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Camelback Mountain

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Camelback Mountain Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 1,500'
Location: 33.5145, -111.9618 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 65,443
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Orphaned on Jan 19, 2006

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Damian Noe on Camelback, Photo taken by Geoff Reed...


Perched pretty much square in the middle of the Phoenix metro area is this mountain that sort of looks like a camel. It is the closest climbing to Phoenix, with the rock being a sort of desert conglomeration that has been described as "petrified mud." There are some pretty cool routes here, however, and a fun day of climbing or bouldering can be had here for locals as well as visiting climbers. The biggest issue might be getting a parking spot in the small Echo Canyon lot. A little patience is often rewarded, however.

Getting There 

Camelback Mountain is located at approximately 44th Street and McDonald Streets in Phoenix. The Echo Canyon parking lot is accessed off McDonald Street, just east of Tatum (N Echo Canyon Parkway).

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.5 miles from here

40 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',14],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Camelback Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Camelback Mountain:
North Central Variation to the Hart Route   5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Gargoyle Wall
Hart Route   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Sport, 4 pitches, 150'   Gargoyle Wall
East Face   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Praying Monk
SouthEast Corner   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Praying Monk
Hard Times   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Sport, 3 pitches, 210'   Gargoyle Wall
3-Star Nightmare   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   Boulder Canyon
Donamatrix   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   The Headwall
Chimera   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Sport, 2 pitches, 230'   Gargoyle Wall
Aerial Combat   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13     Sport, 3 pitches, 240'   Gargoyle Wall
Unknown   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 3 pitches, 260'   Gargoyle Wall
Spice Box   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 3 pitches, 225'   The Headwall
Ghastly Rubberfat   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   The Headwall
Crumble City   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Bobby's Rock
Black Direct   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 2 pitches   Suicide Canyon
Cameltoe   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 80'   The Headwall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Camelback Mountain

Featured Route For Camelback Mountain
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber on first pitch of aerial combat

Aerial Combat 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13  Arizona : Central Arizona : ... : Gargoyle Wall
P1- 8 bolts to 2 bolt anchor. Start is 20 feet left of the beehive route. 1st bolt is left of the two story cave at the base of the wall. Crux is pulling over the second bolt and it is height dependent. If you are shorter than 5ft 8in it may be harder. (115 feet)P2- The first three bolts are shared with Cholla Traverse. After 3rd bolt trend up and left then follow bolts (6) up to two bolt anchor in a band of red rock, on the right side of large ledge. 9 bolts total. (125 feet)P3- Same as the Fre...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Camelback Mountain Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: So much wildlife at camelback. This Gila monster w...
So much wildlife at camelback. This Gila monster w...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset at Camelback
Sunset at Camelback
Rock Climbing Photo: View of both walls from parking lot
BETA PHOTO: View of both walls from parking lot
Rock Climbing Photo: Watch out for the Bees! If you're going anywhere n...
BETA PHOTO: Watch out for the Bees! If you're going anywhere n...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering at Camelback
Bouldering at Camelback
Rock Climbing Photo: Moon rising at Camelback
Moon rising at Camelback
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering at sunset on Camelback
Bouldering at sunset on Camelback
Rock Climbing Photo: Joey at Camelback Mountain, AZ on 'Tallman's Route...
Joey at Camelback Mountain, AZ on 'Tallman's Route...
Rock Climbing Photo: Joey at Camelback Mountain, AZ on 'Tallman's Route...
Joey at Camelback Mountain, AZ on 'Tallman's Route...
Rock Climbing Photo: Joey at Camelback Mountain, AZ on 'Tallman's Route...
Joey at Camelback Mountain, AZ on 'Tallman's Route...
Rock Climbing Photo: jan holdeman spotting again, some guy with a boatl...
jan holdeman spotting again, some guy with a boatl...
Rock Climbing Photo: brad smith on another boulder contest problem circ...
brad smith on another boulder contest problem circ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Brad Smith at 3rd annual Phoenix Bouldering contes...
Brad Smith at 3rd annual Phoenix Bouldering contes...

Comments on Camelback Mountain Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 14, 2016
By cactuscat
Mar 14, 2006
Those bees caused an accident last year where a climber fell to his death - same exact spot!
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 25, 2007
Yeah i heard about the accident also a while back, i have climbed that route and damn those bees are all over the place, it scares the crap out of me just seeing that hive. I wont do a route that is anywhere near those bees again, its not worth the risk. However, does anyone know an exterminator?
From: Mesa AZ
May 1, 2009

The bees are out in full force! My buddy was stung repeatadly again and I warn against doing any of the upper pitches of the Hart Route... The hive is about 10 feet away from the belay of the third pitch and because of the increase in heat.. the bees are very active

By Chris Craig
Apr 1, 2010
New to the area. How do I get to the headwall?

By Chris Craig
Apr 1, 2010
New to the area. How do I get to the headwall?

From: Mesa AZ
Apr 7, 2010
To get to the headwall from the parking lot - follow the obvious line of Arizona State underage ass up the main trail from the Veranda area. When you get to the first major saddle, turn to the south and you will see the headwall below the Praying Monk. - The line starts at the class 4 slope to the 5.3 wall and all the way over to Sleazy Street and Spicebox. I have a pic on here showing the headwall - look on the pictures of the Camelback Mountain to see the overall look - its kind of hard to miss.
If interested in a partner... let me know I love going up there after work!
By Jonathan Grand
Jul 31, 2010
So, the roof cut out on the east side of the trial from bobbys rock, its just south of main headwall...its all slick and by the giant bee hives....found a line that will go! Its a clean sweeping roof, and deserves to get bolted. But the bees make me nervous >< what a conundrum! I think the little cave area has a name, but its such a slick sweeping roof theres no where to bolt accept the route we found. If anyone knows where Im talking about, check it out its wonderous, and I bet it could hit at a 5.13 or so but itd have to be built groud up at first.
By Amichedwards
Dec 25, 2011
Does anyone know what the route directly below the main summit is rated/called? If hike to the top and approach the sheer edge looking north there is a two bolt anchor and a route with ~10 bolts. The rock quality is amazing compared to the rest of the camelback area in my opinion. An awesome old man showed it to me and my partner today and it ended up being a bit more than I could handle after a full day of going up and down the mountain and the headwall.
By Dreez
Dec 25, 2011
I was a newbie with no book or directions. So here it is.

From Echo Canyone parking lot look up to Monks Rock. if you can't see it you should not be climbing. Directly below it is the HeadWall, about 300 feet long and has various climbs on it. Above the headwall is Monk Rock. Behind Monk Rock (but starts at same level) is Gargoyol Wall where the bees swarm and kill people. On the left of Gargoyl is Hart Route were bees kill people.

From Echo Canyon parking lot haul your ass up the trail to first saddle. Trail heads right along headwall. Various Easy routes take you to upper strata and tails to Monk Route. All these routes are crumbly and although easy you will panic as they crumble below your feet and shower your belayer with rocks. Wear helmets. Need no gear other than quickdraws.

Monk Route is easy but a bit run out. Not crumbly like the rest of this mudhill. It has been really cleaned great, its a super route.
By Amichedwards
Dec 27, 2011
Hey Dreez,

Thanks though for the note. Given that it's not on here or any of the guides I'm guessing the climb is too new or too old? The climb I was talking about is right below where you would rap of the main hiking summit of Camelback. Take a beeline from the christmas tree and approach the ledge. There are two bolt lines. Rap or lower down and check it out. It's not as crumbly as any of the other climbs in the area imo.

The monk routes are fun we were up there for ze holiday. They'd placed a tree on top of the monk as well this year.
By Sr Rake
From: Tucson
Dec 10, 2013
I was looking forward to climbing camelback mountain last weekend but when we arrived in the Echo Canyon parking lot it was closed for construction. Reportedly there are other ways to access the mountain but the only one I knew of would have been a 3 mile hike which wouldn't work with the young kids and the infant that was in our group. Originally it was supposed to be open Fall 2013 but it's closed through Dec 2013 maybe even longer based on the amount of unfinished construction at the site.
By Jeremy Wicker
From: Boulder, Colorado
May 25, 2014
This was one of my favorite locations to climb sport in the Valley. I'm not a big fan of the slab at McDowell or the run out at Pinnacle. Its location makes it the most convenient place to climb sport in Phoenix and the routes actually have some length. Also,there was plenty of space to park after the parking lot renovation and the trails were very well kept. There was a small beehive at the Headwall that we chose to avoid.
By Hendrixson
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 8, 2014
The "Alpine Climbing" checkbox was toggled on the Gargoyle Wall. It is no longer toggled and will hopefully filter down to the climbs shortly. Good catch!
By manuel rangel
From: Tempe, Arizona
Nov 21, 2014
Anyone have any specific bolts that they think should be repaired? If so, I'll help you fix it.

I have one of my old routes in mind to begin with, Black Direct. A bolt was smashed by a friend; he mistakenly thought some careless individual impacted the neighboring spooky route, Suicide. So he beat it up.

Since it hasn't been repaired I thought I'd like to start a trend here.
By lost ryno
From: Phoenix, AZ
Sep 14, 2016
Went to try to run up Black Direct this morning. When my partner got to the top of the second pitch he was immediately stung by bee's with no warning. He got out of there as fast as possible and only got stung a couple more times but I imagine it coulda gotten worse in short order. Probably not safe until it get much cooler.

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