Discover 10 amazing places for rock climbing

1. Pinnacles National Park, California

Pinnacles National Park has climbs just 10-15 minutes up the trail. Because the rock is weak volcanic breccia, it is advised you lead below your level at first. Easy top-rope routes on the East Side are in the 5.4 – 5.12 range. Other climbs range from 5.4 to 5.9 on the Bear Gulch Side, 5.3 – 5.8 on the Chaparral Side, and 5.2-5.7 in the High Peaks. Bouldering Rock on the West Side and Long’s Folly in the High Peaks are places for bouldering. In addition to safety reminders, be sure to find out about closures due to nesting falcons and eagles from January through July.

2. Zion National Park, Utah

Zion’s world-class 2,000-foot sandstone wall climbs are for experienced climbers only, but there are easily accessed boulders in the main canyon. There are a few top roping, sport climbing, and bouldering areas as well. Plan to visit in spring or fall, and avoid climbing when rock is wet.

3. Yosemite National Park, California

America’s first-protected land is also world-renowned among climbers. Yosemite’s Merced River Canyon has sustained crack climbs, and there are rope climbs on Tuolumne Meadows’ domes. The truly adventurous can enjoy multi-day aid climbs on the big walls of the Valley, where there is also popular bouldering areas. Because of its popularity, it’s all the more important to make efforts to minimize your impact. Climbing is prohibited on Glacier Point Apron and restricted near peregrine falcon nest sites.

4. Acadia National Park, Maine

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

5. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree is among the park service’s world-class climbing gems, with more than 400 climbing formations and 8,000 climbing routes. The monzogranite mecca has a traditional-style crack, slab, and steep-face climbing for all ability levels. Bouldering and slacklining are also popular activities. Be aware of closures due to nesting raptors, and avoid visiting during scorching summers.

6. Arches National Park, Utah

Arches’ climbing routes are recommended for advanced climbers – and educated. The park adopted a plan last year that notifies climbers of regulations, safety concerns, and closures. Climbers are also encouraged to register with a free permit.

7. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, California

Sequoia and Kings Canyon have Yosemite-quality rock with less crowds. There are a wide variety of climbs, from easy to extremely challenging, but most require at least a day’s hike. Eight miles into Kings Canyon are Charlito and Charlotte Domes. The easiest to access in Sequoia is Moro Rock, with 1,000 vertical feet of cracks and knobs, but it is closed in summer due to nesting falcons. Obelisk and Grand Sentinel are other well-known routes. Climbers can wander a few miles off the popular John Muir Trail to find less-travelled ascents.

8. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Technical rock climbing at Capitol Reef has been increasing in recent years, but climbing in canyon country is not something to be taken lightly. Sandstone can be soft, though the relatively-hard Wingate cliff walls are popular for crack climbing. Arches and bridges are closed, as well as some areas with rock art panels or prehistoric structures.

9. North Cascades National Park, Washington

The rugged, varied routes in North Cascades offer challenge and beauty. Arduous climbs to glaciated summits reward climbers with stunning views of jagged peaks and alpine meadows. Some routes require cross-country treks for days over steep, snowy slopes, demanding visitors’ mountaineering skills to scramble over ice. This wild paradise hosts sport climbing and bouldering in the Skagit Gorge.

10. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

There are about 800 routes and over 200 peaks in Grand Teton, ranging from easy to very difficult climbs through rock, snow and ice. Most take can be done in a day but some can take longer, requiring a bivouac or camping permit.