Goliath (5.9+)

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Arizona, United States, North America
Trad Climbing
Spring, Fall, Winter
5302 ft / 1616 m
2682 Hits
82.48% Score
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Goliath (5.9+)
Created On: Mar 1, 2012
Last Edited On: Mar 28, 2013


Goliath is a spire located just north of Sedona in Mormon Canyon. When viewed from afar, Goliath blends into the landscape so well that you can really only pick it out when duck rolls around and it begins to cast a shadow. Goliath is located just down canyon of the much more notable and popular Earth Angel Spire (5.10-). For the grade, Goliath does not nearly receive as much traffic as other routes in Sedona. One of the reasons might be that this spire is not listed in David Bloom's Sedona Guidebook Castles in the Sand. Most of the climbing is easy and fun. The easiest way up this spire is 5.9+. The crux comes trying to pull a bulge to get on top of the summit block. Aside from that section, the rest of the climbing is around 5.6. The climbing is typical Sedona climbing with a traverse and of course, the views are awesome.
Making the Last
Awesome climbing with awesome views

Getting There

The Drive-

From Sedona: Head north on Jordan Road from the downtown area. Follow the road into a residential area. Veer left and follow Jordan Road as it turns to dirt. Park at the end of this dirt road in a big parking area with a bathroom (This is the parking area for a few main trailheads). This road is normally in good condition, but sometimes it can get rutted out (2wd cars ok)
The End of Jordan Road
The trailhead at sunset

The Approach-

From the end of Jordan Road:
From the parking area, head along the northwest along the Brins Mesa Trail and go around the left side of a little knoll. When Mormon Canyon comes into view, drop down into the wash on your right. This is a fairly pronounced wash and it shouldn't be hard to find. Follow this cobbley wash for around 1.5 miles until you reach a slickrock (there are pools here sometime) section with views looking straight up to Goliath. Follow this drainage up towards Goliath. About 1/4 of the way up the wash, looking for a cairned trail that breaks off to the left and winds its way through scrub oak and juniper. Follow this to the north side of Goliath to the highpoint on Goliath's saddle. If you follow the drainage up the whole way instead of breaking off left, you will be in for lots of loose rock and swacking. If you do this, then just traverse around the base of the spire. to reach the saddle.
Looking Up
Approaching Goliath

The Route

Described here is the normal route up Goliath. The first ascent was done by Scott Baxter and Greg (?) Douglass in 1970

Pitch 1- Follow wide crack system up to a hollowed out section just above the limestone band. You can either follow this the whole way up and reach alot of choss just below the band or traverse left to a runout face to avoid the choss. Belay on top of nice ledge on limestone band. (5.6, 90ft)
On Pitch 1
Pitch 1

Pitch 2- Traverse limestone band around the left side of the spire. This traverse is very airy and the gear placements can be interesting. The rope drag is pretty bad towards the end of this pitch. Belay on big ledge by a bush with a wide chimney above it. (5.6+, 120ft)
Thin Traverse
The traverse on Pitch 2

Pitch 3- Move up chimeny and exit awkwardly on top of a detached block. Move up to a dihedral to a intimidating roof (the holds are there, just go for it). Low 5th class climbing ensues. Climb to a huge ledge to the climbers left of the final summit block. Apparently there is a bolt next to a crack down lower that works well for a belay but we didn't find it. Going to this huge ledge is easy enough. Save a few small nuts for the anchor. (5.6, 110ft)
In the Chimeny
Moving up the chimney on pitch 3

Pitch 4 This is the crux pitch. From the huge ledge, clip the bolt in front of you. Do a very awkward and hard mantle (feels more like a 5.10+ move) to surmount the buldge. This move can be aided if you need to. Plug a small TCU or C3 in a small detached flake and then move to the top. (5.9++, 20ft)
Gaining the Summit
Crux moves on the 4th pitch

Rappel 1-From the summit, rappel off two solid bolts down to two bolts in huge huge chimney. (80ft) 
Looking Down from below the Summit
Looking down the rappels

Rappel 2-From chimney, rappel 45 feet down to the big hollowed out section on top of pitch 1.
Rappel 3- From the the big hollowed out section, rappel the first pitch off of a slung boulder with rap ring. Needs at least one more more piece of webbing or cord (2-25-12).

Note: this is the way we did it, some people do a double rope rappel off a slung boulder just below the summit block and reach the ground in one shot. We did it this way to minimize the risk of getting our ropes stuck.

Gear Atop
Gear: Gear up to 3 inches, a full set of nuts, webbing incase anchors are in bad condition, WATER, helmet and a sense of adventure

Red Tape

A Red Rock Pass is needed to park at the end of Jordan Road. These can be purchased daily for a $5.00 dollar fee at the kiosk at the parking area or at many other locations in the Sedona Area. More information about Red Rock Passes can be found HERE. If you have an Annual Federal Lands Access Pass, you can use that instead of a Red Rock Pass.

External Links

Mountain Project Information on Goliath. MP is good for up to date conditions

Current Weather Conditions
Current weather conditions for Goliath as forecasted by NOAA.

Misc and Disclaimer

If you have any more additional information or photos, please contact me or add them to this page. While I can provide lots of information about this route, I cannot guarantee that the information will be up to date. Always check for current conditions and go prepared for the worst. New beta will be posted as necessary. Thank you!