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Lower Devil's Canyon

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Lower Devil's Canyon Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,229'
Location: 33.27178, -111.04223 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 69,085
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Mike on Sep 18, 2006

84° | 59°

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Despite having arguably the best climbing in Queen Creek, Lower Devil's Canyon gets relatively little traffic due to it's difficult aproach.

Getting There 

Take the Oak Flat Road past the campground. About 1/4 mile before the mine, turn left on the rough dirt road (close the gate behind you!) and follow it for a few miles on an ever-worsening road until just past a meadow. Turn left at the bottom of the wash (at the old windmill) and drive for another mile or so to the end of the road and park.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.3 miles from here

243 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',83],['2 Stars',122],['1 Star',30],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Lower Devil's Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lower Devil's Canyon:
Easy Street   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   Hackberry Creek
Smokin' The Toad   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   Hackberry Creek
Aint Nothing but a Thing   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Hackberry Creek
Going Out Of Chicken Sale   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Lower Devil's East (LDE) : The Coop
El Throatchoker Grande   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   Lower Devil's East (LDE) : The Lunchbox
Hidden Splendor   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 85'   Glitter Box Area
Dacite Conspiracy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Hackberry Creek
Accelerated Climbology   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 165'   Lower Devil's East (LDE) : Climbology Area
The Fruits of Optomisim   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Totem-Proto Area
Adios Larry   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Sport, 2 pitches, 160'   Glitter Box Area
The Shmotem Pole   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Lower Devil's East (LDE) : The Shmotem Pole
Damsels in Distress   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 160'   Glitter Box Area
Pathological Optimist   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Totem-Proto Area
Centipede Corner   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 110'   Lower Devil's East (LDE) : The Lunchbox
Totem Pole Direct   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Totem-Proto Area
Octabulgey   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   The Torch : The Bulges
The Totem Pole   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   Totem-Proto Area
Eyes of the World   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   Glitter Box Area
Gabriel's Watch   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 135'   Godhead South : The Face of God
Double Fault   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Faulty Towers : The Towers
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lower Devil's Canyon

Featured Route For Lower Devil's Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: The Route

Shadow Boxing 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b  Arizona : Central Arizona : ... : Shadow Buttresses
A fully bolted line that begins to the right of "Hiding from the Torch" atop a large block. Climb straight up moderate climbing and then follow the natural line right to a sustained and delicate steep crux section. Bolts are clipped from natural stances and are relatively widely spaced, but offer secure protection. The high first bolt is due to the poor rock quality (for bolting) low down. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Lower Devil's Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The road in when the going was a bit slick.
The road in when the going was a bit slick.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking across Lower Devil's Canyon at the Glitter...
Looking across Lower Devil's Canyon at the Glitter...
Rock Climbing Photo: Establishing a new line in Devil's Canyon south of...
Establishing a new line in Devil's Canyon south of...
Rock Climbing Photo: Awe inspiring tower in Devil's Canyon south of Hac...
Awe inspiring tower in Devil's Canyon south of Hac...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pinal Mtns from the road in...
Pinal Mtns from the road in...
Rock Climbing Photo: Luke looking down into Lower Devils Canyon
Luke looking down into Lower Devils Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo:  Lower Devils Canyon
Lower Devils Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking out to East Lower Devils
Looking out to East Lower Devils
Rock Climbing Photo: Hackberry Creek in Lower Devils
Hackberry Creek in Lower Devils
Rock Climbing Photo: The magical glen that you go through to get to the...
The magical glen that you go through to get to the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Such a gorgeous mid-May day that we were both in j...
Such a gorgeous mid-May day that we were both in j...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nestor rappelling after getting up #20 Project rou...
Nestor rappelling after getting up #20 Project rou...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Lower Devils from LDE
View of Lower Devils from LDE
Rock Climbing Photo: This used to be one of the worst parts of the road...
This used to be one of the worst parts of the road...

Comments on Lower Devil's Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 27, 2017
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 21, 2009
Lower Devil's Canyon has some of the best climbing in the Phoenix area and should not be missed! Driving time to this area is about an hour, and the approach from the 2WD parking area is only about 30 minutes. For those with 4WD, you can park right next to it.

For those of you who have Google Earth, I put together a map showing the road in to LD along with the 2WD and 4WD parking spots.

The google earth file can be downloaded from

Once in this file, simply click on the file you want and select "open" from the window that appears. Follow the prompts from there and the road will display in Google Earth on your computer.

It works well, but I'm still learning to streamline the process of downloading the file so bear with me as I learn. :)

Google Earth can be downloaded for free at
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 27, 2009
That goes for all areas. Please, folks, burn your TP or pack it out. Few things are as disgusting as soiled TP laying all over the place.
By Kyle Wills
From: Chicago, IL
Dec 25, 2009
I just completed my first trip to QC, over christmas. Due to my limited time in the area I knew I had to check out the Lower Devil's Canyon area. I was worried about my car being a 2WD and making it down there be we totally rocked it out. The directions on this page were right on the money and really all you need. The guide book illustrations in the QC book were also helpful, but it could definitely be done without it. Note: my car is a nissan Xterra so we had great ground clearance, but actual 4wd is unneccesary, although RWD with a V6 was probably helpful on the hills. Don't be afraid if you have decent ground clearance, NOT TO BE MISSED! The webbing is kinda ridiculous though....
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 26, 2009
Glad you liked it, Kyle! If you climb trad, make sure to check out the east side next time.
By manuel rangel
From: Tempe, Arizona
Jan 24, 2010
Anyone know who finished Route #20 in the Karabin foldout guide to LDC? It is listed as a project. Marty has no idea who actually finished it. We did it today and found it spicy but ok.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Mar 17, 2010
Was soloing down Hackberry yesterday and had the most magical sighting of a Coati -- the big male came ambling down from Dacite Conspiracy, where I was heading, dug up ants from a rotten cactus, free soloed his way down a 20 ft cliff, and snuffled around the creek in search of munchies. Keep your eyes open down there for such a wonderful view!
By Ryan Myers
From: Tempe, Arizona
Nov 7, 2011
At the bottom of the hill instead of turning left to head to hackberry creek we turned right. What is this area called? Does it have established routes? Any info would be helpful thanks.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Nov 25, 2011
If you turn right at the base of the switchbacks you'll head up into a new area that we've (Arjun Heimsath and David Sampson) been developing. We've now posted most of the routes and called this area "The Refuge." There are about 60 climbs up in this area and we hope you check them out.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Oct 2, 2012
A heads up that the steep switchbacks have been eroded and gullied significantly by the summer rains. They aren't nearly as bad as they have been in the past, but are much worse than they were when the mine was maintaining them more regularly. Was happy to have 4WD getting back up them.
By Ben Beard
From: Superior, AZ
Oct 7, 2012
Good news, the road looks like it was graded all the way to the Hackberry parking spot this week. The switchbacks and the rest of the road is in some of the best shape it has ever been.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Dec 22, 2013
Road graded nicely to the first rise where the mining trucks turn left, but after that it's definitely feeling the absence of mining activity. The switchbacks are heading back to their bad state pre a few years ago. High clearance key and 4WD makes it a hell of a lot easier.
By Dwight Jugornot
From: Arvada, Co.
Mar 6, 2014
As of about 3/1/14 the roads are in worse shape. The last section of road up to the saddle from the hackberry creek drainage is about the same, but now the road down the switchbacks is nearly as bad. About 1.5 inches of rain around the 1st worsened the damage caused by the big fall of '13 storms. We made it in and out with a stock Tacoma, but I had to lock the diffy. On the plus side, zero crowds...
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Oct 6, 2014
Road's in the best shape that I've seen it in for years. Not sure why as the mine isn't drilling again, and the road up the Refuge hasn't been touched, but the switchbacks are easily navigable in 4 WD high. Still loose and rocky, obviously, but not like the damage I was expecting after these last big storms. We were the only souls down there and it was blissful!
By Dwight Jugornot
From: Arvada, Co.
Jan 20, 2015
Roads in are not closed. All roads to Hackberry drainage are in great shape. Switchbacks are great, no water at all in the road by the corral. Road up to the ant hill is unchanged- rough.
By apoet
From: AZ
Nov 3, 2015
Does anyone know the current condition of the road?
By Marcy
From: Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Nov 13, 2015
It's rough. High clearance 4wd for the downhill on the way in.
By nathan olsen
From: phoenix, az
Nov 13, 2015
If anyone found my camera flash at the base of The Totem Pole the week of November 8th, 2015 I would happily reward whoever returns it. Please contact me. Thank you.
By Gaar
From: Springdale / Zion UT / Moab
Dec 3, 2015
For everyone doing anchor replacement/updating. Thank you! May I suggest a tube of super glue or thread lock. Those fixe anchors are great, but don't have any form of lock. Nut, washer, etc.. With torque and cycle loading it's super easy for them to back off just a little. I found ~20 bolts/anchors (new ones) that were hand tight in a two week period...Tightened a few with the nut tool. But worth carrying a wrench or thread lock.
By Dan Evans
From: Phoenix, AZ
Dec 22, 2015
Does anyone have a pdf guide for all of LDC? REI doesn't have any paper guides and nothing on Mountain Project is in order making route finding fairly difficult. Not trying to sound like I am complaining or anything. I love this area and would be more than happy to assist in guide book/trail clearing projects. Shoot me a message, thanks!
By Marcy
From: Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Dec 22, 2015
Daniel, you could try contacting Marty Karabin , the author of the QC fold-outs (and out of print book). If I recall, his fold out has a pretty good overview of routes on the west side of the canyon (Hackberry, Glitter box, road area). I'm surprised REI doesn't have any. I used to have one somewhere but haven't seen it in years. Also, it is outdated as there have been many new routes and areas scattered throughout the area that will not be on the fold out (including the Refuge and LDE). A lot of the newer stuff is here on MP. If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me or post up here. There are quite a few folks here that get out there pretty regularly and are would be happy to share information. Good luck!
By Mike
From: Phoenix
Dec 23, 2015
Daniel, they have plenty of fold-out 'Marty-maps' for LDC at the AZ Hiking Shack.
By Dan Evans
From: Phoenix, AZ
Dec 30, 2015
Thanks for the responses. I was able to pick up a paper Marty guide for LDC at the AZ Hiking Shack there in Phoenix. Made all the difference finding landmarks to go off for some of the newer routes listed only on MP.

On a different note, can anyone tell me what route this is? Based off the paper guide it looks to be "#47: Psychoactive (5.10-)." It's around the corner from the waterfall before getting to "Easy Street." Anyway, me and my buddy climbed this a few days ago and there are some extremely large loose blocks 3/4 the way up P1 and some smaller loose stuff down low. There is one block in particular 3/4 the way up the size of a small refrigerator that rocked when I pulled on it. We would have cleaned it but we had a dog at the base we didn't want to risk hitting with debris.

If this is in fact the climb Psychoactive, I will post a warning on the page but wanted to confirm with someone before spreading bunk word.

Rock Climbing Photo: Route in question
Route in question
By Marcy
From: Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Feb 22, 2016
Found Nalgene koozie in Hackberry Creek. PM me and let me know, I'll be happy to get it back to its owner.
By Joshua Fletcher
Mar 9, 2016

Just cut this video from a couple weeks ago. Lemme know what you all think.

By Marcy
From: Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Mar 22, 2016
Did you leave behind some ropes in LD recently. PM me for information :)
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Mar 27, 2016
That video is fantastic! Nicely put together -- Though I must say that I'm glad I wasn't around with a drone flying around like that. Pretty wild to see what you can do with it, though. Would be a fun game to try to lasso the drone with a climbing rope while standing on top of the pole!
By BAd
Dec 4, 2016
Cool video. How hard is that tower? Looks fantastic! Got to get in there.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Jan 8, 2017
The biners attached to quick links at the anchors ARE NOT BOOTY! PLEASE DO NOT TAKE. Over the last few weeks, I've been stunned to find many of our hard placed biners gone throughout Lower Devils and also in The Refuges. Please leave the biners in place! Gradually we are replacing with chains as it's frustrating to be constantly losing these key parts of the anchors.

Note the pictures of anchors posted for LDE and for The Refuge.
By Micah Vorst
Jan 9, 2017
Great video. Can't wait to get out there. Are the Karabin Guides still the "go to" for beta in that area?
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Jan 27, 2017
They're great (as is his book), but there's been much development. For example, all of the climbs in LDE (Lower Devils East) and The Refuge are described in PDFs that are posted under the respective area here on Mountain Project. Also, there are many additional climbs that are only described here.

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