Top Ten Arizona Adventures

Off the Beaten Path: Climb Granite Mountain

This 7,626-foot high monolith of igneous rock is on every seriouos climber's "must do" list for the Southwest. Unlike the flaky sandstone and sharp limestone of many Southwestern climbs, Granite Mountain offers just what it claims—clean, smooth granite.

The same beautiful slabs that attract climbers also attract peregrine falcons. In the interest of preserving these dynamic raptors, the forest service has instituted a controversial closure on the area from February through mid-July. So, until a peaceful coexistence is negotiated with the birds, climbing is relegated to the second half of the year.

When the climbing is open, a wide range of routes are available, from 5.4 to 5.13. Despite its ominous name, Dislocation Buttress is one of the easier routes on the mountain. Experienced climbers will want to tackle either Jump Back Jack Crack or Candyland, two Granite Mountain classics.



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