Cut Your Teeth on these Crags: Where to Go Rock Climbing in Greater Vegas

Rock climbing in Las Vegas is a climber’s dream, which is why Alex Honnold, the first person to free solo El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, chooses to call Las Vegas home. The Southern Nevada region boasts more than 3,400 routes, from short, roped routes to sharp limestone crags to 20-plus-pitch sandstone behemoths, presenting climbers plenty of places to get vertical. Here are some of the locals’ favorites for rock climbing in and around Las Vegas.

Nevada’s Climbing Crown Jewel

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a world-class climbing destination perfect for beginning and intermediate climbers looking for some sport climbing and multi-pitch experience. Thousands of routes—traditional, sport, and bouldering—all reside within a stone’s throw of Las Vegas. The Calico Hills and Kraft Mountain areas provide some great sport and top rope options for beginners, while the Black Velvet Canyon area offers expert climbers multiple multi-pitch options on big walls. If you’re ready to ditch the comfort of the climbing gym and push your abilities to the next level, Red Rock Canyon is the place to do it. Red Rocks: A Climber’s Guide, has all the beta you’ll need for your next climb. And if you’re new to the sport, check out Red Rock Climbing Center for Las Vegas’ only locally-owned guide service, which offers half day and full day climbing lessons in Red Rock.

The Mountains Are Calling

Longing for limestone? Take a day trip to the 316,000-acre Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. It’s known locally as Mt. Charleston. Here, you’ll find nearly 200 limestone routes known for overhanging caves and epic vistas. Mt. Charleston is also the perfect place to escape the heat of summer as you’re mostly climbing in

the shade at elevation, which makes it pretty comfortable. Check out the available climbing options in the Mojave Limestone guidebook.

Indoor Climbing Gyms

Indoor climbing gyms are an excellent introduction to the world of climbing, and there’s no shortage of options for indoor rock climbing in Las Vegas. The Nevada Climbing Center, Las Vegas’ first and oldest climbing gym, is located near the airport, Red Rock Climbing Center is located in the northwest, and The Pad Climbing is located in Henderson, meaning no matter what part of town you live in, a climbing gym isn’t too far away. Each of these gyms offer top ropes, auto-belays, and bouldering walls. And they all also offer climbing classes ranging from an introduction to the sport, to lead climbing, rappelling, and top rope belaying classes.

If bouldering is more your jam, check out the Refuge, Las Vegas’ bouldering-only gym with 11,000 square feet of bouldering walls, including slab and fully overhung routes, with new boulders set weekly.