The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

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The West: Devils Tower
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Greg Von Doersten / Aurora / Getty Images33/35

The West: Devils Tower

Made famous by Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Devils Tower is an igneous butte with vertical cracks that run almost 900 feet from base to summit and bisect perfect open-book corners. No other crag in the United States has as many world-class, multi-pitch dihedrals in such a small area. Climbing the hardest routes on Devils Tower requires perfect footwork and elastic flexibility, but don’t show up in June — the Kiowa and Lakota tribes hold religious rituals here during that month, and climbers are asked to stay off the walls. “The dihedral formations are iconic,” says Hunter. “It’s one of the best spots anywhere for chimney climbing and stemming, and the cracks are really, really good. Devils Tower is just so unique; there’s nowhere else just like it”

Closest Town: Hulett, Wyoming
Grade Range: 5.6 – 5.13
Notable Routes: 129
Classics: Durrance (5.7), Soler (5.9), Tulgey Wood (5.10a), El Matador (5.10d), Direct Southwest (5.11b), Whine and Bruises (5.12b)
When to Visit: April-May, July-October

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