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Sullivan's Canyon

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Lower Sullivan's 
Upper Sullivan's Canyon 

Sullivan's Canyon  

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Submitted By: BCramer on May 6, 2007
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Looking out from the Nursery..


Basalt lined canyon cut by the Verde River. Steep, dark colored rock with many cracks and pocketed faces. Can be shady or sunny depending on which wall of the canyon you're on. Dark rock can really heat up. Never crowded. Most locals call it Sullies Canyon or just Sullies. There is some good bouldering to be done on the heavily polished blocks that have fallen in the river and alongs its banks. Watch for petroglyphs.
Despite the fact that most of the routes end at bolted rap stations, BOLTING FACE ROUTES IS NOT PERMITTED. The anchor bolts were placed because climbing out above the basalt band is dangerous and would pose a hazard to both climbers and those on the ground due to all the loose rocks. Furthermore, it is felt that adding bolts to create climbs on the narrow faces between the cracks would ruin the crack climbing experience. What face climbs there are can often be top-roped from anchors after leading one of the crack routes. Local climbers prefer that this remain a no bolting area.

Getting There 

The canyon is located east of highway 89 north of the city of Chino Valley. It is roughly divided into two sections - Upper Sulivan's and Lower Sullivan's - each area has it's own approach.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.3 miles from here

40 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',18],['2 Stars',18],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Sullivan's Canyon:
Twin Cracks    5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Upper Sullivan's Canyon
Sharp End   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Lower Sullivan's
Better Than Mecca   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 30'   Lower Sullivan's
Mrs Whittaker   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 50'   Lower Sullivan's
911   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Lower Sullivan's
Easy Option   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 90'   Lower Sullivan's
Apple Pie   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Lower Sullivan's
S Crack   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Upper Sullivan's Canyon
Distant Vision   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Lower Sullivan's
Wheeler Dealer   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 30'   Lower Sullivan's
Classic   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 50'   Lower Sullivan's
Sword of Damocles   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Lower Sullivan's
Bohemian   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Lower Sullivan's
Browse More Classics in Sullivan's Canyon

Featured Route For Sullivan's Canyon
Stemming to the anchors. Photo by Jennifer Blazer

Easy Option 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  AZ : Central Arizona : ... : Lower Sullivan's
Straight shot to the top -- roof crack to the inside corner, then stem through the twin cracks to the anchor....[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Comments on Sullivan's Canyon Add Comment
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By Greg DeMatteo
From: W. Lebanon, NH
Apr 23, 2008
Not a destination crag by any measure but a great local spot to hone your skills, especially during the cooler months. Due to the slightly lower elevation than Prescott and the way the canyon traps the sun/heat, it can often be freezing in Prescott and mild in the canyon with no-shirt climbing days in January and February.

Though it can be rough on the hands, the plethora of face holds allows jamming practice with the relief of intermittent face holds. Most climbs are short, but it still gets credit with preparing multiple generations of Prescott area climbers for bigger and better things. A wide variety of cracks and face (top-ropes) from 5.6 to 5.11.
By Peter Franzen
From: Phoenix, AZ
Feb 6, 2012
Fun place as long as you can ignore the attitude thrown about by the Flagstaff "locals".
By JMo
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 9, 2013
I guess if I knocked an entire town full of climbers in some pouty fit, after a year I'd take the comment down....
By Alexander Parrish
From: Prescott, Arizona
Dec 21, 2014
I found a pair of prescription glasses in a case yesterday 12/20/14 at one of the walls. If you can tell me what the case looks like and what exact wall I found them by I will get them back to you.