The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

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The Southwest: Mount Lemmon
Andrew Kornylak / Aurora / Getty Images7/35

The Southwest: Mount Lemmon

Looming over Tucson’s suburbs in southeastern Arizona, Mount Lemmon’s 9,157-foot summit is often snowcapped during winter, but you can climb year-round on the lower-elevation routes. Many climbs are just off the Catalina Highway, which bisects the massif into east and west. Lemmon’s granite is solid — especially higher up the mountain — but perfect temps and a variety of moderate routes are what make it one of the United States’ best wintertime sport climbing destinations. “Tons and tons of crags on Lemmon,” Hunter says. “Just crazy variety. The routes aren’t usually world-class, but the amount of them, and the being able to climb year-round by switching elevation, that’s what makes it special. One of the largest areas in the Southwest, for sure.”

Closest Town: Tucson, Arizona
Grade Range: 5.6 – 5.14
Notable Routes: 1,752
Classics: Chihuahua Power (5.9), Nang (5.10b), Steve’s Arête (5.11a), Histoplasmosis (5.11+), Hard Day at the Orifice (5.12b), Coup d’état (5.13a/b)
When to Visit: Year-round

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