Alabama Hills Rock Climbing
There are almost 300 rock climbing routes in the Alabama Hills with a handful of new climbs are put up every year. The Hills, as they are affectionately called by locals and climbers alike, have been increasingly becoming a favorite spring and fall destination for rock climbers from all over the country. Most routes are characterized by short Joshua Tree style friction granite.
The technique is paramount for harder climbs to 5.13, but the majority of the routes in the Alabama Hills are easy to moderate routes in the 5.6 to 5.10 range. Part of the appeal to many rock climbers is the short 2-10 minute approaches. There are even a handful of climbs that are so close you can belay from a tailgate.
Guided Rock Climbing in the Alabama Hills
California Rock Guides offers private guided rock climbing in the Alabama Hills for most of the year. While most of our guest climb on a 1:1 or 2:1 basis to maximize routes and time California Rock Guides can handle groups of almost any size. For information on private guiding rates, please see our Private and Custom Guiding Page
Additionally, the unique and comfortable location of the Alabama Hills is the perfect setting for many of our educational classes. We offer almost all of our of clinics and course including Introduction to Rock Climbing, Learning to Lead, Introduction to Aid Climb and Self-Rescue for Climbers here at the Alabama Hills. You can find out more information about each of these by click on their respective links.
Remember, if you can’t find a date that works for you all of our courses and clinics can be run as Private Clinic at the same price for a group of 2 or more.
Classic Alabama Hills Rock Climbs:
Jackie’s Crack 5.7
Sharks Fin Arête 5.7
Dinosaur Crack 5.8
Southern Man 5.9
Wildest Dreams 5.10a
Gone w/ the Wind 5.10a
Sweet Home Alabama 5.10a
Blockade Runner 5.10c
Curving Crack 5.10c
The Movie History:
Since early 1919, the Alabama Hills have been a favorite film location for Hollywood starting with a famous Western Lightening Bryce starring Jack Hoxie. Since that time the rugged and unique desert rock formations came to epitomize the western film genre lending background set to almost 400 movies. While most of the work has been films in recent years more and more have become TV series and commercials putting the number of shoots closer to 1,000.
Today a few modern westerns are still filmed here such as Django Unchained (2012) and The Lone Ranger (2013). Still, as the western movie nostalgia begins to wear off, these inspiring rock formations are finding a new home in more science fiction film sets. Gladiator (2000), Iron Man (2008), and Godzilla (2013) all had scenes filmed in the Alabama Hills.