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Queen Creek Canyon
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By Alex Guppy
From Taoyuan City
Feb 11, 2014

My friend and I will be climbing in Queen Creek Canyon from 2/19 to 2/22. I'm hoping someone can answer a couple of questions for me:

1) Which guidebook do you recommend for the area? Can it be purchased in Phoenix?

2) Is there camping in the canyon or nearby? Preferably free.


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By signewt
Feb 11, 2014

Call the Hike Shack in Prescott, they were very helpful when I was in the area.

IDK about in Queen Creek but I am pretty sure you can camp cheap in Cleator.


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By stropsa
From Tempe, AZ
Feb 11, 2014

If you have a general area in mind (Pond/atlantis or Devils canyon ect) marty maps are pretty good. They can be bought at rei or at phoenix rock gym, i am sure you can buy them other places too.


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By Marcy
From Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Feb 11, 2014
the tornado

Marty Karabin has fold out topos available for individual areas in QC. They are available at REI and the hiking shack. He also has a book, though it is out of print. Several areas have seen a lot of development since the foldouts have been published...Lower Devils Canyon and the Refuge, specifically. You can find pretty up to date route info for those area here on MP.

Oak Flat campground is right off Magma Mine road and, according to the forest service website (www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/tonto/null/recarea/?recid=35345&acti>>> ), there is no charge; it is semi-developed from what I recall. If you're heading out to Lower Devil's Canyon there is primitive camping near the Refuge, Hackberry Creek, and at the end of the road. The road has sections that are fairly rugged and it's best to have high clearance 4WD. If you camp primitively in these areas please practice Leave No Trace ethics and pack out everything you bring in.

Have fun!


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By Joshua Jones
From San Tan Valley, az
Feb 11, 2014

Marty's fold outs are great.

I have camped quite a bit at Oak Flat. Its a few miles from most of the crags and I like the campground. If you want to be away from other campers there are some good spots on the access road to Upper Devil's Canyon. Oak Flat is free as well as the primitive areas.

If you are going to climb the Lower Devil's Canyon area you will need a high clearance vehicle and likely 4wd, or you have to hike quite a ways.

There is a lot of fun sport and trad that is easily accessible. The already mentioned crags are great.

If you need any specific beta send me a PM.


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By K-Tanz
Feb 12, 2014
Leading up pitch 2 of Moby Dick, Cochise Stronghold, AZ

The pond/Atlantis foldout is helpful but some of the other foldouts are, in my experience, not very helpful. If you use the foldouts supplement with the MP app. the Falcon Guide to Phoenix actually has some decent Beta. The Pond and Atlantis are nice because they are easy to find and get around. Atlantis may be cold cause it is shaded all day. If you have 4WD Lower Devil's Canyon in the place to go! There's unfortunately not a great guide book unless you have cash to burn and the good fortune of finding an old AZ stonemaster who has a copy wrapped up in some old pink spandex.


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By Alex Guppy
From Taoyuan City
Feb 12, 2014

Thanks for all of the help guys. I will send a few of you some private messages. I've had my eyes on The Totem Pole ever since I saw the picture of it on Mountain Project.


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Feb 12, 2014
tanuki

The Totem Pole is awesome! It was my first route in LDC, and it did not disappoint. One word of caution; the road back to LDC is rough. You will probably need a high clearance vehicle to get all the way back in there, or be prepared to hike for an extra mile or two.

Full disclosure - I did see a Subaru back there last weekend, but I have no idea how they got it all the way to the windmill. IMHO, that must have taken some serious driving skill.


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By Brent Butcher
Feb 18, 2014
route photo

To what NC rock climber said: I rented a truck and I still had to hike about 1.5-2 miles just to get to the camping spot. Be sure and know which roads to take in the area, there are several roads that may lead you in the wrong direction. Use gps on your phone and plot your course. Totem Pole is a must! Great route.


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Feb 18, 2014
Toofast

A put a Google Earth file at this address to show the driving directions. With four wheel drive and good clearance you can drive to the campsites.

www.geir.com/googleearth/queencreek/


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By K-Tanz
Feb 19, 2014
Leading up pitch 2 of Moby Dick, Cochise Stronghold, AZ

Geir's Google Earth thing is pretty helpful, I used it a few weeks ago. That road in is no joke. I would venture to say the final cruxy stretch is worse than the Homestead road.


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By Eric Sophiea
Feb 20, 2014
Licking the cat with googly-eyes.

I drove my Subaru Forester to the windmill to access LDC several times over the last few years. It's the turbo model, so it has 1" less clearance than the standard model. No need for a super 4x4 if you are a careful and capable driver. (This was a year ago, so perhaps things have changed?)


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Feb 20, 2014
tanuki

Eric Sophiea wrote:
I drove my Subaru Forester to the windmill to access LDC several times over the last few years. It's the turbo model, so it has 1" less clearance than the standard model. No need for a super 4x4 if you are a careful and capable driver. (This was a year ago, so perhaps things have changed?)


Wow! Eric, you must be one awesome driver! I'm being 100% serious. I found the hill leading down to the windmill to be pretty rough, and I was glad to have a 4x4 Tundra. However, I am not a big-time 4x4 enthusiast, so my perception of what constitutes rough might be way off.


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By manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
Feb 21, 2014
Trying to redpoint The Ugly 11c; steeper than it looks and the rock is scary in spots but good enough.

The two different experiences on the rough road aren't unusual. When RCM is working down there, they blade the hill clean. After they leave it quickly deteriorates. Lately, I don't think a Subaru would like it.


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By Eric Sophiea
Feb 21, 2014
Licking the cat with googly-eyes.

The road was not bladed at the time I drove it in my Subaru: it was covered in loose cobbles, a few 12" rocks, some ruts, etc. (My passengers almost pooped when I started down the hill.) Caution and personal judgement should dictate how one proceeds, and if you have access to a 4x4 truck then you'll want to take it. I wasn't trying to encourage a risky drive, I just didn't want someone to think they had no chance without a truck. Cheers!


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By Brent Butcher
Feb 21, 2014
route photo

The road down to the windmill is no way accessible without a 4x4. There are huge exposed chunks of solid rocks in the middle of the road.


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By Marcy
From Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Feb 22, 2014
the tornado

I second this ^^. There is a sketchy section toward the bottom of the switchback after where the split in the road is. FYI...you can park here if you PULL OFF THE ROAD - there is room (Geir and I used to do this pre-4WD). Please don't park in the middle of the road.

The current state of the road is fairly poor. I have seen it worse and still gotten through with my Tundra 4x4. I recommend high clearance 4w right now.


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By Alex Guppy
From Taoyuan City
Feb 22, 2014

Since it appears we have the most recent beta, I'll post it here.

First, the climbing was awesome. Those towers are awesome and the Totem Pole did not disappoint.

I have a Chevy Tracker and we made it all the way to the hill that descends down to the pond and wind mill with no problem. We decided to park at the top and walk a mile and a half in. Honestly, it's a beautiful little hike so I didn't mind at all.

My personal opinion is that the road is very bad, but I also don't know what 4x4 vehicles are capable of. I was very surprised to see two 4x4 SUVs that had driven all the way to the end despite what I thought were impassable roads: huge rocks, deep ruts, large drop-offs. I feel like high clearance is a must, but Subarus and their driver's courage never fail to amaze me.


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By 5.samadhi
Feb 22, 2014
me

Alex,

where are you headed next?

If you want to pass through and climb at Flagstaff shoot me a text if you still have my number or email me (i'll shoot you a PM).

I got some prettygood climbing beta on flag now after being here a week and mostly climbing every day.

Peace bro,
Andy


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