Itching to climb the walls of a granite canyon this winter? Think rock climbers can only be authentic by bivouacking out in the elements? Think again! Clever winter climbers, that hardy bunch not afraid of a little snow and ice, enjoy both the challenge of a cold weather rock climb and the comfort of an RV at the end of a day. Here are five locations where exhilarating winter climbing adventures await within sight of great RV campgrounds.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area – Nevada
In the Mojave Desert fifteen miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon offers all the winter challenge you could want. Scale the thousand foot south wall at Windy Canyon or the long multipitches of Black Velvet Canyon; everywhere you look there’s rock that’s waiting to be scaled. On-site RV camping (no facilities) is available on a first come, first served basis, or you can camp in Las Vegas if gambling adventures are also on your itinerary.
El Capitan – Yosemite National Park – California
Experienced winter climbers from around the world have scaled El Capitan, making it a highly popular place to be in cold weather. This three thousand foot vertical climb in Yosemite National Park isn’t for the novice! Just in case this is your first trip, here’s a website with lots of helpful information about climbing at Yosemite: SuperTopo.com. Several Yosemite motorhome campgrounds are open year-round, but make your reservations early!
Tahquitz Rock – California
The San Jacinto Mountains in Southern California are home to Idyllwild, a lovely town in the shadow of Tahquitz Rock (or Lily Rock, as it’s also known). If ice climbing is your thing, watch the climbing reports starting in January. A beautiful white granite peak, Tahquitz is legendary with technical climbers. Idyllwild County Park has inexpensive RV camping close to the rock.
Superstition Mountains – Arizona
Grandfather Hobgoblin, a four-pitch climb on the outskirts of Phoenix, is a regional favorite for winter climbing. One of the well-known Hobgoblin Spires, it’s scenic, challenging and somewhere you’ll want to climb more than once. Happy Days RV Park in nearby Apache Junction is a year-round campground and the perfect place to relax after a long day of climbing.
Joshua Tree National Park – California
The world of winter climbing wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the possibilities at Joshua Tree National Park. Whether bouldering or steep-face climbing has you packing your gear, this Park has hundreds of formations for you to conquer. An easy drive from either Los Angeles or San Diego, the temperate climate and granite faces of Joshua Tree’s peaks lure hundreds of climbers back each winter. Check here for information on Park campgrounds that accommodate RVs.
Whether you like a little ice and snow to challenge your climbing skills or prefer warm granite cliffs to scale in December, winter climbing is an ideal RV camping activity. Plot a path to your favorite winter rock climbing venue, then check out year-round RV campgrounds in the area. Relaxing in the luxury of an RV when you come in off the rock face will have you wondering why you slept on the ground all those years!