Climbing Red Rocks

Bouldering, sport, and traditional routes near Las Vegas

That Red Rocks is 20 minutes from the Las Vegas strip is nice. That you camp for $15 a night at the foot of more than 2,000 climbs graded from 5.4 to 5.13 is good too. The best part of Red Rocks though is it offers more quality climbing than just about any other area in the world. The 195,000-acre labyrinthine park of blood-red sandstone has everything from sport routes (on a hot day, try the 5.8 to 5.12 routes that line the Dark Corridor) to boulder problems (there’s hundreds in Calico Basin alone) to big-wall epics that go from 5.4 to 5.12. For many, Red Rocks best routes are the easy ones, like Cat in the Hat, a five pitch 5.6 that winds up 500 feet of juggy face climbing and splitter cracks. Bring water (a gallon a day, you’re in the desert), a headlamp, and allow time for route finding.

YOU NEED: A set of climbing nuts and a double rack of Black Diamond Camalots; a guide book, like A Climbers Guide to Red Rocks, and a reservation at 13 mile campground ($15/night)

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