Rock climbing in the USA is an exciting adventure activity that is guaranteed to provide travelers with a rich and rewarding experience.
With its diverse topography, the country boasts excellent rock climbing opportunities that are sure to captivate climbers of all skill levels.
Whether you’re looking to scale the towering granite cliffs of Yosemite or ascend the sandstone spires of Utah, the United States offers a multitude of challenges for every climber.
With so many incredible destinations to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin planning your adventure.
In this guide, I will provide you with everything you need to know to make the most of your rock climbing trip.
From tips on finding the best climbing spots to advice on gear and safety, I will walk you through the planning process step by step.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time climber, this guide will help you plan an unforgettable rock climbing adventure in the United States.
Table of Contents
Rock Climbing Basic Information
Like in many countries around the world, rock climbing has become an increasingly popular adventure activity in the United States, with numerous world-class climbing destinations available throughout the country.
Among the most popular of these spots are Yosemite National Park in California, Red River Gorge in Kentucky, and Joshua Tree National Park, also located in California.
It is important to note that rules and regulations regarding rock climbing can vary depending on the location. While some climbing areas are situated on public lands managed by the National Park Service, others may be located on private property.
As a result, permits may be required for access to certain areas or for overnight stays. To ensure that you are fully prepared, it is important to check ahead of time to determine if any permits or fees are required and to obtain them if necessary.
Keep in mind, though, that adventure officials in this country are very friendly.
If you are planning a rock climbing trip to the United States, there are several things to consider before embarking on your adventure…
Make sure you have the necessary climbing experience for the specific route or area you plan to climb.
Some areas in the United States have very difficult climbs that require advanced skills and experience.
Bring your own gear or plan to rent gear locally. It’s important to have the right equipment for the type of climb and the environment.
Rock climbing in the USA isn’t as complicated, especially with the right gear!
Check the weather forecast before your trip and be prepared for changing weather conditions. In some areas, the weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly.
Depending on the location, you may need a car to get to the climbing area. Some areas may also require a hike to get to the climb, so plan accordingly.
If you’re not familiar with the area or don’t have much climbing experience, consider hiring a guide service.
They can provide equipment, instruction, and knowledge of the local area.
Now, before we get too deep into our guide, let me answer some frequently asked questions.
Which city is famous for rock climbing?
While there are many cities in the United States with great rock climbing areas nearby, one city that is particularly famous for its climbing in Boulder, Colorado. Boulder is located near the Rocky Mountains and has many climbing areas nearby, including the famous Flatirons and Eldorado Canyon.
What states are ranked by rock climbing?
It’s difficult to rank states by rock climbing since there are so many great climbing areas across the country, but some states are definitely more well-known for climbing than others. Some of the most popular states for rock climbing include California, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
What is the hardest rock climb in the US?
The hardest rock climbing in the USA is currently recognized as “Silence,” a climb in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. This climb was first completed in 2017 by Czech climber Adam Ondra and is rated at 5.15d on the Yosemite Decimal System scale, making it the hardest climb in the world.
How many rock climbers are there in the US?
It’s difficult to determine exactly how many rock climbers there are in the United States since there is no official organization that keeps track of this information. However, the Outdoor Industry Association reports that in 2019, approximately 7.8 million Americans participated in rock climbing or bouldering at least once. This number includes both indoor and outdoor climbing.
Best Rock Climbing States
Rock climbing is a thrilling adventure activity enjoyed by many people around the world, and the United States is home to some of the best climbing areas in the world.
From the granite cliffs of Yosemite to the sandstone walls of Utah, there are countless destinations for rock climbers to explore.
In this section, we will highlight some of the best rock climbing states in the United States.
California is a beautiful state with a temperate climate. Travelers like visiting this state for its many adventures.
Meanwhile, California is home to some of the most iconic climbing areas in the world, including Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, and Lake Tahoe.
Yosemite, in particular, is famous for its towering granite walls and challenging climbs and attracts climbers from all over the world.
Colorado is known for its beautiful Rocky Mountains and has many world-class climbing destinations, including Eldorado Canyon, the Flatirons, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
The state also has a large community of climbers and is home to many climbing festivals and events.
Utah’s unique landscape of sandstone cliffs and canyons makes it a popular destination for rock climbers.
Moab is a particularly popular area for climbing, with its towering red sandstone walls and challenging routes.
Other popular areas include Zion National Park and Indian Creek.
Arizona’s Sonoran Desert is home to some of the most unique and challenging climbing areas in the country, including Camelback Mountain and the Superstition Mountains.
The state also has many great climbing gyms for those looking to train indoors.
These are just a few of the best rock climbing states in the United States, but there are many more incredible climbing destinations across the country.
Whether you’re a seasoned climber or just starting out, there is a climbing area in the United States that is perfect for you.
Places to Go Rock Climbing Indoors
Rock climbing in the USA is an exciting and challenging sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
While outdoor climbing is a thrilling way to experience nature and challenge yourself physically and mentally, indoor climbing is a great way to improve your skills and stay in shape year-round.
In this section, we will highlight some of the best places to go rock climbing indoors in the United States.
Brooklyn Boulders (New York)
Brooklyn Boulders is a climbing gym located in the heart of New York City.
The gym has over 22,000 square feet of climbing terrain, including bouldering areas, top-rope climbing, and lead climbing.
The gym also has yoga classes, fitness equipment, and a sauna for recovery after a hard climb.
Momentum Indoor Climbing (Utah)
Momentum Indoor Climbing has two locations in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is known for its massive climbing walls and extensive training facilities.
The gyms have over 55,000 square feet of climbing terrain, including bouldering, top-rope climbing, and lead climbing.
Momentum also offers yoga classes, fitness equipment, and a sauna for recovery.
Earth Treks (Colorado)
Earth Treks is a climbing gym located in Golden, Colorado, just a short drive from Denver.
The gym has over 29,000 square feet of climbing terrain, including bouldering areas, top-rope climbing, and lead climbing.
Earth Treks also offers fitness classes, yoga classes, and a fully equipped training area.
The Circuit Bouldering Gym (Oregon)
The Circuit Bouldering Gym is located in Tigard, Oregon, and is known for its fun and challenging bouldering terrain.
The gym has over 10,000 square feet of bouldering terrain, including beginner-friendly routes and challenging overhangs.
The gym also has a training area and a yoga studio.
These are just a few of the best places to go rock climbing indoors in the United States.
Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced climber looking to push your limits, these gyms offer something for everyone.
Rock Climbing in the USA – Final Thoughts
Rock climbing has become an increasingly popular adventure activity in recent years, and the United States boasts some of the best climbing areas in the world.
From Yosemite’s towering granite walls to Moab’s red sandstone canyons, the country offers countless destinations for climbers of all levels to explore and conquer.
Whether you’re an experienced outdoor climber seeking a new challenge or a beginner looking for the convenience of indoor climbing, there are many great options to choose from throughout the United States.
However, before embarking on a climbing trip, it is essential to research the area thoroughly, pack the appropriate gear, and practice safety precautions to ensure a successful and safe climb.
With careful planning and preparation, a rock climbing trip in the United States can be an unforgettable adventure that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Tom Larson is a traveler who writes about the outdoors.