The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

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The West: Zion National Park
Jerry Dodrill / Aurora / Getty Images18/35

The West: Zion National Park

Less than an hour east of St. George’s boulder fields in southwestern Utah, Zion is known for multi-pitch trad routes on thin cracks and the epic scale of its red sandstone cliffs. The United States’ most famous big walls are in Yosemite Valley, but Zion’s canyons feature the highest concentration of them in a single area. There are hundreds of multi-pitch routes with little-to-no approach and solid anchors, in case you need to bail. Even a light rain will soften the rock, so stay off the walls if they’re damp. “Zion’s canyons are so unique, visually. Climbing anything with that type of geography would be worth a trip, but those sandstone big wall routes is unreal,” Hunter says. “If you’re getting into big walls, it’s the best spot for perfect your technique.”

Closest Town: Springdale, Utah
Grade Range: 5.6 – 5.13
Notable Routes: 264
Classics: Ashtar Command (5.9), The Headache (5.10), Tatooine (5.11a), Crimson King (5.11c), Huecos Rancheros (5.12b/c), Moonlight Buttress (5.12d)
When to Visit: March-May, October-November

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