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Forum: USA / Open Forum / Best USA summer sport crags Login in to contribute
Best USA summer sport crags
OffLine manacubus
  2010-01-18 02:24:41    
Hey all I'm an Australian climber who is about to start livin' the dream. You know, quitting work, renting the house out, packing up, and doing the overseas climbing thing for a year. Gotta do it once right? I've been to the States once before (Yosemite big walling) but this time am coming for the best sport climbing you can throw at me, hence my post. I'll be flying in late June and staying until - mid Septmber (3 months). My question is, what are my best options for highest quality sport climbing areas that are in good condition in summer? I've checked the database here on 8a, and it seems like I'm looking at Rifle, Rumney, Maple Canyon, NRG, American Fork, Mt Charlston. But some of these areas are worlds apart. Trying to geographically condense these, I've come to the conclusion that the best place to fly into would be Colorado, as I will then have access to Rifle, Maple, Boulder Canyon and American Fork within an ~8hr drive across Colorado and Utah. Is this a sensible plan? Am I going to be really let down? I am really seeking "world class" areas I'll be able to spend a lot of time living and climbing at (bare in mind I will be coming from Kalymnos and flying out to Spain :). Any beta and insights would be super appreciated. Thanks! Lee Cujes
  2010-03-05 19:49:01    
You are forgetting some of the best climbing in all of the United States, the Red River Gorge. It is VERY well developed, with enough climbing to last you a life time. Also, you have New River Gorge within driving distance, and that has even MORE climbing. And if you enjoy bouldering, there's Coopers Rock in WV a few hours past NRG. It's a perfect area to be in really. 
OffLine Josh
  2010-03-29 00:28:19    
I can account for both Mount Charleston and Maple Canyon. They are both excellent sport crags especially during the summer, as both of them are at a fair amout of elevation and are still very cool during that time period. Both of them are located near very hot and dry areas during the summer (central Utah and Las Vegas), but as soon as you clear the city and start heading up into the mountains, the temp drops at least 30 degrees (F) and climbing is great. As for rock quality and style, Maple has some amazing conglomerate climbing with huge cobbles stuck into the wall, as well as Pipe Dream cave, which is probably one of the biggest sport climbing caves on the western side of the US. Charleston has some pretty good limestone caves and sport routes, but has a lot of chipped/broken routes that kind of take away from its natural feel. There is also the Vegas strip to go after you finish climbing though so not much of a downside there. Both areas are world class.
OffLine Master P
  2010-04-04 15:41:32    
Good plan. Forget Boulder Canyon. It's a good semi-urban craggin' area but far from a world-class sport area. IMO Rifle and Maple are world class areas. They are 5 and half hours apart. Good in summer Mount Charleston is a very good, beautiful area -- especially if you like pockets -- it's is good in the summer, although you have to wait until after midday for it to go in the shade. 5-6 hours from Maple. None of these areas will disappoint. AF is good, short and powerful, but a bit scruffy by modern standards. The Red is the best sport area in the US. But you'd be nuts to go there in summer. Way too hot. If you're in the West the following sport crags are also good in summer and worthy of checking out: 10 Sleep, Wyoming. Blacksmith/Harware, Utah. Have a great trip. See you in Rifle? D
OffLine Thore J├╝rgensen
  2010-04-23 05:30:15    
While you are planning to go in summer you should consider Smith Rock in Oregon and Squamish in Canada. City of Rocks in Idaho should allso be good in the summer. The climbing in Utah is really good, but in summer its hot so aim for the high spots. I will recommend Little Cottonwood Canyon close to Salt lake City. For bouldering don't forget Bishop. Tjek out these links. Have a great trip! http://www.smithrock.com/ http://www.squamishclimbing.com/ http://www.nps.gov/ciro/index.htm http://www.rockclimbing.com/routes/North_America/United_States/Utah/Salt_Lake_-_Utah_Counties/Little_Cottonwood_Canyon/
OffLine Jesse Brown
  2010-04-26 20:18:13    
The best sport Crags developed in America are sadly best in spring and fall.
These are the best developed areas in my mind, but not great in the summer although you can chases the shade in rifle in the summer.
 red river gorge, red rocks, rumney, rifle, new river gorge, sinks canyon and all around St.george
Some of the folks here have responded in favor of their local crags, but if your looking for great summer temps on Limestone then here are two of my local suggestions :
Ten Sleep, Wyoming : Long routes, small town close to the canyon, great local scene.
Wild Iris: Short and powerful routes, lots of Pockets. 25 min from Lander, Wyo great small western town. Full climbing shop and at the foothills of the Wind River Range full of 10 pitch granite climbing
I do agree Mt. Charlston is a great summer limestone crag,
If your here for one year, maybe fly into Las Vegas for MT. Charlston then make your way thru Salt Lake city,UT and Maple canyon although hot in the summer. Then up to Ten Sleep on to Wild Iris , swing down 4 1/2 hours to Rifle in late summer early fall, then if i had a whole year i would head straight to the Red River Gorge.
OffLine D Robertson
  2010-04-27 03:17:42    
Are you going to be let down coming from Spain?  Yes, Rifle is choss.  Maple also is choss.  I haven't been to Charleston (I'm going this summer) but it is all chipped up.  So, if your standards are European limestone, don't get on the plane, stay in Rodellar and Ceuse for the summer.  If you do decide to come out to the Western U.S. for the summer, avoid American Fork.  That place was totally underwhelming.  Come to Rifle, it's a good time.   Maple is also a must.  Rifle is my local crag, send a message if you're stopping through.  I also love climbing in Lander Wyoming.  It is super hospitable to climbing.  Free camping everywhere, even in the city park.  Sinks, Wild Iris, and you can travel to Ten Sleep for low key spot off the major circuit.  Good Luck! 
OffLine manacubus
  2010-06-17 21:06:15    
Hey guys, checked back on this thread and was stoked to see some responses, thanks a lot! So, our itinerary now includes for certain Rifle, Maple and Ten Sleep. And who knows where else once we meet some climbers and get talking. Thanks for all the beta - see you at the crag :) Lee & Sam - "the Australians"
OffLine Senya Iaryguine
  2010-06-26 18:41:06    
I drove 25 hours to get to maple and have been climbing there for the last two weeks. If you stay in salt lake than maple is an hour and a half away and american fork is thirty mins away, if you climb at both locations than you will have endurance from maple and power from AF, and you will crush in spain!!!!!!