For climbers, the mountain is the destination, while a sleep site is secondary. Because we understand that unique thrill you look for but also appreciate a good camping locale we’ve compiled a short list of some of the top camping spots for climbers. Hopefully, these five sites will provide you with the best of both worlds.
Joshua Tree National Park; Twentynine Palms, California
This national park has, literally, hundreds of campsites. And no matter which site you choose, you will wake up in the morning surrounded by climbs. The park boasts over 8,000 climbing routes for all skill levels. Water and flush toilets are available in the Black Rock and Cottonwood campgrounds; reservations are not accepted, so come early!
Banks Lake; near Electric City, Washington
There are over 100 climbs in this incredibly beautiful Eastern WA site. All routes are sport climbs, and most are bolted. Steamboat State Park lines the shores of Banks Lake and provides two large camping areas. If you tire of climbing, take the afternoon to swim in the lake. In the winter, Banks Lake is also a good ice-climbing destination.
Indian Creek; Monticello, Utah
Due to its national renown as a top crack climbing destination, climbing traffic is heavy through the area. Of course, the climbs through the sandstone are incredible, and climbers have an almost literally endless supply of routes. Although it’s closely watched by the Bureau of Land Management, almost every bit of Indian Creek’s 100,000 acres is open to camping. The BLM is enforcing a pack-in/pack-out policy regarding human waste. The Friends of Indian Creek website also begs campers to be discreet, so the BLM does not shut down any climbs or campsites.
Squamish; British Columbia, Canada
Squamish provides, perhaps, the best array of climbs with routes ranging from 1 to 5.14. Stawamus Chief is the primary monolith and the best camping is right at its base. The best climbing is in the summer and early fall, while the other months can be solid rain.
Red Rock Canyon; outside Las Vegas, Nevada
Visitors to Red Rocks choose from steep cracks and bolted face routes, plus many challenging multi-pitch routes. While you’re climbing the sandstone, it’s easy to forget how close Red Rocks is to the Las Vegas strip. But that always provides a good attraction when you’re not climbing. There’s only one large campground in the park and reservations are not accepted, so arrive early.