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Routes in The Praying Monk

East Face S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Monk's Ass T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b A4 X
Monk's Chin T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a C1
SouthEast Corner S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Elevation: 2,000 ft
Page Views: 18,394 total · 128/month
Shared By: Orphaned on Mar 13, 2006
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick


The Praying Monk has probably been climbed by more Phoenix beginners than any other formation in central Arizona, although the advent of gyms and sport climbing has lessened this absolute somewhat over the last ten years. The East Face route, first climbed in 1951 by Phoenix pioneer climber and ex-mayor, Gary Driggs, is the usual route of ascent.

If you wonder how the Monk got it's name, climb it late some sunny afternoon, and look down to the east to see the "praying monks" shadow.

Getting There

This squat tower of petrified mud perches quite obviously on a northern shoulder of Camelback Mountain to the east of the Echo Canyon parking lot. Take the standard hiking trail up to the Headwall, then you'll have to ascend one of the Headwall routes to get up onto the plateau where the Monk resides.

4 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Praying Monk

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a C1
Monk's Chin
Trad, Aid
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
East Face
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
SouthEast Corner
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Monk's Chin 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a C1 Trad, Aid
East Face 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
SouthEast Corner 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
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Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season

Photos Dec 17, 2016
Anyone looking to climb the monk this weekend? Jun 1, 2016
apoet   AZ
Marty Karabin's guide has 6 climbs on the Monk. The only unlisted sport climb is Exorsist 5.10b which is slightly West of the aid climb Monk's Chin. Mar 24, 2016
phoenix, Az
dahigdon   phoenix, Az
Seems like there are a few more routes on the monk than just the 3 that are listed on this site? Anyone have any info as to why that is? some of the bolts looked pretty damn old... there are quite a few scattered on the south face from what i could see. Mar 24, 2016
Mesa AZ   Mesa AZ
Anytime someone wants to climb this real quick - Im game. I work right there and can be there by 3 ... plenty of enough time to get up and down...and the walk down is usually a site cooler than the start...Hit me Jun 13, 2008
Brandon Bogardus
Scottsdale, AZ
Brandon Bogardus   Scottsdale, AZ
This was the first climb I ever did (other than the headwall, which my friend made me solo on my first time climbing). It used to have 3-4 manky bolts in the late eighties/early nineties (which I'm sure Greg Opland can attest to), and the free rappel is always fun to bring the first-timers on. If you want, there is a cave on the back (north) side of the monk's head that you can hang out in - which I did many times as a kid. Bring a beginner up here and they will be hooked. Feb 3, 2007
I have climbed this route many times over the years, a fun classic with lots of exposure. May 17, 2006
Went up this one last Friday. Found it easy for 5.6. The bolts are well placed and the holds are very positive. High exposure and a great view makes this climb worthwhile. Mar 20, 2006

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