The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

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The West: City of Rocks
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The West: City of Rocks

City of Rocks’ abundance of 5.9-5.11 climbs makes it one of the best mid-grade crags in the United States, and the mixture of bolts-and-gear protection — often on the same route — means it’s a top spot for learning to trad climb. Just across the border from Utah, crowds are rare here. The distinctive, pitted granite makes for interesting climbing, and the approaches are usually short. “The climbers that visit City of Rocks talk about how there’s an amazing amount of route diversity,” says Hunter, “but few climbers have been there. I’d consider it overlooked, not underrated. The granite at City of Rocks is right up there in quality with Yosemite.”

Closest Town: Malta, Idaho
Grade Range: 5.6 – 5.14
Notable Routes: 440
Classics: Lost Arrow (5.7), Batwings (5.8+), Thin Slice (5.10a), Colossus (5.10c), Crack of Doom (5.11c), Gemini (5.12a)
When to Visit: May-October

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