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Areas in Church Spires Area

Christianity Spire 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Church Wall and Religion Wall 12 / 3 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Minister and the Pulpit 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
North Tower 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Streaker Spire 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Elevation: 4,200 ft
GPS: 34.833, -111.769 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 64,158 total, 449/month
Shared By: JJ Schlick on Mar 22, 2006
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

Description

The Church Spires Area is one of Sedona's better cragging venues, with a number of fine areas, and some truly classic pitches. The climbing is spread out across the Twin Buttes area around the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and then, of course, on the spires themselves.

Formations and areas include The Church Wall, The Religion Wall, Streaker Spire, The Watchtower, North Tower, Christianity (aka Beckey) Spire, Minister and the Pulpit, and The Trundler's Club Buttress.

Getting There

This place has everything... except parking. Arrive early for best results.

Turn off Highway 179 onto Chapel Road heading east. Before reaching the gate and Chapel of the Holy Cross parking area, park in a pullout on the north side of the road. Walk through the chapel parking area and pick up a climbers trail on the eastern edge of the parking area.

Follow the climbers trail about 1/4 mile until it intersects with a wide, well maintained mountain bike trail. Follow the bike trail for another 50 to 100 yards until you are below the large roof that marks Castles in the Sand. At this point look for a wash to your left that cuts straight up towards the cliff. At the top of this wash there is a short 4th class cliff to scramble up. Once on top of this cliff walk to the right end and pick-up the trail again. From this point the trail heads more or less straight up to the cliff base. The Religion Wall is to the right of the Watchtower and the Church Wall is to the left.

This approach takes between 30 and 45 minutes.

18 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Church Spires Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Original North Face Route
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Broken Arete
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Easy Rider
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Poop Chute
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Genesis
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Follow Your Bliss
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Centipede
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Blast from the Past (Isaac's Rt)
Trad 5 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Cat Claw
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Praying Hands
Trad
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Brown Hornet
Trad, TR
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Castles in the Sand
Trad 3 pitches
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Watchtower AKA Last Temptation
Trad
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Alpine Follies Hangover
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Original North Face Route Streaker Spire 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Broken Arete Church Wall and R… > Upper Religion Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Easy Rider Church Wall and R… > Lower Religion Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Poop Chute Church Wall and R… > Lower Religion Wall 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Genesis Church Wall and R… > Church Wall 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Follow Your Bliss Church Wall and R… > Church Wall 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Centipede Church Wall and R… > Lower Religion Wall 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Blast from the Past (Isaac'… Christianity Spire 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 5 pitches
Cat Claw Church Wall and R… > Lower Religion Wall 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Praying Hands Church Wall and R… > Upper Religion Wall 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Brown Hornet Church Wall and R… > Lower Religion Wall 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, TR
Castles in the Sand Church Wall and R… > Church Wall 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad 3 pitches
Watchtower AKA Last Temptation Church Wall and R… > Lower Religion Wall 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
Alpine Follies Hangover Church Wall and R… > Upper Religion Wall 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Church Spires Area »

Weather Averages

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
I will be up for the off-width when I move back to Flag in 2 years man. I am currently stationed in Georgia. Took me 2 years to notice your comment, wish MP had a better notification system for comments on pages were active on. Until then you guys enjoy that Arizona sun, I miss it. Feb 16, 2015
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
It's called Pay To Pray 5.11- in Sedona Rocks. Fixed anchors. Dec 12, 2013
Ryan Z  
@Erock,

I would be very interested in hiking up and climbing that Offwidth. 160ft of old school #5's sounds like a real good time to me. Gear is not an issue. Do you guys know if there are anchors? or how Mattson got down? Dec 12, 2013
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Ahh, ok cool that makes more sense now. I think there is a beta photo online here that describes the spires from left to right incorrectly then. I used it to figure out which ones were which, but I may have read it wrong. Mar 27, 2012
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Hey Erock,

Minister and the Pulpit is actually the smallest little spire up there. It is in between North Tower and Christianity. The photo you added is actually Christianity Spire. I'll see if Seth can't point out the lines a little better. Mar 26, 2012
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Here is a edited photo of the area. Are these any of the lines you were talking about?

--- Invalid image id: 107524234 --- Mar 24, 2012
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Cool, ya i saw both of those routes you are talking about. One has a bolt and desert piton at the bottom anchor on the ledge and the other has 2 bigger bolts that requires some easy but very exposed 5th class soloing above the ledge. It looks like there are a few other possible lines on the west face. Are there any other established routes on this side that you know about? There is also a really good looking fingers to big hands roof crack way far right that looks cool.

Thanks for the info,

Eric Mar 24, 2012
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Hey Erock,

Not sure about the line in the photos, but I wanted to let you know that there are two single pitch lines on the west side of Christianity that you can see from the Church Wall. Both routes were put up by Seth Dyer and James Q Martin. The easier one (.11-?) is called Stiff Mister. Neighborhood Threat 5.12- is the thin crack. Not listed on here yet because it's been a long time since we were last on them. Bolted anchors. Worthy pitches. Mar 24, 2012
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Another photo close up of the crack.
Mar 23, 2012
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
There is a splitter tips to good fingers crack on the pulpit spire that is tucked to the right of the corner in the picture. I can't find any information on the crack or the corner, has it been done? From the looks of it, it looks untouched...at least the crack. Looks like it'll go at least low 13.

Mar 23, 2012
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Mattson was the definition of bad ass in his hay day. He certainly had an eye for hard lines. Let us know if you make it up there!! And good luck. Mar 7, 2012
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Damn that's burly, that thing looks pretty good though from far away. I only have one #5/#6. Might need to pool together some big cams for that one. Mar 7, 2012
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Erock, I am pretty sure Mattson did lead that thing. I seem to recall 160' of oldschool #5 Camalots... Mar 6, 2012
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
There is a route that I am curious about. It is climbers left of the church wall way around the corner up high. I am sure everyone has looked at it. It is a 100 foot tall wide crack (off width) that dissects a large tan sandstone face and is unmistakeable from the hike in. Has it been climbed and if so does anyone have some info on it? If it hasn't been touched it looks like a nice Sedona off width. Mar 6, 2012
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Right on, sounds burly. Feb 27, 2012
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Hey JJ,

I talked to some guys about the line today out at the wall and they said that the aid line is farther to the left of this one. I got on the climb today, put 2 bolts at the bottom for a belay because its loose and slopey with a 100 foot cliff right behind it (1/2 inch x 3 3/4 inch 5 piece powers). The crack starts at 000 then gradually widens to .4 BD for the last 50 feet, it is splitter. Needs some cleaning, I plan to go out there during the week to do some trundling while there is no one around. Its going to be a classic line for sure. There is currently no anchors at the top of the first pitch just some fixed gear for an anchor I left there to get down.

Eric Feb 26, 2012
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
It is definitely only one pitch, there is no way it could go any higher. At least I don't think so becuase the crack disappear about 100 feet up and turns to blank face. There is no evidence of aid either, don't think this is what you are talking about but I could be wrong. Feb 24, 2012
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Hey Erock, That may be the old aid line? 4 or 5 pitches? Bloom and Rodman may have ventured onto it a long time ago. I'll ask Burcham if he knows. Feb 24, 2012
Eric Foster
Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Eric Foster   Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Is this anyone else's project currently? There are no bolts on it for an anchor currently and I have started projecting it. It is to the left of Broken Arete and climbs the obvious dihedral tips crack and the tips/finger crack to the left of the dihedral. I have had a couple burns on it and I think it will go at 12+. Going this weekend to put in some anchors if it isn't someone project already, it doesn't show any signs of it though.

Feb 24, 2012
Jason Nelson
SLC, UT
Jason Nelson   SLC, UT
A simple approach is go to Chicken Point and then head up a gully toward the route. Here are GPS directions. bp2.trimbleoutdoors.com/Map…;w=420&h=400 (note: we had some backtracking due to getting cliffed out) Feb 12, 2012
We've never had trouble since we started parking lower on Chapel Rd. And realistically it only adds a minute or two to the approach. Jan 2, 2007
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
There used to be parking right outside the gate. Now adays you have to go back down Chapel road and find a pullout and walk back in. Kind of a drag, but... I have never been locked in the gate area or ticketed. Jan 2, 2007
Joe Keyser
Scottsdale, AZ
Joe Keyser   Scottsdale, AZ
What is the trick for the parking here & accessing the trailhead? It seems that the only parking is only for church tourists, etc... Tried going there a couple times only to be turned around. There are plenty of other crags to go to in Sedona, so no big loss, but I'm curious what tactics are used for getting to the climing here?? Thanks! Jan 2, 2007

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