Climbing Access Update: McDowell Mountains / North Scottsdale, AZ

Date: 11/19/2008

By Erik Filsinger, Climber Liaison with City of Scottsdale Preserve Staff and Land Advocacy Chair for the Arizona Mountaineering Club

Progress has been made to build and open formal access to the trails (and rock climbing) at the north end of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona. Crags like Sven Slab, Sven Towers, Hog Heaven, Granite Ballroom, Rosetta Stone, Morrells Wall, Gardeners Wall, Crossroads Wall, Glass Dome, Toms Thumb, Lost Wall, Fort McDowell, and Half and Half Wall provide some of the best granite rock climbing in the Phoenix area. This area has now been included within the City of Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. We have been working closely with City Staff to identify established rock climbing routes and appropriate access from the official City trails.

The exciting news is that construction on the Toms Thumb trail has begun. Climbers need to be aware and communicate with other rock climbers that respecting any temporary closures in the area while construction is underway is imperative. For example, the Morrells Parking Area will be closed for 4 to 5 months beginning this November for construction staging; a gate will be placed and signed for public closure. This means the traditional approach to Morrells Wall will not be available during that time period. Please respect the signage and closures; it is in climbers long term interest to show that we, as climbers, will continue to be good citizens and partners with the City and the Preserve. The other not signed for temporary closure rock climbing crags will remain open, so enjoy a safe time out there! Please contact Erik Filsinger for more information.