The ultimate list of breathtaking rock climbing locations around the world
Whether you’re a new climber or just looking for some jaw-dropping rock climbing locations around the world to trad climb, sport climb or boulder – this list has you covered. These are some of the most beautiful crags with the most beautiful views in the world. Even if you’ve only just now considered rock climbing, this list will have you picking out your first pair of shoes and packing your bags in no time. Are you ready?
Yosemite National Park California home of rock climbing
There’s no better way to start off this jaw-dropping list of rock climbing around the world than with Yosemite National Park located in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. First placed under deferral protection by Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and established on October 1st, 1890. The location was first captured by Ansel Adams and later in John Muirs’ writing.
This location is full of history and one of the first national parks established in the united states. Chock full of some of the best granite in the world, there’s something here for all ability levels. I’ve spent a little time in the historic camp four, home of the original stone monkeys, where there are some boulders right next to the tents.
Climb in Boulder Colorado
Rock climb Boulder Colorado, located in the northern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it is home to some of the best rock climbers in the world. The granite here is less consistent than the Sierra Nevada granite making it challenging in a different way.
Flatirons in town, Boulder Canyon to the west and Eldorado Canyon to the south of the town of Boulder – there are nearly endless climbs to do here. The region has nearly 45,000 acres of playground equipped with rivers to run, hiking trails, and mountain biking paths.
When looking for rock climbing locations around the world it’s nice to have a location with most approaches taking less than 20 minutes to get to and known to have 300 days of summer each year. There’s no wonder Colorado is deemed the happiest and healthiest state in the US. More on Boulder Colorado here.
Visit stunning Frankenjura Germany
Frankenjura (said Frahnkinyurah) Germany is a 2,723.5 square mile system of limestone crags. There are 10,000 known routes so far on 1500 crags in this domain.
Frankenjura looks to have many options though there are a few things to consider. Top roping spots can be a little tricky to set anchors as the bolts tend to get worn quickly and beta states to set two quickdraws to run the rope through. Instead of running through the bolt, though this is probably good practice anyway.
For sport and trad climbers there are over 173 routes graded 5.14a or harder. Sorry boulderers, they seem to not want to share that beta or feel inclined more toward rope climbing, as they will point you to the local indoor facilities. More on Frankenjura here.
Railay Beach in Thailand is the best for rock climbing limestone
Railay Beach, between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang in southern Thailand, has hundreds of karst limestone routes for all skill levels. Visitors need to take a longtail boat ride over to the front of the beautiful cliffs because they make it inaccessible by ground travel.
Once on Railay Beach (aka Rai Leh Beach), there are no roads or taxis it’s all tranquil footpaths. The little town is nestled just at the base of the limestone cliffs.
Beginners, you’ll need someone to lead climb to set your anchors though there are many guides around with well over 600 routs to try out here. Local wildlife may join you on your climb as rhesus, stump-tailed, and pig-tailed Macaques roam these beaches.
For those who would rather not fuss with bringing more gear than their shoes, there are also many deep water soloing spots in Krabi Thailand.
Mountaineering in the breathtaking Todra Gorge in Morocco
Arrive in Tinghir, where the Todra Gorge is only a short taxi ride away. Located in the eastern part of the Atlas Mountains, where the Todra River and the Dades River have made a narrow canyon called Todra Gorge (sometimes spelled Todgha Gorge).
The Todra Gorge in Morocco is made of beautiful limestone. This location is best for expert climbers that know how to clean routs and replace bolts as this is a hidden gem and many routes haven’t been climbed since the ’80s.
The beta for these routes is often conflicting with each other on rope length and other gear requirements. I highly recommend climbers of all ability to seek out a guide.
There are some vendors located at the beginning of the gorge that sells water, Berber rugs, and many other handcrafted Moroccan goods.
Jaw-dropping Kalymnos Greece
Kalymnos Greece climbing was discovered by Andrea Di Bari on vacation with his wife in 1996. Now there are over 2,600 routs with still more potential.
Ghost Kitchen, Panorama Wall, and Secret Garden are just a few jaw-dropping locations. With Sikati Cave on the northeast side, a gaping hole in the hillside that drops down a few hundred feet is ideal for more expert climbers.
It’s important to note that this location is limestone, as some others listed, meaning difficulty could change with humidity and is either “vacation grade” or downgraded so it is up for debate. To learn more about all the climbing locations and possible places to send the first rout here.
Land’s End rock climbing in England
I couldn’t make a list of rock climbing locations around the world without including Lands End England. Lands End is in western Cornwall, England, UK and is a 200 ft granite cliff rising out of the Atlantic ocean.
It’s full of granite chimneys, wide cracks, and slabs with the full list of routes and weather conditions here. Once you top out you could look out across the Atlantic and spot the Longships Lighthouse on the Isles of Scilly only twenty-eight miles away.
Climb Twin Gate just outside Yangshuo China
Moon Hill in the Guangxi Province was my first choice for this list, though a legendary climbing location, word has it that it shut down to climbers and seems up for debate.
However, Rock Climbing Twin Gate just outside the town of Yangshuo in the Guangxi Province is equally jaw-dropping and confirmed legal. It is bikable from Yangshuo according to beta and a 10-minute walk from the drop off location by the road.
Twin Gate is a 387ft south west facing cliff that stays dry in light rain and has a nearby river that’s nice for swimming. It is equipped with 8 known climbs and two caves with tables.
While Wine Bottle has a total of 19 sport climbs and is an ideal location for solo travelers to pick up a partner. For all routes on Wine Bottle, check out the link here for weather and updates on the routs.
Scale the Blue Mountains in Australia
The Blue Mountains in Australia are a region of sandstone cliffs west of Sydney in Australia’s New South Wales. Mostly consisting of short sport climbs and multi-pitch trad climbs. The climbing is face climbing, crimps, and overhangs so be ready for a challenge.
The Blue Mountains are actually a plateau 1000m above sea level in a National Park. Beta states you park at the top of the cliffs and walk down to the base with 134 known climbs. Katoomba, Blackheath and Mt Victoria are the main towns to stay in when Climbing the Blue Mountains. Check out more information here.
Mountaineer in Fiordland New Zealand
The Darran Mountains are located in the Fiordland region, located on the southwestern side of the southern island of New Zealand.
Fiordland or in the native tongue is called fjordland derived from a Scandinavian word meaning steep. The Southern Alps consists of many deep lakes and has its steep glacier-carved western valleys.
The Darrans are known for their steep multi-pitch routes full of run outs and traverses. Though there are alpine routes for any ability level. These classic climbs are sure to be ones for the books. More information on routes here with a good updated forum here.
So when the mountains call you, make sure to research your routes, check forums for updates, and dress accordingly. Take only photos and leave only footprints.
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