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Best Climbing in Arizona?

Craig Manahan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 10

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Seems like there is no consensus must do climbing in the area. Leaning towards Cochise/Lemmon so we can check out Tucson as well-but it will probably depend on weather as well. Now I can just spend my money on all of the guidebooks in the state and compare!

Eric D · · Gnarnia · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 235

Come on people!

Paradise forks in February? Really?
The Overlook as the best climbing in AZ? Really?
Jacks Canyon as the best climbing in AZ? In February? Really?

I think that the only great climbing in Arizona in February are
Cochise - pretty good multipitch climbing in an exceptional location.
The Waterfall - the best trad crag in the country.

. · · Flagstaff AZ · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 30

The Forks is good all winter, in my opinion, if you can get out there and the rock is dry. Because the rock out there is so slippery, I think conditions are better in February than July. But Eric is right, it's pointless arguing about the Forks in the winter when you can just go to the Waterfall.

walmongr · · Gilbert AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 130
SLippy wrote:Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Seems like there is no consensus must do climbing in the area. Leaning towards Cochise/Lemmon so we can check out Tucson as well-but it will probably depend on weather as well. Now I can just spend my money on all of the guidebooks in the state and compare!
If you end up in Cochise no need to buy a guide book. Here is a link to most of the classic stuff. toofasttopos.com/free/ or if you feel compelled to support a great guy who has done a ton of work out their pick up a copy
RyanJames · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 505

Definitely Cochise!!!

Darren Mabe · · Parks, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 4,030

A lot of decent local crags, but not a lot of four star destinations mentioned above except maybe Cochise or Homestead. Especially this time of year. Many of these spots are hard to find your way around for your first time. Some are downright sandbag recommendations for the visiting climber. Since you only have few days keep it simple.

Darren Mabe · · Parks, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 4,030

Besides. Some of the local little devils hold the best cards close to their chests..

manuel rangel · · Arizona · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 3,997

If you only have three days and flying into Phoenix, I'd go to Sedona (if it's dry). It's a shorter drive than Cochise. If you don't mind driving three plus hours on the first and last day for a full day of climbing then head to the West Stronghold (guide book was recently published)and climb at Sheepshead.

Oliver Clothesoff · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 0

....

Mike · · Phoenix · Joined May 2006 · Points: 2,615

For your stated goals I would suggest Sedona. Spend one day climbing whichever moderate multi-pitch tower looks good to you, one day sport climbing at the Planetarium, and one day cragging at The Waterfall.

Eric D · · Gnarnia · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 235
Mike wrote:For your stated goals I would suggest Sedona. Spend one day climbing whichever moderate multi-pitch tower looks good to you, one day sport climbing at the Planetarium, and one day cragging at The Waterfall.
That is a great recommendation.
Phil Sakievich · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 116
Mike wrote:For your stated goals I would suggest Sedona. Spend one day climbing whichever moderate multi-pitch tower looks good to you, one day sport climbing at the Planetarium, and one day cragging at The Waterfall.
+1
Darren Mabe · · Parks, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 4,030

How'd it go?

Forever Outside · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 255

How is the McDowell Mountains? Looking at moderate trad and crack climbing, is it worth a couple days visits? Hows the grading; sandbagged? soft? thx!

walmongr · · Gilbert AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 130

How is the McDowell Mountains? Looking at moderate trad and crack climbing, is it worth a couple days visits? Hows the grading; sandbagged? soft? thx!</quote

Depends on what you are looking for.. Long Multi-pitch moderates or a bunch of 80-200 foot moderates. If you are looking for a bunch of "crag style" routes. Lead one toprope 5 then the Mcdowells are good. Not much much long moderate multi-pitch.
Grades are fair... Cracks can be sharp and depending on where you climb their is still quite a bit of rusty junk. Not sure its worthy of a couple day excursion if coming from somewhere just to climb there. Their are much better areas in AZ. If you are in town and looking for a quick outing a few days its fun.

Forever Outside · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 255
walmongr wrote:How is the McDowell Mountains? Looking at moderate trad and crack climbing, is it worth a couple days visits? Hows the grading; sandbagged? soft? thx!</quote Depends on what you are looking for.. Long Multi-pitch moderates or a bunch of 80-200 foot moderates. If you are looking for a bunch of "crag style" routes. Lead one toprope 5 then the Mcdowells are good. Not much much long moderate multi-pitch. Grades are fair... Cracks can be sharp and depending on where you climb their is still quite a bit of rusty junk. Not sure its worthy of a couple day excursion if coming from somewhere just to climb there. Their are much better areas in AZ. If you are in town and looking for a quick outing a few days its fun.
Thanks for the info, coming from SoCal, so it's only a few hours. Really want to stand on top of Tom's Thumb, looked at Hanging Gardens, some stuff on Sven Slab.... Doesn't have to be multipitch, single pitch crack is cool too. Been climbing in Joshua Tree and the grades hurt my feelings, ha! Always interesting to try a new place. Cochice is almost twice as long driving from my house.
Phil Sakievich · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 116

Pinnacle peak is right next door to the McDowells (10 min drive). Both are known for some old school ratings and run outs. Rock quality is similar to J-Tree (coarse granite). It's not a world class destination but there is plenty to climb. Some longer approaches for the McDowells. Both places are probably my favorite areas to climb in Phoenix proper, but I don't know if I'd drive past J-Tree specifically to climb them. If you're in the area definitely hit them up though.

walmongr · · Gilbert AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 130
Forever Outside wrote: Thanks for the info, coming from SoCal, so it's only a few hours. Really want to stand on top of Tom's Thumb, looked at Hanging Gardens, some stuff on Sven Slab.... Doesn't have to be multipitch, single pitch crack is cool too. Been climbing in Joshua Tree and the grades hurt my feelings, ha! Always interesting to try a new place. Cochice is almost twice as long driving from my house.
If Tom's Thumb is your goal Hanging Garden puts you on top near Tom's Thumb..Much better then hiking all the way their!! Take your stuff it would be a long walk back to it... Check for bird closures on Tom's Thumb! Another fun link up if you looking for summits would be at Pinnacle Peak. Birthday Party (5.7) to the Sundeck then you can do South Crack (5.3) to the top of Pinnacle Peak. Another cool one in AZ would be Razor Edge (5.6) on the Hand in the superstitions. Rock is not great but the exposure and summit are really cool!! Be comfortable at 5.6 its run out.
Forever Outside · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 255
walmongr wrote: If Tom's Thumb is your goal Hanging Garden puts you on top near Tom's Thumb..Much better then hiking all the way their!! Take your stuff it would be a long walk back to it... Check for bird closures on Tom's Thumb! Another fun link up if you looking for summits would be at Pinnacle Peak. Birthday Party (5.7) to the Sundeck then you can do South Crack (5.3) to the top of Pinnacle Peak. Another cool one in AZ would be Razor Edge (5.6) on the Hand in the superstitions. Rock is not great but the exposure and summit are really cool!! Be comfortable at 5.6 its run out.
Thanks for the advice!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Arizona & New Mexico
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