Climbing is a recreation activity where a person uses one’s hands, feet and specifically made gear to ascend boulders, steep rock or ice faces and mountains. Climbing has become very popular, which has expanded outdoor recreational climbers exploring natural features. People climb to reach mountain summits, to descend and navigate out of steep canyons and to challenge themselves on steep vertical faces of rock or ice.

Be aware that climbing can be dangerous. Knowledge of proper climbing techniques, use of specialized climbing equipment and adequate planning for the environment is necessary.
A man with a rope tied around his waist climbing Devils Tower in 1937
Climbing History

Discover the history of climbing in national parks.

Ground view of a female rock climber ascending a cliff face above
Types of Climbing

Learn more about the types of climbing you can do at your park.

A male climber high above on a rock at Arches National Park
Laws and Policy

Find out more about existing laws and policy related to climbing.

Man bouldering under ranger observation at Rocky Mountain National Park
Partner with Us

Explore ways to get involved.

Last updated: May 28, 2021