The Best Rock Climbing Places Around the World

A girl climbing
Find and explore the best rock climbing places around the world, including those in the US, China, Thailand, Germany, and more.

We think that one of the best ways to be able to see a new place is to get somewhere really high, open your eyes, and look around. Sure, you might not be seeing an awful lot of people up close, but you will be seeing some incredible sights, and taking in the landscape.

Rock climbing

That’s why rock climbing is usually something we have a lot of interest in. It involves getting to a really high place, opening your eyes, and looking around. Of course, not all rock climbing locations are good for that. Some rock climbing locations just lead you to the middle of nowhere.

To help you get started on your world rock climbing tour, we’ve put together a list of the five best rock climbing places around the world. Just make sure that you don’t forget your climbing gear once you’ve gone!

Yangshuo, China

Located near Guilin, this unique rock climbing location is well known for its Karst rock formations. There are over 500 different climbing options here, with 40 crags. Moreover, each of the climbs is leveled by difficulty, so you can enjoy yourself here both if you’re a beginner, or if you’re more advanced.

Yangshuo river, China

You’ll find Yangshuo around 60 km to the south of Guilin. If you’ve ever seen a 20 yuan note, you’ll know what Guilin is (even if you don’t know it by name). That’s because the mountain view you can see on the note is the exact same as the one which made Guilin Famous.  This means that besides going rock climbing, you’ll also be able to see one of China’s premier tourist attractions at the same time. Just make sure that you don’t go with a tour group. Sorting out your own journey is much, much better, and you won’t have anyone trying to sell you stuff.

Silver Mountain, MI, USA

Located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, when you first spot Silver Mountain it looks like a kind of anomaly. Standing seemingly in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by thick flora and not part of a mountain range, it’s almost as though it were put there to challenge you.

Climbing

Access to the range is somewhat difficult. Due to its location in the Upper Peninsula, it can take a long time to get there from any other ‘large’ city. It’s actually faster to travel from Wisconsin instead of the South of Michigan (i.e. Detroit).

However, once you arrive, it makes for one of the best rock climbing places in the USA. The cliffs reach heights of up to 100 feet, and they run along for several hundreds of meters. There are also steps for non-climbers, which lead to the summit’s abandoned mine Shaft. The area is also a known flight path for some pretty impressive birds of prey, including Hawks and Kestrels.

The Frankenjura, Germany

Very possibly the best spot for hard rock climbing in the whole of Germany, if not the world. The inventively named Frankenjura – which we think sounds a lot of Frankenstein – is actually a large forest packed with tonnes of places where rock climbing is more than possible. These crags and rock faces have come together to make up over 8,00 different routes, which have been established, tested, and secured.

The Frankenjura, Germany

You may have guessed from the name, but the Frankenjura is known for its difficult climbs. If you’re looking for something easier, then this Bavarian rock fort is probably not that right place for you to get started. There are 300 routes known for being easier, but they don’t really offer the same impressive climbs you’ll get from the higher rated ones.

Railay Beach, Thailand

Imagine being able to combine rock climbing with relaxing on a beach and the views which come with it. That’s what Railey Beach in Thailand is all about. It’s about taking the best things that come from being in Southeast Asia and combining them, then throwing in a bit of rock climbing for good measure.

Railay Beach, Thailand

Located in a small peninsula between the cities of Ao Nang and Krabi, the way the beach has formed – surrounded by sheer cliffs and crags – has meant that the beach is now only accessible by boat from elsewhere on the mainland. This has caused Railay Beach to become somewhat exclusive and less well-known amongst travelers, giving it a ‘secretive’ charm.

Don’t let that fool you though. There are still thousands of different routes up the rock face here, and you’ll be able to look out over the water the whole time. There are climbing routes for those of all levels here, so even if you’re a beginner, it might just be the right place to look into.

Wharepapa South, New Zealand

The last time we went to New Zealand, we went to visit the Hobbiton Movie Experience. There wasn’t much else on our minds, other than where and when we were going to see our next Hobbit, and as to whether the one true ring has been hidden somewhere on set. Well, next time we head to New Zealand, it looks like we’ll be thinking about most than just short, hairy people.

Beach in New Zealand

Wharepapa South is one of New Zealand’s best rock climbing places. Standing tall above vast rolling plains and overlooking distance mountains, the rock is home to over 800 different routes for you to explore. The area is technically located on private farmland, but the owners are more than happy to let rock climbers give the challenge a go as long as they are respectful. Also, bear in mind that there is very little cell reception out here, so make sure you have a backup in case you get into trouble.

The Best Rock Climbing Places, Ever

Remember, make sure that you’re prepared when you go rock climbing. It’s a great way to get fit and see the world in a way many others never do, but it can also be dangerous if you’re going into it ill-equipped.

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