Elevation: 7,000 ft
GPS: 35.066, -111.7 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 63,105 total · 439/month
Shared By: Andrew R on May 3, 2008
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick
Access Issue: Fragile Sandstone: Don't Climb Wet Rock Details

Description

A peaceful forested canyon with plentiful bouldering on cliffs and boulders of Coconino sandstone. Dramatic curved slashes stripe the walls, the lithified remnants of sand dunes deposited 260 million years ago. These slashes birth many slopers and incut rails, lending to a unique and distinctly technical sort of climbing. Many problems here are moderately to seriously highball with committing, sloping topouts so multiple pads and spotters are pretty much essential.

The rock at Kelly is notoriously variable in quality: tacky and bullet-hard in some places, sandy and crumbly elsewhere. Rain and snowmelt seep can render the stone filthy and breakable. Tread carefully, especially early in the season and after storms, and don't forget to bring a soft-bristled brush. (A broom isn't a bad idea, either.) Take the time to brush topouts before climbing. Accessing the clifftops is trivial, and pre-cleaning will improve your experience significantly.

Fall is the prime season here: it's cool, dry, and colorful. Summers can be toasty, though it's easy to find shade. However, winter is a bust - the roads usually close by late November and the canyon loads up with snowdrifts and deep, icy pools. Unless it is an especially warm and snowless winter, don't plan on visiting between the first snow and perhaps the middle of April.

Like any wild place, Kelly Canyon is special and irreplaceable, and I urge you to be attentive, tread lightly, and appreciate the peace and sanctity of this area.

Mudd, clamping.

Getting There

Most of the developed rock is in east Kelly Canyon, which is accessed via Kelly Canyon Rd. off I-17 a few miles south of Flagstaff. Several problems exist near the confluence of west Kelly Canyon and Pumphouse Wash, accessed from FR 237 off 89A heading south to Sedona. Check subpages and/or PM for specifics.

85 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Kelly Canyon Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Kelly Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1-2 5
 37
Aloha Left Arete
Boulder
V2 5+
 44
Aloha Arete
Boulder
V2+ 5+
 6
Stables Away!
Boulder
V2-3 5+
 21
Icy Mike
Boulder
V3 6A PG13
 24
Huck Finn
Boulder
V3 6A
 5
Pinball Wizard
Boulder
V4 6B
 31
Hot Carl
Boulder
V4 6B PG13
 4
Jack and the Beanstock
Boulder
V5 6C PG13
 29
Dope Lounge
Boulder
V6 7A
 29
Donkey Punch
Boulder
V6 7A
 19
The Slab
Boulder
V6 7A
 10
Cleveland Steamer
Boulder
V6+ 7A R
 3
Human Wasteland
Boulder
V7-8 7B
 13
The Traverse
Boulder
V8-9 7B+
 20
Green Mile Direct
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Aloha Left Arete E Kelly Canyon > Trailer Park
 37
V1-2 5 Boulder
Aloha Arete E Kelly Canyon > Trailer Park
 44
V2 5+ Boulder
Stables Away! E Kelly Canyon > Donkey Punch Area
 6
V2+ 5+ Boulder
Icy Mike E Kelly Canyon > Donkey Punch Area
 21
V2-3 5+ Boulder
Huck Finn E Kelly Canyon > Donkey Punch Area
 24
V3 6A PG13 Boulder
Pinball Wizard E Kelly Canyon > Warm-Up Wall
 5
V3 6A Boulder
Hot Carl E Kelly Canyon > Trailer Park
 31
V4 6B Boulder
Jack and the Beanstock W Kelly Canyon > Water Front Area
 4
V4 6B PG13 Boulder
Dope Lounge E Kelly Canyon > Donkey Punch Area
 29
V5 6C PG13 Boulder
Donkey Punch E Kelly Canyon > Donkey Punch Area
 29
V6 7A Boulder
The Slab E Kelly Canyon > Donkey Punch Area
 19
V6 7A Boulder
Cleveland Steamer E Kelly Canyon > Donkey Punch Area
 10
V6 7A Boulder
Human Wasteland W Kelly Canyon > Water Front Area
 3
V6+ 7A R Boulder
The Traverse E Kelly Canyon > Arkansas & Traverse Wall
 13
V7-8 7B Boulder
Green Mile Direct E Kelly Canyon > Donkey Punch Area
 20
V8-9 7B+ Boulder
More Classic Climbs in Kelly Canyon »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos