Best Rock Climbing of Arizona

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Weaver’s Needle

Standing 993 feet, this three-pitch route consists of traditional climbing and is awesome for anyone near Superstition Mountains. This can be seen for miles around and even all the way from Phoenix and is one of the major land marks of Arizona. All 5 climbing routes are stem from traditional climbing. The best way up is from the Peralta Trailhead through Fremont Saddle, just remember it is the giant formation rising above everything else. The rock is composed of volcanic material. The routes consist of one 5.6, one 5.7 and three 5.9’s.

Dutchman’s Gold a 5.9 route consists of 5 pitches. Pitch one starts on a boulder platform and begins a long loose climb that is about a 5.10, Pitch Two gets easier as it climbs up a decent crack before heading out toward a tree, Pitch Three starts with a frightening looking leaning flake before getting to a 5.8, Pitch Four is some loose climbing up a 5.6 route, and Pitch 5 takes you up the chimney.


Queen Creek

queen creek rock climbing


Right near Superior Creek, it is home to hundreds of routes. The combination of sport climbing and vast amounts of bouldering options have resulted in one of the biggest boulder climbing competitions in the US. Queen Creek as a whole offers a fair amount of multi pitch moderate routes and options for individuals just starting as well as rad bouldering. There are over 50 routes for each level ranging from 5.6-5.12. Additionally, routes also range from V2-3, V4-5, V6-7, V8-9. Lower Devil’s Canyon offers 230+ routes, where 145 routes reside between 5.9 and 5.10, but range between 5.6 and 5.12 as a mixture of Traditional and Sport routes. Atlantis is aptly named when it is right by the water where there are 40 routes in this section. The majority are sport but there are traditional routes as well (33.3058, -111.0773). Queen Creek might at some point soon be taken over by big business turning this ecological reserve into a past memory. Enjoy it while you can.

33.3056, -111.07644

Winslow Areas

This runs right along the water and is composed of routes ranging form 5.8 to 5.12. The canyon was shaped by the water flow over millennia and the rock often has a base coat of sandstone but is sometimes covered by red rock. At 7000 feet elevation, 320 routes are 265 sport routes and 35 traditional routes. The majority of routes are composed in two areas, East Clear Creek and Jacks Canyon. East Clear Creek consists of 120 routes where there are 70 sport routes and 35 traditional routes along with roughly 20 good spots for bouldering. Jack’s Canyon consists of 180 routes that are all pretty much sport routes on limestone climbs, which have great holds consisting of pockets and edges. They range between 5.6 and 5.13 but nearly half the routes range between 5.11 and 5.12. If you get too hot, jump in the water, but also watch for poison oak. Trust me it sucks. Best times to climb are spring and fall. If you can, bring a 70-meter rope.

34.94206, -110.66316

Oak Creek Canyon

oak creek canyon rck clmb


Some serious world class climbing. This has options for every skill level. This is only the start of a multitude of routes. The majority of the 200 routes are sport but it does offer traditional as well. Routes even consist of being 5.13 but generally range between 5.10 and 5.12. Check out The Doctor’s Office, which is the most intense sport crag, The Waterfall and Pumphouse Wash. All of this is essentially right off of the 89.

34.99077, -111.74284

Pinnacle Peak


Includes iconic climbs such as The Wedge, which is one of the most iconic climbs in pinnacle peak, offering two major routes, which are bolted to intrepidly make your way to the top. and the Y Crack, which resembles a Y at the top and the 65’ foot high cliff. It is recommended to use a top rope.  Pinnacle Peak hosts top notch granite for central Phoenix. There are 35 routes where roughly ¼ are sport routes and the rest are traditional routes. There are many bolted and classic routes. Avoid climbing between June and October. We’re lucky we got the area back to climb.

33.73321, -111.86603



navajolands rck


It is renowned for its spire towers. The 40 routes create some of the most beautiful and majestic structures you will ever see. This is about as spiritual as AZ rock climbing can get.The routes range between 5.7 and 5.10 including The Totem Pole, which is the tallest skinniest spire in the world. It has Spyder Rock, one of the tallest spires in North America (along with The Titan), and it has Cleopatra’s Needle, the skinniest spire on the planet. *Update for the time being, the Navajo Indian Reservation has chosen to put a ban on all climbing even though only Ship rock and Spyder Rock are considered sacred.

36.14057, -110.41852

Watson Lake Bouldering

This is a bouldering paradise, where the rock is medium-grained desert granite that tends to be a bit grainy on some formations allowing for a substantial amount of grip. Additionally, the routes on the lake made up of 45 traditional, 30 sport an 5 top rope. There is a $5 fee to get in but is worth it. It overlooks the lake where people can also rent kayaks, however I would not recommend that. Routes do range from 5.6 to even 5.13 but are generally short. Rock is reminiscent of Joshua Tree.

34.59495, -112.4179

Mount Lemmon

There are over 1,500 climbs with over a thousand are climbing routes, and there are over 300 bouldering spots. The majority of the routes are sport but there are also over 600 traditional routes and 80+ top rope routes. Routes range everywhere from 5.6 all the way to V12. Climbs can range up into being over 9,000 feet. Many of the routes are closed form January through July. There is a $5 day pass. The most populated climbing route is the Lower Highway, which consists of 490 climbs where 275 are sport and 150 are traditional where there are nearly 70 routes that are past vertical and the rest range between 5.6 and 5.12. The Mid Mountain is a nice change surrounded by pine trees above the desolate desert where there are 35 bouldering spots and 325 routes where 245 are sport and another 90 are traditional. These routes range from mile 16 to 19.4 literally right off the road.

32.4471, -110.7905




6 comments on “Best Rock Climbing of Arizona”

  1. Kim says:

    Are all these places climable all year round?

    1. Explore More says:

      The best time to go for all of these is from later fall through mid spring. However, the places in Northern AZ will be doable all year round.

  2. Karris Sparkman says:


  3. Krista says:

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    1. Explore More says:

      Ya let us know what help you need, and we’ll do whatever we can!

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