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Central Arizona

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Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Pass Mountain Trail
A take-no-prisoners loop around Pass Mountain. Near Apache Junction, Arizona
Hawes Trail Network: Hawes, Ridge, Secret, and Saguaro
Flowing cross country trails with moderate climbs, awesome views, and minimal technical features. Near Mesa, Arizona
Power Rd Trail
Fun singletrack to start your ride. Near Fountain Hills, Arizona
Upper Ridge
Beautiful low grade singletrack with berms - good in either direction. Near Fountain Hills, Arizona
Wild Horse Trail
An easy going trail connecting Twisted Sister to Usery Pass Road. Near Fountain Hills, Arizona
Mule Deer Trail
An intermediate ride from South Trail to Ford Canyon Trail. Near Citrus Park, Arizona
From MP's sister site:

Central Arizona Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 33.4314, -112.0715 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 859,094
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: RyanJames on Jan 23, 2012
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [6 people like this page.]
What are you looking at!? Photo taken by Lucas An...

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 worthwhile classics, while the canyons – Wet Beaver Creek , West Clear Creek, 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.”

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.0 miles from here

2,480 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',163],['3 Stars',918],['2 Stars',901],['1 Star',402],['Bomb',19]

Classic Climbing Routes in Central Arizona

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Central Arizona:
The Wave   V0+ 4+     Boulder, 10'   Main Boulders : The Wave Area
South Crack   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   Pinnacle Peak : Pinnacle Peak
Razor's Edge   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Northwest Pinnacles : The Hand
Hanging Gardens   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches   McDowell Mountains : Gardeners Wall
East Face   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Camelback Mountain : The Praying Monk
The Classic   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Birthday Party   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   Pinnacle Peak : Pinnacle Peak
First Born   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   *Queen Creek Canyon : Atlantis
Magnolia Thunderpussy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Giggling Marlin   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   *Queen Creek Canyon : Atlantis
Everything's Gone Green   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   *Isolation Canyon : Main Wall - Center
Pocket Puzzle   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   *Queen Creek Canyon : The Pond
Neptune   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 85'   *Queen Creek Canyon : Atlantis
Arete Horizon   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 75'   *Queen Creek Canyon : The Pond
Candyland   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 5 pitches, 450'   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Life By The Drop   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   *Isolation Canyon : Main Wall - North
The Totem Pole   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   Lower Devil's Canyon : Totem-Proto Area
The Soft Parade   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   *Queen Creek Canyon : The Pond
Tufa Yard Dash   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   *The Homestead : Tufa City
Cold Fusion   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   *The Homestead : Rough Rider Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Central Arizona

Featured Route For Central Arizona
Rock Climbing Photo: MR getting past the crux and into a big stem!

Morning Mate 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  Arizona : Central Arizona : ... : Rough Rider Wall
Crux it out on the enticing arete that splits the rough rider wall and the north buttress. Flow up another 30 feet to a small dihedral and roof feature. Crux it out again over this and then cruise it to the anchors. A stellar route - poised to be a classic! Thanks Aaron for putting in the time and work to put this one up!...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Central Arizona Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Exploring new areas is one good reason to climb in...
BETA PHOTO: Exploring new areas is one good reason to climb in...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Guide,
The Guide,
Rock Climbing Photo: Dano and Richard climbing Weaver`s Needle, Superst...
Dano and Richard climbing Weaver`s Needle, Superst...
Rock Climbing Photo: Four Peaks, Malapais Mountain and Weavers Needle.
Four Peaks, Malapais Mountain and Weavers Needle.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Fortress, Miners Needle & Sisyphus Pinnacles, ...
The Fortress, Miners Needle & Sisyphus Pinnacles, ...
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Steve Tweito finishing the second pitch, Mark Trai...
Steve Tweito finishing the second pitch, Mark Trai...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the Hand, Dec 2012
Climbing the Hand, Dec 2012

Comments on Central Arizona Add Comment
Show which comments
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 28, 2012
Great description Ryan. Thanks for taking that on.
By Corinne B
Feb 13, 2012
Hello Climbers, I lost my iPhone 4 at the campsite there this weekend.
If you find it, could you email me at I will gladly reward you with dinner or a bit of cash or something for your trouble. Thanks in advance :-)
By poncet
Nov 12, 2014
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...

By kyle nowak
From: Arizona
Oct 28, 2015
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
By Connor McAndrew
Jul 11, 2017
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

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