If you’re a rock climber and looking for an adventurous trip near Las Vegas, you’re in luck. Las Vegas is surrounded by some of the best climbing spots in the country, and with the availability of camper van rentals, you can easily explore these destinations at your own pace. Whether you’re a beginner or a climbing pro, there’s something for everyone who visits.
Las Vegas, Nevada is a reasonably accessible (and, frequently, affordably accessible) destination, with budget-friendly flights coming in from all over the country and world and, once you arrive, you are in a great location to get out of the city and see the natural sites within a short drive. Across four states, you can find more than a dozen national parks within a few hours’ drive.
So, the next time you are planning a camping trip, think about going to Las Vegas and then leaving Las Vegas. Renting a camper van for your journey will make it so easy, even if you stay a few days in Las Vegas at the beginning or end of your trip. When you are ready to hit the road, just pick up your camper and go. Here are some of the top climbing destinations near Las Vegas that you should consider on your next camper van trip:
1. Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is a world-renowned climbing destination located just 30 minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip. With over 2,500 established routes, Red Rock offers something for climbers of all levels.
The sandstone cliffs provide an excellent grip for climbers, and the stunning views from the top make it worth the climb. The best part? You can camp at Red Rock Canyon Campground, which offers RV hookups, picnic tables, and fire pits.
2. Mount Charleston
If you’re looking to escape the desert heat, Mount Charleston is a perfect destination. Located just an hour away from Las Vegas, Mount Charleston offers a cooler climate and a variety of climbing options. The limestone cliffs provide a challenging climb, and the scenic views of the surrounding wilderness are breathtaking. You can camp at the Kyle Canyon Campground, which offers RV hookups, showers, and restrooms.
3. Joshua Tree National Park
Although a bit of a drive from Las Vegas (around 3.5 hours), Joshua Tree National Park is worth the trip for any climbing enthusiast. The park is known for its granite domes, which offer a unique climbing experience. The park has over 8,000 established routes, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. You can camp at one of the nine campgrounds in the park, which offer a variety of amenities for camper van renters.
4. Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a beautiful destination with towering cliffs, waterfalls, and incredible views. The park is located around 2.5 hours away from Las Vegas and offers a variety of climbing options, from beginner to expert. You can camp at one of the three campgrounds in the park, which offer RV hookups, showers, and restrooms.
5. The Virgin River Gorge
The Virgin River Gorge is located just north of Las Vegas and is a popular destination for climbers. The area features limestone cliffs with a variety of climbing routes. The best part? The area is easily accessible for camper van renters, and you can camp at the Virgin River Recreation Area, which offers RV hookups, showers, and restrooms.
6. Brian Head Ski Area
Located just a few hours away from Las Vegas, Brian Head Ski Area is a popular winter destination for skiing and snowboarding. However, in the summer months, the area transforms into a beautiful climbing destination. The area features limestone cliffs with a variety of established routes, and the cooler climate makes it a great place to escape the desert heat. You can camp at the Brian Head KOA, which offers RV hookups, showers, and restrooms.
7. Idyllwild, California
Idyllwild is a small mountain town located around 4 hours away from Las Vegas. The town is surrounded by beautiful forests and has a variety of climbing options for all levels. The area is known for its granite domes and offers a unique climbing experience. You can camp at the Mount San Jacinto State Park Campground, which offers RV hookups, showers, and restrooms.
Can I park my camper van at the climbing areas?
It depends on the specific climbing area. Some areas have designated parking lots for camper vans, while others may require you to park at a nearby campground or RV park. It’s important to research parking options ahead of time and follow any posted rules or regulations.
Are there shower facilities at the climbing areas?
Most climbing areas do not have shower facilities on-site. However, some campgrounds and RV parks in the area may offer shower facilities for a fee. Alternatively, you can bring a portable camping shower or opt for a dip in a nearby lake or river.
What equipment do I need for climbing in the Las Vegas area?
At a minimum, you will need climbing shoes, a harness, a chalk bag, and a helmet. Depending on the type of climbing you plan to do, you may also need ropes, quickdraws, and other protective gear. If you don’t have your own equipment, there are several outdoor gear rental shops in the Las Vegas area.
Do I need a permit to climb in the area?
Most climbing areas near Las Vegas do not require permits for individual climbers. However, some areas may require permits for commercial guiding or larger groups. It’s important to research the specific regulations for each area you plan to climb in.
What should I do if I encounter wildlife while climbing?
The Las Vegas area is home to a variety of wildlife, including snakes, lizards, and birds of prey. If you encounter wildlife while climbing, it’s important to give them plenty of space and avoid disturbing their habitat. If you’re unsure how to safely navigate around wildlife, consider taking a wilderness safety course before your trip.
Las Vegas and its surrounding areas are a mecca for climbers of all skill levels, and with the convenience and flexibility of renting a camper van, it’s easier than ever to explore these top climbing destinations.
From the stunning sandstone formations at Red Rock Canyon to the cool limestone cliffs at Mount Charleston, there’s something for everyone. So pack your gear, rent a camper van, and embark on your next climbing adventure in one of these amazing locations near Las Vegas.