Castle Rock - South Tower Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: Trailhead and approach beta
Year-round goodness to be found here! Castle Rock is the name broadly given to the rock formation that can be seen on the left as you enter the Village of Oak Creek from the south. While somewhat less striking and not as recognizable as nearby Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte, it is higher than Bell Rock - with FAR fewer people. Although it is called Castle Rock as if it were a single rock, and it does indeed appear to be a single wall when viewed from the southern part of the village, as you drive north, you'll see that there are two towers that are separated from the main wall in a line to the south - making for some shade at any time of day. It is mysterious why this area is not more popular among climbers - it's not even mentioned in Tim Toula's guide or David Bloom's. If you have any information on this area, please contribute! Climbers have been active here, you'll come across old slings on junipers and the occasional bolt. This is an area with beautiful, classic summits, some shade to be found at any time of day and some great, natural, moderate multi-pitch lines. Here, an experienced, cautious, well-equipped party can get a few pitches off deck in the morning and be back enjoying a beer in the village by lunchtime. Helmets, while always a good idea, are essential here. Lots of clean, protect-able cracks but also a lot of loose rock, particularly on the belay ledges so use caution and common sense.
Just north of the Village of Oak Creek, park in the Bell Rock Trailhead parking lot (you'll need a Red Rocks pass), then, looking both ways, cross hwy 179 heading West on the Templeton trail. See attached photos for orientation. The approach hike will take about 30 minutes or less on a good trail. Getting to the North Face of the South Tower will involve a short 10-minute bushwhack to the base of the route.
Climbing Season For the Oak Creek Village area.
Weather station 4.2 miles from here
2 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Castle Rock - South Tower
The North Face Route 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b AZ
: Sedona Area
: ... : Castle Rock - South Tower
This is the easiest and safest route up the South Tower of Castle Rock. We did it in 4 pitches to reduce rope-drag as the 1st and 3rd pitches are meandering in nature. Pitch 1: rope up to climb a series of ledges that are mostly 4th and easy 5th class but with one crack requiring a 5.7 hand-jam - probably the most technically difficult move on the route. Traverse up and left, do the short 5.7 handjam crack, then traverse back right as high as you can go to the obvious ledge below Pitch 2. maybe ...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
BETA PHOTO: approach hike beta
BETA PHOTO: Castle Rock, South Tower