The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

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The West: Smith Rock State Park
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The West: Smith Rock State Park

An iconic climbing destination since the 1980s, Smith Rock is the birthplace of sport climbing in the United States. Most of the routes are technical, crimp climbing on dead-vertical walls or high-angle slab. The basalt-and-tuff rock is solid, and volunteers replace bolts regularly. There are plenty of classics at Smith, including some of our country’s first 5.14 sport routes, but it’s best to branch out and dodge the crowds. “I’m biased; I chose to live near here because it’s my favorite crag in the world,” Potter says. “I think it’s one of the most beautiful climbing areas in the world. Smith is obviously a legendary sport climbing destination, but there’s also trad and multi-pitch. More routes just keep going up.”

Closest Town: Terrebonne, Oregon
Grade Range: 5.6 – 5.14
Notable Routes: 841
Classics: Spiderman (5.7), 5 Gallon Buckets (5.8), Screaming Yellow Zonkers (5.10b), Moons of Pluto (5.10d), Pure Palm (5.11a), Dreamin’ (5.12a), Chain Reaction (5.12c)
When to Visit: March-May, September-October

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