Rock Climbing in Seattle

Seattle is one of the best cities in America for rock climbing! There are more than 700 routes in the Seattle area. The two main types of climbing available in this region are: sport and top roping, with some bouldering.  

Five of the most popular climbing areas are Tiger Mountain, Little Si, Mailbox Peak, Index Town Walls and Hansville Bluffs. Tiger Mountain has the most developed climbing area in Seattle with over 450 routes, including many easy beginner climbs. Little Si is located near North Bend, which has plenty of camping sites. The Mailbox Peak climbing are offers more than 500 routes along granite slabs and columns. Index Town Wall was the first established climbing area around Seattle, with 400+ sport and trad routes. Hansville Bluffs has more than 100 routes along sea cliff bases and is known for its expansive arches.

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Seattle locals love climbing at these places because they are routinely ranked among the best climbing areas in the entire nation! The greatest concentration of Seattle rock climbing is on Mailbox Peak, Little Si, Index Town Wall, Tiger Mountain and Hansville Bluffs. The best time of year to climb in Seattle is from March through July, when the weather tends to be dry and warm.  

Outdoor rock climbing classes are a great way for beginners to learn the basics of how to climb safely and securely, build endurance and avoid injuries. There are several local indoor gyms that offer recreational rock climbing classes for kids, teens and adults. Climbing is a fun, challenging sport that helps build strength, endurance and balance!

Seattle’s Best Rock Climbling

Rock Climbing Seattle

Seattleites love to climb on the rocks outdoors on sunny days all year round! ‘Climb On’ Seattle has an array of rock climbing adventures to offer everyone from beginner trainers all the way up to expert climbers!

Outdoor rock climbing is a great activity for individuals, groups and company retreats. Climbing year round offers adventure seekers fun outdoor recreation activities to participate in with friends, family members and co-workers during their spare time.  

Rock climbing can be strenuous and is considered an extreme sport. Beginners should learn about rock climbing safety, techniques and various ways to have fun at the ‘Climb On’ indoor rock climbing gyms before attempting any outdoor rock climbing adventures.

For those who are looking for more information on the top five best places to climb in Seattle, please continue reading below!

What are people saying about climbing in Seattle?

Below are some of the best rock climbing areas for new climbers, according to local Seattleites.

5 Most Popular Climbing Areas in Seattle: 

1) Little Si Rock Climbing Area

Little Si is located near North Bend. This popular rock climbing area is covered with forests filled with second-growth trees and large boulders throughout the forest. It is the most developed climbing are in Seattle with more than 500 routes, including many easy beginner climbs on granite slabs and columns.

We love Little Si because of its close proximity to North Bend, which has plenty of camping sites for people wanting to use this area as a base of operations while they climb during the day! The trails are well-maintained and easy to follow, even in the dark.  

2) Hansville Bluff

Hansville Bluffs has 100+ routes along sea cliff bases and offers expansive arches. This popular climbing area is located on the west coast of the Kitsap Peninsula, about 20 miles south of Seattle. The westernmost climbing area is located along Hansville Bluffs. Climbing at Hansville Bluffs offers a variety of climbing experiences, from easy climbs to difficult overhangs and roof routes.

3) Mailbox Peak Climbing Area

Mailbox Peak offers more than 500 sport and trad routes along granite slabs and columns. The craggy summit hike is about a half-mile long and covers more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain. The Mailbox Peak summit provides climbers with an excellent vantage point from which to take in the entire Seattle skyline as well as Vancouver Island. Climbing Mailbox Peak is a strenuous hike that takes two to three hours roundtrip from the trail head.  

4) Index Town Wall

Index Town Wall offers 500+ climbing routes and is located within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. This popular Seattle climbing area is a short drive from Seattle or Bellevue, and it offers world-class rock climbing. The trail head starts at an elevation of about 4,500 feet and the trail to the rock face begins by climbing through old growth cedar trees on an abandoned jeep trail. The craggy summit is about 500 feet high. Climbing on the Index Town Wall offers climbers expansive views of Mt. Stuart, Eldorado Peak and Little Annapurna in addition to rock climbing routes with superb rock quality!

5) Mountain Home State Forest

Mountain Home State Forest is located about an hour and a half east of Seattle in Enumclaw, WA. Most people reach this Seattle climbing area by driving (and then hiking) up Forest Road 52 to the rock climbing site. You can also start this climb by parking at the gate of FR-52 and walking about .7 miles, but this is very steep with serious exposure in some sections. This Northwest forest offers visitors a wide variety of recreation activities including: camping, picnicking and rock climbing. There are about 300 routes (mostly trad climbs) within the 10 mile radius of this Seattle climbing area.

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