Phoenix is renowned for its stunning desert landscapes, which provide an incredible backdrop for outdoor rock climbing. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a beginner looking to explore the great outdoors, Phoenix offers a variety of climbing crags that can accommodate all levels of experience. Here’s some of our favorite Phoenix rock climbing crags.

1. Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain is located right in the middle of town and is one of the most iconic climbing destinations in Phoenix. The east side is mostly granite while the west is sedimentary rock.

Highlights:

  • Routes: Camelback features a broad range climbing routes ranging from 5.6-5.12 and V2-V7. Most the routes here are sport and trad. With some bouldering and few top ropes.
  • Accessibility: Echo Canyon parking lot is located off of 44th Street and McDonald Street in Phoenix. From there, it’s a short hike to the climbs.

2. Pinnacle Peak

Located in North Scottsdale, Pinnacle Peak is known for its granite rock formations and scenic desert views. The area offers a diverse range of climbs, from the cracks of Birthday Party and Bee Gee to the precise, footwork-heavy Shalayly Direct. Climbers of all styles will find something to enjoy here.

Highlights:

  • Routes: Pinnacle Peak is mostly trad routes with some sport and minimal top rope. Routes range from 5.6-5.12.
  • Accessibility: To reach the climbing routes at Pinnacle Peak Park, start from the Visitor’s Center. Follow the main golf-cart path to the first climber’s trail sign. Head up and left past Loafer’s Choice and the AMC Boulder, then continue following the markers up to the Peak.

3. South Mountain Park and Preserve Bouldering

South Mountain Park and Preserve is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States, offering numerous climbing opportunities with most being bouldering.

Highlights:

  • Routes: South Mountain is known for its bouldering with some sport and minimal top-rope and trad climbing. It’s located in a state park so be sure to follow the rules of the park while climbing.
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible from South Mountain Park/Preserve Trailhead.

4. Papago Park

Papago Park is famous for its distinctive red sandstone formations, making it a unique climbing destination. Located just outside of Tempe in a large city park.

Highlights:

  • Routes: Papago boasts a large amount of sport climbing and top-rope options ranging from 5.6-5.12 making it a great beginner area.
  • Accessibility: Getting there is relatively easy. Search for Papago Park and it will get you there. It’s in North Tempe by the Phoenix Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

5. Queen Creek Canyon

A bit of a drive from Phoenix, Queen Creek Canyon is worth the trip for its extensive climbing opportunities. Queen Creek Canyon requires you to register before climbing there. This is a one time process and free. Do it here before you go! http://www.queencreekclimbing.com/

Highlights:

  • Routes: With over 1,000 routes with of bouldering, trad, and sport climbing, this is a climbers paradise. Routes range from 5.6-5.12+ and V1-V11.
  • Accessibility: Queen Creek Canyon is located above Superior, AZ, about an hour east of Phoenix. Drive east through Superior, continue up the hill, and the climbing areas are found after passing through the big tunnel.

Tips for Climbing Outdoors in Phoenix

  • Check the Weather: Phoenix can get extremely hot, especially in the summer. Plan your climbs for early morning or late afternoon and stay hydrated.
  • Climbing Gear: Make sure to bring appropriate climbing gear, including shoes, harness, helmet, ropes, and a first-aid kit.
  • Local Guides: Consider hiring a local guide or go with another climber who knows the area if you’re unfamiliar with the area. They can provide valuable insights and ensure a safe climbing experience.
  • Leave No Trace: Preserve the natural beauty of Phoenix by following the Leave No Trace principles. Pack out everything you bring in and respect the local wildlife.

Conclusion

Phoenix offers such an amazing variety of outdoor rock climbing opportunities for climbers of all levels. From the iconic Camelback Mountain to the scenic Queen Creek Canyon, each spot provides a unique climbing experience with stunning desert vistas. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the climbing adventures in Phoenix are sure to challenge and inspire you. So gear up, stay safe, and enjoy the incredible rock climbing that Phoenix has to offer!