Top 7 Campervan Accessible Climbing Areas near Las Vegas - Native Campervans
Top 7 Campervan Accessible Climbing Areas near Las Vegas
Las Vegas houses the largest concentration of high-quality Rock Climbing in the United States. It is one of the very few places in the US that has year-round climbing in good conditions within an hour of the city. Red Rock alone has over 3,500+ routes; couple that with an equal number of routes on the surrounding limestone, and your choices become overwhelming. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 7 picks for campervan-accessible climbing areas and recommendations for each spot conveniently located near our Las Vegas campervan rental office.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a must-visit for any climbers traveling through Las Vegas. Whether it be trad, sport, or bouldering, you will find world-class routes in every length and style year-round. From short 25’ routes at cannibal crag to the long 2000’ routes in Oak Creek & Black Velvet canyon, and of course, Kraft Boulders, the largest concentration of boulders in Southern Nevada, Red Rock has something for every climber. This is one of the best climbing areas to visit on your campervan adventure.
The best seasons for Red Rock are fall, winter, and spring, but Red Rock can be climbed year-round as long as you’re willing to chase shade in the summer and follow the sun in the winter.
Red Rock Campground is the only established campground in the park. The campground has vault toilets, water, campfire rings, and picnic tables. It is a reservation only, and $20 per night to stay.
Rain and Wet Rock: The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climb have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm, the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. Please do not climb in Red Rock during or after it rains. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb.
If you’re wondering when it last rained, wetrockpolice.com/redrock displays information collected by a rain gauge located at the Red Rock visitor center. Please note that the site only aims to help climbers make informed decisions; wetrockpolice.com should not be treated as the source of truth for whether climbing can or cannot be safely done!
Human waste is one of the major issues plaguing Red Rocks. The Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council identified this problem years ago and has worked to provide “wag bags” free of charge in several locations (Black Velvet, First Pullout, Kraft Mtn/Bouldering, The Gallery, and The Black Corridor). These bags are designed so that you can pack your waste out – consider bringing one to be part of your kit (just like your rope and shoes and lunch) no matter where you go. Once used, please dispose of them properly (do not throw them in the toilets in the parking areas). This project was funded primarily by the American Alpine Club.
It is easy to be late returning to your car, and the tickets are expensive. All climbers should take advantage of this excellent resource. Any number of unexpected things can cause you to run late on a climb. Don’t ruin your trip with an expensive but avoidable parking ticket.
*Note that the scenic loop drive access is limited by the BLM and requires a fee upon entry. The schedule is as follows:
November through February 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
April through September 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. October 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A good collection of short limestone sport routes for anyone looking to hop on some more moderate technical limestone close to town and right off the road. Many people use these areas as a second option when Red Rock has been rained out.
The perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the Vegas heat during the warmer months of the year. Located just 30 minutes outside of Vegas, Mount Charleston is about 10 – 20 degrees cooler than it is in town and contains some of the most challenging limestone routes Las Vegas has to offer.
Late spring, summer, and early fall
Lee Canyon Boulders
Mount Charleston has many options for both dispersed and established camping. You can read up more on all of your options here.
Another great campervan climbing area, just outside of Caliente, Nevada, ~2 hours outside of Las Vegas. Rainbow Canyon is a great spot for anyone looking to get away from the crowds and check out some old-school single-pitch sport and trad climbs on some glassy but still textured basalt. Most climbing here has zero approach time, with crags right next to the road.
Late spring and early fall
The Arêtes AKA The Road Climbing Area
The Sandy Cove Area
Camping can be done right off the road here, but be warned, some trains occasionally run through the canyon and are loud! If you’re looking for a quiet place to camp, Kershaw-Ryan state park has established campgrounds with bathrooms, picnic tables, water fill-up, and more for $20 per night.
Right on your way to Saint George, the VRG is the place to be for anyone looking to challenge themselves on some steep high-quality limestone sport (as long as you’re willing to deal with the road noise!).
Late fall, winter, and early-mid spring
Virgin River Campground is just a few minutes down the road from VRG parking. The campground has water and flushable toilets. It is $2 for day use and $8 per night to camp.
A secluded area about 45 minutes outside Las Vegas, Prison Gate houses a good collection of stiff technical granite bouldering. This area has seen a lot of development in the last 10 years, but little has been recorded. There is still lots to explore, and first ascents are everywhere. Prison Gate has climbs of all styles, but If you’re into hard slab climbing, you will love this spot!
Late fall, winter, and spring
There is free dispersed camping anywhere you can park in this area
We hope you are stoked to explore all these climbing areas in your campervan rental. Check out all our van types and see which one will be best for your adventure. Don’t forget to tag us on social media @nativecameprvans.