7 of the top climbing destinations

Top 7 Popular Rock Climbing Destinations Worldwide

In this post, we’ll explore seven of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the world, each offering its unique challenges and gorgeous scenery. Whether you are an experienced climber seeking a new challenge or a novice looking for ideas for your climbing expedition, these destinations should be on your short list for future climb trips!

1. Yosemite National Park, USA

Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is an iconic rock climbing destination that needs no introduction (I will introduce it anyway lol). With its magnificent granite walls and awe-inspiring landscape, Yosemite has been a mecca for climbers since the early days of the sport. El Capitan, the park’s most famous rock formation, stands at a staggering height of 3,000 feet and offers a variety of routes for climbers of all skill levels. The Nose, a route on El Capitan, is considered one of the most challenging and sought-after climbs in the world, attracting seasoned climbers from every corner of the globe. With its sheer cliffs, breathtaking views, and a rich climbing history, Yosemite National Park is a must-visit destination for any rock climbing enthusiast.

Popular Climbing Routes in Yosemite

The NoseTrad, Aid 31 Pitches5.9 C2
South FaceTrad, Aid 11 Pitches5.8 C1
FreeriderTrad 30 Pitches5.13a
The North FaceTrad 8 Pitches5.11c

2. Kalymnos, Greece

Nestled in the Aegean Sea, Kalymnos is a Greek climbing paradise renowned for its limestone cliffs and crystal-clear waters. This small Mediterranean island has become a popular destination for sport climbers, with over 2,000 routes of varying difficulty levels. Kalymnos has a unique climbing experience with its beautiful crags and stunning sea views. The island’s lovely climate and kind locals create an amazing atmosphere. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced climber, Kalymnos’ diverse ratings and instagram worthy routes make it an ideal destination for your next climbing adventure.

Popular Climbing Routes in Kalymnos

Lucky LucaSport5.12a

3. Chamonix, France

Located in the French Alps, Chamonix is a charming mountain town that serves as a gateway to some of the most challenging climbing routes in Europe. Towering peaks surround this alpine paradise, including the infamous Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe. Chamonix offers a mix of traditional alpine climbing and modern sport climbing, with loads of mid level routes. The Aiguille du Midi, a needle-shaped rock formation, is a popular spot for climbing enthusiasts who enjoy multi-pitch routes with amazing views of the mountains. Chamonix’s rich climbing history, breathtaking vistas, and proximity to world-class climbing routes make it a top destination for sport, trad, & alpine climbers.

Popular Climbing Routes in Chamanix

Voie Frison-RocheSport 6 Pitches5.10a
Le Marchand de SableTrad 10 Pitches5.10b
ContamineTrad, Alpine 5 Pitches5.11c
Ex LibrisTrad, Sport 7 Pitches5.10c

4. Joshua Tree National Park, USA

Situated in Southern California, Joshua Tree National Park is a desert wonderland renowned for its unique formations and otherworldly landscape. This park offers a diverse range of climbing opportunities, from slab climbs to crack climbs. The park’s famous Joshua Trees add a surreal charm to the climbing experience, creating an atmosphere that is truly one of a kind. The notoriously grippy granite rock, coupled with the park’s scenic backdrop, makes Joshua Tree a must-visit destination for any climber looking to challenge themselves or simply bask in the beauty of the desert.

Popular Climbing Routes in Joshua Tree

White RastafarianBoulderV2
SW CornerSport5.6
Figures on a LandscapeTrad 3 Pitches5.10b
Heart of DarknessTrad5.11a

5. Railay Beach, Thailand

If you are seeking a tropical climbing adventure, look no further than Railay Beach in Thailand. Located on the Andaman Sea, Railay Beach is a paradise for climbers, offering stunning limestone cliffs that rise dramatically from crystal-clear waters. The challenging routes and breathtaking views make Railay Beach a favorite destination for sport climbers seeking a unique and exotic climbing experience. The beach’s laid-back vibe, warm temperatures, and delicious cuisine make it a great spot to visit anyway, climbing I just icing on the cake. While Thailand can be expensive to get to, its worth the trip!

Popular Climbing Routes in Railay Beach

Fit To Be Thai’dSport5.10a
Crystal FlameSport 3 Pitches5.10c
Lord of the Thai’sSport 5 Pitches5.12b

6. Frankenjura, Germany

In southern Germany, the Frankenjura region is a climbing mecca known for its extensive network of limestone cliffs and dense forests. With over 10,000 routes spread across its picturesque landscape, Frankenjura offers a limitless playground for climbers of all skill levels. The region’s unique rock formations, known as “fingers” and “towers,” provide a diverse range of climbing styles, including trad routes, bolted sport climbs, and bouldering. The local climbing community and the region’s rich climbing history add to the charm of climbing in Frankenjura, making it a must-visit destination for any climber..

Popular Climbing Routes in Frankenjura

Devil’s CrackSport5.10c
Beavis and ButtheadSport5.12c

7. Wadi Rum, Jordan

Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a remote desert valley located in south Jordan. This mystical destination is famous for its towering sandstone cliffs that offer a blend of big wall climbs and traditional routes. Climbing in Wadi Rum is a unique experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the rich Bedouin culture. The cliffs, with their vibrant red hues, create a surreal backdrop . Wadi Rum’s remote location, otherworldly beauty, and challenging climbs make it a true gem for adventurous climbers.

Popular Climbing Routes in Wadi Rum

Pillar of WisdomTrad 17 Pitches5.9+
The BeautyTrad 4 Pitches5.10
The Star of Abu JudaidahTrad 8 Pitches5.10+
Crazy CamelSport 4 Pitches5.10+


I’d love to hear from you about what you think deserves to be on this list! I think these really stand out, but I’d really love to get your feedback. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Climb on!

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