When you think of rock climbing in the US it’s always the Rockies that come to mind, but they’re not the only places to scale some cliffs. The southwest has some beautiful locations to get in a climb or two and most have the added bonus of being open all year long, no worries about winter closures. Here are some of the Best Rock Climbing Spots in the Southwest
MOUNT LEMMON, ARIZONA
At over 9, 000 feet, Mount Lemmon sure ranks top amongst the Santa Catalina Mountains and it has been for a long time, a definite thrill for rock climbing enthusiasts. It has various entry routes for the climbs, although the Catalina Highway is a major one. Some areas of the mountain receive as much as 200 inches of snow every year. Also, parts of the mountains are closed seasonally (January to July) for the protection of wildlife, so be sure to note when to schedule your climbing for. You are advised to be on the lookout for scorpions and rattlesnakes and also beware of loose rock. Do be prepared as well for extreme heat and cold and most importantly, flash floods.
YOSEMITE VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
Yosemite is one of the most popular climbing sites in the entire US, climbers come from all over the world to scale the rock faces here. During peak season, you will hear all kinds of different languages being spoken, a testimony to the area’s popularity and the diversity of people who come here to climb. Be prepared to wait in traffic to get to your destination during the peak season. Sometimes the park reaches capacity and no more vehicles are allowed inside the grounds. The weather is generally good but the scenery is breath taking it makes all the waiting in traffic worthwhile.
LOGAN CANYON, UTAH
One of the many climbing spots that Utah is known for, you should expect to be do some quartz and limestone climbing. Located in northeastern Utah, the canyon passes through the Bear River Mountains, a part of the Wasatch Range. A cool canyon, you should schedule your climbing for anytime but winter, as it is bound to make climbing a lot more difficult. For the protection of nature, certain climbs are closed.
RED ROCK CANYON
More than 2 million visitors each year make their way into Red Rock Canyon and it is Nevada’s first National Conservation Area. If you’re in Vegas on vacation Red Rock Canyon is just a short jaunt away, less than 17 miles west of the strip, so it is easy to give up the gambling for the day and scale the rock faces of Red Rock. If you do plane on trying a climb try it in the cooler months, summer months in Nevada are just too hot.