Climbing Jacks Canyon

After standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, the Rambling Family drove south for a half hour on route 87, turned onto a dirt road, opened the barbed wire fencing, and drove through.  After Avi closed it up, we continued on the rough dirt road to a vague camping area at the top of Jack’s Canyon.

The canyon is a well known rock climbing destination – a rare patch of nicely bolted limestone in the center of Arizona.  There are 184 routes, according to Mountain Project (use the app).  We were here to try the easy ones, and have a fun day hanging out with the kids.

There are lots of little footpaths along the camping area at the rim, which is a bit hidden by the juniper trees, most of the trails merge together toward the main route down into the canyon. Just keep walking west, and you will find the trail which is a well-trod switchback path down into the canyon.  When we went in mid September, it was still pretty hot so we were grateful for the few trees at the base of climbs.

Both Avi and Zoe had a good time on the 5.5 route called Gumby, a nice sunny climb just across from the end of the trail.  Luckily, the belay area is shaded by some low trees and wild grapevines.

After an hour we needed shade and moved left along the cliff to try our hand at a set of 5.7’s near a shady outcrop called Circus Circus and Easy Money.   These were fun! And Avi knocked it out on his first layback climbing.

From there, Bryan and I kicked it up – well, more Bryan, as he led the 5.11a called 13 Black, and setup top rope for me to climb. After that, we were really hot and ready to hike out an head south into the forest.


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