Best Rock Climbing (2012)

Little Granite Mountain

Without a state land permit, you may get harassed and ticketed by The Man on this crag. (If you want to keep it legit, call 602-542-2119 for permit info.) Either way, you'll enjoy some of the Valley's finest climbing if you head out to Little Granite Mountain in Scottsdale.

Called "little" to distinguish it from a much more impressive rock pile in Prescott, this granite mountain nonetheless has some walls that are higher than a 10-story building. That would include the moderately rated "Young Monkeys," a 120-foot slab with a couple of long blank sections a climber would not want to slip on. Another awesome moderate, "Sweet Surprise," offers a perfect hand-crack that thins to a finger-crack over 100 feet of climbing. Beginning and experienced lead climbers will find dozens of challenging, sometimes adventurous routes in the area, which includes several distinct crags used by climbers. The drive in is best done with a high-clearance and/or four-wheel-drive vehicle. From Dynamite Road, drive north on 136th Street on the dirt road to Powerline, go through a gate, then drive a little more until you find a place to park. Once you're on the trail system that wends its way through the various climbing areas (go online or find a guidebook, such as Phoenix Rock 2, for details) it should be easy going. As long as you brought that permit.


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