For most climbers, rock climbing is an adventurous experience that allows them to test their physical limits, but it’s not for everyone.
We'll help you find the top locations to experience the best bouldering in the US so that you can travel through advanced climbing summits. Remember, always wear protective equipment when climbing to stay safe throughout your journey!
Yosemite National Park (California)
Yosemite is one of the most popular climbing spots in the world that receives thousands of climbers every year. The area’s beautiful and stark terrain feels prehistoric and antique, which is a sight you have to see for yourself.
In fact, the massive granite and spectacular cliffs make the area look serene and sturdy, so climbing becomes a hassle-free experience that's fun for all skill levels.
Climbers from across the world travel and descend upon this mountain every year, so Yosemite feels like a rite of passage for all serious climbing aficionados. The park acts as a rock climbing laboratory, practice ground, and classroom for some of the most pioneering and famous climbers who have ever to have step foot on Earth.
Yosemite’s most famous feature is the El Capitan that’s also known as the “El Cap.” Climbers have traveled over 3,000 feet to reach the peak of the mountain to witness its vertical grande façade. “El Cap” has over a dozen routes and all of them are equally challenging and demanding.
The most famous route is called "The Nose" which juts out between the Southeast and Southwest faces. If you're ever on the west coast, Yosemite National Park is a natural beauty that you can't miss. On average, it will take at least 2-5 days to ascend up the park's routes fully – so make sure you bring a few snacks with you.
The Grand Canyon (Arizona)
An extremely popular rock climbing location in the US that you've most certainly heard of is the Grand Canyon. It's created by Colorado's river flow and is an excellent spot for climbers regardless of whether they are advanced or just new to the sport.
While most of the canyon isn’t good for climbing due to its soft rock foundation, most of its routes are at the Grand Canyon Village.
You can climb the following sections of the Grand Canyon:
Since it’s a section of the Grand Canyon National Park, it’s managed by both the Havasupai Tribe and the Hualapai Tribal Nation. In fact, the Grand Canyon is regarded as one of the most famous natural wonders of the world.
It’s about 277 miles long and is considered to be a great vacation spot. This canyon became formed when the river’s power took away rock layers while the Colorado Plateau began to rise. However, most geologists argue about its date of creation. Some say that it occurred over 70 million years ago.
The Colorado River began to erode the rock and started to make the Grand Canyon that we know today.
Pikes Peak (Colorado)
Pikes Peak has become a premier destination, particularly for advanced rock climbers. With a peak that's ranked the 31st highest in the world, Pikes Peak is a great place to go both rock climbing and casual sightseeing.
The pink granite that the mountain is made of is created due to the buildup of potassium feldspar. This pink granite became visible when mountain started eroding due to weathering. Zebulon Pike was the first climber to find the peak, but he was unsuccessful at climbing its surface.
The best time to plan a climbing trip is during the summer. Pikes Peak is ranked second in the most visited mountain in the world following behind Japan’s Mt. Fiji.
Red River Gorge (Slade, Kentucky)
Slade, Kentucky is one of the few places in the US where the amount of crags (158) is more than the local population (38). This place is home to one of the hardest climbing locations in the country, so no beginner should give it a go.
People like Red River Gorge because of its popularity in the 60's and the 70's. During this time, pioneer rock climbers traveled through the course and created their routes for future climbers to follow. Try this climbing summit out if you want a natural experience yet a challenging course to complete.
Chelsea Piers (New York)
Chelsea Piers is a sports center that creates a safe environment for first-time climbers and children wanting to learn about rock climbing. It’s considered to be a more peaceful climbing spot due to its vast amount of space in a controlled setting.
If this is your first time climbing, definitely give this place a look. You’ll find other rock climbers at your skill level who can help you along the way and give you tips on improving your climbing technique. Once you become adept with this climbing spot, you should try some of the other areas on this list.
Cathedral Ledge (New Hampshire)
Cathedral Ledge is a popular climbing spot that’s located only 2 hours away from Boston. It has a road to the summit, and it’s easy to get to by foot or car. One thing that climbers like about Cathedral Ledge is that it has a wide range of routes that are available for all skill levels and climbing styles.
Also, Cathedral Ledge has a large potential for new routes, but there are areas with established
lines that are used by skilled and professional climbers. The cliff offers face climbs, sport climbing routes, splitter cracks, and long multi-pitch routes.
For beginners, there are short, simple, and fun to practice climbs located at the North End. In fact, they have hard routes located at the Central Wall so people of all skill levels can enjoy climbing the Cathedral Ledge!
Rock climbing can be experienced by anyone! Whether you live on the east coast or the west coast, you'll always find a new mountain and challenge to take on.
You won't regret bringing a group of friends, safety equipment, and a good pair of climbing shoes before attempting any of these summits!