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Central Arizona

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Coon Bluff 
Crown King Area 
Dromedary Peak 
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Queen Creek Canyon 
Saguaro Lake 
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West Clear Creek 
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Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Hawes Trail Network: Hawes, Ridge, Secret, and Saguaro
Flowing cross country trails with moderate climbs, awesome views, and minimal technical features. Near Mesa, AZ
Power Rd Trail
Fun singletrack to start your ride. Near Mesa, AZ
Upper Ridge
Beautiful low grade singletrack with berms - good in either direction. Near Mesa, AZ
Trail 100 - Central
Short but steep climbs and descents with a few rocky obstacles. Near Paradise Valley, AZ
Mesquite Trail
A technical climb up into the White Tanks! Near Citrus Park, AZ
Taliesin Loop
A quick winding loop through rocky desert landscape. Near Scottsdale, AZ
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Central Arizona  

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Location: 33.4314, -112.0715 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,643,236
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: RyanJames on Jan 23, 2012
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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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 2.5 miles from here

1,990 Total Routes

['4 Stars',140],['3 Stars',738],['2 Stars',737],['1 Star',284],['Bomb',15]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Central Arizona:
DRL Drive Sit Start   V8-9 7B+     Boulder, 15'   Thumb Butte Boulders : New Outfromunder Boulders
Hanging Gardens   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 2 pitches   McDowell Mountains : Gardeners Wall
East Face   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 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
Coatimundi / Candyland LInkup   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Giggling Marlin   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   Queen Creek Canyon : Atlantis
Magnolia Thunderpussy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Chimera   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Sport, 2 pitches, 230'   Camelback Mountain : Gargoyle Wall
Pocket Puzzle   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   Queen Creek Canyon : The Pond
Reunion   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 250'   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Pathological Optimist   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Lower Devil's Canyon : Totem-Proto Area
Candyland   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 5 pitches, 450'   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
The Totem Pole   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   Lower Devil's Canyon : Totem-Proto Area
Coatimundi Whiteout   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 5 pitches   Granite Mountain : Middle Section
Tufa-one   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport   Homestead : Tufa City
Tufa Yard Dash   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Homestead : Tufa City
The House Always Wins   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 110'   Homestead : North Buttress
Cold Fusion   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Homestead : Rough Rider Wall
Tufasize Me   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Homestead : Tufa City
Solar Delirium   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport   Homestead : Tufa City
Browse More Classics in Central Arizona

Featured Route For Central Arizona
Me on The Rail (V6).

The Rail V6 7A  AZ : Central Arizona : ... : Road Area
A must do for queen and in my opinion one of the hardest V6s around. Sit start (lay start) on the very low rail feature and climb it out the roof to the left. Hit the bad holds over the lip and pull onto the slab and exit left. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Photos of Central Arizona Slideshow Add Photo
Exploring new areas is one good reason to climb in...
Exploring new areas is one good reason to climb in...
Steve Tweito finishing the second pitch, Mark Trai...
Steve Tweito finishing the second pitch, Mark Trai...
Climbing the Hand, Dec 2012
Climbing the Hand, Dec 2012
The Fortress, Miner's Needle & Sisyphus Pinnacles,...
The Fortress, Miner's Needle & Sisyphus Pinnacles,...

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 corinnejolie@gmail.com? 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 Leeanne
From: Denver, CO
Feb 2, 2015
I am visiting family in Phoenix at the end of April and would like to try to get some climbing in while I am there. Suggestions on where to go?
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