There are plenty of places in the United States for some great rock climbing, and they’re not all located in California. What follows is a list of 5 fantastic climbing destinations across the country. So, load up the old family truckster for a truly epic climbing road trip this summer.
Red River Gorge
Stanton, Kentucky is home to the Red River Gorge, a beautiful place for climber and outdoor enthusiasts. Red River Gorge is a sports climber’s dream. The routes offer up challenges for all levels of experience, with existing bolts and anchors placed along the routes so you can leave your trad gear at home. During the climbing season, the weekends see a LOT of climbers, so you’ll have plenty of time to socialize and talk shop when you’re not on the rock.
Acadia National Park’s Otter Cliff is a pretty unique climbing experience. Being a sea cliff, the only way you’ll be able to climb its numerous routes is to rappel down from the top of the cliff. It goes without saying that you’ll be having fun before you ever even plan your ascent. History buffs and ghost hunters will appreciate the “spindle” rock formation at the bottom of the cliff, where the famous French explorer Samuel de Champlain died in 1604.
Located in Baraga, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Silver Mountain is actually not part of any “mountain” range. It’s actually just a sturdy rock summit that used to be part of an old mine shaft. If you have members of your family who don’t climb they’ll have plenty to do, too, as Silver Mountain also sports some comfy steps, where folks can hike to the top and take in some amazing views of wildlife and landscape.
Santa Barbara, California
California is arguably the home of some of the best rock climbing in America. Gibraltar Rock in Santa Barbara is a great choice for climbers who aren’t quite ready to take on the big walls in Yosemite. This rock face offers up five different routes on its south face that vary in difficulty and can all be conquered in a single pitch. At the top, you’ll find some amazing views.
Yosemite National Park, California
El Capitan is the holy grail of rock climbing. Climbers come from all over the world to take a shot at its 3,000-foot summit. With multiple pitches and routes, some of which will have you camping on the side of the wall, a thousand feet up, you’d better make sure you train hard and are prepared before dipping your hand in your chalk for the first time at the base of El Cap.