Climbing at Oak Creek Canyon

Arizona Oak Creek

Added by Moe Lauchert

  • World-class traditional climbing and plenty of sport climbing.
  • Big area accommodates large groups of people.
  • Shaded areas all day long.
  • Hiking in surrounding area.
Getting There

About 18 miles south of Flagstaff on the 89A, turn into the Cave Springs parking lot and look for the trail just right of the first bridge. Hike up the chossy hill until you reach a giant sandstone slot canyon in the northwest.


This canyon contained the crags, known as the Dr's Office and the Pharmacy. With grades ranging from 10 and up, there are plenty of heady routes. Oak Creek has more than 190 routes and multiple crags, so there's something for every climber and skill level. The approach to some of the crags can be heinous, so be sure to bring hiking boots and plenty of water.

During monsoon season, many of the trails can get washed out, so if possible it helps to bring someone who has been there before and can help lead you to the right spots.

Pack List

  • Traditional climbing gear
  • Quickdraws
  • Regular or guide ATC
  • 60 meters of rope minimum
  • Harnesses
  • Cleaning gear
  • Backpack
  • Plenty of water
  • Food
  • Hiking boots
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Running

Skill Level:



Year Round



Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

4 months ago

Incredible Climbing

I was fortunate enough to visit Oak Creek Canyon in the winter of 2016, and I can't speak highly enough about this incredible area. The routes were so much fun to climb and you were rewarded with incredible views of the area once you reached the top. One of my favorite spots, The Pond, had three longer single pitch sport climbs right next to a waterfall. If you have an opportunity to climb here, I highly recommend it! Also, I suggest checking out the work Access Fund is doing to help protect the Oak Flat campground as there are currently efforts being made by mining companies to purchase this sacred Apache land. You can find more information here:

4 months ago

Added by Moe Lauchert

Always eager to learn new skills and share my passion for the outdoors; I see every job as a window for self growth. I believe in the idea that every experience affects our worldview and who we become at our core. I value discovery, community and hearing other peoples stories. Whether its climbing, diving, camping, hiking or just sharing a meal; there is always an opportunity to serve others and create the connection that is essential to the human spirit. Photography is a way for me to share in those experiences with others, and teaching; a passage to impart that knowledge or receive new insight.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Abineau-Bear Jaw Loop

Arizona / Abineau-Bear Jaw loop

This trail is slightly more hidden on the northern slope of the San Francisco Peaks, but well worth the drive just outside of Flagstaff.

Kevin Kaminski
41 Saves

Camp At Waheap Campground

Arizona / Wahweap RV Campground

This modern campground is just steps from the beach and centrally located on the Arizona / Utah border -- perfect for exploring both sides of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.

Kelly Park
5 Saves

Hike to Ribbon Falls in Grand Canyon NP

Arizona / North Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon NP

Although this hike can feasibly done in a day, it is highly recommended that you spend more than one day in this area and visit the falls as a side trip on a larger trip.

Jake Young
53 Saves