Upper Pumphouse Wash Rock Climbing
|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|
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.
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.
Classic Climbing Routes at Upper Pumphouse Wash
Days w Precip