The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

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The Southeast: Horse Pens 40
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The Southeast: Horse Pens 40

Renowned for its sloping sandstone boulders, “HP 40” hosts the final leg of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series every November. Some of the landing zones beneath Horse Pens’ highballs and overhung problems are difficult to protect, and the tough top-outs make this climbing area intimidating for beginners. If you visit during the muggy summer, boulder at night. “Horse Pens has a reputation as one of the best bouldering spots in the South, and definitely one of the hardest in that region,” Potter says. “People say that the atmosphere is different than similar bouldering areas in the West; a unique climbing community, somewhat secretive, out in the woods.”

Closest Town: Steele, Alabama

Grade Range: V0 – V12

Notable Routes: 293

Classics: Night Fever (V1+), Bumboy (V3), Mortal Combat (V4), Hammerhead (V5), Mulletino (V7), Slider Sit (V10)

When to Visit: October-January

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