Elevation: 4,323 ft
GPS: 34.863, -112.447 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 35,804 total · 215/month
Shared By: Josh Gross on May 6, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Brian Boyd

Description

Lower Sullivan's is a basalt canyon that gradually transitions to limestone.  Grades range from 5.5 to 5.11.  If you are filling your Northern Arizona basalt dance card, the rock here is very different than Paradise Forks, Oak Creek Overlook, and other crags.  While virtually all of the lines are crack climbs, the rock is heavily pocketed, which yields an abundance of face holds.  As the inside of cracks are pocketed as well, you can find great nut and tricam placements.  Cams are occasionally fiddley, so pay attention to these placements.

Getting Around

There are several distinct walls, with multiple approach options.  Most of the routes are reached via the main descent gully, which is pretty obvious: It looks like basalt interspersed with concrete, and involves some easy scrambling through loose rock.  Turn right at the base (west) and you will find shorter routes, with a good mix of 5.5 - 5.10 climbing.  Turn left and you will find longer routes, generally 5.9 - 5.11.

Approaches to other areas are noted in the subsection descriptions.

Keystone

Anchors and Bolting

Almost all routes have bolted anchors, some with Metolious rap hangers, and others with chain.  The chains are 5/16, and a bit on the rusty side. The area above the clifftop is littered with large blocks and other debris, making it unsafe to approach the anchors from above for top-roping.

Development of sport routes is not viewed positively by locals; that said, a short bolted route appeared at the far left side of the Nursery in late 2020.  

Gear

Because the cracks are so variable, you can get by with a rack of doubles on most routes.  On some of the harder routes, you may want triples to sew things up.  There are many routes which take a #4, and you can find placements for a #5 if you bring one along.  There are several  offwidths as well: Sword of Damocles will take four #4's, and Pot Luck will require 9" cams.  

Getting There

About 5 miles north of Chino Valley and 1/2 mile south of Paulden look for the Depot 89 gas station/convenience store.  Head east on Old Hwy 89, then take a quick left on Sweet Valley Road (uunpaved, no sign).

Set your odometer to 0.  At 1.0 miles, you'll see a turnoff on the right, opposite from a white fence.  Stay on the most heavily travelled portions of the road.  At 2.1 miles keep left passing a gate and some concrete posts.  At 2.3 miles there is a pullout/parking spot on the right.   

Hike west from the parking area until the canyon comes into view, you'll be on the north rim of the canyon. Look for cairns that mark portions of the trail and some of the descents into the canyon. Several drop in points are possible.

60 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Lower Sullivan Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 20
Mrs Whittaker
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 39
Better Than Mecca
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 6
Teddy Bear
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 6
Mr. Whittaker
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 20
911
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 6
Apple Pie
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 18
Distant Vision
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 17
Easy Option
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 4
Potluck
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 8
Disco Inferno
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 14
Wheeler Dealer
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 22
Classic
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 16
Sword of Damocles
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 3
Let's Face It
Trad
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 15
Bohemian
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Mrs Whittaker Nursery
 20
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Better Than Mecca Opera House, Hot Spot
 39
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Teddy Bear Nursery
 6
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Mr. Whittaker Nursery
 6
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
911 Nursery
 20
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Apple Pie Timmie's East
 6
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Distant Vision Concrete Jungle
 18
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Easy Option Main Wall
 17
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Potluck Opera House, Hot Spot
 4
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Disco Inferno Concrete Jungle
 8
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Wheeler Dealer Opera House, Hot Spot
 14
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Classic Opera House, Hot Spot
 22
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Sword of Damocles Opera House, Hot Spot
 16
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Let's Face It Concrete Jungle
 3
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Bohemian Concrete Jungle
 15
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
More Classic Climbs in Lower Sullivan Canyon »

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