What is Stewart Pocket?
Romancing the Stone!
Stewart Pocket is an undeveloped recreation and
climbing area, located several miles southeast of
Payson (Arizona) along East Granite Dells Road.
As the name implies, it is a scenic basin (pocket) surrounded by granite towers, boulders, domes and ridges. Average elevation within the pocket is 5,000 feet (1524 meters) above sea level.
It's also substantially forested, and lies within the
Tonto National Forest and an elevational belt or biotic
community called a life zone
. Stewart Pocket
is nestled in what is called the Pinyon pine/Juniper
Woodland, a life zone existing between 4,000'-7,300' in
the state of Arizona.
I know of at least three specific TRAD routes in
this area. They are Blade of Damascus (5.11a)
Dueling Bugles (5.10a)
on Stewart Peak, and Hard Day's
on East Tower .
Automobile access to the area can be achieved by driving to the end of the Granite Dells Road, beginning just east of the (Payson) Safeway off Highway 260. In winter when Stewart Creek is running, you have to cross the creek in order to get to Stewart Pocket.
Here's a link to a MAP
Camping in the area is free, but it can be very hot
and uncomfortable in summer without an air conditioner
and a wet bar!