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Oak Creek Canyon

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Doctor's Office & The Pharmacy, The 
Fire Wall 
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Sterling Pass 
Waterfall, The 

Oak Creek Canyon 


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Lat, Long: 34.9524, -111.7543 Map Incorrect?
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Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on May 27, 2008
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Sterling Pass from the air!

Description 

Oak Creek Canyon is a Grand Daddy of Mogollon Rim drainages! This expansive canyon takes root in Flagstaff, but really starts just south of town in beautiful Pumphouse Wash. Oak Creek Canyon runs all the way down until it opens up at the entry of Munds Canyon from the east rim, and empties into Sedona... This canyon holds a myriad of side canyons, sub drainages, and a staggering amount of stone, climbing, exploration, and adventure to be had right off the heals of HWY 89.

There really is something for everyone in this canyon, starting out with the treasure of moderate traditional climbs to be found at the The Overlook. If you are learning to place gear, and get some leads under your belt, this is a fantastic area to create a foundation. Also a wonderful place to rip through them and enjoy the view for a day. Moderates hold the majority. I have moved this area to the Flagstaff Crags Section due to it's proximity to town. Though this area clearly marks the entrance from the north, into Oak Creek Canyon.

Youngharz on the exposed moves out to the arete on Angels Delight.
Youngharz on the exposed moves out to the arete on Angels Delight.


If you are looking for sport routes, then you have the options of exploring Pumphouse Wash, and the Doctor's Office... Though the sandstone is soft, there are some excellent routes to discover, and some out of the way CLASSIC lines to track down... Pumphouse Wash is also the stunning showcase of the "Ultimates"... These lines are an almost fabled collection of cherished, traditional routes that will test the best, up to 5.11+ fingers, and some burly offwidth if you are so inclined... There is a lot to see down there, and some excellent "hot summer" swimming holes as well...
Megan at the crux of Short Asst
Megan at the crux of Short Asst


The Waterfall Area boasts 100 or so routes now, trad and mixed, with the majority of them going down in the 5.10+ through 5.13 range... Indeed! You can expect splitter cracks, steep jug hauls, and very thin technical lines! The climbing really starts at solid 5.10 trad, and only gets exponentially better from there! Bring a 70M rope, a robust rack including a triple set of TCUs, and your game! Not a place for the faint of heart.
Josh Janes on the Terminator 5.12
Josh Janes on the Terminator 5.12


And, on top of all that, if you want to get in a superb sandstone bouldering session, The Anvil Boulders are a collection of wonderful and rare blocks all conveniently (or maybe not so because of the creek crossing?) located 200 yards on the East side of Oak Creek just a hop and skip drive north out of Sedona. V-easy to V-super-hard- inspiring! Some very cool steep lines! Find this area in the Northern AZ Bouldering section.
Shot taken by Ian Kiersey.
Shot taken by Ian Kiersey.


Oak Creek Canyon is a treasure to many, and a focal point to climbers in this area for harboring a wide variety of crags, which can be intimidating, but also accessible year round, if you play your cards right. It is an awesome place to visit, and climb in, and an arduous place to explore off the beaten path! Watch out for tourists, rattle snakes, rock fall, hard approaches- and mellow ones, slow drivers (with their cameras stuck outside the window), soft sandstone, hard sandstone, and impeccable stone as well...!

There is obviously much more to be found in this expansive canyon than is listed here.... Be ready to "earn your burns", and engage with an environment that always seems to be coming after you! Yah, you personally...

An intriguing landscape!


Getting There 

Take 89 south from Flagstaff, or north from Sedona.


187 Total Routes


['4 Stars',36],['3 Stars',106],['2 Stars',34],['1 Star',9],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',1],['5.8',4],['5.9',9],['5.10',43],['5.11',72],['5.12',46],['5.13',9],['>=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]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Oak Creek Canyon:
Black and Tan   5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   The Waterfall : The Main Amphitheater
The Sword   5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   The Waterfall : The Left Wall
Engagement   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, 6 pitches, 500'   Miscellaneous Routes
Spite and Malice   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   The Waterfall : The Left Wall
False Prophet   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Waterfall : The Main Amphitheater
Lord Humongous   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   The Waterfall : The Main Amphitheater
Vertebrae   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   The Waterfall : The Left Wall
Natural Enhancement   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   The Waterfall : The Right Wall
Double Helix   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   The Waterfall : The Double Clutching Wall
Resurrection   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   The Waterfall : The Right Wall
Ultimate Finger Crack   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 165'   Pumphouse Wash : The Ultimates/Mexican Pocke...
Heart and Soul   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a     Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Sterling Pass
Into The Wild   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Trad, 9 pitches, 900'   Miscellaneous Routes
11:11 (AKA "Welcome to the Waterfall")   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   The Waterfall : The Double Clutching Wall
Super Chronic   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   The Waterfall : The Double Clutching Wall
American Caesar   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   The Waterfall : The Right Wall
Terminator   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   The Waterfall : The Left Wall
Logic Bomb   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ E6 6b     Trad, Sport, 110'   The Waterfall : The Main Amphitheater
Inz and Outz   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   The Waterfall : The Left Wall
There Will Be Blood   5.12+ 7c 28 IX E6 6b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   The Waterfall : The Main Amphitheater
Browse More Classics in Oak Creek Canyon

Featured Route For Oak Creek Canyon
Josh Cross playing a smooth hand on his first go and send of the Super Chronic!

Super Chronic 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a  AZ : Northern Arizona : ... : The Double Clutching Wall
Super Chronic is the logical extension to the classic Chronic, and had been eyed by many a climber throughout the years... This is one of the most classic, all gear 5.12- routes at the Waterfall. It combines all the best features that make this crag so spectacular! It has some 'earn your burn' funk in the beginning, then a splitter 60' run of slightly overhanging fingers, followed by brilliant edges, and gas pocket jugs at the top!! It is exciting, rowdy, positive, sustained, steep, and well pr...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

News and Events For Oak Creek Canyon
Photos of Oak Creek Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
A general overview of the layout of the Oak Creek Canyon Crags.
A general overview of the layout of the Oak Creek ...
Oak Creek Canyon, AZ.  March 09.
Oak Creek Canyon, AZ. March 09.
West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon. <br />route shown "Grapes of Wrath". identified by the striking wide splitter of pitch 2.
BETA PHOTO: West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon.
route shown "Grapes...
Comments on Oak Creek Canyon Add Comment
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By Richard Fernandez
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 11, 2009

Looking for info/history on Pumphouse area, specifically the lower section accessed from the bridge, anyone? There seems to be a bit of work put into some fun routes, also stumbled upon a hidden .12 or .13, yikes, looks stellar! Thanks!

Richard