Rock Climbing in Arizona - Trail Climb Nation

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Rock Climbing in Arizona

Rock Climbing in Arizona

I always thought a state with as much rock in it as Arizona would get more recognition as a climbing state. I remember driving through this state on the way to California one summer. I remember seeing tons of formations that I thought could be amazing to climb on. Well we did some research at Trail Climb Nation and today we discuss all things rock climbing in Arizona.

The wide open space of Arizona offers many types of climbing, from remote big walls to urban sport crags and prime bouldering spots. Choose granite, sandstone, limestone, quartzite or volcanic for your favorite moves and protection. You can find a great mix of mostly trad areas to nearly pure sport. The people are friendly, the animals docile but the plants can hurt you. We’d love to have you come visit and enjoy our spectacular areas. There are many quality destinations for ‘road trippers’. These include Mt. Lemmon(Tucson); Cochise Stronghold (Benson); Camelback Mountain, Superstitions and McDowell Mountains (Phoenix); Queen Creek (Superior); Granite Mountain, Granite Dells, Groom Creek (Prescott); Paradise Forks, Priest Draw, Le Petit Verdon (aka “The Pit”) (Flagstaff); Jack’s Canyon and East Clear Creek (Winslow); Sedona’s Spires, the Oak Creek Waterfall and the Overlook; The Grand Canyon (yes you can climb here); and many more.

The Promised Land is a small canyon near Chino Valley composed of some wild metamorphic rock. Nearly all climbs are bolted, and bolted quite well. A few crack climbs exist, and with the abundance of rock this place probably has opportunity for more route development – bolted routes and gear-protected routes. For the sake of categorization, this is a sport climbing area with bolts on top of all climbs and walk-offs.

Mt. Lemmon rises on the north-east side of Tucson, beginning with a picturesque ascent through one of the world’s finest saguaro forests. As you climb the thirty-mile highway littered with crags, you experience a diversity of biomes and pass by impossibly balanced pinnacles like in a Road Runner cartoon. While Tucson swelters in summer heat, the pine-covered Summit Crags remain cool. You’ll find thousands of climbs of all grades – sport and trad. Don’t miss the pie on the summit!

Arizona is purported to have more exposed rock than any other state in the US. The bad news is that it isn’t ALL climbable. The good news is that tons of it is great for pulling on! Granite, qaurtzite, dacite, basalt, limestone, sandstone, gneiss, monzonite, welded tuff, and a thousand other kinds of stone to pull down on.

From the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff and Paradise Forks in the north, to the crags of Granite Mountain, the Superstitions, and Queen Creek, and finally south to Mount Lemmon and Cochise Stronghold, we have it all! Cracks of all sizes, wide, thin, edges, pockets, jugs, sport, trad, bouldering, big walls, no approach, big hike…whatever you’re psyched about! The one thing we’re a little short on in most areas is crowds, but that’s a good thing.

We also have the best year ’round climbing possibilities in the country with crags at just about every elevation imaginable. Between that and the large percentage of sunny days, there ain’t a whole lot more you could ask for!

Crab Claw Rock

The best known climb in the area is Crab Claw Rock which is located on the east side of Highway 95 just six miles north of the Lake Havasu City Airport. The climb can be easily seen from the road and looks just like a crab’s claw, hence the name Crab Claw Rock. Exact coordinates for the location are 34.61733, -114.337453
There are seven climbs here with a chimney and chains around the top, perfect for rappelling down with. These seven climbs require all different types of techniques, such as face climbing, crack climbing, and lie-back climbing. The northside of the rock is also known as Gargoyle’s Gash. The gash in the middle is great for climbing and at the top is a big boulder sticking out like a perched gargoyle.


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