Bright Lights and Sandstone: A Guide to Rock Climbing in Las Vegas

Bouldering in Red Rocks

Las Vegas is known for its bright lights and vibrant nightlife, but it’s also a premiere destination for rock climbing. Located within driving distance of some of the most stunning and rugged mountains in the United States, Las Vegas is an ideal destination for those seeking a taste of adventure. 


One of the most popular spots for climbing is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The stark red sandstone cliffs are a favorite among climbers of all skill levels. The more than 2,000 climbing routes offer a variety of routes that range from beginner-friendly to extremely challenging. The climbs in and outside the park include bouldering, sport and traditional climbing. The area is open year-round, but the main climbing season is during the cooler months of October through May.

If you plan to climb within the park proper, make sure to book a reservation or enter the park before 8 am to avoid reservations. Crags can get busy, especially during the fall/winter/spring, so go early can help avoid the crowds. 


Plumbers Crack, Kraft Boulders

No matter where you choose to climb or boulder in the Las Vegas area, it’s important to come prepared. 

  • Bring appropriate gear, including a helmet, climbing shoes, harness, and ropes. 
  • Make sure to check weather conditions and trail closures before heading out. Flooding in the desert can be unpredictable.
  • In the valley, climbing at the height of the summer or during the hottest part of the day is not recommended.
  • It’s also recommended to climb with a partner or in a group, as climbing alone can be dangerous.
  • Pack out your trash, including your own bodily waste when possible. Wagbags are at various trailheads by the Southern Nevada Climbers Coalition. Hanging around at the bottom of a climb around other people’s used toilet paper is icky. 
  • Sandstone is dangerous when it is wet, so double check if it is has rained before climbing. If it has rained, consider climbing other areas that include limestone or granite. 

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