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Top 10 Best Climbing States


Pete Spri · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 286
Christian "crisco" Burrell wrote: Actually, Utah has one of the largest formations of limestone in the world. It is continuous almost along the entire western border of the state and extends well into Arizona and Nevada. It doesn't get much press because there aren't many towns out that way and only those with the FA bug have spent much time exploring. But the potential would fill plenty of lifetimes. BTW: TONS of granitic formations out that way too. But this is what makes rating the states so difficult. How many people have a thorough enough knowledge of each states full scope to really make a judgement? Maybe John Sherman?
Yeah, I lived in Utah for 8 years and got around quite a bit. Not that much granite out that way. Some in painter springs and other outcroppings, certainly not much and not all of it good quality either. Probably more in Nevada, but that is a different state.

Yeah, Utah has some limestone, but I wouldn't say a ton by comparison to some other places. Or as accessable.
Christian "crisco" Burrell · · PG, Utah · Joined May 2007 · Points: 1,815

You need to explore more...again, only the most excited FAers are getting out there and finding the stuff.

Seth Derr · · harrisburg, pa · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 2,060
Spri wrote: By "Easy" do you mean the 7 hour drive to Colorado, the 5 hour drive to Lander, or the 12 hour drive across the great basin to get to CA? Yeah, it borders other good states, but the drives are not for the faint of heart... or for those without 3+ days off in a row.
I think that's kind of his point though right? Climb at home when you want, and if you get the itch and have the time you're only a long weekend away from climbing in some of the other "greatest states."
J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,791
Jon Moen wrote: And those sorts of drive times are what Californians do regularly to get to their "home" crags in their own state.
hmmmm. I'm pretty sure I don't drive 4 or more hours to get to my home crags. Its not a half an hour either, but 1.5-3.5 gets most folks to incredible amounts of great rock.
Colin Parker · · Idyllwild, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 1,700

Now that the Riverside Quarry is fully developed, SoCal folks have great sport climbing within 1 hour. An hour more and you have Tahquitz. An hour more and you have Joshua Tree. I spent three years climbing in Josh and now that I've left cali I tend to agree that the rock quality there is slightly overrated, but it is still an incredible place and has a unique feel unlike anywhere else.

My point is that folks in California don't drive too far to 'home' crags. They drive that far to 'world class' crags, eg, Bay Area to Yosemite (~3 hours).

I agree with the sentiment that Utah, Colorado and Cali are in a 3-way tie. I know little about Wyoming though.

Tristan Higbee · · Ogden, UT · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 2,970
Spri wrote: By "Easy" do you mean the 7 hour drive to Colorado, the 5 hour drive to Lander, or the 12 hour drive across the great basin to get to CA? Yeah, it borders other good states, but the drives are not for the faint of heart... or for those without 3+ days off in a row.
Yes, that is actually what I mean by "easy." Salt Lake to Yosemite, for example, is much easier than Denver to Yosemite. Or Salt Lake to Seattle vs. Los Angeles to Seattle.

And yeah, obviously we're not talking about day trips here.
David Cummings · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 190

I love being in Grand Junction CO, 2 hours from Moab, 90 min from Rifle, 90 min from Ouray, 4 hours to Boulder, 5 to Estes Park, 4 hours to Salt Lake, 8 Hours to Vegas, 8 Hours to Zion, 14 hours to Yosemite. Grand Junction is a great for being right in the middle of it all!

Pete Spri · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 286
Tristan Higbee wrote: Yes, that is actually what I mean by "easy." Salt Lake to Yosemite, for example, is much easier than Denver to Yosemite. Or Salt Lake to Seattle vs. Los Angeles to Seattle. And yeah, obviously we're not talking about day trips here.
Hmm, dont get it. I think it shows your prevelance to the West. Someone from Denver would say they are closer to the Red, or NRG, or Seneca, or the Gunks.

I think we just rate things differently. I still rate Utah in the top 3, I just dont think it contends with Cali. Tomato, tomatoe.
Pete Spri · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 286
Christian "crisco" Burrell wrote:You need to explore more...again, only the most excited FAers are getting out there and finding the stuff.
Well if you are talking about unclimbed stuff, you'll have to admit that Alaska has the most. :D
Bryan Ferguson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 615

Without reading the thread, I know it's been said. I'll say it anyway - California, without a doubt (on my part).

fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 13,181

final count from 3 days of responses:

results from top climbing states survey

Edit: Only states that received >/= 1.0 point are displayed.

MrZ · · Colorado · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 270
fossana wrote:final count from 3 days of responses:
outside of the top 3 thats a joke......^^^^^
Christian "crisco" Burrell · · PG, Utah · Joined May 2007 · Points: 1,815
Dave Cummings wrote:Grand Junction is a great for being right in the middle of it all!
I lived in Grand Junction for 9 months. Another one of those towns that has way more stuff than most would imagine.

Plus the mountain biking is pretty darn good there!
Umph! · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2004 · Points: 180

WTF? No one has mentioned North Dakota here? What a cheezy-azz review.

Lucas · · Asheville, NC · Joined May 2010 · Points: 215

I'm surprised Oregon isn't ranked higher on peoples lists. Smith Rock and Trout Creek are both world class!

Eric Krantz · · Black Hills · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 420
Eric D · · Gnarnia · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 230
Lucas79 wrote:I'm surprised Oregon isn't ranked higher on peoples lists. Smith Rock and Trout Creek are both world class!
I have never climbed at either but I believe it. Though, it takes a lot more than two great crags to make a whole state great.
Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,195
Evan Sanders wrote: Tennessee Wall which is definitely comparable to the Red (one is mainly sport and one is mainly trad, but they're still comparable as national climbing areas)...
Ummm... I was wondering which of those two places you've never climbed at... because it must be one or the other. I like both, and I climbed at both for 5 years, but they are certainly not comparable.
camhead · · Vandalia, Appalachia · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,240

"Tennessee Wall which is definitely comparable to the Red (one is mainly sport and one is mainly trad, but they're still comparable as national climbing areas)..."

Ummm... I was wondering which of those two places you've never climbed at... because it must be one or the other. I like both, and I climbed at both for 5 years, but they are certainly not comparable.

Yeah, T-wall is awesome, but is in no way the trad equivalent to the RRG. I think that the only trad cragging areas that would compare to the RRG in terms of volume, concentration, and accessibility would be either the Creek or the Gunks. T-wall is more on par with the Obed.

And the reason that I would not put Oregon on the list is largely because it is only one type of rock (extrusive igneous), and because of lack disciplines beyond cragging, like bouldering, multipitch, bigwall, etc.

Lucas · · Asheville, NC · Joined May 2010 · Points: 215

While most of Smith Rock is volcanic tuff....the lower gorge at Smith is columnar basalt. Same with Trout Creek....columnar basalt splitters. There are a bunch of good crags, as well as, alpine/ice climbing opportunities on and near Mt Hood.(See photo below of Illumination Rock near the top of Mt Hood) There are also several notable bouldering areas littered throughout the state. Not worthy of a top 5 spot probably....but top 10 worthy for sure. Here goes....
1. CA
2. CO
3. UT
4. WY
5. NH
6. OR
7. AZ
8. TN
9. NY
10.WA

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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