Did You Know You Can Try Rock Climbing at These 5 Famous Places?

So, you're outdoorsy — that's awesome! You like to hike, camp, get the 4x4 out there and shred some dunes or trails? Perfect.

How's your rock climbing game though? Do you head to the same played-out spots or stay inside the rock gym? It may be time to stretch out and try some new places.

Oh, one more quick question: Do you like to travel? Well, combine blazing the open trails with your love of rock climbing and you have a viable list of options to chalk up at some lesser-known rock climbing spots in the good ol' US of A.

Here are a few places to think outside the climbing box:

Mount Rushmore

Yes, Mount Rushmore's name should be a dead giveaway that it's meant for climbing, but most people don't think about bouldering or rock climbing when they hear the name. Most people think of that scene in North by Northwest, right? Or they think of how it's mostly just a family road trip destination where you can stare at some faces of presidents of the past, a huge feat in and of itself.

But Rushmore touts some stellar pegmatite granite that ranges from a 10-foot boulder to super tall climbing routes. Winter may not be the best time to go, but a trusty lead climber could help to guide through rock formations and big walls, and cover some aid climbing or help with general basics.

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Point Dume


Point Dume is a sandy paradise for surfers looking to catch some waves. But the Malibu beach also plays host to epic rock climbing options that can be scaled free of rope (or with it, to be safe).

Not the first place most people think of when wanting some outdoors fun in the Los Angeles area, Point Dume is a surprisingly awesome rock climbing spot just minutes from the second-busiest city in the country.

Joshua Tree

Located about a half-hour from fancy-schmancy Palm Springs, weekend warriors often head here for the trippy desert experiences, human-like Yucca trees, or surreal night sky.

But Joshua Tree is also home to some decent sheer cliffs, low-angle slab, and monzogranite boulders just waiting to be surfaced for solo climbing and various ability levels including new climbers.

Zion National Park

If you're on Instagram, you've probably seen a grossly annoying amount of wide-angled or GoPro images of backpacking couples skipping through the orange-red-rusty rocks of Zion. But real outdoorsy people know it's a palace of rock climbing options.

Log off IG and head to Zion for the park's 2,000-foot sandstone cliffs and giant climbing walls. Most climbing grades can be difficult, but there are courses anyone can take (sponsored through the park itself) to experience climbing in this rich National Park like experienced climbers.

Lake Tahoe

Yes, the main attraction for this area is in the name itself (i.e. water), but instead of inflating the banana boat, why not break out a belay device and give in to the world class rock climbing opportunities in the area? Tahoe has a high volume of granite and basalt climbing and bouldering options, and climbers can go for single and multi-pitch top-roping.

Into sport climbing? Tahoe is that too.

Put the rubber to the road (or veer off it, because all these areas have great off-roading too!), and weave some rock climbing into your next traveling adventure.

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