The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

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The West: Bishop
Corey Rich / Aurora / Getty Images35/35

The West: Bishop

Many experienced climbers consider Bishop the best bouldering area in the United States, and the rest usually rank it second after Hueco Tanks. Bishop’s iconic, townhouse-sized boulders are packed with classic highball problems, and there are endless “low” climbs if you’re worried about shattering your ankles and other trivial injuries. Some areas in Bishop are full of technical crimp problems and others trend toward overhung, burly routes, but grades are stiff all around. “Bishop is a classic bouldering destination, so you get people traveling from all over to climb there,” says Russell Hunter, owner and senior guide at Colorado Mountain School. “Huge variety of styles and a ton of famous, hard problems. If you’re into highball bouldering, it’s one of the best spots anywhere.”

Closest Town: Bishop, California
Grade Range: V0 – V15
Notable Routes: 1,128
Classics: Buttermilk Stem (V1), Birthday Direct (V3), Jedi Mind Tricks (V4), High Plains Drifter (V7), Soul Slinger (V9), Stained Glass (V10)
When to Visit: February-Mary, October-November

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