Did you know that rock climbing started as a recognized sport in England in the 1880s? Do you enjoy rock climbing and are looking for some extreme climbs with views that will leave you breathless?
In this article, you’ll discover some of the best places for rock climbing in the world. Read on to discover the best places to rock climb to really push and challenge yourself, and have the time of your life.
1. Pinnacles, National Park, California
Pinnacles National Park in California has rock comprised of weak volcanic breccia. Because of this, you’ll want to lead below your level in the beginning. Make sure to find out about any closures beforehand because of nesting falcons and eagles from January through July.
This national park’s scenery was created about 60 million years ago, and people have visited this area for over 10,000 years. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced climber, there’s plenty of challenging terrain to climb. If you’re looking for a challenge, check out the multi-pitch climbs that run along the Machete Ridge.
2. Black Canyon, Colorado
Black Canyon is located in Colorado’s Gunnison National Park. This is where you want to hit up only if you’re looking for extreme rock climbing. With hundreds of routes to choose from, there are plenty of extreme walls to climb including the North and South Chasm Walls.
Check out Climbing Blogger for some other great rock climbing experiences you won’t want to miss.
3. Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
If you’re looking for some of the best places to rock climb, you’ll want to include the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. You can climb on multiple columns and cracks from any part of the rock formation. Some areas are easier than others since all of Devil’s Tower is climbable.
4. Red River Gorge, Kentucky
When you’re looking for a stunning area east of the Rocky Mountains with a large number of arches, Red River Gorge is for you. There are a variety of routes to choose from and it’s popular among all experience levels.
5. El Capitan, Yosemite
El Capitan is located in Yosemite National Park, and you’ll want to check it out for one of the most challenging rock climbs in the world. No matter how experienced you are, it’ll take a few days to get to the top.
Make sure to bring a hammock to rest after a long day of climbing. Some looking for the top challenge climb the cliff with just their hands and feet.
6. K2, Himalayas
K2, also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori, is located in the Himalayas. This is for the most experienced climbers looking for an extreme challenge. K2 is comprised of sections interwoven with ice pillars that are prone to collapsing without a warning.
7. Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada
Even though Kamouraska only has one rock formation, climbing it is extremely challenging since the rock varies. You’ll definitely want the guidebook before climbing this. The most popular routes are Pestation aerienne, Tintin au Tibet, and Le monde a l’envers. Since it’s Quebec, when you’re looking to get around, it’s good to know some French.
8. Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda located in the British Virgin Islands, you’ll find some extreme rock climbing here. There’s very little rock climbing scene here so you’re on your own to navigate the formations. Some popular locations are the Spring Bay Crack and Hands Don’t Have Genders.
9. The Gunks, New York
New York isn’t just New York City, and you can check out some challenging rock climbing while in a small college town called New Paltz, New York. The Gunks as they’re called by the locals is short for the Shawangunk Mountains. It’s known for its long roof systems, stiff grades, and horizontal cracks.
Climbing The Gunks is humbling since nowhere else in the U.S. has horizontal cracks and roofs quite like this. They’re actually considered hard for their grade as well. You’ll want to visit April through October. If you visit in October, you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of the leaves changing.
10. Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park in Utah is only for the advanced climber. It’s comprised of hard cracks, one pitch towers, and multi-pitch towers. There are many splitters due to fractures vertically. Avoid nailing since the soft stone doesn’t hold up to it very well.
Make sure to approach climbs by washes so you avoid trampling cryptobiotic soil. Check before going for any closed locations due to nesting. You can also check the visitors center for closings.
11. Hanshelleren Cave, Norway
The Hanshelleren Cave in Flatanger, Norway is considered one of the most extreme climbs in the world. Hanshelleren cave is a favorite among experienced climbers because of its giant overhang since it rarely rains inside.
12. Piedra Parada, Argentina
Piedra Parada translates to standing rock and is a popular spot for extreme rock climbing. It’s located in the Patagonian region in Argentina. You’ll definitely want to bring a guidebook along with you. There are plenty of routes to choose from here. Some of the most popular are La Calavera, La Penca, and El Sexto Elemento.
13. Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands
Cayman Brac is great for intense rock climbing, especially located on The Bluff. The Bluff is limestone that runs along almost the entire island. The island has the Bluff on one side and the ocean on the other. There are many other rock climbing areas to check out besides the Bluff.
The most challenging courses are the Love Shack Wall and the Bluff.
Finding Extreme Climbs Around the World
When you’re looking for extreme climbs around the world, you won’t have to look further than this list. Would you like to learn more about different places to travel around the world? Check out our other articles.