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Areas in The Homestead

The Rockin Roll Wall.. 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Bone Town 0 / 15 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Finland Terrace 0 / 36 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 36
Karma Cave 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Marley Wall 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Mouse Wall, The 0 / 30 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 31
North Buttress 0 / 20 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 20
Pone Tony aka Pone Town 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Rough Rider Wall 0 / 29 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 29
Slate Nation 0 / 36 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 36
Tufa City 0 / 32 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 32
Welcome Wall 0 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Elevation: 3,624 ft
GPS: 33.174, -110.782 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 116,346 total · 798/month
Shared By: Hendrixson on Feb 28, 2006 with updates
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick


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.
Portions of the approach and cliffs of this area are on private land. Details

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.


  • 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.

232 Total Climbs

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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.
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
John's Meat Market (aka: Fred's Line)
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Wish Bone
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Appetite For Destruction
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Morning Mate
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Couples Fear Factor
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Tufa Yard Dash
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
The Rough Rider
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Great Northern
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Micro Burst
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Cold Fusion
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Black Sunshine
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Way 'Stead
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Dead Sea
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Sun Burst
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
John's Meat Market (aka: F… Tufa City
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Wish Bone Bone Town
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Appetite For Destruction N Buttress
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Morning Mate Rough Rider Wall
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Tufa-one Tufa City
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Couples Fear Factor Tufa City
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Tufa Yard Dash Tufa City
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
The Rough Rider Rough Rider Wall
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
Great Northern N Buttress
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
Micro Burst Tufa City
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Cold Fusion Rough Rider Wall
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Black Sunshine Tufa City
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Way 'Stead Tufa City
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Dead Sea Tufa City
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Sun Burst Tufa City
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Homestead »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


David Stephens
Superior AZ
David Stephens   Superior AZ
"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
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
^thanks for the recon David, MP needs more like you Sep 28, 2017
David Stephens
Superior AZ
David Stephens   Superior AZ
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 Aerial footage to give you a feel for the layout Feb 13, 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
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
Scott Hunt
Golden, CO
Scott Hunt   Golden, CO
Anyone know if the road is passable with a stock 4wd XTerra? Nov 20, 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
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
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…

There will be a fairly significant retro-hardware workload here in the near future. Might want to start that discussion soon. Dec 21, 2016
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
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
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
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
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
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
Charles Vernon
Tucson, AZ
Charles Vernon   Tucson, AZ
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
This photo shows what is typical at the base of the walls.…
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
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
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
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
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
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
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
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
Mike Morin
North Conway, NH
Mike Morin   North Conway, 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
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
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
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
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
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: Nov 30, 2015
Dan Evans
Phoenix, AZ
Dan 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
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
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
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
Went out today (11/22/2014) and the road is fine. Nov 22, 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
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
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
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
David Stephens
Superior AZ
David Stephens   Superior AZ
"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
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
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
Tucson, AZ
Geir   Tucson, AZ
Huh? I don't get it. Eric's the most step up, selfless guy I know. May 20, 2013
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
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
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
C Miller   CA  
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
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
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
Red has two wheel drive with a locking rear differential which is almost the same as 4X. Feb 8, 2012
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
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
jeffrey c gibson
pheonix az
jeffrey c gibson   pheonix az
Its worth the hike in :) Feb 1, 2012

Climbing magazine is so very lame, just a little more lame than Mountain Project. Look out fragile desert, here comes Boulder. Jan 12, 2012
David Stephens
Superior AZ
David Stephens   Superior AZ
God bless The Homestead now that it's in Climbing Jan 5, 2012
Still need four wheel drive. Jan 4, 2012
If the road is in the best shape ever, does that still mean 4x4 is necessary? Jan 4, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
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
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ

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
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
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
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
Mukilteo, WA
Brigette   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
San Francisco, CA
adam14113   San Francisco, CA
You can download the old pdf guide:

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

- A Oct 29, 2009
Forest Hill
Denver, CO
Forest Hill   Denver, CO
The "description" and "getting there" links are dead Apr 5, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The best Arizona crag that nobody's climbing at. Mar 21, 2007
C Miller   CA  
Lots of good info here -… Sep 7, 2006

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