Northeast Rock Climbing
Climbing in the Northeast is as good of an experience as Colorado, California, or anyplace else with rock. Sure the crags may not be as grand as Yosemite or Eldorado Canyon but Northeast Rock Climbing is amazing in its own right and offers an experience that is unto itself. Cliffs like Cannon Cliff beacon climbers to be challenged on some of the toughest lines in the Northeast whereas The Gunks is stepped in some of the richest history in the climbing world.
If you have been climbing for any amount of time the climbing in New England and the Northeast should be no surprise as to how good it actually is. For those who have never visited, or plan to visit, this article is best served for both climbers new and familiar to the NE. Below is a list of the most popular areas to visit along with a list of some of the best-kept secrets in the Northeast for those of you who have already visited every area and want to find something new and awe inspiring.
1. Cathedral Ledge
Known for its long, classic, granite an multi-pitch moderates, Cathedral Ledge offers something for everyone. From the easy graded Funhouse 5.8 and Upper Refuse, a much easier linkup, and several neighboring climbs, to Cathedral Cave with bold 5.13 and hardman, bold lines. North Conway, home to many granite crags, harbors Cathedral Ledge with a huge amount of climbing for any grade climber.
2. Acadia National Park
Seaside climbing at its finest is what you can expect at Acadia. Not into gorgeous sea cliffs? Not to worry, lots of other cliffs in the near-interior of the park offer everything from bolted/mixed routes, granite slabs, and multi-pitch on The Precipice. There are even several excellent bouldering areas in the park.
Best areas to climb in Acadia, Maine
1. The Precipice
2. Otter Cliffs
3. Canada Cliffs
4. Great Head
3. Whitehorse Ledge
Whitehorse is Cathedral Ledge’s, sister crag. Although it is a close neighbor, it offers climbing that is vastly different from Cathedral Ledge. Where Cathedral boasts looming faces, caves, long, sustained cracks, and vertical nature, Whitehorse is known for the opposite and is mainly a massive slab with good friction and classic arches and slick rock.
4. Cannon Cliff
Cannon is the alpine gem of the Northeast. This massive wall could easily be located in Yosemite and challenge climbers from around the world. Cannon is a huge cliff with a reasonable approach for alpine standards.
Known for its countless sport routes, Rumney is your one-stop shop for granite sport routes; the bouldering is pretty fantastic too. This area is an easy stop for anyone traveling from the lower New England states and is pretty easy to get to from the Mid Atlantic as well.
6. The Gunks
Climbing at The Gunks is one of the best experiences anyone can have. Some of the richest history, mega classics, and largest swaths of rock in the east can be found just outside of New Paltz and 90 minutes from New York City. This area has climbing from 5.0 to 5.13+ and is a trad climbers paradise. Access is easy and you can find hundreds of multi-pitch classics, innumerable topropes, and countless boulder problems. The only downside to this area is crowds. You can get an really good deal for open routes and overlooked classics in the Gunks Climbing App. Tons of classics are located right off the carnage road that runs the base of the Trapps cliff.
10 Must do Classics at the Gunks
- Shockleys Ceiling
- Kens Crack
- High Exposure
- Bonnies Roof
Top New England Climbing Areas Map