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If you had a month long road trip of the west, what climbing areas would be high on your list?


Original Post
Sam Root · · Pocatello, ID · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 35

I've got a big block of time coming up after I get out of college in May and want to hit up as many climbing areas as possible. I'm thinking Moab, Red Rocks, Yosemite, J Tree, Little Cottonwood, Maple Canyon.. What are your guys thoughts? I am starting in SE Idaho. Just toss out some of your favorite crags and destinations! Also looking into Colorado and Montana.

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

Devils Tower and Zion

Sam Miller · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 30

Needles, owens river gorge, mammoth area/pine creek canyon, Tahoe, castle crags, smith rock, trout creek, index, north cascades.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535

As has been covered many times on this site- the desert Southwest isn't the place to go in the summer. Red rock goes out of season for most folks in late April or early May. Same for jtree.

Sierras and the Pacific Northwest would be high on my list in July and August. 

June will vary a bit depending on snowpack at the higher elevations. 

Greg Koeppen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

If you are looking to clip some bolts.

Auden Alsop · · Baltimore, MD · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Since Colorado is close, I would say to try not to miss Wyoming. As mentioned by Greg, it has some great sport climbing areas, as well as Vedauwoo literally being right off of the highway.

Peter Lewis · · Bridgton, Maine · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 160

City of Rocks, Red Rocks, High Sierra.

Kevin MP · · Redmond, OR · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 357

In June: Squamish, Tuolumne, and the Needles.

Hector Luevano · · Seattle, WA · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 10

Squamish and Washington Pass. 

Alan Emery · · Lebanon, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 251

If I were just getting out of college, taking a break for a month or so before heading into a career, I would consider British Columbis, North Weat Terratories or Yosemite.  Any of these would cover over a months worth of climbing without having to spend time on the road, if climbing is your goal.  If you are just wanting to travel, see as much as you can, stay int he mountains where the heat will not drive you nuts.

Alexander Blum · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 132

If I had a month I would spend it at two places, three tops. I agree with all of the posters who say stay out of the southwest. Wyoming is great, as is the High Sierra.

Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,081

In summer months I would head to the Sierras and hit some long routes.  That would easily fill a whole summer, but if you need a second locale, Tuolumne.

sean o · · Northern, NM · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 20

It's not cragging, but... you're right next to the Tetons, which are awesome and uncrowded in June.  Do that, then the Bugaboos and Rogers Pass in July.

OrganicChemistry · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 95

Agreed... Stay away from SW in the summer.  

Custer SP/Rushmore and Spearfish for June, Devil's Tower, Lander, the Woo and Estes Park (the Monastery is amazing) during July then work around southern CO for August 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
ViperScale . wrote:

Devils Tower and Zion

Zion is too hot for most people starting around May, and certainly Jun-Sep.

Anthony L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 25

North cascades. British Columbia. Alberta. Alaska. 


Amazing climbing and glaciers. 

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,104
Sam Root wrote:

I've got a big block of time coming up after I get out of college in May and want to hit up as many climbing areas as possible. I'm thinking Moab, Red Rocks, Yosemite, J Tree, Little Cottonwood, Maple Canyon.. What are your guys thoughts? I am starting in SE Idaho. Just toss out some of your favorite crags and destinations! Also looking into Colorado and Montana.

For May-June from your list of places,

Moab - Too hot

Red Rock - Too Hot

Yosemite - good to go, but getting hot in June

J-Tree - Too Hot

Little Cottonwood, May is probably good, June will be getting too hot

Maple Canyon - great summer location.

Other places to consider (off the top of my head):

Wild Iris, Ten Sleep, The Fins, Squamish, Rifle (lots of seeping though), City of Rocks, Rocky Mountain National Park, and I'm sure there are lots of others, For that time of year, definitely stay out of the southern part of the country, and you will be seeking kind of medium elevation crags, if you are too low it will be too hot, if you are too high it will still be snowed in.  

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Kevin MP wrote:

In June: Squamish, Tuolumne, and the Needles.

Needles and Tuolumne may still be snowed in at that time, depending on the remainder of the snow year.

In Tuolumne the mosquitos are so dense as to provide enough lifting power to pick up a Sprinter van.

Erik Yde · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 820

Ill be doing the same from mid April to mid May starting from CO and heading back to Utah. The climbing might be hot but many of the tighter canyons are still awesome to canyoneer because they get so much shade. If you make it to CO or Utah shoot me a message, I plan to be in Maple, LCC, Uintas, and maybe Joes (depends if I will melt or not) when I do the Utah part of the trip.

K. Le Douche · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 100

Where ever you go will be great because you'll have nothing to do but climb for a month, and you can't go wrong with anyplace listed above.  So I would minimize time on the road, and getting to know new places.  I'd just go to one place for a month, and get to know it really well.  Keep in mind, you can't climb EVERY day so pick a place with good rest day activities.  At most, I'd go to two places with an extended three day rest / travel break in between.  

I did a month road trip years ago to Lander, Ten Sleep, Red Rocks, Maple, Yosemite, and the Eastern Sierra.  It was good to see all those places, but in retrospect would have gotten more out of the trip (and a lot more climbing done) had we trimmed the Itinerary down a bit.

JohnnyG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 10

Jealous, I'm so jealous. I got to do it myself a couple times after finishing BA and MA, and I'm still super jealous. Have a blast!!!!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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