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Stewart Pocket Top Page

Just downstream from the Christopher Creek Campground, behind the RC Boy Scout ranch, is the start of the gorge. It has been a canyoneering experience for most. A few routes exist compared to the amount of rock you can see.


The north side of the canyon is sunny and makes a fun winter spot; the south side is shady and is better during the warm months. Forget going in July and August, too buggy and hot.

Access Points

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

From Payson, drive east on Hwy 260 until milepost 270.8ish and a paved exit on the right is your parking area. Park on the side of pavement and do not block the road. Walk through the cattleguard and head left on the powerline road to the east/start of main gorge or continue directly south to the Exit Gorge. Taking the trail to the right will take you to the Exit Gorge, Confluence Wall, Memorial Wall, etc.


The best parking is near the ADOT Yard (which will be removed spring of 2015). The road is closed at the gate but you may park on pavement until access is assured. The Access Fund and Concerned Climbers of AZ are working with the Tonto Natl Forest to maintain access.

Classic Climbing Routes at Christopher Creek Gorge

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.

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