Heading to Las Vegas to go bouldering in Red Rocks? Be sure to get the beta before you go.
Red Rocks bouldering isn’t nearly as well known as the area’s sport climbing, but trust us – it’s just as good. From steep crimps to gritty slopers, the boulder problems in Red Rocks, NV present a unique style of climbing for boulderers with almost any preference.
The stark contrast between the city lights of Las Vegas and the painted mountains of Red Rocks is surprisingly beautiful. The climbing doesn’t disappoint either. From slopers to steeps, you’ll never experience anything quite like the sandy grit of Red Rocks. The best part? Your fingertips will be in great shape with the friendly texture of the terracotta sandstone.– Bridget Kilgallon @bkall.day
Trip Beta: Travel Tips for Red Rocks bouldering
Red Rocks is just outside of the city of Las Vegas. For those who like to gamble or light up the night – there are plenty of options for room and board. For those who prefer to camp, Red Rocks is not the most hospitable for camping accommodations. If you didn’t book a group site and the walk-ins are full (which they often are) you’ll be happy to have a backup plan.
BLM camping is available, however it is a solid 45-minute drive away from the climbing areas. Unfortunately, camping in pull outs or other overnight parking lots in the canyon is not legal and is heavily monitored.
Van campers may have some success finding overnight parking in the nearby shopping centers and strip malls (of which there are many). Depending on how incognito your set up is you may be able to pull this off. However, we can’t guarantee you won’t wake up to a security guard knocking on your window. Definitely don’t try this at the nearby Albertson’s parking lot.
Access: Climbing etiquette for Red Rocks bouldering
Whatever you do: do not climb after it rains in Red Rocks.
As with any type of sandstone, rain causes the rock to become friable – meaning it can break easily. Not only will you be bummed if you break a crucial hold, but the entire climbing community will probably ex-communicate you. If it rains, take at least 2-3 days to rest in town.
As always, be sure to educate yourself on leave no trace principles for the area. Read more about the seven principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) in our article: What is the Leave No Trace Philosophy?
Girl Beta: Bouldering Videos for Red Rocks
Sometimes it helps to get another woman’s perspective on which boulder problems to get on. Below you’ll find a selection of female favorites, and a great roadmap on which routes to add to your tick list when visiting Red Rocks.
Warning: If you’re climbing onsight, scroll no further. Spoilers ahead!
Monkey Bar – V2
Potato Chips – V2
Natasha’s Highball – V2 *Ultra Classic!*
When it comes to high balls, it really doesn’t get better than this. Natasha’s is a picturesque line that takes you through thrilling, but easy moves to the lip of a massive boulder. Commit to the middle sequence and ride out the easy slab to the top. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.
Pork Chop – V2/V3 *Tough!*
Despite the moderate grade, The Pork Chop is notoriously difficult and technical (not to mention extremely fun). Shorter climbers may experience a more committing move to get from one arête to the other. Don’t be discouraged by the difficulty – with a little foot-work trickery you’ll be hugging the chop in no time.
Clam Bumper – V3
The Sting – V4
The Pearl – V5 *Ultra Classic!*
Ah, the Pearl. Everyone loves it… or do they? Crimp your way up a technical line on a beautiful orange scoop in the middle of the desert.
Monkeybar Right – V6
Red Dragon – V6
Tied To The Whipping Post – V6
Monkey Bar Traverse – V6/7
Monkey Wrench – V7
Mr. Moran – V7
Spring Loaded – V8
In Our Time – V8
Monkey Bar Direct – V8
Down The Line – V8
Spitting Venom – V8/9
Sad Robot – V9
Monkey Trench – V10
Big shout out to the climbers who provided these videos! You can follow their sends on the following links: