Located near Superior, AZ, Queen Creek is a great place for both local and traveling climbers to try out a variety of climbing styles. You can find bouldering, single-pitch sport or trad, and multi-pitch sport or trad, from 5.4 - 5.13 (maybe even harder?), and from slab to cracks to pockets to tiny crimps or extreme overhangs. No matter your level of experience or preferred style of climbing, there is something here for you!
Moreover, at Queen Creek you can come across crags just off the main highway (literally - park at a pull-out and within 5-10 min. you can be at the base of the cliff) or venture into the wilderness where you won't see a single soul for days.
For those of us that don't like to pay to camp, there is a free campground just east of Superior, AZ, that offers first-come, first-serve campsites (many of these are quite large, too, and can fit several 4 person tents!).
While temperatures may get a bit chilly at night in winter, and the day may be a bit blistering in the summer, this location offers a perfect day or weekend (or longer) escape from Phoenix (only 1 hour away) and Tucson (1.5 hours away). Moreover, there are always climbs in each area that are shaded or sunny, so no matter how you like your temps, there will always be something to climb!
Just remember, Queen Creek is technically on private land, so be sure to fill out your online waiver in advance!
Curious to see if anyone else has ever climbed here? What are your thoughts about the area?
@bryndsharp - What an enticing description! Thanks so much for sharing. Excited to see if other climbers know of the spot. I'm not an Arizona local, but have spent a fair amount of time in the area climbing and have never heard of this spot. It's incredible that it has bouldering, sport and trad! Going to hop over to Mountain Project and see what routes there are. Do you have any favorites?
@REI-CarterC thanks! What style of climbing and grades are you interested in? I can give you some of my favorite routes of that kind!
Nice Photos! Hidden gen, indeed. I can't count the times i have driven from Globe to Phoenix, blithely bypassing Queen Creek.......This was in the 1970s....
@bryndsharp - Unfortunately I have no plans in the near future in Arizona, but it's always fun to know what's out there! I personally love sport with crimpy face climbing and trad with finger locks or chimneys. My hope is that with great posts and photos like this one, there will be more climbing talk here in Conversations! Thanks again for sharing. It's great to learn about new areas.
@REI-CarterC You would love the Mine Area, then! It's a bit of a walk (approx. 1 mile), but has great variety in its climbs. There is a super chill 5.10a single-pitch sport there called Roto Evaporator, in Magma Gardens (part of the Mine Area), which is quite crimpy and loads of fun! There are some great trad routes throughout the area as well, such as I Guana Crack (5.9) and Dark and Stupid (5.7R).
Atlantis and The Pond are two areas worth hitting up as well, and are located right off the main road (park in pull-outs, then hike up or down, depending on the area you are heading to). Atlantis is great because you can find something in the sun or in the shade at all times of the day, but it can get a big busy on weekends. It has single-pitch and multi-pitch routes. The Pond has a bit more of a challenging approach, although it's short and sweet. It also gets a bit packed on weekends, and doesn't have as much all-day shade as Atlantis, but if you love pockets or tricky overhanging routes (The Soft Parade, 5.11b is great), this is the place for you.
I'm still exploring the area and haven't been to all of the walls yet, but from what I've done so far, this is what I'd recommend!