Where to Go Rock Climbing in and Near Philadelphia
Rock climbing has been one of the most popular sports for well over a century now. In fact, recreational rock climbing as a sport began as far back as the late 19th century! Since then, people have been improving the sport in terms of safety, convenience, equipment, and numerous other ways.
Not only have they made advancements in the outdoor sport in the previously mentioned ways but they have even managed to make rock climbing a year-round sport by creating indoor rock climbing options!
When you live in a city like Philadelphia, you may feel as if you don’t have any rock climbing options available. However, this simply is not the case! There is indeed an abundance of both indoor and outdoor rock climbing in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas! So you can enjoy your favorite sport outside in the warmer months and inside during the colder ones.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best places to go rock climbing in Philadelphia and nearby!
Where to Go Outdoor Rock Climbing Near Philadelphia
Philly is quite a crowded and flat city (aside from the northwestern area), but there are several beautiful places that you surprisingly can go for outdoor rock climbing! Here are the top five places to do so: Ralph Stover State Park, Haycock Mountain, Wissahickon Valley Park, Mount Gretna, and Birdsboro Quarry.
Ralph Stover State Park
If you’re looking for an outdoor location that offers you a variety of types of climbing, then Ralph Stover State Park is your best bet. It offers visitors bouldering, trad, sport, and top rope routes, which all vary in difficulty levels (5.0 to 5.12d) and bouldering problems (V0 to V7).
For those who enjoy trad climbing and live in Philly, you’ll be glad to know that this is the closest trad climbing to your home. Plus, it’s a great place for all climbing levels to enjoy!
Do you consider yourself more of a bouldering enthusiast? Then Haycock Mountain is just where you need to be. This mountain offers the closest and best bouldering in Philly! Bouldering problems range here from V0 to V11 and up.
One of the most unique parts of bouldering here is what the boulders are made of, which is diabase. This type of igneous rock forms rounded boulders with a high-friction texture along with minimal features for footholds and handholds. Diabase only exists in a few places in the world, so when you boulder here, you’ll really be in for a special treat!
Wissahickon Valley Park
If you really aren’t looking to travel far for awesome climbing, then head on over to Wissahickon Valley Park, which is conveniently located within the city limits! Wissahickon Valley Park has been enjoyed by climbers since the 1950s and today, climbers of all calibers and skill levels can enjoy top rope and bouldering in particular.
Wissahickon Valley Park makes your day of rock climbing as easy and the least time-consuming as possible.
Mount Gretna is located in the Governor Dick Nature Reserve and it, much like Haycock Mountain, is made of diabase rock. The trails here are exceptionally clean and well maintained, leading to an enjoyable experience for all. Mount Gretna provides climbers with south-facing boulders on a hillside, which will keep you warm during the day but also won’t stay wet for long, even after a rainfall.
Mount Gretna is ideal for all boulderers, as her boulders come in a variety of sizes and there is an impressive range of boulder problems, from V0 all the way to V11. Give all of these specific climbs a shot: Body Snap (V5), Colflesh (V5), Fabulous (V4), Smiley (V4), and Shamoo (V6).
In Reading, PA, which is just a short drive from Philadelphia, lies the inactive quarry called Birdsboro Quarry. This location is most ideal for those looking for sport climbing. The rocks here are made of diabase as well, however, it is far smoother than the other aforementioned areas because it was created via blasting and cutting.
Affectionately referred to as “The Bird,” it is quite a popular location for climbers, especially the Main Wall, which includes the highly enjoyed Hog Nose (5.11c) and Bye Bye Bolt (5.9). Climbers of all levels can enjoy The Bird, too!
Where to Go Indoor Rock Climbing in Philadelphia
Now that we know some of the best outdoor locations, let’s look at the absolute indoor rock climbing location that is available in Philadelphia. That way, when it’s colder outside or even far too hot and humid during the summer (or, worse, too crowded!), you have a superb indoor climbing location to enjoy!
Here at Reach Climbing & Fitness, we offer a state-of-the-art indoor climbing facility for climbers of all levels and ages to enjoy. We offer an assortment of climbing classes for all to experience and love! Be sure to browse all of our offerings today. Don’t be shy; give us a call today with any and all of your questions at 484-704-7612!