Las Vegas is known for its glittering lights, casinos, and nightlife. But what many people don’t know is that it’s also home to several world-class rock climbing spots. Whether you’re a beginner or a word-famous free soloist like Alex Honnold, who lives in Vegas, there’s something for everyone here. So if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush and gorgeous views, be sure to check out these Las Vegas climbing spots.
Please remember that there is absolutely no dirt-road driving in our vehicles and all the areas listed below do have dirt roads, but also have more than enough pavement access for many weeks of climbing. With that said…
Here are the top climbing spots surrounding Las Vegas:
Red Rock Canyon
Located in Nevada’s beautiful Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Kraft Mountain and Calico Hills Loop road is has a lifetime worth of climbing with 3000+ established routes. Several guidebooks are available at the REI in Boca Park, the swanky area right outside of Red Rock. The views from the top are breathtaking, offering a stunning panorama of red rock formations and desert landscapes. In addition to its visual appeal, the Calico Hills Loop also boasts a unique geology, with varying types of sandstone providing diverse handholds and features for climbers to navigate. And with access to expert guides and equipment rental options, the Kraft Mountain and Calico Hills Loop Trail is truly a climber’s paradise.
Specifically, the Black Corridor, Gallery, and Meetup Wall are some of the best social climbing areas. However, at each of the parking areas in the 13 mile loop road, you will find access to literally hundreds of different climbing areas.
Bouldering at Kraft Boulders, Red Rock
Kraft Boulders, located in the Red Rock National Conservation Area, is a premier bouldering destination for climbers worldwide. The stunning red sandstone formations offer diverse and challenging routes for climbers of all skill levels. And with over 500 marked problems and plenty of undiscovered lines, there is always something new to tackle. The Kraft Boulders community also sets it apart as a special spot – from daily meet-ups to regular clean-ups, climbers actively work together to preserve the area’s unique beauty and ensure a positive experience for all. Note that this is a different entrance into Red Rock than the 13 mile loop road; it’s closer to Las Vegas.
When it’s super hot out, Mt. Charleston is 20-25 degrees cooler than the Las Vegas Valley. This makes it an incredible summer climbing destination that few people know about. However, the limestone cliffs are thousands of feet tall! As the local climbing community adds more established and bolted routes each year, Charleston is slowly but surely gaining a well-deserved place in the Vegas climber’s stomping grounds. Robbers Roost is the most social area with some stiff routes ranging up into the 5.13s. Big props to local climber Jonathan Siegrist for the routesetting work he has done in this area.
Blast a few hours West, through Mohave National Preserve and you will find yourself in Joshua Tree National Park. Here, the climbing is primarily on granite domes. Expect runout first bolts and sandbagged ratings on any routes that aren’t well-trodden! The Joshua tree forests and wide open desert features are spectacular. If you like cracks, slabs, and sharp granite micro-edges, this is the place!
Zion and Southern Utah
Southern Utah has similar, but oh-so-different climbing compared to Vegas. It’s still limestone and sandstone, but the texture of the rock changes dramatically. Your first stop on the way north from Vegas would be climbing in the Virgin River Gorge. This is where the I-15 highway was built to connect Nevada to Utah (via a corner of Arizona). The climbing is wonderful… just be sure to work out your non-verbal communication plan with your climbing partner because the highway noise is impossible to yell over.
Next, St. George has more thousands of climbs. If temps are hot, head up in elevation to Brianhead ski area, where you’ll find even more climbing.
The absolute climbing gem of Southern Utah, however, is Zion National Park. Expect to be gawked at by tourists unless you opt for a climb with a longer approach. The cliff faces at Zion are so massive and extensive that it would take many years of climbing to tick them all off.
These are just the start of your options! Also worth looking into are Sedona, Bryce, Salt Lake City, Idyllwild CA, and Yosemite. They’ve all got wonderful terrain!
Vegas is a climbers paradise and taking our camper vans to them is a magical experience!