with the Xterra. If you love tufa climbing you gotta check this place out! Nov 30, 2008
Forest Hill
Denver, CO
Forest Hill   Denver, CO
The "description" and "getting there" links are dead Apr 5, 2009
adam14113
San Francisco, CA
adam14113   San Francisco, CA
You can download the old pdf guide: 14113.net/Homestead.pdf

Marty has a pocket size guide available in most AZ shops that I recommend picking up.

- A Oct 29, 2009
Brigette Beasley
Mukilteo, WA
Brigette Beasley   Mukilteo, WA
PLEASE pick up your trash when you climb here - this includes toilet paper. There is quite the toilet paper bouquet building in the bushes across from the Welcome wall. Pack it in - pack it out. Thanks! Dec 5, 2010
Hendrixson
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
Thanks to Carter, et al for the amazing trail work. Through their efforts eroding slopes are being replaced by beautiful stairs. Thanks! Mar 21, 2011
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
Can some more basic info be added to this area? Is it a reasonable day trip from Phoenix, or does the drive & approach mean that a full weekend is a better way to climb here? Any updates on the road, or is a 4x4 still necessary? Sep 21, 2011
Hendrixson
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
Peter:

The drive is approximately 2 hours from Phoenix. The dirt access road requires 20 minutes. Hence it can be done as a day trip but a weekend is more enjoyable.

Only a small portion of the road requires a 4x4 but this section was getting noticeably worse in the spring. An alternative is to hike or bike in.

You can chase sun or shade all day so you can climb all but the hottest days of the year. Sep 21, 2011
Hendrixson
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
A few ideas...

1) A trail from Rough Rider to Tufa City would be nice.

2) A sign at the start of Tufa City reminding folks to avoid climbing tufas during wet conditions would help protect the area.

3) A few fence posts in the third gate need to be repaired. Dec 12, 2011
We are planning on heading there in mid January. Can someone confirm that camping is allowed, obviously not on private property. Is there a certain area that is cleared out somewhat for camping? Is there a decent water source? Also, is the land trust permit still required as mentioned in the above comments? Thanx in advance for any updates.

Peter Dec 14, 2011
Red
Tacoma, Toyota
Red   Tacoma, Toyota
Yes, camping is allowed. It's awesome camping. There are two obvious camping areas. The first one you come to is just a little ways past the second gate, it is on private land. The second area is just past the third gate on your left and it's on BLM land. It is best to camp in the second area. Hopefully it's not full when you get to it. It's a little small and can only accommodate so many people.
No water source, bring what you need. I've seen the creek run through the canyon, but only a couple times and after snow melt or spring rains.
You are only on state trust land for about a half mile or so off the highway. It is my understanding that everyone on, or passing through state trust land is supposed to have a permit.
Enjoy your stay at the Homestead! Dec 19, 2011
btraxler
Prescott, AZ
btraxler   Prescott, AZ
OK. Seems like the Homestead is gaining a ton of climbing traffic these days. There has been for sure, significant impact in the area due to climbing. Thanks everyone for your work on the trails! Nice Work. We have a tail system. Now for Human Waste -- Please pack out your trash! and pick up a wag bag and poop in it, not in a shallow cat hole. While burying human waste works for low impact areas, it does not here! It sounds bad, but it is painless and easy to pack out your poo! Wag bags are available at any gear shop. Dec 19, 2011
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Anyone have a condition report on the road going into the homestead? Is it any worse than it was a year ago? Dec 25, 2011
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
It is worse Erock, but put it in low and try not to get the tires spinning and you will be fine. You will apparently have more trouble getting traction at the base of climbs with all the poop laying around. Dec 25, 2011
was out over xmas week. i have been climbing here at the stead for over 12 years and the road is in the best shape i have ever see it in have fun. PEACE E Dec 27, 2011
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Well I guess I will find out soon what the road has to offer this time. Thanks! Dec 28, 2011
What an AMAZING area! Thank to all of the area developers for their hard work! The trails show a huge amount of dedication...the stairs to each wall were enough to impress me, let alone the fantastic routes. MANY thanks!! Jan 2, 2012
If the road is in the best shape ever, does that still mean 4x4 is necessary? Jan 4, 2012
Still need four wheel drive. Jan 4, 2012
David Stephens
Superior AZ/Spokane WA
David Stephens   Superior AZ/Spokane WA
God bless The Homestead now that it's in Climbing Jan 5, 2012
Anonymous User
Anonymous User  
Climbing magazine is so very lame, just a little more lame than Mountain Project. Look out fragile desert, here comes Boulder. Jan 12, 2012
jeffrey c gibson
pheonix az
jeffrey c gibson   pheonix az
Its worth the hike in :) Feb 1, 2012
the schmuck
Albuquerque, NM
the schmuck   Albuquerque, NM
We'll be heading to Homestead sometime this month. I do not have a 4 wheel drive, but do have high clearance. I understand that there is about a 100 foot stretch that is impassable without 4WD. Does anyone know if it is possible to park and camp before this stretch? Also, how much of a hike would it be from the 4WD section? Thanks Feb 6, 2012
Red
Tacoma, Toyota
Red   Tacoma, Toyota
Hey their Schmuck, looks like you joined MP just for these questions. Welcome.
The rough part of the road is about a half mile from the highway, so the walk from there is still a ways. You can find a place to camp before the rough spot, but do know that this part of the road is State Trust land. If you do have the high clearance, good tires, and a good off-road driver; you could make it through the rough section. But I'm about the only person that dives up there in 2WD these days. You'll have to make that call when you get there and see it.
Enjoy your visit. Feb 8, 2012
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Red has two wheel drive with a locking rear differential which is almost the same as 4X. Feb 8, 2012
Red
Tacoma, Toyota
Red   Tacoma, Toyota
No real noticeable difference with the lockers off. But I do tend to use them since I have them. Feb 10, 2012
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
The rattlers are out in force and one dog has cost their owners $1200 bucks for his curiosity. Pay attention and keep your dog close. Apr 10, 2012
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
This was one of the older thin steel SMC hangers being used for the anchor and it fractured along the bottom of the bolt hole. The rust showed that it had been this way for a while. about an eighth of an inch of un-rusted metal could be seen one the two fracture planes. This could have been very bad had the other one failed.

These were the old thinner gauge SMC hangers not the newer and quite usable ones. If you have not seen both it is hard to tell which ones you are clipping. Apr 1, 2013
C Miller   CA  
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
I have tried to convince folks there to camo the hangers and anchor hardware, so far to no avail. When the sun is at the right angle they just glow. Ticks can at least be brushed off. Apr 9, 2013
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Hey Lar, I think John just offered to pay for some hardware to ensure that it is up to standard. I would send him your address and say thank you. John is a stand up guy who contributes to the development and upkeep of hardware on old and new routes. May 16, 2013
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Hey Lar I used to throw cans in the lake and sink them with rocks. I dont do that any more. I will bring a stencil & some paint the next time I go Lar. R you upset about something? May 17, 2013
Huh? I don't get it. Eric's the most step up, selfless guy I know. May 20, 2013
Hendrixson
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
The access road has claimed an axle and tie rod within the past two weeks. While the condition of the parts on these fairly rugged 4x4s can be debated, the road remains a serious undertaking. Nov 26, 2013
David Stephens
Superior AZ/Spokane WA
David Stephens   Superior AZ/Spokane WA
"The access road has claimed an axle and tie rod within the past two weeks. While the condition of the parts on these fairly rugged 4x4s can be debated, the road remains a serious undertaking."
It's the drivers on the road that claims the brake downs...not the road. Nov 28, 2013
Hendrixson
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
I left my cheap sunglasses at the base of Tough Enough at the Rough Rider Wall on Feb 15, 2014. You can leave them there as I will be back to retrieve them and delete this comment soon enough. Feb 16, 2014
Hannahlily
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Hannahlily   Mammoth Lakes, CA
Hey I think I dropped my headlamp on the walk out about two weeks ago - has anyone seen a white black diamond headlamp? Feb 17, 2014
Nate Watkins
Cambridge, Ma
Nate Watkins   Cambridge, Ma
Bring your nuts and be prepared to sack up if you plan to try to drive the road. After the large amounts of rain there are 3 -5ft deep ruts for 30 - 40 yards on the road at the beginning. Bring a rock crawler or even just 4 wheelers if you don't want to walk. You have to hit everything just perfect or you'll roll down the hill, destroy an axle, or bottom out your oil pan. Oct 15, 2014
Went out today (11/22/2014) and the road is fine. Nov 22, 2014
Amazing place. The dirt road approach is definitely in need of FWD, lockers would be nice but not necessary. I made it cleanly with a Toyota Landcruiser in AWD and did not use lockers, with 22s and encountered no dings so to me it was a pretty rough ride but just pick the good line and you should be just fine. Definitely not a insane transmission dropping FWD experience though from what has been said in here before. Perhaps the road isn't as bad anymore. Yet, I would highly recommend the hike if needed because this place is beautiful with tall and amazing routes! Thanks to all who have put in such hard work in developing this place. Feb 23, 2015
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Have to agree with John H. Those of you who have climbed there know, this is a very special place. The we have the ability to preserve access to it for us now and future generations is more than a responsibility to me it's an honor. Thanks for posting this up John. Jul 23, 2015
Joshua Munoz
Honolulu, HI
Joshua Munoz   Honolulu, HI
Has anyone been recently? What's the road condition like? Last I went was in May and it was still pretty bad. Sep 10, 2015
Daniel Evans
Phoenix, AZ
Daniel Evans   Phoenix, AZ
Just drove this yesterday and ended up turning around due to the road's condition. I drive a stock Toyota Tacoma FWD (no additional lift) with rough terrain trail tires and I wasn't able to make the road. It is absolutely horrible with the "crux" being about a mile into it. Road requires serious high clearance FWD vehicles otherwise do not even bother.. We need to get a group together to go fix the road. It wouldn't be hard if we had enough people.

Getting there: Take Hwy 60 East to the 177 S into the town of Winkelman. From Winkelman get on the 77 N, drive roughly 14 miles from the junction and the front entrance will be on your right hand side. It's pretty hard to see until you actually drive by it due to the terrain along side the road, so keep your eyes peeled once you reach the 13 mile marker. The front entrance takes you down a small hill to a gate that reads "CLOSE GATE BEHIND YOU" in big red letters on a white board. We turned around about a mile past the gate where the road gets really bad, but hope these directions help those of you with high clearance FWD vehicles. Nov 30, 2015
Hendrixson
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
Daniel, the Access Fund Conservation Team is organizing an event next week (December 5). They are coordinating with CASA and other local climbing organizations. Register here: bit.ly/HomesteadRegister Nov 30, 2015
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Despite the dire reports, people I know with 4X4 experience, have driven up this just last week with a two wheel drive truck with locking differential just last week. Come out and help us and the access fund this weekend. No need to drive the road. Dec 2, 2015
Pat Mac
Salt Lake City
Pat Mac   Salt Lake City


New rap station above Finland. Best use is to access Tufa City directly. Dec 8, 2015
Dan H.  
Based on what I can find online, I'm very impressed with all the work that has been done, especially the recent weekend with the help of the Access Fund. Is a high clearance 4x4 still required to access the routes without a 3 or 4 mile approach hike? I'm thinking of coming out from CT and won't have access to such a vehicle. Dec 14, 2015
Mike Morin
Glen, NH
Mike Morin   Glen, NH
The road is quite gnarly, you still need a 4x4 to get in with out a walk. However, the walk in isn't that bad, especially if you plan on camping at the new Access Fund trailhead. My suggestion for those that are planning on spending a few days and are walking in would be to hike in the night before set up camp, chill, and enjoy the views. The next morning it's a relatively easy hike into the canyon. Dec 15, 2015
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
It isn't a 3-4 mile hike. If you stayed just off the highway where a passenger car can go it is only an hour and 15 minutes to the first cliffs. Add 15 to 25 minutes if you go to Tufa City or Marley Wall with a full pack. I say this with the caveat that you have to be in reasonable cardio shape. If you are there for multiple days bring a dry bag and stash your gear so you don't have to carry it every day then the hike is a breeze and unless you have been to Europe the limestone is fantastic and worth the walk with real 'Merican made Tufas! Dec 15, 2015
Hendrixson
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
This page has been updated to reflect the new approach. This approach was made possible due to the efforts of the Access Fund, 6 local climbing organizations, and many volunteers.

If anyone wants to improve upon this page, submit a page improvement or I can reassign ownership. Dec 15, 2015
Ty Tyler
Tucson, AZ
Ty Tyler   Tucson, AZ
3/5/16 Road repair update:

The Access Fund arranged a few days of repairs on the Homestead approach rd. The machine wrapped up 2 days of repairs. Jason (pro-bono contractor) crushed it and made a HUGE improvement to the very worst section. Pretty much night & day

Filled in the deep ruts and gullies, reshaped sections and created a flat road bed. Work stretched for about 400ft and had to be stopped right as the road turns back left due to steepness & time. Additionally, two of us headed out today & dig out a few drainages.

Conditions are drastically improved, but all-wheel drive, 4x4 and good clearance are still recommended. PLEASE help us keep the road in the best condition possible by driving in a LOWER gear, avoid spinning your tires and maintain a reasonable speed. 2-wheel drive is NOT advisable and will only shorten the life of repairs.

Its taken years to get the road where it is today, so lets work hard at keeping it that way! An AF member provided his pro-bono professional time & passed on some paid work to help us out. Let's make his efforts worth it.

Go and enjoy the Homestead's new campsites, fire rings, parking and approach trail!! Feb 28, 2016
Is the Homestead kid friendly for 5 and 8 year old boys? We are contemplating a 12 hour drive from Colorado for Thanksgiving break and would be bringing the kids and dog. They are good campers and climb some but don't know about the hikes and bases at this place. Haven't run into anyone from CO who knows. Any beta would be helpful. Thanks! Nov 14, 2016
Homestead is pretty rough around the edges. To err on the side of caution, I would say no. At least not without checking it out for yourself first. Nov 19, 2016
We haven't been able to get out here before but are contemplating a first trip. However, we're thinking about bringing our 10 month old (walking) baby with us (and some friends are coming along to watch her while we climb) but want to know what the ground around the climbing faces are like. Is there a relatively flat place near any of the faces where our friends could park it with a blanket and our little one (who will want to run around a bit)? Somewhere out of the way of the climbers but still relatively close? Or would you say it's not a reasonable place to bring the little one? (I saw the comment above about the 5 and 8 year olds)... Nov 29, 2016
This photo shows what is typical at the base of the walls. mountainproject.com/v/10852…
There are a few exceptions, of course, but usually about 5' of flat-ish area then dropping off steeply down to the wash below. There are lots of unfriendly plants (Spikes, thorns, and barbs). There are also rattlers, scorpions and lots of aggressive bees when it is warmer outside. I don't have kids but I know lots of climbers do and I have rarely seen anyone bring their kids out there. Nov 30, 2016
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
Amy, I have an 11 month old daughter that we've taken along climbing lots of times on Mt. Lemmon and Cochise. I am pretty paranoid about rockfall and bees in particular, and have a working list of good spots near Tucson. I wouldn't take her anywhere near the Homestead. I made a list for Mt. Lemmon in this post. Happy to share any more suggestions if you have more questions. Nov 30, 2016
Charles and BenClimbing, thanks very much for the beta. That's super helpful feedback. Looks like our trip to the homestead will have to happen when we can leave the little one with a sitter at home. :) Charles, your baby friendly crag list is awesome. We've climbed at most of these spots but it's good to know others have found them baby friendly too! Nov 30, 2016
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
Lots of work was done with the Access Fund on the road and some of the trails on 12/3/2016. The road is still pretty rugged in a couple of spots although there were a couple of Subaru Outbacks that had made it up there. Dec 7, 2016
Visited past Friday (09 Dec. 2016) : Lat/Long for the 1st gate just off Highway 77 is N 33 08'.702" / W 110 47'.834" - The current lettering on the sign (red block letters) is: "PLEASE CLOSE OHE GATE"
FYI, it is 2.8 miles in to the kiosk (2 miles to next gate and hiking trail across; another .4 miles to the 3rd gate). We were 2nd of four groups in area that day; road has been worked but semi-gnarly is spots (until you top-out on ridge). HAVE FUN... RangerPhil (Santa Fe, NM) Dec 12, 2016
J.Kruse
Las Cruces, NM
J.Kruse   Las Cruces, NM
planning to spend some time here over the holidaze, but quite certain my vehicle won't be able to make it up the road to the camping area. how heinous would it be to hump in gear, water, etc... for a couple days? any tips on what our best option would be? thanks for the advice. Dec 15, 2016
I wouldn't. Carrying camping gear all the way in from the road would suck. A lot. I think you could camp on the state trust land before the bad road (not positive of this) but if you did you would need to get a permit from the state for about $15 to be legal (again, not positive of this)and you would have to walk 3-4 miles each way to climb. Not flat hiking, either. I would suggest trying to coordinate a ride in and out for you and your stuff. Dec 15, 2016
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Camp at the first left right after turning on to the road. If you can't hitch a ride in the morning with someone hike in and leave your climbing gear until the next morning so all you need to do is carry in food and water. Takes about an hour according to the dozen or so people I have talked to who did it. Dec 17, 2016
Aaron Miller
Santa Fe, NM
Aaron Miller   Santa Fe, NM
Hey Homestead folks. Kudos on such a fun area, lots of great route artistry on quality limestone. Glad we came to check it out, had a blast. I wouldn't bring my Subaru in on that road, but 4WD pickup did OK, hard on the tires. We shuttled some folks in and out and they said about 1:45 walk to crag from campground. Psyched to get ride.

Just a comment on your bolting hardware. Most of the bolts are mixed metals, stainless hangers on plated bolts, and some are plated on plated. A fair number of these young routes are already showing signs of corrosion. Now, I know in the 90's a lot of mixed metal was placed in desert crags across the west, and in some cases, they are still doing ok because its so dry and they are in basalt or some other non-carbonate rock. But in limestone, they deteriorate fast.

Read this
accessfund.org/educate-your…

There will be a fairly significant retro-hardware workload here in the near future. Might want to start that discussion soon. Dec 21, 2016
Yueyang Meng
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Yueyang Meng   Stevens Point, Wisconsin
We just there two weeks ago, and the place is amazing!!! We don't have 4WD car, so we took all our gears (include waters for three days of staying) and hike in. The hike is not that bad if you take it nice and slow. After climbing in this place, we feel the hike is worth. Although, if we have a 4WD car the trip will be ten times better because we could stay there longer. Jan 21, 2017
Hi! Wondering if this crag is dog friendly. Obviously cactus could be an issue. Has there been bee activity? Or would it be better to leave the beast at the folks house? Would really like to spend some time here. How about wood ticks? Not a lot of wood around...! We are from Canada and will be camping in a mini van. Is the camping at the lower parking nice? Any info would be appreciated. Feb 24, 2017
David Stephens
Superior AZ/Spokane WA
David Stephens   Superior AZ/Spokane WA
With the Homestead season being just around the corner...A friend and I thought; a day hike was in order and drive out on Friday 9/22. The road work from last year has held up extremely well. The new water bars work great and put the runoff into the wash. This accumulation of runoff comes down and crosses the road just after the first gate. It's not bad dry but looks like it gets wet in high water times. The road is still rough and requires a high clearance vehicle with some Off-road capabilities.

This was just a hiking and driving day so we left the parking about 10:30 and took our time. We hiked the Wash up to Sate Nation and then out. It would have been very climbable in the shade all day. Sep 27, 2017
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
^thanks for the recon David, MP needs more like you Sep 28, 2017
Scott Hunt
Golden, CO
Scott Hunt   Golden, CO
Anyone know if the road is passable with a stock 4wd XTerra? Nov 20, 2017
David Stephens
Superior AZ/Spokane WA
David Stephens   Superior AZ/Spokane WA
"Anyone know if the road is passable with a stock 4wd XTerra?"

Scott, The road is in the best condition it been in for years. At least 10 years. Most stock vehicles do not have the low gears to be able to crawl (low speed) through the roughest parts of the road. Speed is not your friend, although it will get you up the road. At the expanse of the hard work that's been done on the road to bring it
back up to where it is today. From my experience the road would be rated a 3 out of 7 with large rocks 6 inches or more on a steep loose surface. A tow company charges 250 bucks for a off-road hook on top of the tow. To answer your question; you could probably get your Xterra into the Homestead. Have fun and be gentle on our road. Nov 21, 2017
I'm interested in bringing a group of friends (under 10 people) from NM to climb but would like to understand the camping situation a little better first. If we make the drive there, will we be ensured space to camp? We'll have several high clearance 4WD vehicles to get ourselves to the upper Access Fund camping area mentioned in the description. How much camping/tent space is there? Are we talking 5 spots, 15 spots, 50 spots? If we make the drive there, will we be ensured space to camp? Jan 16, 2018
Nick Henscheid
Tucson, AZ
Nick Henscheid   Tucson, AZ
@Anna Brown there is a fairly significant amount of camping available, both at the Access Fund site and down the hill in both directions, both right off the highway and down the hill towards the crag (not AF property but people have camped there for years). I would say between those 3 areas there are around 20-30 sites? There's never a guarantee with such first-come-first-served camping, but even on Access Fund trail repair days (50+ people around) there has not been a problem finding a place to camp, especially if you're sleeping in your truck. Jan 16, 2018
youtu.be/JY0khzdByvM Aerial footage to give you a feel for the layout Feb 13, 2018
Aaron Townsley
Scottsdale, Arizona
Aaron Townsley   Scottsdale, Arizona
Friendly reminder that apparently is needed. DO NOT CAMP BETWEEN GATES 2 & 3. That is private property. Feb 25, 2018
I visited today, recorded accurate GPS tracks, and updated OpenStreetMap with the trails, campsites, and parking. I only added the cliffs I visited: Welcome Wall, Bone Town, and Pone Town.

The road is very rough, and requires high clearance and 4WD. Dec 13, 2018
Schlaich1 Schlaich
Las Vegas, NV
Schlaich1 Schlaich   Las Vegas, NV
Hello! Anyone know if this area seeps after wet weather? We are thinking about heading to the Tufa city area to climb next weekend/week!!! Feb 18, 2019
Aaron Townsley
Scottsdale, Arizona
Aaron Townsley   Scottsdale, Arizona
DO NOT CAMP BETWEEN GATES 2 & 3. That is private property.
I've spoken to 6 groups this season all camping in the grass area between 2 &3. It is not a "grey area" it's a do not do!
READ THE COMMENTS, READ THE ACCESS ISSUE. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. Feb 18, 2019
Cole Schmidt
Peoria, AZ
Cole Schmidt   Peoria, AZ
If you hike in instead of driving on the dirt road, it is definitely closer to a 2 hour - 2.5 hour hike to the walls. Feb 25, 2019
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
If it takes you 2 to 2.5 hours you are a slow hiker. Just talked to some folks from the east who walked in every day and said it took about and 1 1/4 which is what it took me. You can add 30 minutes if you are going up to Tufa City or Marley. Feb 26, 2019
I would like to give a visiting climbers perspective of the Homestead.

My wife and I recently made the journey from Salt Lake to the Homestead in Early March of 2019. We picked the Homestead because a) we heard of tufa climbing in the states and b) it was one of the only places that offered nice weather anywhere near us. There are a lot of things that are going against this crag for anyone that is contemplating driving out to the Homestead from outside of Arizona (in general) or from Salt Lake (specifically). Here is what I would have liked to know:

1) The drive is looooong. From Salt Lake, there is a massive hole in the earth between home and the Homestead, so you basically have 3 options. The first is to go like you are going to Moab and continue south (684 miles). The second (which is how we drove down) is to go to Kanab, Page, to Flagstaff through Globe (727 miles, but you can visit the Grand Canyon). The third is to drive to St. George, Las Vegas, through Phoenix, which is how we returned (828 miles). Plan a long 12 to 14 hour day to get there.

2) Camping is generally not as good as what I was used to or was expecting reading the above comments. There are a few one or two tent spots along the road to the crag between the 1st and 2nd gate as well as between the 3rd gate and trailhead. There is a beautiful green meadow pasture between the 2nd and 3rd gate, however the Access Fund (who owns the Homestead) has put up numerous signs stating camping is not allowed in this area because it is privately owned (not by the Access Fund). Not that a lot of Arizona climbers cared as we saw 7-9 tents perched in the area when we were there. There is also camping in a cow pasture at the beginning of the road. This is the only option along this road for non-4WD, non-high clearance vehicles (including sprinter vans and trucks pulling trailers or with campers in the bed) as the road cannot be done by anything other than a high clearance, 4WD vehicle. There are a couple of really good BLM camp grounds towards Winkleman (Christmas and The Shores) which have nice pit toilets, garbage cans and is free. We stayed at the Shores (between MM 141 and 143) and it was pretty good. Bring your own water or fill up in an RV Dump station. Grocery stores in the arae are not open super late.

3) The road really is not great. At all. I have a stock 2nd gen Tundra and I absolutely had to use 4x4Lo on the worst parts and a few others. Even then I bottomed out on my nerf bars a few times. I only saw Toyota Pickups, Tacomas, Tundras, a Ford F-150, and a lifted older model Jeep Cherokee at the small (6-7 truck max) trailhead. I did see a 2nd Gen Subaru Forester, but it looked like it was beat to shit. You have to be extremely cautious not to get your vehicle scratched to hell by the trees along the road. This road alone would preclude this area as a family friendly area as babies and toddlers would get rocked to hell and kids would not enjoy it. You could hike it, but it would take 90 to 120 minutes to get to the trailhead depending on how fast you hike. The road is about 2.75 to 3 miles long. The road crux is about 0.3 miles from the first gate. The crux involves an area that has been washed out and is filled with loose cobbles that immediately leads to a left hand turn on the road with a side slant of 15 or 20 degrees. Doable in a high clearance 4x4, especially in 4x4lo. There are other sections of the road that require 4x4 high as well (unless your ego is huge and you dont mind tearing up the road). The second gate is at 1.9 miles from the first gate and the third gate is at 2.4 miles from the first gate.

4) Killer Bees are pretty much everywhere. If you are in the middle of the wash, and don’t make a sound, the low, persistent buzz of the bees can be heard. The bees flew into our shoes (climbing and approach) and have made nests in popular climbs along the Slate Wall, Tufa Wall, and on the North Buttress. If you are allergic, strongly consider bringing an Epi-Pen and Benadryl. Another reason not be bring the kiddos.

5) If you have ever been to a Tufa hot spot (Thailand, Kalymnos, Sicily, Geyikbayiri) to go climbing, you will absolutely be disappointed by the tufas at the Homestead. The tufas were very underwhelming. Supposedly you are not supposed to climb them when they are wet, but most others tufas I have climbed around the world are wet. But that is the local ethic so it is best to stick with it. That leaves the surrounding walls to climb on...

6) In comparison to all the amazing limestone areas within 12 hours of Salt Lake (American Fork, The Fins, Wild Iris, Ten Sleep, Utah Hills, VRG) this limestone crag had much to be desired. All the routes had some amount of choss (it’s obviously the area hasn’t seen as much traffic as the above mentioned areas) and the routes I climbed were anywhere between 0-3 stars (out of 5). The classics on the Tufa Wall and North Buttress were apparently bee infested, so we steered clear. The other routes were fun, but not worth the full day drive to get there.

7) The approach wasn’t bad. The trails were pretty well built (except between the bottom of the wash between the Slate Walls and Finland wall). Expect a bit of a hike to get to the good climbing. It’s maybe 10-15 minutes to the Welcome or mouse walls (but why would you come to the Homestead to climb 30-50 ft, 1-2 star, 3-5 bolt, 5.7-5.10s?) but to get to the goods, expect 30 to 45 minutes (or more). The Welcome Wall or Mouse wall would be good, kid friendly areas, but the hike to them would make them unavailable to anyone super young.

If I lived in the area (Phoenix or Tucson) I might consider the drive to this area. I don’t think I will be returning any time soon. It is obvious that a lot of love and care has gone into this area, and it is a pretty cool landscape to be climbing in, but it would be hard to convince me to come back if I had to drive more than 3 hours to go to the Homestead. Mar 15, 2019
Jim Gullen
Chandler, AZ
Jim Gullen   Chandler, AZ
Could someone please update the 2nd paragraph of Getting There for accuracy? Thanks in advance. The turn off is 14.8 miles, not 13 miles, north of Winkleman, and 0.3 miles north of mile marker 153. Thankfully, a stunningly beautiful angel in an F150 pickup gave me directions to the turn off on Sat Mar 23. Apr 1, 2019
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Michael Buchanan, thanks for that perspective I think it is a 3 out of 5 star portrayal. In rebuttal I would say no one said it was a short drive from SLC, no one said the Tufas compared to anywhere in Europe or Asia, we say all the time there are bees but they are chill compared to other areas in the state. We always say you need a 4WD high clearance vehicle and it helps to be an experienced 4 wheel driver. No one I know ever compared it to other limestone areas in the country except to say there are real Tufa routes with Tufas up to 40 feet long. Having written the above I still appreciate you thoughts in case someone else is contemplating a drive down. Apr 1, 2019
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Made a visit on 4/20/19. High in Tucson was 90 and climbing in the shade was perfect. While belaying we usually had on a long sleeved shirt or light jacket. We had the entire canyon to ourselves except for a young Bighorn Ram. I have been climbing here since the early 2000s and find it funny that people thin it is a "winter" area which it is. However in the spring or fall the temps in the sun might be too hot but in the shade it is great. ROAD IS IN GREAT SHAPE, THANKS ACCESS FUND AND THE VOLUNTEERS WHO HAVE MADE IS SO. Still need a high clearance 4x4 but the road is the way we found it in the early days. 2 days ago