You can probably go just about anywhere in the world and find great places for rock climbing. North America is one destination that provides climbing enthusiasts with a plenitude of spots to choose from including Rocky Mountain Park and Denali National Park. The most important aspects to consider when choosing a climbing park is first, the type of climb you want and secondly, your ability level. Weather is another key factor to keep in mind. Here’s a few of the top picks that show up on the avid rock climbers list:
Pike’s Peak is a great place for those who are adventurous at heart. It’s one of the most dangerous and endurance testing rock climbing parks in the world. This mountain can be dangerous and requires preparation, with 7,500 feet of vertical gain and bouts of deadly lightning. Most climbers choose to visit in the summer, but it’s best to get an early start to avoid lightning storms. Fees range from seven to ten dollars per person.
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Denali National Park
This park features Mt. Mckinley, the highest peak in North America. The rise on this mountain is even larger than that of Mt. Everest. Mt McKinley stands tall at 20,320 feet and a rise of 18,000 feet. While there are a number of routes to take, West Buttress is one the most popular. Weather can change on a dime in the area, so come prepared with tarps and the right gear. The best way to get there is to fly into Mt. McKinley with one of the local aviation services.
Location: Denali Park, Alaska
Rocky Mountain National Park
One of the most popular climbs in this park is Spearhead, an amazing route that ascends an impressive 13,000 feet. This is definitely a climb for those who are more advanced. Another well-liked trip is to climb to Longs’ summit via the Keyhole Route. This is a very dangerous climb that crosses sheer vertical rock faces, accompanied by falling rocks. Not using a rope in this area could prove fatal in case of a fall. This destination provides tons of climbing opportunities that include everything from short, bouldering trips to multi-day wall experiences.
Location: Estes Park, Colorado
This park is full of delicate arches and spectacular views. For beginners, the Dark Angel is the perfect place to test your skills. While its good for novice climbers, it’s not without excitement for those more advanced. This park also offers a treat for those who prefer crack climbing; the formidable Tonka Tower. If you are bold at heart, take some risk and attempt to climb the Three Penguins. The entrance to Arches is located five miles north of Moab.
Location: Moab, Utah
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is a park that’s made its way into many rock climbing stories of adventure. Climbers can find an endless variety of challenging rocks including the sun-drenched Tuolumne Meadows domes to the sustained crack climbs of the Merced River Canyon. There are also tons of multi-day climbs to encounter along the big walls of the Valley. Yosemite is a climber’s playground as well as home to a large ecosystem of animals, plants and waterways which are protected and set aside for visitors to enjoy. Some of the most amazing climbs in the world have taken place here. Overnight camping trips cost just five dollars.
Location: Yosemite National Park, California
Grand Teton National Park
This park is not only a great place for climbing, but visitors can also experience a vastness of wildlife such as the majestic pronghorn. Grand Teton is one of the classic alpine peaks in the nation. For more than 100 years, climbers from all over the world have been drawn to “The Grand” and continue to visit it yearly. There are more than 35 routes and 50 variations to choose from, so there is something for everyone. A few new routes have been discovered including The Squeeze Box. The newest route is located just north and lies between Shea’s Chute and the Alex Lowe Memorial Route. The Owen-Spalding is the perfect route for those who want to test their technical skill.
Location: Moose, Wyoming