There are certainly more extreme places to go rock climbing if you so choose, and this is not necessarily the top 10 places to climb in the United States, but these rock faces will sure guarantee a fun and exciting trip so make sure to add the following climbs to your bucket list. Let’s start with one of my favorites.
Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
Devils Tower National Monument has become one of the more popular places to rock climb over the past few years. We’re talking hundreds of climbers that make their way up over the various vertical cracks every single year. Climbers can ascend on all sides of Devil’s Tower providing different ranges of difficulty – from some of the most challenging rock faces in the world to more relatively easy routes. Pick your own difficulty level.
Located in Yosemite National Park this huge chunk of granite extends 4,737 feet from bottom to the top. It sits above a vast valley and there is an option to hike the Dome using a trail and cable route which was set up back in 1919. But for the more serious rock climbers there are more than ten routes up the northwest face to the summit.
Travel to Moab, Utah and pick any of the sandstone faces of the Colorado Plateau. Nothing but gorgeous terrain and stunning views. Be aware that it can become over crowded with climbers depending on the time of year. But beginners, moderate, and expert climbers can find a route that best fits their skill level.
Smith Rock, Oregon
This spot is absolutely amazing with more than one-thousand different routes to the top – many of them are considered to be some of the most challenging climbs on the entire planet. It’s likely that some of the best climbers have been here many times before.
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El Capitan, California
Located in Yosemite National Park, also known as “El Cap”, this chunk of granite rises 3,000 feet and was considered at one time to be impossible to climb. There are two faces: one on the Southwest and the other on the Southeast side. The most popular route to the top is right in the middle of the faces, also known as The Nose. Besides the Nose there are more than a dozen routes to the top.
Tahquitz Rock, California
Located on the high western side of the San Jacinto Mountains in California sits Lily Rock. This rock face extends 1,000 feet and overlooks the town of Idyllwild. Both hikers and climbers storm this peak each year for one of the most exhilarating excursions. There are more than a dozen routes to the top.
Can’t forget Rocky Mountain National Park which provides a lifetime’s worth of adventures. This peak is one of the more popular ones among climbers and the East Face of the mountain is quite steep which is cut off by a large sheer cliff well-known as The Diamond. Another popular route to the top is called the Keyhole Route which is surprisingly opened all year round for hikers but can be treacherous due to ice formation and snow. During these times specialized equipment is needed, such as crampons and an ice axe.
Stone Mountain, North Carolina
Stone Mountain is a 600 foot granite dome and an intimidating climb due to the featureless landscape. Besides the intimidation factor, there are some moderate routes to the top. In the 1990’s there was a project by the Carolina Climbers Coalition to replace many of the original bolts with new ones.
Cathedral has a climb for just about any skill level. It has very easy access in and up over the top and because of this it is one of the most popular climbs in the United States. On the North End there are even short practice climbs to get you warmed up for the Central Wall. Aside from these, there are dozens of routes to the top.
“Flatirons Winter Sunrise edit 2” by Taken by Jesse Varner. Modified by AzaToth. – Self-made photo.
Flatirons, Boulder, Colorado
Rising like enormous one-thousand foot spikes out of the base of the Rockies is the Flatirons. Even though this is an amazing climb, it’s East Face of the Third Flatiron is considered to be one of the best beginner level climbs in the United States. The reason I left this climb for last is because when you’re done with your climb up the Flatiron, take a walk to downtown Boulder where you can reward yourself by enjoying several of the local pubs. It’s the perfect way to finish the day off right.