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Bouldering spots for a solo road trip
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By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Nov 13, 2012
Friends big puppy
I'm going on a solo road trip (can't convince friends to quit their jobs) from Minneapolis to Houston to San Francisco, with no particular need to get anywhere in any hurry after Houston. I'm leaving in the middle of January. I'm trying to do this cheaply. I'm looking for suggested stops along the way...I know the weather might nick some spots that otherwise would be great to check out.

I'd love to meet up with some people to climb with, i'm mostly interested in bouldering. I'm absolutely fine camping in a tent for prolonged periods of time in coldish (10-20 degree) overnight weather.

SO, I'm thinking I need to check out these places, yell at me if any are stupid terrible ideas, or feel free to add on some suggestions, I'm open for whatever.

Ozarks, Arkansas
Hueco Tanks, Texas
Cochise Stronghold, Arizona (I've got a friend in Phoenix)
J Tree, California
Bishop, California
Some other midland CA stuff since I have some friends in LA
Yosemite, California

I'm sure I'm leaving out some amazing areas, so please educate me MP

Thanks

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By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
Nov 13, 2012
Cochise doesn't have a ton of established bouldering but there is an enormous quantity waiting to be climbed (good, bad, easy hard, take your pick). I was blown away by a ton of the boulders hiking up toward WML Dome from the east side.

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By brad schierer
Nov 13, 2012
Profile
Alex McIntyre wrote:
Cochise doesn't have a ton of established bouldering but there is an enormous quantity waiting to be climbed (good, bad, easy hard, take your pick). I was blown away by a ton of the boulders hiking up toward WML Dome from the east side.


Just check for petroglyphs first though.

And tbh, if your friend is in Phoenix, it might be more worth your while to head up to Groom Creek in Prescott. It'll be cold, but the bouldering is superb.

FLAG
By Wilson On The Drums
From Woodbury, MN
Nov 13, 2012
best in the hills
You could always swing through the Black Hills of SD on your way back to MN, great granite bouldering at Mt Baldy and some around Sylvan Lake. Some nice sandstone stuff too at Grace Basin and the Rock Maze.

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Nov 13, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
Wilson On The Drums wrote:
You could always swing through the Black Hills of SD on your way back to MN, great granite bouldering at Mt Baldy and some around Sylvan Lake. Some nice sandstone stuff too at Grace Basin and the Rock Maze.


SD in the middle of January?

To the original poster, you've got a great plan already with the areas you listed. But, there is one region that is right on your trip route that you did not mention: Central Texas. There is a lot of excellent limestone pocket bouldering within an hour or two of Austin: McKinney Falls, Tonkawa, Roger's Park. Then there is Enchanted Rock State Park, with excellent old-school granite bouldering, with a super cool, Hueco-styled "rock labyrinth" vibe.

Camping is not super easy in the area; I don't know of any free camping, but there are plenty of state parks with pay sites. Definitely lay over in the Austin area for a day or two to check out the rock, you will not be disappointed, especially if you are already passing through.

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By johnthethird
Nov 13, 2012
Its kind of out of the way, but on your way south what about HP40 and rocktown?

Maybe too cold?

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By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Nov 14, 2012
Friends big puppy
brad schierer wrote:
Just check for petroglyphs first though. And tbh, if your friend is in Phoenix, it might be more worth your while to head up to Groom Creek in Prescott. It'll be cold, but the bouldering is superb.


No worries, i'm very devoted to LNT, petroglyphs included!

I'll read up on Groom Creek, I said Cochise because it's the only Southern AZ climbing area I'm familiar with, i'm very open to Groom Creek or any other place that AZ natives suggest.

Thanks Brad

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By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Nov 14, 2012
Friends big puppy
Wilson On The Drums wrote:
You could always swing through the Black Hills of SD on your way back to MN, great granite bouldering at Mt Baldy and some around Sylvan Lake. Some nice sandstone stuff too at Grace Basin and the Rock Maze.


I'm hoping to land on a CCC backcountry trail program April to September, but if not then the tail end of my trip (Aprilish) will take me through Colorado, up through Montana, through banff, and probably back down through the black hills, so I'll definitely check out your suggestions, it's been 10 years since I was in the Black Hills!

Thanks

FLAG
 
By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Nov 14, 2012
Friends big puppy
camhead wrote:
SD in the middle of January? To the original poster, you've got a great plan already with the areas you listed. But, there is one region that is right on your trip route that you did not mention: Central Texas. There is a lot of excellent limestone pocket bouldering within an hour or two of Austin: McKinney Falls, Tonkawa, Roger's Park. Then there is Enchanted Rock State Park, with excellent old-school granite bouldering, with a super cool, Hueco-styled "rock labyrinth" vibe. Camping is not super easy in the area; I don't know of any free camping, but there are plenty of state parks with pay sites. Definitely lay over in the Austin area for a day or two to check out the rock, you will not be disappointed, especially if you are already passing through.


I've got a place to stay in Houston, but it's in a suburban area (my aunts house). Her boyfriend has a place in Alpine that they think I'd like checking out, I'll look for some climbing around that area because I could stay there for a few days before hitting Hueco.

Thanks Camhead

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By Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Nov 14, 2012
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.
Moab, Utah might be a bit out of the way but it is generally top-notch during the winter months as long as there is not a major storm happening. Also great for solo as landings are all perfect and you can camp within walking distance of the boulders. mountainproject.com/v/big-bend-bouldering-area/105716862

I would assume there has to be something worth visiting in New Mexico to break-up the big travel times from West Texas to Phoenix. I know New Mexico has other cool attractions besides climbing too, I just did a trip to Chaco Canyon National Park and that was an awesome little adventure.

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By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Nov 14, 2012
Friends big puppy
johnthethird wrote:
Its kind of out of the way, but on your way south what about HP40 and rocktown? Maybe too cold?


HP40 is Alabama right? That might not work out for me, but the listing on MP looks exciting...we'll see how much money I end up having, because this area looks like it would be fun to check out

FLAG
By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Nov 14, 2012
Friends big puppy
Andy Librande wrote:
Moab, Utah might be a bit out of the way but it is generally top-notch during the winter months as long as there is not a major storm happening. Also great for solo as landings are all perfect and you can camp within walking distance of the boulders. mountainproject.com/v/big-bend-bouldering-area/105716862 I would assume there has to be something worth visiting in New Mexico to break-up the big travel times from West Texas to Phoenix. I know New Mexico has other cool attractions besides climbing too, I just did a trip to Chaco Canyon National Park and that was an awesome little adventure.


I'm really interested in Canyoneering, and I was hoping to include some in this road trip. I'll probably get into Utah, it would be a shame to finally get to drive around that part of the country and miss Arches, Canyonland, Zion, etc...

Anything particular about your Chaco trip worth checking out?

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By Mattberr
From utah
Nov 14, 2012
uintas
Winter is a great time to visit zion (no crowds)!! not sure if you would get any canyoneering in... I bet it would be cold as hell in those slot canyons. If you end up coming to moab, drive an hour and a half north to joes valley. It can be pretty cold there in the winter, but I have climbed there in December and it was actually pretty nice if we stayed in the sun. Have fun!

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By Joe Kreidel
From Tucson, AZ
Nov 14, 2012
Between Minneapolis and the Ozarks swing through Southern Illinois and check out the Holy Boulders, an amazing area with lots of classic problems.

Between Houston and Hueco, Austin area limestone is great.

Cochise is definitely worth the stop. Free camping on the beautiful eastside, and easy access bouldering in a very cool setting.

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By Rob Dillon
Nov 14, 2012
The City of Rocks, NM is worth a day or so.

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By brad schierer
Nov 14, 2012
Profile
Greg Springer wrote:
No worries, i'm very devoted to LNT, petroglyphs included! I'll read up on Groom Creek, I said Cochise because it's the only Southern AZ climbing area I'm familiar with, i'm very open to Groom Creek or any other place that AZ natives suggest. Thanks Brad


No sweat Greg.

The Prescott Bouldering Guide by Bill Cramer is the definitive source. If you like bulletproof granite from V0 to V7-8ish, Groom Creek (and other Prescott areas) are the place to be. It's where I would head if I had to pick one place.

FLAG
 
By splitclimber
Nov 15, 2012
there could be snow in Yosemite in Jan. still go just for the experience, but columbia boulders near sonora has great bouldering and not far from the valley.

if you're in sf, you could check out castle rock state park.

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By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Nov 15, 2012
Friends big puppy
brad schierer wrote:
No sweat Greg. The Prescott Bouldering Guide by Bill Cramer is the definitive source. If you like bulletproof granite from V0 to V7-8ish, Groom Creek (and other Prescott areas) are the place to be. It's where I would head if I had to pick one place.


I'll check out Groom Creek while i'm down there, looks like a great place to climb. Thanks for the advice

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By CareBear
From SLC, UT
Nov 15, 2012
If you're gonna be in Utah while on a bouldering trip you can't skip joe's valley. As long as there isn't a ton of recent snow, New Joes is superb in the winter. Free camping too!

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By Wil Sterner
From Topanga, California
Dec 10, 2012
While in San Francisco head across the bay to Berkley and boulder at Indian Rock Park, I strongly recommend the traverse. Don't miss mini Half Dome just up the block on the other side of the street. Prime Bouldering! If you come down to Los Angeles check Stony Point, Turlock boulder to be specific. Boulder 1 as well but that is more obvious.

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By Elias
From Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 17, 2012
In Healy Mountains of AK
Priest Draw in Flag is rad even when there is snow. If you make it over to AZ, Jtree, or Bishop I'd be more than happy to meet up and climb with you. Have fun!

Elias

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