best climbing destinations for kids

When we first started traveling in search of sport climbing destinations, my youngest two kids were four and six years old. Old enough that they no longer required being carried in a backpack but not old enough to hike up steep hills or hike an hour straight to get to a climbing area (not that I didn’t try).  Here are some of our favorite sport climbing destinations that are perfect for younger kids. 

Each of these destinations have an approach of 15 minutes or less and are not steep.  These areas also have a good area for kids to play at the base of the climb so you aren’t worried about them falling off a ledge while you are belaying your spouse.  I also chose these because they were close to towns or somewhere you could get restock supplies of water, diapers, and Tylenol for that random fever kids tend to get while traveling. 

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Europe

Paklenica National Park, Croatia

Paklencia National Park, 5 best destinations in Croatia
You’ll meet people from all over the world climbing here

It doesn’t get much easier than this. Pay your admission to the national park and drive straight up the hill. Follow the concrete sidewalk and within five minutes you will be in a valley with climbs lining both sides of the wall. One side is always in the shade and there is plenty of room for kids to run around and explore. There is a climbing book you can look at in the small gift shop at the national park, but most of the routes have labels at eye level (for reals!).

Related Blog: Road Trip Through Croatia

Santa Barbara, Spain

Rock Climbing Santa Barbara, Spain: Best Sport Climbing Destinations To Take Your Kids

While it requires driving narrow roads to get here, the crag is only a few minute walk and the base of the climb is a grassy hill with sheep grazing. The climbs were perfect for the kids and made for a nice day.  We found this via our favorite app for finding climbing areas, Climbing Away (download now).  And here’s the best part about his area, at the base of the five-minute approach is a trail sign with a picture showing details of every single route on the wall.

Related Blog: 15 Adventures in Northern Spain for Hikers, Climbers, and Surfers

Stryn Climbing Field: Beachen, Norway