McDowell Mountains

Sven Towers

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Sonoran Mountain Conservancy Link

The McDowell Mountains are just outside Scottsdale and have a concentration of some of the best granite rock climbing in the Phoenix area. With several large walls within reasonable hiking distance – a day or a weekend can be spent climbing classics such as: Toms Thumb, the Gardener Wall, Sven Slab (pictured left) or Morrell’s Wall. With the majority of the routes being lead on trad gear, this area is a great challenge for the lead climber with classics such as Hanging Gardens (5.5), one of the finest 5.5′s in the entire state.


Areas Within McDowell Mountains:

Hanging Gardens, McDowell Mountains
Sven Tower Siganage
Gardner Wall
LOCAL TIP: There are multitudes of trail systems all over the McDowell Mountain range from its climbing areas in the north to the vast mountain biking and hiking trails. McDowell Mountain Regional Park is a 21, 099 acre playground with over 50 miles of trails to enjoy.

The Gardner Wall is one of the largest rock faces in the McDowell Mountains. Seen as the imposing rock outcropping below the Tom Thumb formation, the Gardner Wall boasts a 230 foot rock face. The granite that composes this area is solid in nature, and the wall is fractured with solid cracks for traditional rock climbing.
Split in half by numerous crack features, the Gardner Wall sustains a number of solid routes including Hanging Gardens (5.5) rated one of the best low-grade multi-pitch routes in the state!

Gardner Wall, McDowell Mountains Rock Climbing
Morell main Page

Morrell’s Wall is another of the  big wall rock climbing in the park. At a height of over 150 feet, this massive, fractured piece of granite can be seen from miles around. The main wall houses the popular climb, Beat Feat, an off width project that tackles the prow of the crag. With nice views of the Verde Valley and good solid climbing, Morrell’s Wall is great Arizona rock climbing.

If climbing Beat Feet, be aware of the red tailed hawk nest. There have been fledglings in the nest during spring season, so take care not to disturb the nest if its occupied.

Morrell Wall
TomThumb, McDowell Mountains

Tom Thumb is the destination for many hikers, and also provides some of the most iconic rock climbing routes in the Valley. Standing at an impressive 140 feet, this desert granite monolith can be seen for miles around. With one of the most dedicated starts to any climb in the Valley – Treiber’s Deception (5.7) on Tom Thumb is a destination for any climber looking for a great moderate crack adventure and sets the standard for many of the climbs found on this formation.