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Oak Creek Canyon Overlook

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Redrum AK A Jungleland T 
Agent Orange T 
Alley Oop T 
Amateur Hour T 
Amputation T 
Angel's Delight T 
Answered Prayers T 
Applesticks T 
Blunderbuss T 
Burger King T 
Burnt Buns T 
Bush Rush T 
Cakewalk AKA Coffin Corner T 
Circus Circus T 
Cloudwalk T 
Constant Gardener  T,TR 
CrackUp T 
Devil's Deed T 
Direct Left T 
Duck Soup T 
Dugald's Right T 
Dugald's Route T 
Dyzygy T 
Everyday 5.3/ Head Cheese link up T 
Fresh Air T 
Gambit T 
George's Niche T 
Gingerbread T,TR 
Girdle, The T 
Griffo T 
Grunt'N'Dangle T 
Hand Jive T 
Hard Rain T 
Head Cheese T 
Hidden Hollow T 
Horn, The T 
I've Always Been Crazy T 
Isaiah T 
Jelly Roll T 
Left Trinity Crack T 
Long Walk, The T,TR 
Looked Over T 
Magical Mystery Tour T 
Magumba's Corner T 
Mellow Yellow T 
Microtome T 
Middle Trinity Crack T 
Mint Jam T 
Mint Julep T 
Morning After T 
Morning's Mourning T 
Nickle Slot T 
Normally 3 Rurps T 
Normally Urgent T 
Obediah T 
Obscurity T 
Orange Julius T 
Orange Out Direct T 
PegLeg I, II T 
Pensativa T 
Piddley Shit T 
Red Wagon T 
Right Trinity Crack T 
Satisfaction Guaranteed T 
Sexual Deviations T 
Shining, AKA Not Fade Away, The T 
Sin Ropa T 
Sintisa T 
Sneak Preview T 
Sparky And The Firedog T 
Stalemate T 
Stonegate T 
Swedish Britfast Crack T 
Syzygy T 
Too Proud to Geek T 
Trinity Arete TR 
Trinity Roofs T 
Wager Crack T 
Wanderlust T 

Oak Creek Canyon Overlook Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 35.0302, -111.7326 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 53,972
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Jan 19, 2006
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Who needs Camalots?! One of Dusty Teal's wooden we...

Climbing restricted due to tourist safety MORE INFO >>>


The Overlook is a firmly established traditional crag perched high above Oak Creek Canyon just south of Flagstaff. Long broken basalt columns line the rim of this area, and the result is a plethora of moderate trad climbs. Folks began exploring these cliffs in the late 1960s but it wasn't until the middle 70s that it started to resemble the crag we know today.

And while the obvious loose blocks were trundled during the FAs, these routes were cleaned by the hands of a thousand ascents, and not by arm and hammer. Pulling on hollow blocks is the norm, though always check them first. The ledgy nature of the climbing here makes it a great place to learn how to lead trad, but not a good place to fall.

The normal procedure is to rig a separate rap line from a gear anchor or solid tree on the rim, rap in, then climb back out. However, there is a trail on top of the far east side of the wall which leads down to the base. rappelling is optional. If trees are used for an all day rap line, please pad the tree, and then place a piece of gear near the edge of the cliff to take the full load of the rappel, leaving just enough slack in the line so the tree is never directly loaded. This way you don't have to have a full bombproof trad anchor, just a piece or two and the tree simply offers you an ultimate back up, without being affected.

A standard rack of doubles from #.3 through #3.5 and a single set of wires will get you up almost everything here, though smaller and larger pieces are demanded on certain routes, and extra hand sized pieces can be nice.

The Overlook is basically a kinder, more gentle version of Paradise Forks and has a reputation for drying up quicker than the Forks during the monsoons. The wall faces south east and gets plenty of morning sun, then rolls into the shade around 2:00 in the afternoon.

ACCESS NOTE: Please note that the forest service has restricted climbing for any routes past the area of Red Wagon (just left of the Trinity Cracks) due to tourist safety. Local access groups are working to get this restriction lifted.

Getting There 

From Flagstaff, The Overlook can be reached by driving south on highway 89A. At the top of the canyon, just before the switchbacks begin is the Overlook itself on the east side of the hwy.

You can park in the paved lot, but if you plan on staying later than 4:30 in the afternoon, you will want to park across the Hwy, as they lock the Overlook gates at that time. It is not uncommon to hear of people getting locked in so plan accordingly.

There are restrooms and water available during hours of operation.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.5 miles from here

79 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',33],['2 Stars',37],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Oak Creek Canyon Overlook

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Oak Creek Canyon Overlook:
Duck Soup   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad   
Angel's Delight   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
Gingerbread   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 100'   
Burnt Buns   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Red Wagon   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Syzygy   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
Mint Jam   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   
Morning's Mourning   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Bush Rush   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Answered Prayers   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Obediah   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   
Amateur Hour   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   
Orange Out Direct   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Isaiah   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Sparky And The Firedog   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 85'   
Left Trinity Crack   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Magumba's Corner   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Middle Trinity Crack   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   
Right Trinity Crack   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 80'   
The Shining, AKA Not Fade Away   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Oak Creek Canyon Overlook

Featured Route For Oak Creek Canyon Overlook
Rock Climbing Photo: Youngharz entering the fist crack directly above t...

Devil's Deed 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  Arizona : Northern Arizona : ... : Oak Creek Canyon Overlook
Devil's Deed is one of the best 5.9's at The Overlook. Challenging and classic! Route starts when you peel off from Angel's Delight about 15 feet up at a #2 Camalot/hand crack. Traverse right on good holds along small ledges, then up and head for the left thin crack above. Protection is tricky, but possible here in a small slot below the corner. An awkward move gets you face-to-face with the crack. You can get a cam in here if you have a tiny one (00 TCU size). You have to make a couple di...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Oak Creek Canyon Overlook Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: trinity roof
trinity roof
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Orange Out wall with known routes
BETA PHOTO: View of Orange Out wall with known routes
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul on the Left Trinity. Photo by Hillary Davis 2...
Paul on the Left Trinity. Photo by Hillary Davis 2...
Rock Climbing Photo: For those wondering about details on the closures ...
BETA PHOTO: For those wondering about details on the closures ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Overlook
The Overlook
Rock Climbing Photo: Racked up at the Overlook
Racked up at the Overlook
Rock Climbing Photo: beautiful view from the cliff top
beautiful view from the cliff top
Rock Climbing Photo: Ladd Raine trying to stay out of the sun just left...
Ladd Raine trying to stay out of the sun just left...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ladd Raine finishing up one of the shorter cracks ...
Ladd Raine finishing up one of the shorter cracks ...

Comments on Oak Creek Canyon Overlook Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 15, 2017
By Derek Field
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 8, 2017
By Ladd
May 1, 2007
I have only climbed here one day, however, on that day I had three separate encounters with tarantulas on three different routes, each time I was on lead. Creeps me out, give me NH black flies or WV snakes anyday.
By Ladd
Aug 22, 2007
I didn't hurt them, no fear.
By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Jun 25, 2008
The locals are smart enough to avoid this place on summer mornings, but if you're road tripping and brave it anyway, bring twice as much water as you think you might need. The amount of heat generated by the dark rock is hard to exaggerate.

Last Saturday I drank twice as much as I would have on Mt Lemmon in similar conditions.
By Brigette
From: Mukilteo, WA
Jul 6, 2009
When we were at Isaiah on Sunday, some idiot started throwing rocks off the top of the cliff. One whizzed past my climber as he was lowering off, and another landed right at the base of the Trinity Cracks. I'm really glad my father and daughter had already hiked back up to the top. I'd highly recommend wearing a helmet at all times.
By Tyler Williams
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 5, 2010
Anybody know of any stories of marathon days at the overlook? In the karabin foldout, it says he's toprope-soloed 25 routes in 5 hours (if my memory serves me) - how about other records? all 80 or so routes in a day? any trip reports out there?
By JMo
From: Tucson, AZ
May 16, 2011
anyone climbed george's niche, immediately right of duck soup? karabin fold-out shows it as 5.8, going right up the overhanging wide crack into a burly off-width. wondering if this route merits a (+)? and that's even if you cheat down low and come in from the right... curious of other's thoughts.
By Catherine Conner
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jun 6, 2011
@Jmo-Yes, I've done George's niche-It's a great burly offwidth. My personal opinion is that it is a 5.9, but that's just me. I think I had a six on that route and walked it a bit. Or maybe two and leap frogged them. Anyway, really fun & hard route. I remember the moves off the ground being tricky, too. But pro it with a 5 and you don't need to cheat, just try it a couple times/it'll come together.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 24, 2011
Hey ya'll just wanted to let you know I sorted the routes, so that feature should help folks new to the area if this is your only source.
By tradisradgirl
Jun 12, 2012
Please be careful not to accidentally kick the loose rocks off when you are at the top of these climbs. There are a lot of people down below.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
May 2, 2013
ya sure it wasn't a king snake?

red and yellow kills a fellow? red and black safe for Jack?
By Colin Cox
May 2, 2013
Good question Darren. KC....can you confirm this distinction? I've seen lots of king snakes up this high but never a coral snake. I like snakes so I have a genuine curiosity about the certainty of this claim. KC, not knowing how familiar you are with Arizona snakes, I'm not sure if this claim is reliable. Did you make the distinction Darren mentioned when you saw the snake at the Overlook?
By PeterNSteinmetz
Jun 1, 2013
Can someone confirm what the restriction means here. The text above says past the area of Red Wagon. Just that mean to the left or right of Red Wagon when looking at the cliff?

By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 2, 2013
The restricted area is to the climber's left of Red Wagon. It's pretty obvious when you are down there as well cause the trail at the base essentially ends at the Trinities.
By BenZH
From: Flagstaff AZ
Aug 10, 2013
While attempting to climb orange out direct last night I was swarmed by hornets while placing a nut. Beware of that. I didn't manage to clip in and my whole set of nuts are hanging on the route (20-25 ft. up) while I took cover on a nearby jug.
By Adam-phx-trad Saieed
From: Phoenix, AZ
Sep 3, 2013
it is definitely wasp season at the overlook. be very careful they are highly active right now and have nest on most routes or close to most routes at least the 3 we attempted. Obediah was climbable douglads right was not. 2 nest right at the 3/4 mark of the climb
By Kelsey Sheely
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 9, 2016
To the asshole who went through my bag to find my wallet and steal all the cash out of it: Karma is a bitch and you will get what's coming to you. You don't belong in the climbing community. Everyone else, apparently people will steal your shit if you leave it at the top, even if you have it buried in your bag. Make sure you leave any valuables in your car or keep it with you.
By J. Snyder
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Apr 10, 2016
Whack attack! Thats a bummer. Hopefully this doesn't become a thing...This is the second incident I have heard of this variety in the last 6 months as well as a break in at the FS parking area last fall. Hard to imagine it would be climbers but assume not. I suppose its time to baiting bags with bees. Ive been keeping my swagmatite at the base during the sess. in hopes I can throw rocks or at least climb out when the bees attack. If the site manager is there you could always report it and possibly get them interested in keeping an eye out but that place is so busy with many people only popping in and out it would still be hard to catch anyone out being lame-o.
By Armin Colorado
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 20, 2016
the lack of any anchors at the top of all routes is annoying beyond comprehension. Im all about respecting local ethics, but i'm sure it's a set-up for accidents caused by rockfall from people setting up topropes. I mean is it park rules against placing well-thought out anchors? Camo the anchors so the tourists can't see them. I was almost seriously injured (or worse) by gumbies last season (at home crags) in 2 separate incidents where I was almost taken out by rockfall from above.
By J. Snyder
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Sep 24, 2016
Armin- For sure the lack of anchors on top does add to over all set up of your day out, so I suppose it is 'annoying' but as you mentioned this is a local ethic and one that we still follow to this day. It is an ethic that doesn't allow over bolting or retro bolting to get out of hand (not saying it would here or anywhere but it does prevent it).

Also, it could be true that having folks above you building anchors could add to the possibility of rock fall but climbers should be aware of this and act cautiously as they should do at anytime they are at a climbing area where there are people below (all climbing areas). This is the responsibility of all climbers! Your real fear should not come from the climbers above you but rather the wondering touron that decides to start up a rock toss marathon.

Now that all being said, the best argument I could make for allowing anchors there is that it would add to the sustainability of the top soil and tree environment on top that gets completely smashed each year over and over. This is true of the Forks as well but unfortunately no one can come to a consensus of whether bolted anchors add or detracts from the area. So there is the most annoying catch. Respect local ethics but be forward thinking therefor; Do nothing.
By Dane Butler
From: Boulder, Colorado
May 15, 2017
A few notes from my recent trip:
The climbing is solid but the routes are hard to distinguish and find in my opinion
You don't need to rap in and can bring dogs down the hiking trail on the east side of the formation
The traffic is currently hell around this area right now due to highway construction
There should be some fixed anchors

Also, as previously mentioned, this should be moved to Oak Creek Canyon as it is in Oak Creek Canyon and that makes more sense than being categorized under Flagstaff area

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