Elevation: 4,948 ft
GPS: 34.952, -111.754 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 193,946 total · 1,510/month
Shared By: JJ Schlick on May 27, 2008
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland
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Description

This expansive canyon takes root just south of Flagstaff in the beautiful Pumphouse Wash. Oak Creek Canyon runs all the way down until it opens up at the entry of Munds Canyon from the east rim, and empties into Sedona. Oak Creek Canyon holds a myriad of side canyons, sub drainages, and a staggering amount of stone, climbing, exploration, and adventure to be had right off the heels of HWY 89 which winds its way along the canyon floor.

Jeff Snyder on the 3rd pitch Photo : Blake McCord

There really is something for everyone in this canyon, starting out with the treasure of moderate traditional climbs to be found at the Oak Creek Canyon Overlook. If you are learning to place gear, and get some leads under your belt, this is a fantastic area to create a foundation. Also a wonderful place to rip through them and enjoy the view for a day. Moderates hold the majority. I have moved this area to the Flagstaff Crags Section due to it's proximity to town. Though this area clearly marks the entrance from the north, into Oak Creek Canyon.

If you are looking for sport routes, then you have few options. The Doctor's Office is a fully functional sport Crag with a handful of trad lines. Lower in the canyon is Muscle Beach which features creekside climbing and difficult routes. The Fire Wall is a small wall above the Anvil Boulders which holds some deceptive routes. One can also explore the depths of Pumphouse Wash for more scattered moderate sport routes. Though the sandstone is soft, there are some excellent routes to discover.

 Pumphouse Wash, now listed under Flagstaff Crags, is also the stunning showcase of the The Ultimates. These lines are a fabled collection of cherished, traditional routes that will test the best, up to 5.12+ fingers, and some burly offwidth if you are so inclined.... Lately some new multi pitch moderates have also been added. There is a lot to see down there, and some excellent "hot summer" swimming holes as well. 

*The Waterfall* is a columnar basalt area which now has over 130 single pitch trad routes, with the majority of them going down in the 5.10+ through 5.13 range. You can expect splitter cracks, steep jug hauls, and very thin technical lines.The climbing really starts at solid 5.10. Bring a 70M rope, a robust rack including a triple set of TCUs, and your game. 

Insomnia Canyon is a newer area found in the depths of West Fork Canyon. This area is producing long, steep, and aesthetically stimulating routes with a committing overall nature. The quality looking Coconino Sandstone is something out of a Sedona climber’s dreams and is positioned in one of Arizona’s most beautiful canyons.

And, on top of all that, if you want to get in a superb sandstone bouldering session, The Anvil Boulders are a collection of wonderful and rare blocks all conveniently (or maybe not so because of the creek crossing?) located 200 yards on the East side of Oak Creek just a hop and skip drive north out of Sedona. V-easy to V-super-hard- inspiring. Some very cool steep lines. This area is in the *Northern AZ Bouldering* section.

Oak Creek Canyon is a treasure to many, and a focal point to climbers in this area for harboring a wide variety of crags, which can be intimidating, but also accessible year round, if you play your cards right. It is an awesome place to visit and climb in. It can also be an arduous place to explore on or off the beaten path. Watch out for tourists, rattle snakes, rock fall, hard approaches- and mellow ones, slow drivers (with their cameras stuck outside the window), soft sandstone, hard sandstone, and impeccable stone as well!
There is obviously much more to be found in this expansive canyon than is listed here. Be ready to "earn your burns".

Getting There

Take 89 south from Flagstaff, or north from Sedona.

233 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Oak Creek Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 65
Flashflood
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 83
The Sword
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 115
Black and Tan
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 75
Smilin' Jay
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 75
Spite and Malice
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 51
No Feelings
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 51
The Bootlegger
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 68
Vertebrae
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 64
Lord Humongous
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
 47
Natural Enhancement
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 34
The Chronic
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 38
False Prophet
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 29
Heart and Soul
Sport 2 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 32
American Caesar
Trad
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 28
Terminator
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Flashflood Waterfall* > Left Wall
 65
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
The Sword Waterfall* > Left Wall
 83
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Black and Tan Waterfall* > Main Amphitheater
 115
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Smilin' Jay Waterfall* > Right Wall
 75
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Spite and Malice Waterfall* > Left Wall
 75
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
No Feelings Waterfall* > Right Wall
 51
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
The Bootlegger Waterfall* > Right Wall
 51
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Vertebrae Waterfall* > Left Wall
 68
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Lord Humongous Waterfall* > Main Amphitheater
 64
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Natural Enhancement Waterfall* > Right Wall
 47
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13 Trad
The Chronic Waterfall* > Double Clutching Wall
 34
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
False Prophet Waterfall* > Main Amphitheater
 38
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
Heart and Soul Sterling Pass
 29
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport 2 pitches
American Caesar Waterfall* > Right Wall
 32
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
Terminator Waterfall* > Left Wall
 28
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Oak Creek Canyon »

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