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Areas in Oak Creek Canyon

*The Waterfall* 129 / 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 134
80 Proof Canyon 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Cave Springs 10 / 24 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 32
Coke Wall Area, The 5 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Fire Wall 1 / 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
First Bench Wilson Mountain 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Insomnia Canyon 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Muscle Beach 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Odyssey Wall 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Slide Rock State Park 1 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Sterling Pass 11 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
West Fork 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Wilson Mountain - East Side 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Wolfe Canyon 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Access Issue: Stage II Fire Restrictions and Closures in Place as of 8:00 AM May 23 Details

Description [Edit]

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. This 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 heals of HWY 89 which winds its way along the canyon floor.

Anne Mariah Tapp on the Second Ascent of the Golden Sweater, The Odyssey Wall. Photo blakemccordphoto.com

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.

Youngharz on the exposed moves out to the arete on Angels Delight, The Overlook.

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. 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.

Free Refills 5.10, The Doctors Office Such an unique route! Photo Credit to Moe Lauchert! moelauchert.com/

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.

Darren Mabe on the FFA of Twist Of Fate 5.12, The Ultimates Area, Pumphouse Wash. Photo: Blake McCord

*The Waterfall* 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.

Colin Cox on the 'all or nothing' redpoint crux of There Will Be Blood 5.12+, The Waterfall.

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.

Shot taken by Ian Kiersey.

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, and an arduous place to explore 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".
A general overview of the layout of the Oak Creek Canyon Crags. Click it for better detail.

Getting There [Edit]

Take 89 south from Flagstaff, or north from Sedona.

227 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
 61
Flashflood
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 79
The Sword
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 104
Black and Tan
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 70
Smilin' Jay
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 72
Spite and Malice
Trad
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 48
No Feelings
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 47
The Bootlegger
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 67
Vertebrae
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 60
Lord Humongous
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
 45
Natural Enhancement
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 31
The Chronic
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 36
False Prophet
Trad
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 30
American Caesar
Trad
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 24
Super Chronic
Trad
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 28
Terminator
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Flashflood Waterfall* > Left Wall
 61
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
The Sword Waterfall* > Left Wall
 79
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Black and Tan Waterfall* > Main Amphitheater
 104
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Smilin' Jay Waterfall* > Right Wall
 70
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Spite and Malice Waterfall* > Left Wall
 72
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
No Feelings Waterfall* > Right Wall
 48
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
The Bootlegger Waterfall* > Right Wall
 47
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Vertebrae Waterfall* > Left Wall
 67
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Lord Humongous Waterfall* > Main Amphitheater
 60
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Natural Enhancement Waterfall* > Right Wall
 45
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13 Trad
The Chronic Waterfall* > Double Clutching Wall
 31
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
False Prophet Waterfall* > Main Amphitheater
 36
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
American Caesar Waterfall* > Right Wall
 30
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
Super Chronic Waterfall* > Double Clutching Wall
 24
5.12- 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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