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Sycamore Canyon

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Sycamore Canyon Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 35.10003, -111.9655 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 112,401
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Jan 24, 2012


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Sycamore Canyon is a massive Mogollon Rim drainage tucked away in a thick Ponderosa pine forest, just south of Garland Prairie. Timeless crags such as Paradise Forks, Volunteer Canyon, "The land of a thousand climbs" Sycamore Point, and a newer addition, Whitetail Canyon, are all found on the rim of Sycamore Canyon. These columnar basalt canyons are home to some of the best hard rock crack climbing in Arizona.

Climbing at Volunteer Canyon and Paradise Forks began in the middle 1970's with true ground up endeavors usually involving splitter hand and fist cracks. However, Paradise Forks stole the spolight due to the long alluring crack climbs, and all around easy, year round access. Many of the classic lines were done on passive gear, and maybe an occasional pin. The first ascents of these routes were truly inspired outings, when you think about the parallel sided cracks which make the Forks such a treasure.

Paradise Forks has matured, and filled out with a ton of classics over the last four decades. Generations of bold climbers have come and gone, and every one has left a history of hard, spicy climbing. The Forks is known for down home crack jamming, and for the thinner, technical routes which often come with heart racing ratings. This is a crag where you can get your first taste of "5.9 Hands", or find a head point project to up your ante.

Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Zeiger-Haag on Bladerunner, Paradise Forks
Ben Zeiger-Haag on Bladerunner, Paradise Forks

Volunteer Canyon has a big feel to it, and is somewhat wild when compared to The Forks. Many of the lines done here in the 1970's, and modern day classics alike, require rapping into very specific belays, due to the architecture of the walls and lines. One way or the other, you gotta climb out. Whether that's climbing the route, or jugging up your rap line in defeat. However, the jagged, hypnotizing beauty of the canyon is undeniable, as well as, the long, striking lines.

Rock Climbing Photo: Edge of an Age, Volunteer Canyon Wade Forrest phot...
Edge of an Age, Volunteer Canyon
Wade Forrest photo

Getting There 

Follow directions for the individual crags.

Climbing Season

Weather station 14.1 miles from here

221 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',32],['3 Stars',123],['2 Stars',52],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sycamore Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sycamore Canyon:
The Black Rose   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 70'   Paradise Forks : The Obsidian Wall
Mayflower   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Pillow Case   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Paradise Forks : Pillow Wall
Fool's Game   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Ship Of Fools   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Waterslip Down   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Paradise Forks : The Gold Wall
Raindance   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Paradise Forks : Raindance Buttress
Aqualung   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 80'   Paradise Forks : The Jungle Wall
East Of Eden   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Paradise Forks : The Gold Wall
Jolly Roger   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Pillow Fight   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Paradise Forks : Pillow Wall
Torpedo   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Paradise Forks : Davidson Wall
Loose Lips   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Paradise Forks : Davidson Wall
The Prow   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Gold Finger   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad   Paradise Forks : The Gold Wall
Three Turkeys   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Paradise Forks : Davidson Wall
Davidson Dihedral   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   Paradise Forks : Pillow Wall
Mutiny on the Bounty   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Paradise Forks : The Prow
Paradise Lost   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Paradise Forks : Davidson Wall
Ice Cream Dreams, AKA Acid Test Crack   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Paradise Forks : The Gold Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sycamore Canyon

Featured Route For Sycamore Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Running a lap on Acid Test.  Photo Wade Forrest

Ice Cream Dreams, AKA Acid Test Crack 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13  Arizona : Paradise Forks : The Gold Wall
Acid Test Crack or Ice Cream Dreams. Know it as either, but love it all the same. This route was listed as Acid Test Crack in Tim Toula's historic, A Cheap Way To Fly, and many locals refer to it as such, with all do respect to Heinz. Definitely one the best sections of 5.12 fingers at the Forks!Start out by bouldering fractured rock on thin holds to gain the crack proper. This section is a bit touch and go, and many preplace a cam above this section on rappel to protect it, however, many d...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

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