If you want to find some of the best rock climbing in America, not all of it is out west among the incredible crags of the Rocky Mountains or in the likes of California’s Yosemite.
Our nation’s East Coast region offers some challenging cliffs, memorable scenery, and a full-blown self-actualizing clambering experience to satisfy the best of the rock jocks.
Here are some of the very best rock-climbing venues “Out East”:
Acadia National Park
Near Bar Harbor in Maine, Acadia is a one-of-kind setting for clambering. Great Head and Otter Cliffs rise right out of the Atlantic Ocean to the east of Mt. Desert Island. When you get into the heights, you’ll enjoy the cool breezes flowing off the cold Atlantic. Don’t forget to visit Precipice. It’s a mile further inland within Acadia Park. Precipice is a pink-granite climb that offers numerous top-notch climbing routes.
You’ll find more than 100 top-rope climbs and traditional climbs that range from 5.5 to 5.11 in difficulty at Acadia. A couple of climbs are rated 5.12 and 5.13.
White Hampshire and Cathedral Ledge
Now over to New Hampshire near the city of North Conway, you’ll find crags at Cathedral Ledge that experienced climbers say rival any in the country. This formation has beginner rock climbs for summertime to ice chimneys in winter that are grade-5. A lot of cracks and slabs are thrown in for good measure to heighten your climbing pleasure.
This is also the realm of the vast White Mountains, which is where many locals may point you toward some lesser-known climbs.
Maybe the funkiest name for a rock climb locale in the United States, The Gunks are less than two hours from New York City and located within the Mohonk Preserve. By the way, Gunks is short for Shawangunk. This area supplies some butt-kicking climbing thanks to the breathtaking horizontal roofs. The climbers here “love the jugs” (ledges you grab onto). The Trapps and the Near Trapps are the most popular climbs and feature hundreds of routes.
New Rivers Gorge
Near Fayetteville, West Virginia, New Rivers Gorge is sometimes called the “poor cousin” of the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, but New Rivers Gorge is just as terrific. This is a climbing locale with many generous cracks and traditional routes with sport climbs that are well-bolted nearby.
As a bonus, there’s a fantastic hiking trail that runs along the rim of the gorge. Whitewater rafting can be enjoyed on the river below, and there’s water bouldering (deep-water soloing) at Summersville Lake. It’s a fabulous overall destination.