25 Favorite Climbing Destinations

Red Rock Nevada

Let’s face it, Red Rocks has it all for climbers. Excellent bouldering, great sport climbing, trad climbing from single pitch routes to big wall. While mostly considered a winter climbing destination, the Red Rock offers year-round climbing once you learn your way around.


Yosemite California

A bit intimidating when you first visit with climbing in mind, but the Valley has something to offer regardless of what grades you climb. 

Lovers’ Leap

Lovers Leap

This just might be the most perfect moderate trad climbing destination in America. The routes are long enough to be enjoyable, but not so long that they feel like a huge commitment where you have to race against time to finish them. Even the approaches are straightforward and short.

Donner Summit

Donner Lake

With great views, polished slabs, vertical cracks, and overhanging sports routes, Donner has something for everyone. 

Jackson Fall

Jackson Falls

Not on many climbers’ destinations, but Jackson Falls offers excellent sandstone climbing amongst the trees. Thin technical faces or overhanging jugs can be found feet apart. Except for long weekends, Jackson Falls is rarely crowded.

Cathedral Ledges

Clean granite with a friendly local scene. If you’re looking for slabs or perfect cracks on the East Coast then you won’t be disappointed. For those who want some hard sports routes, a few of those exist too. Love the approaches too.


Vertical granite face climbing on sparse gear is the best description of what to expect here. Come ready to most quickly and know ahead of time that run-outs are the norm. 

Tonsai Beach

Tufa stemming, pocket pulling, Thai massages, and great food are all minutes from each other. 

Batu Cave

Elegant face climbing on mostly vertical granite minutes from the car. With bolted routes up to four pitches, this place could keep a climber busy for years. 


Limestone towers as far as the eye can see. Great climbing with scenery that inspired the artist of the 20 yen bill. 

Eldorado Canyon

Excellent climbing over a tremendously loud river. 


Sport climbing on gear. 

Red River Gorge

Overhanging sandstone wall that requires endurance is what the Red is famous for, but any trad climber visiting the area should leave the rack behind. Some great gear routes exist on less crowded cliffs. 


Shaded in the summer, but never busy, sunset offers excellent sandstone climbing with a spectacular view of Chattanooga. Creative gear placement is the norm once you straight from the most traveled routes. This is one of the few climbing areas I’ve visited There are no lines on routes of any grades even on busy days.


Splitter cracks and bullet hard sandstone. The approach helps keep the crowds down, but the effort is worth every minute. If you want big roof routes, T-Wall won’t disappoint.

Joshua Tree

Short approaches, vertical face climbs, run-out slabs, and cracks of every size and grade. Oh, don’t forget the bouldering mat. 

Blue Mountains

Maybe the most beautiful place I’ve ever climbed. Like Red Rocks, the Blueys offer a bit of everything from well-protected sport routes, to desperately run-out gear lines. 

Linville Gorge

Remote wilderness climbing on great rock. In many cases, finding the route just might be the psychological crux of the day. 

Looking Glass

Most famous for its “eyebrows” Looking Glass also offers some excellent cracks and crimpy faces to keep a well-rounded climbing entertained. 

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