Elevation: 5,996 ft
GPS: 35.034, -111.72 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 76,647 total · 420/month
Shared By: markguycan on Apr 16, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Brian Boyd

Description

Tributary canyon to Oak Creek Canyon, offers many sandstone sport and trad routes.

Pumphouse Wash is a splendid canyon and a local gem for it's rugged beauty. And the climbing is pretty good to boot! With it's close proximity to town, plunge pools, carved walls, and towering sandstone cliffs this place has it all for a rompy day out and about.

Both Kelly and James Canyon run into Pumphouse as it tumbles off the rim. James Canyon is a good, technical canyoneering route, while Kelly has some fantastic bouldering. Upper Pumphouse Wash holds the "Ultimates", which are well known classics for the area. In the last few years there has been some development of sport routes in Lower Pumphouse Wash before it joins Oak Creek Canyon at the bottom of the swithbacks on 89A.

Getting There

NOTE: For best directions with no history or fluff, skip down to the last paragraph.

There have been many ways that people have accessed The Ultimates area over the years, though none would be considered easy. My first time there, we just took the first forest service road North of The Overlook & drove until it ended on the canyon rim. We then found a gully & bushwhacked down. You can still access it this way, though there is now a trail to make it easier. People have also traditionally hiked up Pumphouse Wash from the bottom of the switchbacks on highway 89A, which is both incredibly beautiful and a very long slog.

More recently climbers have found easier (though certainly not easy) access points. In the mid 2000's a 2 pitch route called Ultimate Frisbee was established with bolted belay stations, and some climbers preferred to access the area by rappelling in (2 raps) and climbing out. If you choose to do this, take I-17 and exit at Newman Park, drive about 2 miles then turn right, follow this about a mile til the canyon is in view. Park at cairns and hike 0.07mi to the rap station, which I'm told is located at: N35*02.158 W111*42.825.

Most climbers these days use the 'Secret Passage' approach established by Darren Mabe in 2013/2014. To do this, take I-17 South from Flagstaff for about 10 miles or so. Exit right at Newman Park Road (exit 328 I think) and drive roughly East for about 2.5 miles to a right turn on forest road 253G. Follow this .8 miles to the parking spot. The GPS coordinates, I'm told, are: N35.038; W111.714 . Once there, follow the topo below, created by Darren Mabe. For higher resolution, see the original photo submitted by Darren, located in the pictures below. This is the preferred access for many people.

58 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Upper Pumphouse Wash

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 29
Ultimate Dihedral
Trad
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R
 10
White Wedding
Trad 2 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 34
Ultimate Finger Crack
Trad
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 11
The Ultimator
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 4
Ultimate Bag Of Tricks
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 7
Ultimarete
Sport
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 3
Hyperborea
Trad
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 12
Pony Express
Sport
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 8
Lil' Smokie's First Toke
Sport
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 3
Cry Havoc
Trad 3 pitches
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 5
Lil' Smokie's Wild Ride
Trad
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13
 10
Twist of Fate
Trad 3 pitches
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
 8
Iron Horse
Sport
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
 3
Lil' Slopie
Sport
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
 4
Lil' Smokie Shoots for the Moon
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Ultimate Dihedral Ultimates > Ultimates East
 29
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
White Wedding Ultimates > Ultimates West
 10
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad 2 pitches
Ultimate Finger Crack Ultimates > Ultimates West
 34
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
The Ultimator Ultimates > Ultimates East
 11
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Ultimate Bag Of Tricks Ultimates > Ultimates West
 4
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
Ultimarete Ultimates > Ultimates West
 7
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
Hyperborea Ultimates > Ultimates East
 3
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
Pony Express Ultimates > Ultimates East
 12
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Lil' Smokie's First Toke Ultimates > Ultimates West
 8
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Cry Havoc Ultimates > Ultimates West
 3
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad 3 pitches
Lil' Smokie's Wild Ride Ultimates > Ultimates West
 5
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad
Twist of Fate Ultimates > Ultimates West
 10
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13 Trad 3 pitches
Iron Horse Ultimates > Ultimates East
 8
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Sport
Lil' Slopie Ultimates > Ultimates West
 3
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Sport
Lil' Smokie Shoots for the… Ultimates > Ultimates West
 4
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Sport
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