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The Best Rock Climbing in America: Outdoor Vacation Savings for Climbers

Nothing inspires your next vacation quite like taking up a new hobby. Cooking? Off to France you go! Star gazing? Maybe a trip to see the northern lights. Horseback riding? Get thee to Argentina!

A few months ago, I took up indoor rock climbing and I can barely think about anything else. And yes, by even the kindest standards I’m nothing more than a complete beginner but already I’m dreaming of the day when I can take a dedicated rock-climbing vacation.

Here are some of the best rock-climbing spots in the U.S. and our top outdoor vacation deals to help you keep costs down.

cllmbing sign


Yosemite National Park, California

Arguably the most famous rock-climbing spot in all of the U.S., this is where the sport first took off in America and it’s still an important pilgrimage for climbers today. The most famous route is the unforgiving El Capitan, a 3,000-foot, granite monolith.

Yosemite hotel deals

El capitan


Joshua Tree National Park, California

Far friendlier to beginners, Joshua Tree offers a wide variety of “trad” routes and nice weather in the spring and fall. But climbers beware. In the summer the sun scorches and scaling a sheer rock face can become very unpleasant.

Palm Springs hotel deals

girl climbing

New River Gorge National River, West Virginia

New River Gorge offers more than 1,400 established routes and all three of the most popular types of climbing–traditional and sport climbing, and bouldering–making it a crowd pleaser. But don’t be fooled by the embarrassment of riches. This spot is best suited to experienced climbers.

Charleston, WV hotel deals

new river gorge


Mount Katahdin, Maine

Mount Katahdin is nestled in Baxter State Park and boasts the title of the highest peak in Maine. (It’s just over 5,000 feet.) In addition to offering excellent climbing and stellar views, the mountain is also the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

Portland, ME hotel deals


Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Home to world-famous Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park is as stunning as it is challenging. Longs Peak itself stands out from the other mountains, soaring to the screeching height of 14,259 feet. There’s only one route to the summit that doesn’t require roping in for a little rock climbing–and even that is only open briefly during the summer. If you’re going to brave Longs, you’re in it for the long haul.

Boulder hotel deals


Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming

Instantly recognizable, this rock formation is shot through with cracks–perfect for climbers who love to crack climb. In fact, the longest crack-climbs can stretch up to 400 feet! But make note that the park asks climbers to voluntarily abstain from scaling Devils Tower during the month of June. It’s sacred to Native Americans and this voluntary closure is a gesture of respect.

Wyoming hotel deals

devils tower



Save up to 30% on your spring vacation (Travelocity)

Taking Rock Climbing Lessons in Thailand (Aol Travel)



My name: Alison Presley

Nickname: Presbo, because I'm good police.

How I earn my keep: I'm the manager of Travelocity's Travel for Good program. Visit Travel for Good to learn more about our green travel and voluntourism initiatives!

What kind of traveler am I: I'm an intrepid food explorer. I usually starve myself on the plane (not that that's too hard to do) so that the moment my toes touch foreign soil I'm ready to sample new and exciting cuisine. I like to dine everywhere from hole-in-the-wall local secrets to Michelin Guide gems. Cannelés, poi, boiled peanuts, oxtail soup, poutine--there's no stopping this adventurous palate.

Greatest travel lesson I've learned: It doesn't cost a lot of money to do good. Offsetting your carbon impact only adds a few bucks to your trip, green hotels are very affordable, and volunteering locally during your vacation is a great way to give back and learn about the culture.


delicious magazine subscription

I am planning a camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park. I love the stars, and I know there is some of the best star gazing in California at Joshua Tree. I know there are several camp sites. Please let me know which you have stayed at and your experience. Any recomendations … PLEASE and thanks!

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