We left Ventura on Tuesday morning and started our epic journey out east. After a few hours of driving through southern California we drove up into the San Jacinto Mountains where we made camp on Black Mountain just outside the town of Idyllwild, CA where the popular Tahquitz rock sits. After checking out an array of granite boulders, we found a stunning camp spot with its own camp-side boulders to play on. Later the next day, we checked out Idyllwild and were excited to find a really great little tea shop called Merkaba where we purchased some yummy loose leaf. We didn’t get to check out the town much being that it was Labor Day and most of the shops were closed, but its definately a place I’d like to return to and explore a little more.
Flying High in Flagstaff
We took one more pitstop in Laughlin, NV where we stayed with Devyn’s very hospitable friend Paul and then we headed off to Flagstaff to do some much awaited climbing! We arrived in the late afternoon and set-up camp in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. The site was beautiful and we had enough time to make a delicious meal (thank you Devyn!) and relax by the fire. The next day we met up with our friends Alex and Mike who have, for the past three days, been showing us around Flagstaff.
We visited Priest Draw, a bouldering area characterized by many limestone roofs, which ended up being perfect for the rainy day it turned out to be. We pulled on some hard problems and stayed dry under the rock. Yesterday they showed us a sport climbing area called The Peaks. To get to the crag we hiked a little over a mile on a colorful trail that was over the top beautiful just in itself. We arrived at the rock and we’re immediately stoked on the grainy basalt that reminded us a lot of the local Warming Wall in Mammoth Lakes. The rains, (which we now refer to as monsoons), came pouring down on us after only a few climbs and we were forced to retreat under the rocks. The rain and hail made everything look even more majestic than before and we hiked out as the storm lightened up.
We got a late start today due to our late night last night (oops). We stayed out a little longer than planned due to some much needed dancing, but we where quickly stoked again once we arrived at The Overlook, another Flagstaff crag. The Overlook looks down into Oak Creek Canyon…SPECTACULAR VIEW… just south of Flag. The traditional crag was also basalt but it was much smoother than at The Peaks and were characterized by long columns of perfectly broken rock. We got a bit luckier on the weather today and suffered only through a few sprinkles, lots of threatening thunder, and a small wasp nest incident. But overall, everything went swell and we left feeling pretty satisfied to have gotten on some cracks using our own gear. I also got to climb an offwidth… IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.
Where to Next?
We’ve been so grateful to have such great friends to show us around the amazing town of Flagstaff. We really appreciate it Alex and Mike! The rainy forecast may push us south to Tucson tomorrow but we’re going to wait until the morning to make a final decision. Either way, we love Flagstaff and will for sure be back here to climb more!