Oak Creek Canyon is a Grand Daddy of Mogollon Rim drainages! It takes root in Flagstaff, but really starts just south of town in Pumphouse Wash. Then it 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.
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...
The Waterfall Area boasts some 80+ routes now, trad and mixed, with the majority of them going down in the 5.11+/.12- 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, and your game! Not a place for the faint of heart.
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.
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!
Take 89 south from Flagstaff, or north from Sedona.
Browse More Classics in Oak Creek Canyon
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Oak Creek Canyon:
Ultimate Finger Crack 5.11+ PG13 Trad, 1 pitch, 165 feet, Grade II Pumphouse Wash : The Ultimates/Mexican Pocke...
Featured Route For Oak Creek Canyon
Barbarian Rising 5.12- AZ : Northern Arizona : ... : The Right Wall
Barbarian Rising and Tainted Love share the same blocky start, followed by a nice section of hands. At the roof, move out right underneath (5.11), and gain the rest just before the crux. A hand full of small TCUs should bolster your confidence, and unconventional cranking will lead you past the crux (.12-). Though the grade backs off after the crux it is still a haul to the anchors. A unique and powerful line....[more] Browse More Classics in AZ