Elevation: 1,079 ft
GPS: 33.431, -112.072 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,452,350 total · 17,305/month
Shared By: RyanJames on Jan 23, 2012
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland
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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.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 95
South Crack
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 114
East Face
Sport
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 72
Razor's Edge
Trad 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 118
Hanging Gardens
Trad 2 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 85
The Classic
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 90
First Born
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 79
Magnolia Thunderpussy
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 130
Giggling Marlin
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 198
Pocket Puzzle
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 84
Neptune
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 81
Arete Horizon
Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 88
The Totem Pole
Sport 2 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 71
The Soft Parade
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 74
Tufa Yard Dash
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 59
Cold Fusion
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
South Crack *Phoenix Areas > Pinnacle Peak > Pinnacle Peak
 95
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
East Face *Phoenix Areas > Camelback Mountain > Praying Monk
 114
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Razor's Edge *Phoenix Areas > … > Northwest Pinna… > Hand
 72
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
Hanging Gardens *Phoenix Areas > McDowell Mountains > Gardeners Wall
 118
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
The Classic *Prescott Areas > Granite Mountain > Middle Section
 85
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
First Born Queen Creek Canyon > Atlantis > Atlantis S Side
 90
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Magnolia Thunderpussy *Prescott Areas > Granite Mountain > Middle Section
 79
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Giggling Marlin Queen Creek Canyon > Atlantis > Atlantis S Side
 130
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Pocket Puzzle Queen Creek Canyon > Pond
 198
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Neptune Queen Creek Canyon > Atlantis > Atlantis N Side
 84
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Arete Horizon Queen Creek Canyon > Pond
 81
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
The Totem Pole Queen Creek Canyon > Lower Devil's C… > Totem-Proto Area
 88
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport 2 pitches
The Soft Parade Queen Creek Canyon > Pond
 71
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Tufa Yard Dash Homestead > Tufa City
 74
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Cold Fusion Homestead > Rough Rider Wall
 59
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Central Arizona »

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JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Great description Ryan. Thanks for taking that on. Jan 28, 2012
Hello Climbers, I lost my iPhone 4 at the campsite there this weekend.
If you find it, could you email me at corinnejolie@gmail.com? I will gladly reward you with dinner or a bit of cash or something for your trouble. Thanks in advance :-) Feb 13, 2012
poncet  
hi I m french...
I looking for a ride to go at homestead during the end of this month. I have a car but it s not possible to take the dirty road with a chevy van... If you ll go and you could take two people with bags it will be so nice...

Thanks

francoisponcet@gmail.com Nov 12, 2014
kyle nowak
Arizona
kyle nowak   Arizona
Hey everyone my name is Kyle and I have recently moved here from Colorado and are looking for climbing partners in central Arizona I have climbed a little bit in queen Creek Canyon I climb I mostly sport climb but have recently assembled a rack to get started into trad climbing shoot me a text if you're interested my number is 303-887-5943 Oct 28, 2015
Connor McAndrew
Phoenix, AZ
Connor McAndrew   Phoenix, AZ
Hi all--My name is Connor and I live in the East valley. I'm looking for outdoor sport and trad partners to climb Little Granite Mountain, Queen Creek, and Pinnacle Peak evenings during the week and Prescott, Flag, Southern California on the weekends. My number is 314-606-0104 Jul 11, 2017