There are a lot of pristine rock climbing destinations in the world. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience to put on your bucket list, these are the spots you need to climb before you kick it.
El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California
There’s a reason that El Capitan is often cited as one of the most challenging climbs in the United States — nay, the world. El Cap towers over 3500 feet above the floor of Yosemite and is the largest granite monolith in the world. Its most popular route, The Nose, took the first climbers to tackle it 47 days to make it to the top.
Serra dos Órgãos National Park, Brazil
While Brazil is full of exciting places to climb, one of the most beautiful and challenging spots is Serra dos Órgãos National Park. The mountains here are nestled inside a dense, tropical rainforest and provide views of the surrounding landscape. It’s also home to Devil’s Needle, famous for its beautiful formation and the difficulty it takes to simply get to it. If you’re experienced and up for a challenge, you need to try this spot.
Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
Another scenic U.S. climbing spot, Dead Horse point is known for its towering, sheer sandstone cliffs. And for, you know, being the location of several movie scenes. It’s actually illegal to climb there without a special permit, which is given to just about nobody. So good luck with that.
Railay is easily one of the best places on Earth for deep-water soloing. It provides some breathtaking views for those willing to try it. Head to Krabi if you’re looking to try some DWS or even some sport climbing. There are shops and guides galore that will cater to your needs.
Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga, South Africa
The province of Mpumalanga, a mountainous region of South Africa, is home to over 500 established routes. So there are plenty of walls that have yet to be touched. The views here can’t be touched, either, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush forests and waterfalls.
The Dolomites, Italy
We’d be remiss if we left out one of the most challenging climbs in Europe: The Dolomites. These limestone peaks, located south of the Italian/Austrian border, jut out of the ground to heights of over 3000 meters. There are plenty of routes that are over 20-pitches long, and the area is primarily known for the quality of its nearly vertical ascents.