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Check out these great rock climbing spots around the U.S.

  • Feb 5, 2016

In recent years, indoor rock climbing has exploded onto the scene as a fun and exciting way to get physical exercise. According to The New York Times, there are now 436 climbing gyms in the U.S. and Canada, and some major metropolitan areas have several different locations. These are fun for birthday parties and group outings, as well as an alternative to a traditional gym.

Having said that, climbing indoors can't compete with the sheer excitement of getting out and tackling a real life rock face or mountain. This may take more training, preparation and commitment, but the thrill of conquering a summit or cliff is in a class all its own. 

For the biggest rock climbing enthusiasts, here are some of the best spots around the country to check out:

Pinnacles National Park, California
According to Wilderness, Pinnacles is such a good spot because there are climbing opportunities just a few minutes away from major trail heads. The park is also home to peregrine falcons and highly endangered California condors among other species of raptors, meaning it's a great location for wildlife enthusiasts as well.

Pinnacles offers a wide range of climbing opportunities, from easier areas that are great for novices as well as more intense bouldering or bare face climbing opportunities. The unique landscape features volcanic and sedimentary rock formations that are beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Arches National Park, Utah
According to the National Park Service, rock climbing at Arches is not for the faint of heart. The trademark red rocks that dot the landscape require a fair amount of skill to master.

One reason that Arches is best for highly-trained climbers is that there are many regulations against drilling or damaging rock faces to install pitons. Hazards such as venomous snakes, spiny vegetation, plants such as poison ivy and falling rocks make Arches one of the more dangerous locations in the country for rock climbing. Regardless, it's still a perfect spot for anyone in need of a challenge.

Silver Mountain, Michigan
Unlike the dry desert of the American Southwest, the upper peninsula of Michigan is a sea of vegetation where rock climbing boulders and mountains pop up like islands. The Crag reported that Silver Mountain is such a great location because there are excellent camp grounds that serve the area as well as well-maintained climbing infrastructure.

In the fall, Michigan's forests come alive with unbelievable colors and foliage. This makes Silver Mountain one of the country's most visually stunning locations to rock climb.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Wilderness reported that within Grand Teton there are 800 routes across over 200 peaks, making it one of the most diverse climbing locations in the country. There is a wide range of climbing options meaning beginners and experts can find a comfortable climb within the park.

Because the peaks are so massive, some climbs may actually take several days. For anyone looking for a serious challenge, Grand Teton offers a seven thousand foot, 14 mile climb that takes up to four days to complete. 

Yosemite National Park, California 
Since 1969, The Yosemite Mountaineering School and Guide Service has been helping visitors plan and execute rock climbing trips throughout the park. There are group lessons and private lessons, as well as a women's climbing club.

The crown jewel of the rock climbing scene at Yosemite is El Capitan, the trademark rock face that every rock climbing enthusiast salivates over. According to National Geographic, nearly three thousand feet of sheer granite rock tower over the Yosemite valley. In fact, the rock face is so famous that in 2010, El Capitan was featured on a quarter as part of the U.S. mint's America the Beautiful program.

Rock climbing can be an extremely dangerous adventure. Therefore, you must be prepared for whatever situation arises. The ProTrek PRG300CM-4 is the best choice in gear with the ability to measure altitude in 1m increments and display compass readings, all while being 100M water resistant and low temperature resistant for whatever conditions arise on the climb.