Red Rocks, Nevada
The first stop on our climbing tour was Red Rocks—one of the country’s best climbing areas with fun sport routes and ultra-classic long trad routes. Despite its proximity to the Bay Area, Red Rocks had somehow eluded us up until now. While we didn’t spend a lot of time climbing here we definitely had a nice sampling of the climbing and are eager to come back for more.
The climbing is on gorgeous sandstone that ranges from bright red faces in Calico Hills to white grey walls in the canyons that are home to the classic trad routes.
We had the misfortune of being there on the week of the Red Rock Rendezvous. I say misfortune because we didn’t have a lot of time to climb and the campground and crags were packed. We got out to the Black Corridor which has a good concentration of moderate sport routes, only to find out it was also spring break for many schools.
The best guidebook hands down is Jerry Handren’s Red Rocks, A Climber’s Guide. Your best bet is to pick up a copy at the local climbing shop, Desert Rock Sports, which is conveniently located near Red Rocks and sells the book for much less than the 3rd party sellers on amazon.
There is camping available at the Red Rocks Campground. The rate just went up to $15 per site per night. There is water and pit toilets but no showers at the campground. You will need to drive from the campground to the crag. It’s not the best deal in town but it’s something.
I have also heard rumors of a free camping area on BLM land about a half hour’s drive from Red Rocks.
If neither of these tickle your fancy the plethora of hotel options in Vegas is bound to offer something for your budget/comfort level.
Also note that entry into Red Rocks is $6 a day. Because it is a Federal park it is also included in the National Park annual pass.