For rock climbers, Nevada County is a playground. Wherever you choose to stay, you’re just a short drive to some of the most excellent climbing in the Sierras. The area is a mecca for sport, trad (traditional), top rope, and bouldering. Climbing is a sport that folks both young and seasoned can enjoy. The key is finding terrain that matches your skill and fitness level, and hiring a climbing guide if you don’t have experience.
Escape crowded city life for a weekend and van life your way up into the mountains. Donner Summit is a mecca for climbing in the area, known for world-class crux’s at 7,000 feet, is big, scenic, and renowned. The best part – it’s so easy to get there from the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Reno for an epic weekend trip. In less than an hour, you can pick up lunch in Truckee, set up basecamp, and begin your climbing adventure. But you might want to take it slow anyway to pull over, take pictures, and enjoy the vast scenery around you. There are routes for all levels out here, so don’t be shy if you’re a beginner! For those who dream big, you gotta play big – check out Black Wall owned and preserved via Truckee Donner Land Trust for the crown jewel of climbing in the area.
You’ll be amazed how accessible world-class climbing is from Nevada City! The nearby Emeralds, at 5,000 feet, climb like European limestone in a canyon setting. On the same day, you can climb from morning till afternoon, and then cool off in the refreshing swimming holes at Emerald Pools. Indian Springs and Rainbow offer quiet, one-pitch climbs, smooth granite, and a more alpine feel.
If outdoor climbing seems daunting, you can start at High Altitude Fitness and learn the ropes. Trained staff will show you how to tie basic climbing knots, belay your partner safely, and climb routes you never thought possible!