The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

Load Previous
The West: Index
Getty Images32/35

The West: Index

Fifty-seven miles northeast of Seattle and on the western edge of the Cascade Range, the fine-grained granite cliffs at Index are split by some of the best cracks in the Pacific Northwest. After a short approach, you’ll find a lot of challenging climbs concentrated in a small area. Index is a trad crag, but many of the newer routes are bolted. The bouldering is quite good, and in Leavenworth, an hour east, it’s excellent. “There are a lot of pure, high-quality cracks at Index,” says David Potter, lead guide at Smith Rock Climbing Guides. “The area has a cool alpine vibe. It’s tough, old-school style climbing, but also one of the best granite areas in the Pacific Northwest. You feel like you’re way off the grid where you’re here.”

Closest Town: Index, Washington
Grade Range: 5.6 – 5.13
Notable Routes: 402
Classics: Senior Citizens in Space (5.7+), Godzilla (5.9), Davis-Holland Route (5.10c), Thin Fingers (5.11a), Iron Horse (5.11d), City Park (5.13d)
When to Visit: May-September

Back to Top