Come to Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve for spectacular rock-climbing.

A climber ascends Sven's Slab, a world-renowned climbing area.

Rock Climbing

Of all the recreational pursuits that visitors can enjoy in the Preserve, rock-climbing is likely the most dramatic and the least understood. Climbers follow a rock-climbing plan that includes designated trails to historic climbing crags, associated parking lots, and clear and accurate signage.

Preserve climbers use fixed bolts, which are safety devices drilled into the hard granite rock that provide a secure anchor for climbers’ ropes. Most of these bolts and climbing routes were placed long before the McDowell Mountains became part of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  Preserve climbers are wilderness advocates who promote the adoption within the Preserve of the National Parks’ regulations for rock-climbing. These regulations include prohibitions against new installations of permanent climbing hardware, the intentional removal of lichen or plants from rocks, and physical alterations of rock faces, among other guidelines. In addition, local climbers promote a small-group ethic; that is, classes and social climbs of more than eight people are discouraged.