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The Pit

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The Pit Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 35.1292, -111.5973 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 134,944
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jan 19, 2006


68° | 39°

64° | 33°

61° | 31°

65° | 34°

70° | 36°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
My personal record for wildlife encounters: Three ...


The Pit, once known as Le Petit Verdon, with its pocketed white Kaibab limestone, was Arizona's first foray into the realm of sport climbing in the mid to late 1980's. Today, it's northern Arizona's prime sport area. Well, if by prime one means most convenient for Flagstaff locals.

Rock Climbing Photo: Kevin sending Sling Fest
Kevin sending Sling Fest

It's a popular area that offers average quality climbing on average quality limestone, but is nice for an afternoon workout and certainly beats the gym. The area is pleasant and climbable year-round. Routes are well bolted, generally short, and distinctively pocketed and edgy in style.

Rock Climbing Photo: Tomas Robison pulls the final roof sequence on Pur...
Tomas Robison pulls the final roof sequence on Purple Shark.

Getting There 

Drive south of Flagstaff on Lake Mary Road. The new Pit and Sandys Canyon Trail head is located just west on Lake Mary Rd. from the old parking area at Canyon Vista Campground. When driving out Lake Mary Rd. look for the dirt road just after the Hecketthorn neighborhood.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.7 miles from here

90 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',29],['2 Stars',51],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Pit

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Pit:
Sunshine Daydream   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Son Tower
Pleasant Dreams   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Son Tower
R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement)   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 50'   The Son Tower
Mr. Slate   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Swiss Tower
Barney Rubble   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Bedrock
Fred Flintstone   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 55'   Bedrock
Popeye Meets The Burrito Master   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Mall Wall
Sporte   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport   The White Wall
Rave On   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Mall Wall
Mordor   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport   The White Wall
True Value   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Swiss Tower
The Abyss   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Swiss Tower
Avalon   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 35'   Nose Rock
Fruit Bowl   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 70'   The White Wall
Don't Feed the Agave   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Swiss Tower
Shark Bait   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Swiss Tower
The Energizer (aka Aerial Vermin)   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Way Gone Wall
Purple Shark   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Swiss Tower
God Walks Among Us   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Way Gone Wall
The Joker   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The White Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Pit

Featured Route For The Pit
Rock Climbing Photo: Robbie on the start of excalibur.

Excaliber 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  Arizona : Northern Arizona : ... : Way Gone Wall
A very reachy route. This one is just to the right of Freshly Squeezed and shares anchors with it....[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of The Pit Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: More cacti
More cacti
Rock Climbing Photo: Colin on the Joker 5.12c
Colin on the Joker 5.12c
Rock Climbing Photo: Overhead map with wall names
BETA PHOTO: Overhead map with wall names
Rock Climbing Photo: The white wall
BETA PHOTO: The white wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Spring Break Visit. Break of dawn approach.
Spring Break Visit. Break of dawn approach.
Rock Climbing Photo: limestone is really awsome
limestone is really awsome
Rock Climbing Photo: I"m always out of place in the desert, yet pe...
I"m always out of place in the desert, yet pe...
Rock Climbing Photo: Treacherous conditions at the Pit
Treacherous conditions at the Pit
Rock Climbing Photo: There is something interesting about being 4' off ...
There is something interesting about being 4' off ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nuria on THE warm-up classic of the Pit, Popeye Me...
Nuria on THE warm-up classic of the Pit, Popeye Me...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cacti in bloom by the Mall Wall
Cacti in bloom by the Mall Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
BETA PHOTO: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
Rock Climbing Photo: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
BETA PHOTO: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
Rock Climbing Photo: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
BETA PHOTO: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
Rock Climbing Photo: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
BETA PHOTO: Old fold out guide by John McMullen #6 1/2
Rock Climbing Photo: Who's afraid of global warming?  Gordo crossing th...
Who's afraid of global warming? Gordo crossing th...

Comments on The Pit Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 22, 2017
By Ladd
Jun 1, 2007
The Pit is an awesome cold weather crag, a destination in the Flagstaff area.
By ElyseSokoloff
From: Spokane, WA
Mar 2, 2008
So was anyone around when the anchor rock fell off of Sporte (right of Mordor)?
By Ladd
Mar 5, 2008
Check out the Dr. Topo guidebook here
By Chris Tatum
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 26, 2008
Hey, Anyone know what caused the massive puddle of blood at the base of Mr. Slate?
By John McMullen
From: El Portal, CA
Apr 23, 2009
Most of the routes we put up at The Pit were climbed in the winter when we didn't want to drive south, or go out of state. "The Oven" was a favorite hang on days when it especially cold, and that is how it got it's name.
Locals climbed at The Pit for almost two years before we let the cat out of the bag. This was based on a vote at Alpine Pizza of course.

I can remember climbing on the Gone Wall one day and getting a cactus needle stuck in my arm. At the base, I pulled out the needle and it had gone into my brachial artery. Jets of blood sperted out of my arm every time my heart beat. My partner that day, Paul B almost passed out looking ... so I teased him by slapping my hand over it every once in awhile to stop-start it. It was hilarious. Left a huge puddle of blood (although that was many, many years ago)! Funny stuff!
By CO_Michael
Apr 24, 2009
Hey. Cool that John M. has jumped in.
By Richard Fernandez
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 14, 2009
Sorry FUNGUY, no such luck, from the looks of the two shiny draws hanging, the second one way off route I might add, the poor individual pitched making the third clip & decked, Haaard. Fresh blood at the crag, kinda surreal. Hope they're ok.
By sarcasm
Apr 7, 2011
I notice on their website that Canyon Vista Campground is open May 16-October but many people comment on the great winter climbing here. Am I right to assume that the campground is accessible during their off-season? I'll be traveling through that area around late April and wanted to check out the pit for a day but didn't want to waste my time if it is going to be gated up or something. Thanks.
By CO_Michael
Jun 30, 2011
New 1/2" Anchors for The Twister and Dee-Lite on the Upper Tier.

A block with Anchors for some Upper Tier climbs (Dee-Lite & The Twister) had fallen sometime Nov. 2010.

There is a piece with a bolt at the bottom of The Twister.
By Jeremy Jacobsen
Jul 30, 2011
We were harassed by the park management at canyon vista for supposedly speeding (even though we weren't). These people were totally irrational and I would say hostile had they not been in their 80s. They told us the speed limit is 5 MPH (we were going maybe 10?) and then admitted to us that it isn't posted. They even threatened to call the sheriff for no apparent reason. I think these people may be trying to deter climbers. When I lived in Flag the place was under different management and we didn't have any problems. Has anyone else caught flak from these loons?
By Andrew Ryder
From: Arizony
Aug 5, 2011
Jeremy, I have also been chased down by the camp host for "speeding." That was about three years ago. I doubt they are trying to deter climbers specifically because that parking is also used for the popular Sandy's Canyon hike. I'm not sure why they're so hostile about it.
They're probably just bored. It's probably best to just humor the hosts and take it slow through the campground.
By MacM
From: Cave Creek/Preskitt, AZ
Aug 27, 2011
Jeremy, It as about Mid July when my friend and I got into a "conversation" with the new camp host. He gave us trouble because we backed into the parking spot, instead of pulling forward. He said we were going to cause a forest fire with our "Hot" tailpipes backing up to the meadow and we should be written up for it. Alos we were coming out after 8pm, evidently The Pit and not just the parking area closes after 8pm. He was also trying to tell us it would be out fault if climbing at The Pit was closed indefinitely, haha. I miss the guy from last summer, he was definitely more of a people person.

Climb on!
By Michael Kukral
From: phoenix az
May 10, 2012
Where can I find a guide?
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
May 20, 2015
I finally got around to sorting the rest of the routes here. If any of you Pitsters out there want to peruse it, and let me know of any errors that would be cool. Thanks.
By J. Snyder
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Aug 16, 2015
Draws found at The Pit on 8.14.15. Describe them and Ill sell them back to you for $1,000,000.00
By colin-72
Jan 16, 2016
Hey folks, I accidentally (stupidly) left a nearly brand new pair of La Sportiva Tarantulas clipped to an Evolve chalkbag, probably on Lake Marry road outside of the campground after parking there and climbing for a few hours at The Pit on the evening of this past Tues 1/12. I'm currently headed to southern california and would love to get these back, if anyone finds or has found them please let me know 831.706.5454 thanks in advance!
By Casey Smith
Sep 11, 2016
HELP! I, like the unfortunate guy below, lost my blue GriGri at the base of "Son Tower." Lost on 09/10/2016. Please message me if it is found.
By Luna T
Oct 2, 2016
Hi! I lost my family crest ring at the Pit this weekend. It is gold and about the size of a dime. I had it in my pocket and it fell out, probably near the Sun Tower or Sporte. If anyone finds it/ found it, please contact me!! I will reward you generously. This ring is very very special to me.
By Nadia Lame
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 25, 2017
Lost a pair of black square Ray Ban sunglasses near Mall Wall around April 15th. Would love to have them back, regardless of the condition they may be found in!
By Dean Hoffman
Jun 22, 2017
Just a heads up, on the off chance anyone is looking to get on Terminal Vector in the next week or two I apologize. I am in the process of replacing the bolts and fixed draws on this thing. Started today but ran out of time. Please avoid climbing this route as the new bolts need a little re-tightening and the first three still need to be replaced. Thanks for the patience. Dean

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