Rock climbing is a unique activity or sport. Unlike many other sports, you will find that rock climbing is highly dependent on the environment where the activity takes place. The place where you choose to climb can have an enormous impact on the climb itself. Some climbs are relatively simple, while others can be deadly for beginners.
There is also, of course, the difference between indoor and outdoor climbing, but today, we are going to be focusing on outdoor rock climbing. That is because we are going to be looking at the best spots to rock climb outdoors in the entirety of the USA. We will go from coast to coast in search of the best rock climbing destinations.
Zion National Park
Zion is one of the most famous national parks in all of America. You will find that the massive sandstone rocks provide some of the most picturesque environments on the North American continent, but those same rocks make for incredible climbing.
Located in Utah, this national park may be a little bit out of the way for some of our readers, but you will not regret your journey to Zion. You have a choice between bouldering on some of the smaller rocks around the park, or you can take part in a massive climb that is only recommended for advanced climbers.
This national park is named after the Grand Teton, the highest mountain in the Teton mountain range. From this very basic description, you can already guess that it is a great destination for rock climbers. This national park is located in Wyoming, a state renowned for its incredible natural vistas.
You will find few better parks if you are a serious rock climber than Grand Teton. There are hundreds of climbs that you can participate in, and most of them are very different from one another. Many of the peaks are snowy, so ensure that you are comfortable climbing in colder environments.
Along with Zion, Yosemite is one of the most famous national parks in America. It was the first piece of land in America that was granted protected status, and it remains one of the most well-known. Yosemite National Park is located in California, so it is not that far out of the way for our readers on the west coast.
Many different climbing disciplines can be indulged in while you are at Yosemite. You have the choice of crack climbs, bouldering, and even perilous rope climbs. You will find that Yosemite is mostly recommended for intermediate to experienced rock climbers thanks to the dangers inherent in some of the climbs.
As you may have guessed from the name, the Colorado National Monument is located in Colorado. This is one of the better destinations on this list for our readers who enjoy more technical climbs. Keep in mind, however, that Colorado National Monument is not only ideal for technical climbers, but for all types of climbs.
Bouldering is one of the more popular climbing types that people enjoy at the Colorado National Monument, and scrambling is another popular discipline. While the Monument can be a dangerous location if you choose to partake in some of the longer climbs, you will find that it is also a good place for beginners.
Coconino National Forest
The Coconino National Forest is located in Arizona, and it is one of the more friendly locations for climbing for beginners on this list. The main attraction here is Jack's Canyon, which is known worldwide for being one of the most beautiful climbing locations that you can visit.
Jack’s Canyon makes for easier climbing than other canyons in America thanks to the cracked rocks which give an abundance of handholds. There are few better places to learn canyon climbing than here. Keep in mind that this comparative ease does not make this canyon safe for wholly inexperienced climbers.
This is another entry on this list that is located in Wyoming; do not let the intimidating name of Devils tower scare you away because this butte is one of the most iconic climbing locations in the USA. This butte is about 1000 feet tall, so it makes for a rather imposing climb, but it is worth the effort.
This natural formation is composed of many columns that are hexagonal, almost like a giant cable made out of rock. Devils Tower is ideal for crack climbing due to the abundance of cracks that are present on its surface. Traditional climbing techniques tend to be the most popular for those who choose this location.
Joshua Tree National Park
No list of the best climbing locations in America would be complete without the Joshua Tree National Park. Located in California, this and Yosemite are known as the best Californian climbing attractions by a rather wide margin. Joshua Tree is ideal for climbers of all disciplines, thanks to the wide variety of climbing environments available.
Joshua Tree is perfect for climbers of all skill levels, so you will find that you can get your climbing fix regardless of prior experience. It has one of the largest numbers of climbing routes out of any national park in America. You have over 8000 different routes on which you can climb in this national park.
We would argue that Joshua Tree is the most memorable location on this list thanks to a combination of an easily accessible location and the sheer variety of climbs that can be undertaken. If there is one place that you can visit from this list, we would recommend that you choose Joshua Tree National Park.
We hope that this list has been sufficient for your rock climbing needs. There are plenty more places to climb in America than the seven we have outlined in this list, but these are our favorites.