Top Seven Most Scenic Bouldering Spots in the U.S.

Yosemite Valley

Boul­der­ers are badass. Opt­ing to for­go the ropes and har­ness­es that keep oth­ers from falling, these climbers rely on their chalked-up hands, a pair of climb­ing shoes and (if they’re cau­tious) a crash pad to help cush­ion their falls. Less a test of an individual’s endurance, this kind of climb­ing is about strength and skilled, care­ful move­ment.

Boul­der­ing is def­i­nite­ly a social sport, so grab your friends and head out to these sev­en scenic boul­der­ing spots:


Yosemite Val­ley

Yosemite Nation­al Park, Cal­i­for­nia
Yosemite Val­ley fea­tures some of the best gran­ite boul­der­ing the world has to offer. And in heart of Yosemite Nation­al Park, it also has some of the great­est views. Glac­i­ers, water­falls and for­est sur­round the boul­ders in Yosemite Nation­al Park, and the beau­ty of the High Sier­ra will help make up for any frus­tra­tion that aris­es because of how dif­fi­cult these climbs are—because they are dif­fi­cult.

 

Joe’s Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe’s Val­ley
Utah

Joe’s Val­ley was prac­ti­cal­ly made for boul­der­ing. The sand­stone rocks that line the hill­side have skin-friend­ly tex­ture and the approach­es are almost always 5 min­utes or less. Plus, the black and brown boul­ders against the sage­brush and high desert green­ery make for awe­some scenery—especially in the fall when the leaves turn orange.

 

Utah Ibex

 

 

Ibex
Utah
Seat­ed on the perime­ter of a dry desert lake in South­ern Utah, Ibex’s giant red quartzite cliffs and blocks aren’t just gor­geous, they make for some epic boul­der­ing. With no civ­i­liza­tion for 50 miles, the area has a des­o­late, eerie feel­ing, and the boul­ders are tall, so it’s per­fect if you want to climb high.

 

Bishop CaliforniaBish­op
Cal­i­for­nia
Bish­op is locat­ed on the east­ern slope of the low­er Sier­ra Neva­da Moun­tain range and is one of the most pop­u­lar boul­der­ing des­ti­na­tions in the world. But don’t let the gor­geous moun­tain views of the Sier­ras and high desert scenery dis­tract you from your climb, because you’ll need to focus your atten­tion on mak­ing your way up and around the dif­fi­cult prob­lems on these gran­ite and vol­canic boul­ders.

 

Horse Pens 40 AlabamaHorse Pens 40
Alaba­ma
Locat­ed in the foothills of the Appalachi­ans, this his­toric park is full of sand­stone boul­ders you’ll be dying to climb. With some big­ger rocks and more dif­fi­cult prob­lems, Horse Pens 40 also allows overnight camp­ing and night climb­ing, so be sure to pack your tent and head­lamp. Go in the fall when the leaves are chang­ing col­or and you’ll be treat­ed to a chal­leng­ing boul­der­ing expe­ri­ence sur­round­ed by gold­en, orange and red trees.

 

Hueco Tanks State Park

 

Hue­co Tanks
Texas
Just out­side of El Paso, Hue­co Tanks is the ulti­mate des­ti­na­tion for climbers every win­ter between Novem­ber and March. The 860-acre area has over 2,000 prob­lems and is known for its won­der­ful­ly dry, sun­ny weath­er, sub­lime rock for­ma­tions and bombproof igneous rock—so basi­cal­ly: it’s flip­ping gor­geous.

 

Joshua Tree National Park CaliforniaJoshua Tree Nation­al Park
Cal­i­for­nia
“Oh hey there, beau­ti­ful,” said every­one ever who vis­it­ed Joshua Tree. In all seri­ous­ness, the views at this boul­der­ing des­ti­na­tion in the Mojave Desert are, indeed, awe-inspir­ing. Home of the Joshua tree the park is named after, the land­scape fea­tures hills of bare quartz mon­zonite rock bro­ken into small­er boulders—making for some epic climbs.