REI Community
search
Church Spires Area

Select Area...
Christianity Spire 
Church Wall and Religion Wall 
Minister and the Pulpit 
North Tower  
Streaker Spire 

Church Spires Area Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,200'
Location: 34.83254, -111.76932 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 60,465
Administrators: Greg Opland, JJ Schlick, Luke Bertelsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Mar 22, 2006
Forecast:
Tonight

70°
Tuesday

97° | 65°
Wednesday

95° | 64°
Thursday

94° | 64°
Friday

96° | 67°
Saturday

96° | 67°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Top of Streaker Spire!

Description 

The Church Spires Area is one of Sedona's better cragging venues, with a number of fine areas, and some truly classic pitches. The climbing is spread out across the Twin Buttes area around the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and then, of course, on the spires themselves.

Formations and areas include The Church Wall, The Religion Wall, Streaker Spire, The Watchtower, North Tower, Christianity (aka Beckey) Spire, Minister and the Pulpit, and The Trundler's Club Buttress.

Getting There 

This place has everything... except parking. Arrive early for best results.

Turn off Highway 179 onto Chapel Road heading east. Before reaching the gate and Chapel of the Holy Cross parking area, park in a pullout on the north side of the road. Walk through the chapel parking area and pick up a climbers trail on the eastern edge of the parking area.

Follow the climbers trail about 1/4 mile until it intersects with a wide, well maintained mountain bike trail. Follow the bike trail for another 50 to 100 yards until you are below the large roof that marks Castles in the Sand. At this point look for a wash to your left that cuts straight up towards the cliff. At the top of this wash there is a short 4th class cliff to scramble up. Once on top of this cliff walk to the right end and pick-up the trail again. From this point the trail heads more or less straight up to the cliff base. The Religion Wall is to the right of the Watchtower and the Church Wall is to the left.

This approach takes between 30 and 45 minutes.

Climbing Season



Weather station 1.4 miles from here

18 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',1],['5.9',2],['5.10',6],['5.11',6],['5.12',2],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Church Spires Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Church Spires Area:
Original North Face Route   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 225'   Streaker Spire
Easy Rider   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Lower Religion Wall
Broken Arete   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Upper Religion Wall
Genesis   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 65'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Church Wall
Follow Your Bliss   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Church Wall
Poop Chute   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Lower Religion Wall
Blast from the Past (Isaac's Rt)   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 5 pitches, 400'   Christianity Spire
Centipede   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Lower Religion Wall
Cat Claw   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Lower Religion Wall
Praying Hands   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 400'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Upper Religion Wall
Brown Hornet   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 90'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Lower Religion Wall
Castles in the Sand   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 3 pitches, 150'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Church Wall
Watchtower AKA Last Temptation   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Lower Religion Wall
Alpine Follies Hangover   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Church Wall and Religion Wa... : Upper Religion Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Church Spires Area

Featured Route For Church Spires Area
Rock Climbing Photo: My good ole buddy Seth Dyer at the crux of the ori...

Castles in the Sand 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a  Arizona : Sedona Area : ... : Church Wall
Castles In the Sand is a gorgeous line, and a burly route. This stunning neo classic is a must do if you are in the area. Pitch 1. 5.11- Climb striking off fingers/small hands crack in left facing dihedral. Belay below roof.Pitch 2. 5.11+ Rodeo time! Climbing out the roof crack, and riding the lip of the roof like a bull is the crux of the route. Continue up moderate crack to a belay just under the largest roof above you. Pitch 3. 5.11 A classic roof pitch that may remind you of Coatamundi...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Church Spires Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Alienhead   5.8
Alienhead 5.8
Rock Climbing Photo: View from Cathedral rock area.  You can see the ic...
View from Cathedral rock area. You can see the ic...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cory bivying before pushing to the summit of Chris...
Cory bivying before pushing to the summit of Chris...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Four Flying horsemen of the apocolypse.  From ...
The Four Flying horsemen of the apocolypse. From ...

Comments on Church Spires Area Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 16, 2015
By Joe Keyser
From: Scottsdale, AZ
Jan 2, 2007
What is the trick for the parking here & accessing the trailhead? It seems that the only parking is only for church tourists, etc... Tried going there a couple times only to be turned around. There are plenty of other crags to go to in Sedona, so no big loss, but I'm curious what tactics are used for getting to the climing here?? Thanks!
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 2, 2007
There used to be parking right outside the gate. Now adays you have to go back down Chapel road and find a pullout and walk back in. Kind of a drag, but... I have never been locked in the gate area or ticketed.
By Seth Dyer
Jan 2, 2007
We've never had trouble since we started parking lower on Chapel Rd. And realistically it only adds a minute or two to the approach.
By Jason Nelson
From: SLC, UT
Feb 12, 2012
A simple approach is go to Chicken Point and then head up a gully toward the route. Here are GPS directions. bp2.trimbleoutdoors.com/Maps/E... (note: we had some backtracking due to getting cliffed out)
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 24, 2012
Is this anyone else's project currently? There are no bolts on it for an anchor currently and I have started projecting it. It is to the left of Broken Arete and climbs the obvious dihedral tips crack and the tips/finger crack to the left of the dihedral. I have had a couple burns on it and I think it will go at 12+. Going this weekend to put in some anchors if it isn't someone project already, it doesn't show any signs of it though.

Rock Climbing Photo: Upper tier Dihedral
Upper tier Dihedral
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 24, 2012
Hey Erock, That may be the old aid line? 4 or 5 pitches? Bloom and Rodman may have ventured onto it a long time ago. I'll ask Burcham if he knows.
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 24, 2012
It is definitely only one pitch, there is no way it could go any higher. At least I don't think so becuase the crack disappear about 100 feet up and turns to blank face. There is no evidence of aid either, don't think this is what you are talking about but I could be wrong.
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 26, 2012
Hey JJ,

I talked to some guys about the line today out at the wall and they said that the aid line is farther to the left of this one. I got on the climb today, put 2 bolts at the bottom for a belay because its loose and slopey with a 100 foot cliff right behind it (1/2 inch x 3 3/4 inch 5 piece powers). The crack starts at 000 then gradually widens to .4 BD for the last 50 feet, it is splitter. Needs some cleaning, I plan to go out there during the week to do some trundling while there is no one around. Its going to be a classic line for sure. There is currently no anchors at the top of the first pitch just some fixed gear for an anchor I left there to get down.

Eric
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 27, 2012
Right on, sounds burly.
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 6, 2012
There is a route that I am curious about. It is climbers left of the church wall way around the corner up high. I am sure everyone has looked at it. It is a 100 foot tall wide crack (off width) that dissects a large tan sandstone face and is unmistakeable from the hike in. Has it been climbed and if so does anyone have some info on it? If it hasn't been touched it looks like a nice Sedona off width.
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 6, 2012
Erock, I am pretty sure Mattson did lead that thing. I seem to recall 160' of oldschool #5 Camalots...
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 7, 2012
Damn that's burly, that thing looks pretty good though from far away. I only have one #5/#6. Might need to pool together some big cams for that one.
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 7, 2012
Mattson was the definition of bad ass in his hay day. He certainly had an eye for hard lines. Let us know if you make it up there!! And good luck.
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 23, 2012
There is a splitter tips to good fingers crack on the pulpit spire that is tucked to the right of the corner in the picture. I can't find any information on the crack or the corner, has it been done? From the looks of it, it looks untouched...at least the crack. Looks like it'll go at least low 13.

Rock Climbing Photo: Crack right of corner
Crack right of corner
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 23, 2012
Another photo close up of the crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Up Close
Up Close
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 24, 2012
Hey Erock,

Not sure about the line in the photos, but I wanted to let you know that there are two single pitch lines on the west side of Christianity that you can see from the Church Wall. Both routes were put up by Seth Dyer and James Q Martin. The easier one (.11-?) is called Stiff Mister. Neighborhood Threat 5.12- is the thin crack. Not listed on here yet because it's been a long time since we were last on them. Bolted anchors. Worthy pitches.
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 24, 2012
Cool, ya i saw both of those routes you are talking about. One has a bolt and desert piton at the bottom anchor on the ledge and the other has 2 bigger bolts that requires some easy but very exposed 5th class soloing above the ledge. It looks like there are a few other possible lines on the west face. Are there any other established routes on this side that you know about? There is also a really good looking fingers to big hands roof crack way far right that looks cool.

Thanks for the info,

Eric
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 24, 2012
Here is a edited photo of the area. Are these any of the lines you were talking about?

--- Invalid image id: 107524234 ---
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 26, 2012
Hey Erock,

Minister and the Pulpit is actually the smallest little spire up there. It is in between North Tower and Christianity. The photo you added is actually Christianity Spire. I'll see if Seth can't point out the lines a little better.
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 27, 2012
Ahh, ok cool that makes more sense now. I think there is a beta photo online here that describes the spires from left to right incorrectly then. I used it to figure out which ones were which, but I may have read it wrong.
By Ryan Z
Dec 12, 2013
@Erock,

I would be very interested in hiking up and climbing that Offwidth. 160ft of old school #5's sounds like a real good time to me. Gear is not an issue. Do you guys know if there are anchors? or how Mattson got down?
By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 12, 2013
It's called Pay To Pray 5.11- in Sedona Rocks. Fixed anchors.
By Eric Foster
From: Chandler/Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 16, 2015
I will be up for the off-width when I move back to Flag in 2 years man. I am currently stationed in Georgia. Took me 2 years to notice your comment, wish MP had a better notification system for comments on pages were active on. Until then you guys enjoy that Arizona sun, I miss it.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About