Arizona is a dream for all rock climbers because of how many good climbing spots are out there. The state is filled with a lot of exposed rock which is why there are tons of amazing climbable formations. One of the biggest benefits to climbing in Arizona is the good climbing weather all year round. There are no off-seasons for this outdoor sport. During the hottest months in summer you can easily climb in the northern regions while during spring, fall, and winter, you’re able to climb anywhere. Whether you prefer climbing really large walls or smaller ones, there are many opportunities and climbing crags where you can get a thrill and have fun. With over 7,000 named routes, you can spend a lifetime exploring the climbing crags in Arizona. Here we’ve gathered some of the top climbing crags in Arizona that you’ll surely love!

 

Flagstaff

Whether you’re a professional climber or if it’s your first time climbing up a wall, you’ll find that Flagstaff will suit your climbing needs. Flagstaff is a little mountain town located along the southern margins of the Colorado Plateau. This small city has everything that a big city has but with more access to the outdoors, which is why it’s a known spot for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and snow sports. There are many outdoor climbing areas in Flagstaff. One of them is Priest Draw which offers climbing routes for all levels. It’s located a couple of miles off of Lake Mary Road. This place is known for its bouldering routes and many roofs. This place can be climbed almost any time of the year. If you want a traditional vertical climb, it’s best to do it during the warmer months since the vertical rocks can be slippery or covered in snow for half of the year. Another local favorite spot in Flagstaff is The Pit which is accessible for year-round climbing. The Pit has beautiful white Kaibab limestone rock and is known for its short pitches. It’s a 10-minute drive out of Flagstaff which is a great location that’s accessible to anyone who wants to try out the outdoor climbing scene. If you’re an expert and you want something more challenging, The Peaks Crag is a good climbing spot located at the San Francisco Peaks, the tallest mountains in Arizona. Aside from the beautiful climb, you’ll also be welcomed with a scenic approach while you hike up the mountain to begin your line. The best time to climb these crags is in the morning when the sun is shining brightly on the rock. 

 

Mount Lemmon

Mount Lemmon is located in Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains. From bouldering to a 10-pitch sport climb, Mount Lemmon has it all. The area is divided by mile markers, the lower markers are around 2,000ft elevation and the higher markers are up to 9,000 ft elevation. The lower elevation climbs are found in a desert setting and are best climbed during the winter. There are over 1,500 climbing routes and countless bouldering spots. You’ll encounter people of different skill levels, from beginners to veterans. The majority of the climbs in this area can be accessed via the Catalina Highway, but some parts can be accessed in other ways. Some of the best spots to climb include the Butterfly Wall and the Orifice. One of the lowest places to climb during the winter is in Crags Against Humanity.

 

Queen Creek Canyon

Queen Creek Canyon is located about an hour east of Phoenix and just north of Superior. A lot of climbing is on private land, but Devil’s Canyon is on public land. The landscape is absolutely beautiful as it has towering spires of rock and endless fields of boulders. If you’re a rock climber, you’ll surely enjoy this spot as it has numerous routes and boulders that can be climbed. This climbing area is very popular all year round due to the good climbing weather. There are close to 1,000 routes and 2,000 boulder problems and there are still many areas that climbers have yet to explore. The Phoenix Bouldering contests used to be held in the Oak Flat campground which brought in many top athletes from all over the world. This is one of the reasons why the Queen Creek area became a destination crag for all types of rock climbers. 

 

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon attracts millions of tourists every year. Some come just to see the beautiful views while others come for hiking. Numerous activities are available at this national park, and rock climbing is one of them. Although most of Grand Canyon National Park isn’t fit for rock climbing due to the soft rock present, there are several established climbing spots in the park as well as some bouldering. The Grand Canyon Village area contains more than 60 climbing routes. Most of the established routes are found on the South Rim in the area around Grand Canyon Village and Desert View Drive. There are also numerous routes in the inner Grand Canyon. The climbs in the Grand Canyon Village area are composed of Kaibab Limestone. Your best bet is to take a hike on the Bright Angel Trail which is a popular hiking route with a number of short climbs and a few bouldering opportunities. On top of that, you also get to climb while seeing the breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon which is surely a huge bonus for your climbing experience.

 

The Homestead

The Homestead is the most remote climbing area of all of the climbing crags listed above. The routes are quite long and are found in a desert scene. Different areas of the homestead hold over 250 different sports routes so you could spend a couple of weeks in the area and you won’t be finding yourself climbing the same area twice. The reason why people choose to climb the Homestead is the lack of crowds in the area even though there is parking close by. The only downside about Homestead is that you’ll need to have a high clearance vehicle to avoid the one-hour hike. The drive itself is about 2 hours from Phoenix, but the dirt road extends this drive by an extra half hour.

 

These are just a few of the amazing climbing crags in Arizona. With so many amazing mountains and cliffs in Arizona, it’s time for you to get out and explore!