The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

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The West: Yosemite National Park — Yosemite Valley
Corey Rich / Aurora / Getty Images19/35

The West: Yosemite National Park — Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley is the most iconic trad climbing area in the country, and arguably the world. The Valley is the heart of the United States’ climbing culture, and thousands of dirtbags spend their summers and falls sleeping in the legendary Camp 4 and projecting the granite big walls and boulders nearby. Zion National Park has more big walls, but this sector of Yosemite is home the best big wall on Earth, El Capitan. “Nothing really needs to be said. It’s Yosemite,” Hunter says. “It should be number one on your bucket list.”

Closest Town: El Portal, California
Grade Range: 5.6 – 5.14 , V0 – V13
Notable Routes: 715
Classics: Nutcracker (5.8), The Nose (5.9 C2), Serenity Crack (5.10d), Astroman (5.11c), Heaven (5.12d), The Phoenix (5.13a)
When to Visit: May-July, September-November

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