BLOG- Tripping in Oak Flats
June 28, 2015
Written by: Duncan Barnes
Media and Design
Off to the desert for another adventure! This time we are headin' out to Oak Flats, Arizona. A climbing area known for the surrounding copper mines and agro workers. The employees of the mines have been known to hassle the climbers, so make sure if you head out here to be low key. Due to them destroying the ground through fracking and other sorts of earth-cracking techniques to extract the copper from the earth, It's no wonder that they don't appreciate climbers tracking through the area. I guess you can't blame them for trying to keep it under wraps, but still they're ruining some awesome bouldering.
We drove up the dirt road to the climbing area, fyi you should probably have a truck and 4WD, and after wondering around for a bit we came across a few fun boulders. Mountain Project does a good job telling you where to go, but the cell service is terrible out there so print those pages before you get out there, oops.. If your not familiar with the area it can be tough to find the boulder you're looking for because of the closures from the miners, but sometimes its just about being outdoors, fresh air and being away from the madness of the city. We got a chance to do a bit of bouldering and hiking around the area. And although the climbing was the main focus, we seemed to be more taken back by the animals and rock formations that made up the area. Overall, a rad place to stumble upon!
While Taylor was looking at a project in the caves she was being watched by a Ring Tailed Lemur in the cave! I yelled, "WOAH WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!" Taylor got so scared she flew to the other side of the valley not knowing what was behind her. This little guy had big orange eyes and was just curious as to why Taylor was climbing around his home. We later learned they are all over Oak Flats as well as a lot of other curious creatures. This land was sacred land to Native Americans and due to a "sneak bill" it was seized from them for mining as the story goes. It has a dried up river running through it so be prepared to get eaten alive by mosquitoes after sunset. We definitely had about 40 bites each and couldn't camp there in June because they were so bad.
Whether its for climbing, hiking, dirt biking or camping, Oak Flats is sure to be one for the books. If your ever in the area, check it out!
A few photos from the trip,
As always #happyclimbing