Elevation: 1,079 ft
GPS: 33.431, -112.072 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 2,896,018 total · 28,102/month
Shared By: RyanJames on Jan 23, 2012
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

The Central Arizona Areas

Central Arizona is a rugged, barren, arid, and inhospitable landscape. When most people think of central Arizona, they think of the sprawling metropolis of Phoenix and the emblematic Saguaro. People also think of the searing temperatures, piss-warm backyard pools, and the heinous back sweat of every insignificant car ride. Nevertheless, hidden away are back country gems - lush, water-filled canyons, shady forests, and hundreds of miles of pristine, bountiful cliff lines. To the intrepid adventurer: There is no lack of opportunity here.

The Central Arizona area encompasses the low desert of Arizona, which heats up like an oven during the summer, and several national forests – Prescott, Tonto, and Apache – whose cliff faces are climbable on even the most sweltering summer days. Within this central portion of the state, there are three main hotspots: the Prescott area, the Payson area, and the Phoenix area, each with its own distinct flavor.

The Prescott areas include the picturesque lakeside cliffs of Watson Dells Lake and the historic and towering granite cliffs of Granite Mountain. If smaller rocks strike your fancy, then thousands of erratically strewn granite boulders litter the forests and hills, awaiting your enjoyment. Climbing in and around Prescott is possible almost year round.

The Payson area also offers its share of quality climbs. Isolation Canyon hosts an incredible concentration of classics, and the East Verde and the Anchas –are otherworldly oases that provide a perfect breather from the summertime roast of the Phoenix Valley.

And lastly there is the Phoenix area. There are several crags within city limits. Pinnacle Peak and the McDowell Mountains are great winter traditional climbing destinations that make for highly enjoyable day trips. East of the city are the Superstition Mountains, the contested Queen Creek Canyon, and an indescribable amount of other backcountry diamonds. Enduring classics hide in these mountains and offer all the finger-shredding fun you could want. Many of these areas are also climbable most days of the year. While central Arizona is not a world-class climbing destination, world-class climbs are abundant, making central Arizona the perfect prospect for those seeking to stake their vertical claim. Come get yours!

Getting There


Most of the central Arizona areas are within a two and half hour radius of Phoenix. Standard cars can access many areas, but many require full-blown four-wheel drive, high clearance, and a willingness to succumb to “the Arizona pinstripe.”

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Classic Climbing Routes at Central Arizona

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0+ 4+
 77
The Wave
Boulder
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 139
East Face
Sport
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 146
Hanging Gardens
Trad 2 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 105
The Classic
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 80
Everything's Gone Green
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 85
Magnolia Thunderpussy
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 79
Ride the Wild
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 80
The Trident
Sport 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 257
Pocket Puzzle
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 100
Neptune
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 119
Arete Horizon
Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 112
The Totem Pole
Sport 2 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 91
The Soft Parade
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 81
Tufa Yard Dash
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 68
Cold Fusion
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Wave *Prescott Area > … > Main Boulders > Wave Area
 77
V0+ 4+ Boulder
East Face *Phoenix Areas > Camelback Mountain > Praying Monk
 139
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Hanging Gardens *Phoenix Areas > McDowell Mountains > Gardener's Wall
 146
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
The Classic *Prescott Area > Granite Mountain > Middle Section
 105
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Everything's Gone Green Isolation Canyon > Main Wall - Center
 80
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Magnolia Thunderpussy *Prescott Area > Granite Mountain > Middle Section
 85
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Ride the Wild Queen Creek Canyon > Mine Area > Lower Looner Land
 79
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
The Trident Queen Creek Canyon > Atlantis > Atlantis S Side
 80
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 3 pitches
Pocket Puzzle Queen Creek Canyon > Pond
 257
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Neptune Queen Creek Canyon > Atlantis > Atlantis N Side
 100
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Arete Horizon Queen Creek Canyon > Pond
 119
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
The Totem Pole Queen Creek Canyon > Lower Devil's C… > Totem-Proto Area
 112
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport 2 pitches
The Soft Parade Queen Creek Canyon > Pond
 91
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Tufa Yard Dash Homestead > Tufa City
 81
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Cold Fusion Homestead > Rough Rider Wall
 68
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
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