5 Summer Rock Climbing Destinations

While the weather is starting to warm up, the increasing heat and humidity don’t always make you think of rock climbing. And while it’s not the most ideal time to hit T-Wall of Chattanooga, there are plenty of great places around the country to get some much-needed crag time.

We’ve put together our top five rock climbing destinations to help plan your summer climbing getaway.

  • Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes Park, CO)

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is a multi-pitch trad lover’s paradise. It has everything from multi-day and classic trad routes, like Lumpy Ridge, to world famous bouldering fields in Chaos Canyon. The town life in Estes Park is extremely friendly and welcomes outdoor enthusiasts every year. 

Even if you decide to hit the park in the winter, you can enjoy ice climbing and winter summits on numerous 13ers in addition to the famous Longs Peak.

  • Squamish, BC

If you’re looking to test your climbing skills on some of the best rock in the world with thousands of other climbers, look no further than Squamish. Most of the climbing is within a 5 to 10 minute walk from downtown, giving the area a strong outdoor cultural vibe as well as diversity. You’ll experience a friendly vibe from locals who love offering resources and climbing advice to anyone who asks. You’re guaranteed to leave with more skills, new friendships, and memories to last a lifetime. 

  • North Conway, NH

Tucked in the Mt. Washington Valley, the biggest and harshest mountain in the Northeast, lies the yuppie mountain town of North Conway. Overlooking the town are two large cliffs: the 1000-foot of slabs Whitehorse Ledge and Cathedral Ledge, which resembles a mini El Cap. These cliffs boast anything from moderate first leads, single-pitch cragging, and hard as granite routes. 

  • Lander, WY

It’s no coincidence that Lander, WY is home to the world’s largest climbing festival every July. Known for incredible climbing year round, this outdoor enthusiast town is sure to provide everything you need for your outdoor adventure vacation. While you’re there, it’s also worth checking out Ten Sleep Canyon, another great climbing spot located just two and a half hours away.

  • The High Sierra (CA)

There’s a reason John Muir spent so much of his life in the Sierra —this range is home to some of the world’s best granite, mild weather, and gorgeous views. Whether you want to boulder next to an alpine lake, climb 12 pitches of perfect cracks, bag a 14er, or traverse endless ridge systems, the High Sierra will impress a climber of any kind.

Many of the routes are far away from roads and civilization, so most people backpack and camp before climbing a specific route. In many areas this requires a permit, so make sure you reserve one beforehand. If you aren’t into hiking, consider the (somewhat) roadside crags of Tuolumne Meadows or Mammoth.