Climbing Hostels are more than just a place to stay, they’re an awesome way of meeting other climbers and getting all-round logistical support for your trip!
From years of personal and professional experience we’ve noticed that there are two main barriers to organising a successful climbing trip: getting a group of friends together and taking care of all the logistics.
Fortunately, staying in a Climbing Hostel looks after both of these! You’ll meet plenty of other likeminded climbers to join at the crag and the hosts will provide you with logistical support such as gear rental and information on the area’s best routes! But before we discuss this in more detail...
What is a Climbing Hostel?
'Climbing hostel' is a blanket term used here to describe hostels, B&Bs or campsites designed by climbers for climbers. We’ve chosen the word ‘hostel’ because, while the accommodations listed below differ significantly in terms of price point and comfort level, they’re all characterised by the same friendly, communal vibe you get in these sorts of establishments.
Climbing Hostels are places where you can rest your head at night knowing that there’s incredible crags just a stone’s throw away. They’re places where you’ll find a welcoming community sharing beta over breakfast and hosts that will go out of their way to make your climbing experience as smooth as possible. Some Climbing Hostels may be more peaceful and others busy and bustling, but you’re always bound to find a welcoming atmosphere, plenty of other climbers and amenities to help facilitate your trip.
Guests relaxing in the hot-tub at Polvere di Stelle © Polvere di Stelle
Why book a Climbing Hostel?
There’s many reasons to choose a Climbing Hostel over other forms of accommodations:
- They’re a place to meet other climbers: Solo travellers, Climbing Hostels are the place to meet belay partners or find a group to join at the crag! For anyone not traveling solo, Climbing Hostels are still the perfect place to meet likeminded people from all over the world.
- They help you connect with the local community: Climbing hostel hosts tend to have strong ties to the local community. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find a few local climbers chilling around the bar or kitchen table who will be psyched to share with you the local secrets…
- You'll have access to climbing specific amenities: From hangboards to gear rental services and home gyms, Climbing Hostels are designed by climbers for climbers so you’ll find everything you need to facilitate your trip.
- You’ll be super close to some incredible climbing: Many of the climbing hostels listed below are walking distance from some incredible crags, or have world class climbing within a 15 to 20 minute drive.
All of the Climbing Hostels listed below meet the above criteria - plus we’ve checked them out in person or through extensive research to make sure they’re clean, safe and not a scam.
The Solana de Granada team and Garden crag (El Patio) © Solana de Granada
Our top 15 Climbing Hostels:
Polvere di Stelle - Western Sicily, Italy.
Polvere di Stelle at night, featuring the garden, climbing wall and main guesthouse © Polvere di Stelle
Freshly baked cakes for breakfast, thousands of world class routes at your doorstep, a professionally set home boulder gym to train on and wood-fired hot-tub to recover in after… and these are just the highlights!
Polvere di Stelle is basically Mapo Tapo’s home away from home. It was our chosen base for our last offsite trip and the place we come back to whenever we visit Western Sicily. It’s not just the cakes that won us over, though, it’s the cosy vibe, the hosts Cata and Gio’s hospitality, the beauty of the natural surroundings and the vibrant local and international climbing community you’ll find gathered every evening around the dinner table.
Cata is a prolific local developer and bolter, so he can recommend all the best local gems and probably even give you the beta too! Accommodation is in private rooms (sleep 2-4) with en-suite bathrooms.
Thousands of world-class quality routes within a 30 minute drive, with the closest crag about 15 minutes away.
Sport climbing, multi-pitch, bouldering, limestone, sandstone - you have it all! The Scorace Forest - Sicily’s response to Fontainebleau - is not to be missed. Ask Cata if he can join you for a session there, he developed most of the problems after all…
- Guidebook rental and sale (with Cata and Gio’s recommendations).
- Equipment rental (including crashpads).
- Homeboard and other training equipment.
- Can arrange a rental car for you and provide some crag / airport transfers (enquire ahead of time).
Best for: Climbers looking for a comfortable base from which to discover Western Sicily.
Best Season: Autumn to Spring.
Solana de Granada - Granada, Spain.
Solana de Granada is located so close to the climbing, you can basically belay out of bed! © Solana de Granada
Solana de Granada wins first place when it comes to proximity to climbing: the hosts, Eduardo and Miriam, bolted a crag right in the garden!
If this alone isn’t enough to win you over, it’s also worth mentioning that there’s a beautiful outdoor terrace with incredible views, a comfy living room complete with board games and a hostel guitar, an outdoor pool, and a peaceful garden with home-grown vegetables and hammocks to relax in. The time and love that has gone into creating this place is evident from the home-crafted furniture, simple yet tasteful decor, and Edu and Miriam’s infectious warmth and energy.
Most of the accommodation at Solana de Granada is in dorm-style rooms (there’s one private double room) and as a result the hostel is characterised by a laid-back communal vibe. It’s the sort of place where you can expect to cook a meal together in the kitchen or play board games with the other guests in the evening. As Solana is located right next to some of Granada’s best climbing, hiking and mountain biking trails, the guests tend to all be very outdoorsy and you’re likely to make new friends to join you at the crag.
To add to all this, Granada city with its myriad of attractions is also just a 40 minute bus journey away!
2,100 routes within a 50 minute drive from the front door! The closest crag is in the garden and it’s possible to walk to most of the sectors of the Cogollos area. Limestone sport climbing is the province’s main attraction, but you’ll also find awesome multi-pitches, good bouldering super close to the hostel, and even some trad and alpine climbing in the Sierra Nevada range.
- Gear and crash pad rental.
- Climbing coaching/ course organisation.
- Crag info and recommendations (check out their website).
- A rock climbing crag right in the garden!
Best Season: November to March if you’re a hardcore climber looking to send some projects; September - October or April - June if you’re looking for a more laidback holiday.
Best for: Sport Climbers looking for quality unpolished limestone, lots of sun, and a friendly community vibe.
Nannai - Ulassai, Sardinia
The rooftop terrace at Nannai guesthous, perfect for morning yoga or evening beers © Nannai
Nannai - meaning grandmother in the Sardinian dialect - is a vibrant Climbing Hostel based in the village of Ulassai, home to some of the best sport climbing on the island.
As the name suggests, the place is incredibly warm and welcoming and you’ll immediately be made to feel like part of a big international climbing family. The style is cool and modern without being pretentious - think upcycled furniture, reclaimed wood, a pop of colour - and you can choose between accommodation in dormitories or private rooms depending on your budget and comfort level.
Nannai’s hosts (and most of the staff) are passionate local climbers and as a result they’ve really paid attention to the details. You’ll find hangboards (so you can warm up at home, walk a few minutes to the crag and get straight on your project) and a rooftop terrace boasting insane views, with a fridge permanently stocked with cold beers. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen so you can prepare healthy meals, a cosy living room to hang out in and ultra-fast wifi to accommodate all you digital nomads.
If you need any crag or climb recommendations just ask the staff who will happily provide you with a tick-list.
Ulassai is a true climber’s paradise, with over 500 extraordinary quality lines, 4a to 9a, within walking distance from the town centre. The style here is mostly limestone sport climbing but you’ll find everything from techy slabs to tufa hauling on overhangs with many crags boasting beautiful sea views. The nearby village, Jerzu, boasts more quality crags, and for those looking to get on some multi-pitches Baunei is only 50 minutes away.
- Topos and up-to-date information on their website (plus a ticklist on demand).
- Free beds for bolters (inquire ahead of time).
- Discounts for longer stays.
Best for: Digital nomads or sport climbers looking for a vibrant base from which to explore Eastern Sardinia.
Season: March to October is ideal, but climbing is possible year round.
B&B Taccu Maccu - Ulassai, Sardinia
Taccu Maccu at night © Taccu Maccu
Despite being just a 10 minute walk from the village of Ulassai, Taccu Maccu is the accommodation of choice for anyone looking to immerse themselves in nature and get an insight into traditional rural Sardinia. The B&B is situated in a peaceful valley between the most beautiful ‘tacchi’ (characteristic cliffs) of Ogliasta, a place where you can wake up to the call of birds, enjoy a leisurely breakfast with a view of the mountains, breathe fresh unpolluted air, and in the evening contemplate an extraordinary sky full of stars. To add to all this, the world class-crags of Ulassai are just a few minutes’ walk away, and you’ll find plenty of treks and mountain biking trails in the area - no need for a car!
Climbers, mountain bikers and all-round outdoor enthusiasts themselves, hosts Bea and Marco go out of their way to create a welcoming yet authentic environment. Expect rich breakfasts with homemade jams and cakes, and traditional barbeque dinners accompanied by local wines and veg from the garden (Bea and Marco will even put you in touch with a local shepherd if you want to buy some cheese). The rooms are clean and comfortable, and there's even fully equipped climbing gym in the basement! Of course, the whole point of staying in a place like this is to enjoy the extraordinary outdoor activities on offer, and Bea and Marco are always happy to give you recommendations for the best spots to climb, bike, run, hike and even surf :)
Accommodation is in private rooms sleeping 2 to 5 people.
Climbing potential: The crags of Ulassai are all walking distance away - see more details on this area above.
- Fully equipped climbing gym
- Recommendations from Bea and Marco (local climbers and instructors)
- Crags within walking distance
Seasons: March to October is ideal, but climbing is possible year round.
Best for: Anyone looking to make the most of the incredible climbing Ulassai has to offer while staying in a peaceful rural environment.
Pedra Rubia - Iglesias, Sardinia
The view from the breakfast terrace at Pedra Rubia © Pedra Rubia
Located in the small village of Nebida in the Southwestern corner of Sardinia, Pedra Rubia is the place to go for peace and comfort. This charming B&B was set up by local climbers Tiziana and Marco with the aim of encouraging guests to discover this incredible off-the-beaten-track part of the island in all its natural beauty.
While Tiziano and Marco agree that ‘staying indoors when the landscape outside is so spectacular is almost blasphemy’, they understand the importance of having a comfortable base to return to following a day full of adventure. As a result, Pedra Rubia offers you a choice of 3 private double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a cosy kitchen/ living room area to relax in (with plenty of climbing books of course), and - the highlight - a terrace with exquisite sea views and some of the best sunsets you’ll ever witness.
Marco is one of Sardinia’s few certified mountain guides and Tiziana a registered tourist guide so don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations! If you’re lucky, they’ll even join you for a session at the crag.
Southwestern Sardinia is home to some of the island’s true hidden climbing gems. Masua’s Castello dell’Iride crag boasts exquisite single and multi-pitch climbs for all levels and is just a 5 minute drive from the B&B.
The crags of Iglesias are also very nearby, offering a total of 400 limestone sport routes, and Dumosnovas, just a little further away, is home to 20 crags and over 550 pitches of limestone sport climbing. The whole of Sardinia is also at your disposal, with awesome trad, sport, bouldering and multi-pitches for all levels.
- Guidebook rental and advice from Marco.
- Equipment rental.
- Can organise climbing trips and courses.
Season: Early autumn to late spring.
Best for: Sport climbers looking for a little comfort and incredible landscapes.
Tenerife Climbing House (TCH) - Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife Climbing House provides you with all the support you need for a successful climbing trip © Tenerife Climbing House
Tenerife Climbing House is a place that really ticks all of the boxes: it’s a hostel, campground, climbing school, gear rental service and climbing shop all in one! This relaxed and friendly climber’s hangout was co-founded by passionate climbers Elena and Erik who wanted to share with others the incredible basalt rock climbing (and myriad of other sports) that Tenerife has to offer. As the island is home to a huge range of climbing styles and crags, you’ll find quite an interesting mix of climbers staying at TCH from complete beginners on guided courses to seasoned amateurs looking to make the most of the winter sun.
Thanks to their own experience as climbers and co-founders of the EL Ocho Climbing School, Elena and Erik really thought of everything! TCH has training boards and an outdoor bouldering wall for those who want to train, and a huge garden with a BBQ and roof terrace for those who prefer to take it more chill. Tenerife Climbing House can also arrange climbing gear rental and climbing courses for you, and even bicycle hire if you inquire ahead of time.
Guests can choose between accommodation in dorms or private rooms.
Tenerife is a true climber’s paradise. No matter whether you’re a boulderer, sport climber or trad fiend, a beginner or and 8c climber, there’s something there for you. The dominant rock type is volcanic basalt, which makes for incredibly varied, 3D climbing. As the island is quite small, you can easily drive to most crags within 45 minutes.
To find out more, read our guide to rock climbing in Tenerife.
- Outdoor bouldering wall.
- Gear rental (no ropes).
- Climbing shop.
- Information and advice.
- Climbing courses at the El Ocho School.
Best season: You can climb pretty much year-round!
Refugi La Morera de Montsant - Serra de Montsant, Spain
The beautiful village of Priorat where the Refugio is based © Refugi La Morera de Montsant
The Costa Daurada of Tarragona is home to some truly world-class climbing. In addition to well known Margalef and Siurana, you’ll find dozens of lesser-known yet equally incredible crags frequented almost exclusively by locals. Refugi La Morera de Montsant is a small hostel in the village of Priorat, set up by the FEEC (Catalan Climbing Federation) to provide a base for the region’s many climbers and hikers. If you’re searching for a place to stay close to thousands of routes of incredible quality and sharing with other likeminded outdoor enthusiasts, then look no further: this is it!
Managed by Joan - a prolific local climber, guide and bolter with some Siurana first ascents to his name - La Morera de Montsant is perfectly set up to help maximise your time on the rock. Half board is compulsory (with picnic lunches available at an extra cost), meaning you don’t have to worry about cooking or wondering where to eat. The staff can also help you organise guides, and recommend crags or gear rental services. There’s even a lovely terrace with beautiful views where you can enjoy a meal, drink, or chat with the many local and international climbers that visit.
You’re spoilt for choice in this department as there’s 10 sectors with a total of 6,000 routes within a 40 minute drive from the Refugio.
The Costa Daurada region is known for its incredible sport climbing and multi-pitches, although you’ll find some good bouldering here as well. The region offers routes from the 4th to 9th grade, often in a really beautiful natural setting, and limestone, conglomerate, red sandstone and even granite rock. INSANE!
To find out more read our online guide to climbing in the Costa Daurada.
- Guidebooks and topos for sale (plus Joan’s advice).
- The hostel can organise climbing guides or coaching (including gear rental).
Best for: The committed sport climber looking to climb A LOT.
Best Season: Autumn to spring.
Olive Branch - El Chorro, Spain
The Olive Branch is a beautiful place to stay, and just a stone's throw away from El Chorro © The Olive Branch
Located just 200m from the Las Encantadas crag and 10 minutes walk from El Chorro village, the Olive Branch is the place to stay if you’re looking to combine an active climbing holiday with a healthy dose of peace and rustic charm. The guesthouse is based in a beautifully converted traditional property with an extensive garden, pool and stunning views over the surrounding mountains. In summer, it’s the perfect place for a relaxing holiday; in winter (climbing season!) the hostel fills up with climbers and takes on a much more energetic, bustling vibe.
Depending on your budget and preferences, the Olive Branch offers accommodation in private rooms, camping, or hostel-style dorms. There’s also numerous additional facilities: a communal area to relax in and get to know the other guests (complete with a stereo and pool table), a pool and poolside barbecue, fully equipped kitchens, restaurant service, dining hall, yoga platform and even an outdoor bouldering wall. If it wasn’t for the awesome climbing and other outdoor activities on offer, you’d never want to leave!
With the closest crag just 200m away and some of El Chorro’s finest sectors within easy walking distance, it’s safe to say this is the place to come if you’re looking to climb a lot! Hire a car, and all of El Chorro’s 2,000+ limestone sport and multi-pitch routes will be at your disposal. El Chorro boasts a good variety of styles, catering to climbers from the 4th to 9th grade but especially good for those operating in the 6s and 7s.
- Up to date information and advice from the friendly staff (almost all climbers).
- Can organise local guides and active rest day activities (hiking, biking, horse riding).
- Outdoor bouldering wall.
- LOADS of other climbers so you can come here solo :)
Best for: Solo climbers, intermediate sport climbers looking for quality limestone.
Best Season: Mid October to early May - but possible to climb almost year round.
Flying Goat Camp - Geyikbayiri, Turkey
Guests doing some yoga on the sundeck at Flying Goat Camp © Flying Goat
A relatively new addition to the Geyikbayiri climbing hostel scene, the Flying Goat Camp is an awesome place where community, sustainability and comfort collide. While Flying Goat brands itself as a ‘peaceful camping for climbers’, there are also options to sleep in a 9-bed dorm or one of 8 charming private wooden bungalows - and the social hostel atmosphere really dominates. The decor is tasteful and modern - lots of wood, a hint of colour and Turkish influences - and the camp has sustainability at its core with solar water heating and biodegradable cleaning.
To help their guests bond and really cement that community vibe, Flying Goat puts on a number of events including weekly movie nights and Sunday morning trips for breakfast at the bazaar. The hostel has also got some of the best communal spaces we’ve come across: a sundeck terrace for morning yoga or watching your mates climb (yep, it’s that close to the crag!), a fully equipped kitchen (with many different coffee making facilities), a kitchen terrace to share some nice meals, a super cosy lounge, and an outdoor pool in the extensive garden. If you’re looking for a fun, social place to stay in Geyikbayiri then Flying Goat is it!
Flying Goat is located just a 5 minute walk from the Sarkit sector of Geyikbayiri, and a 10 to 20 minute walk from all 1000+ routes to be found in the area.
A popular winter climbing destination, Geyikbayiri is the place to go for awesome limestone sport climbing, with grades ranging from 5a to 8c+. You’ll find everything from verts to overhangs - all safely bolted - and a few multi-pitch routes too.
If you’re looking to go a bit further afield, Citdbi is a 40 minute drive away, and Olympos 1.5 hours.
- Yoga mats.
- Climbing shop with some rental gear.
- Guides and topos.
- Climbing courses.
- Can organise airport pickups and car rental.
Best season: Winter through to April.
Best for: Sun seeking sport climbers looking for a chill communal vibe.
Kalandraka - Rodellar, Spain
Kalandraka is the place to be for anyone climbing in Rodellar © Kalandraka
With its spectacular terrace, all-night fiestas and alternative vibe, Kalandraka has established itself as the hub of Rodellar’s climbing community. This vibrant Refugio is considered THE place to eat, sleep, drink, hang out and even party by visiting and local climbers alike. All of this comes as no surprise, though, when the closest crag is just a 3 minute walk away, the food hearty and delicious (try the lasagna, you’ll see what I mean) and you can dine out every night under the stars. What’s not to like?
For those looking to stay overnight, Kalandraka offers a number of different accommodation options ranging from a super affordable bunkhouse to private rooms and even small cottages for rent. There’s laundry services and hot showers available at a small cost, and of course the awesome restaurant/ bar to dine or hang out in. All the staff and most of the clientele are climbers, so if you’re looking for a belay partner you’re in the right place!
With over 800 routes and 35 sectors, Rodellar is one of Spain’s climbing paradises - especially if you’re climbing in the 7th or 8th grade. The area is mostly known for its spectacular, long and athletic limestone sport climbing and tufa filled caves, but you’ll also find some good technical verts and shorter bouldery routes too. All of Rodellar's sectors are accessible from Kalandraka by foot, with the closest just 3 minutes away :)
- Topos and guidebooks available for sale.
- Car-free crag access.
- All of the staff and almost all the guests are climbers, so if you need info, beta or advice you’re in the right place!
Best for: Psyched climbers looking to crush hard and party even harder!
Season: Late April to mid-June or September to November.
Green Climber’s Home - Thakhek, Laos
Green Climber's Home offers peacefulness, a friendly atmosphere and opportunity to climb in an incredible off-the-beaten track destination © Green Climber's Home
Green Climber’s Home was founded in 2010 by Tanja and Uli Weidner. Inspired by Lao’s vibrant culture and incredible climbing potential during a trip there, Tanja and Uli decided to realise their dream of setting up a friendly, sustainable base to host visiting climbers, and bolt routes on the beautiful limestone Karst towers surrounding Thakhek. Today, Green Climber’s Home boasts two main ‘camps’ located 500m from one another, each offering accommodation in dorms, tents or private bungalows, an on-site restaurant/ bar and super easy access to hundreds of quality routes.
Living at one with nature is at the core of Green Climber’s Home’s ethos. The camp is located in a lush valley with nothing but forest, limestone karst formations and straw bungalows for kilometers around. In order to protect this, the staff strongly encourage you to take steps to reduce your environmental footprint: clean water refills are available and your crag snacks are packed in a re-usable container, and local produce is purchased wherever possible. With no wifi and limited phone signal, Green Climber’s Home is a fantastic place to disconnect, relax and escape the rush of everyday life. Who needs a phone when there’s over 400 routes to choose from and a permanently psyched community of friendly climbers in residence?
477 single pitch limestone sport routes, 4 to 8c, located within easy walking distance from the camp.
Routes are typically 12 to 40m long, and offer varied climbing. Expect anything from slabs, to roofs and even super unique stalactites that make music as you climb! There’s tonnes of routes in the 5s, 6s and 7s, and 60 boulder problems in the area if you’re keen on mixing things up.
- Guidebooks and other climbing books (including our own The Climbing Travel Guide) available to borrow.
- Gear rental services.
- Climbing courses offered.
- The Kneebar and Layback Bar will provide you with a packed lunch for the crag if requested.
- Crags within walking distance.
Best for: Anyone looking to discover an incredible off-the-beaten-track climbing destination.
Best season: November to February, but it's possible to climb October to May.
Nam Pha Pa Yai - Thailand
Joy Sirilak climbing on the incredible limestone routes at Nam Pha Pa Yai © SandmanProject
Situated in the peaceful Thai countryside just 2 hours from Bangkok, Nam Pha Pa Yai camp was set up by local climber Joy Sirilak with the aim of providing a comfortable base for climbers, hikers and anyone else looking to spend time enjoying the outdoors. Today, thanks to the bolting activities of its hosts, Nam Pha Pa Yai is one of the prime climbing spots in Thailand with 80+ stunning limestone routes within easy reach of the camp.
Visitors to Nam Pha Pa Yai can choose between ‘camping’ (the tents are mounted on platforms with roofs to ensure comfort) or accommodation in private earthen houses, tree houses or a bamboo house. There’s an on-site restaurant providing nutritious meals made with produce straight from the garden (hello home baked bread!) and a cooking space if you prefer to make your own food.
As with Green Climber’s Home, sustainability and respect for nature are central to the camp’s ethos: you’ll find solar panels, an organic kitchen garden and farm, drinkable water refill stations, and you can even take part in permaculture education sessions! There are also plenty of activities to on offer to occupy your rest days, including incredible hiking trails and a beautiful river to kayak on.
Over 80 fantastic sport routes on that famous Thai limestone we’ve all been dreaming about. You’ll find something suitable for all grades and styles, from slabs to cracks and even chimneys. All sectors are shaded from the rain and have easy approaches (which may or may not involve a zipline) and if you’re feeling adventurous you can visit Kayak Wall which is accessible - you guessed it - only by kayak!
- Can rent or buy all the essential kit at the camp.
- Climbing courses offered.
- All the routes are bolted by the owners, so if you need beta or recommendations these are readily available :)
Best season to visit: November to April
Best for: Climbers looking to get a taste of the legendary Thai limestone away from the crowds.
De Pakhuys - Rocklands, South Africa
Staying at Depakhuys means sleeping surrounded by some of the most incredible landscapes you'll ever see! © De Pakhuys
Located at the heart of the Rocklands, in the stunning Agter-Pakhuis Valley of Cederberg, de Pakhuys is the prime destination for psyched climbers looking to make the most of the Rocklands bouldering. The de Pakhuys Farm itself is actually regarded as one of the top bouldering areas in the Rocklands - so you'll be staying literally right in the middle of all the action! On rest days, the farm is a beautiful place to relax immersed in nature and birdwatch, and there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied such as hiking, wine tasting, bass fishing, visits to the nearby Sevilla Rock Art Trail, eco-tours, and more.
De Pakhuys offers their guests a variety of different accommodation options, from camping to glamping and luxurious ‘safari’ chalets. All guests also have access to a bar serving food and drinks, a barbecue area, pool, showers and free high speed wifi. If you’re walking around at night, don’t forget to look up: the starry skies are breath-taking!
The Rocklands is a boulderer’s heaven. The region boasts over 2,900 problems on red sandstone characterised by a steep and athletic, almost indoorsy style. While you’ll find a good range of grades, climbers operating in the 7th grade and above will get the most out of this area.
The De Pakhuis plateau alone boasts over 400 problems from 4c to 8b situated amidst soul-stirring scenery.
- Guidebooks for sale.
- Crashpad rental (book ahead of time).
- Boulders right on your doorstep!
Best for: Seasoned boulderers looking for a friendly base right at the heart of the Rocklands.
Best season: May to September.
The Crashpad - Chattanooga, Tennessee
While the Crashpad Chattanooga welcome people from all walks of life, you'll find a vibrant community of climbers and outdoor enthusiasts © The Crash Pad
The Crashpad is a quirky hostel in Chattanooga, Tennessee designed especially to cater to those looking to recreate outdoors. The idea was to combine the communal vibe of a hostel with the comfort and charm of a boutique hotel, resulting in a warm and welcoming atmosphere, cool modern decor (the builders used upcycled materials from a 100 year old house!) and the comforts you’d expect from somewhere much more upmarket. While the hostel has definitely become a sort of unofficial base for climbers visiting the area, you’ll find guests from all walks of life during your stay. So grab a drink and strike up a conversation - you’re bound to meet some interesting people!
As in most hostels, guests can choose between a bed in a dorm and private rooms. The dorms’ ‘Super bunks’, as they are called, are far from your run-of-the-mill hostel bunk though. Not only are the beds HUGE and have super comfy mattresses, they all come fitted with curtains for privacy, individual fans and power outlets. All guests also get access to a fully equipped kitchen, cosy common room, free Wifi, hostel PCs, and a huge garden with a fire pit. To add to all this, sustainability is integrated into the hostel’s very design: you’ll find a green roof and solar panels, and almost all the furniture and decor is reclaimed or upcycled. We can’t think of a much better place to stay if you’re a sustainably-minded outdoor enthusiast looking to explore Tennessee!
Chattanooga is the best climbing destination you’ve never heard of. You’ll find 8 crags within an hour’s drive from the hostel, and if you’re willing to venture a little further, enough climbing to last you a lifetime! The vast majority of the climbing is on quality, bullet sandstone, and you’ll find a huge amount of variety in terms of trad, sport and bouldering. If it rains - no stress - there’s 3 awesome climbing gyms to choose from, beautiful hikes and basically any other outdoor sport you can think of.
- Crashpad rental.
- Detailed information about the crags on their website.
- Most of the staff are climbers and can give you recommendations :)
Best season: Possible to climb year round, but fall or winter are best.
Best for: Climbers looking for an urban base from which to explore.
Barn Door Hostel - Rumney, New Hampshire
Barn Door Hostel aims to bring that friendly hostel vibe to the US climbing community, and we couldn't think of a better place to stay for anyone visiting Rumney © Barn Door
For Dave, founder of Barn Door, setting up his own hostel was a dream come true. In contrast to Europe, hostels are quite a new import to the US and it had long been Dave’s dream to create his own space where he could introduce guests to the warm, homely atmosphere of hostel life. Founded on years of research and hospitality experience, Barn Door is exactly this!
Thanks to it's location in the White Mountains National Park, Barn Door is a great base for anyone looking to get the most of the great outdoors. Rumney, one of the best sport climbing destinations in the North Eastern US, is just a couple minutes’ drive away, and there’s some excellent hiking trails (including the Appalachian trail) nearby. In winter, you can mixed and ice climb or ride on the area's incredible snowmobile trails. And for those summer days when it gets really hot, there’s a nice swimming hole at the end of the garden :)
Guests at Barn Door can choose between camping in the fields or staying in the hostel itself (either in private rooms, dorms, or the hammock loft). Hostel guests get access to a well-equipped kitchen (with artisanal coffee in the mornings), bathrooms and an open plan super comfy living/ dining room which very much helps foster the communal hostel vibe. As with the Crashpad, the rooms cater to American standards of comfort: the bunks are wide and super comfy, with curtains for privacy and outlets for each guest. To add to all this, the staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about the local area, and the space is kept surprisingly clean given the number of climbers traipsing in and out all day!
Rumney is the largest climbing area in the North Eastern United States, and the place to come if you enjoy sport climbing. You’ll find a huge number of climbs spread out across various crags on Rattlesnake Mountain, with climbing on unique schist rock. While the typical style is technical vertical walls, you’ll find a significant amount of variety and something for beginner and 9a climbers alike! Sport climbing is the highlight but there’s also a good number of high quality boulders up to V12 to dig your teeth into.
- Information and advice on the climbing.
- Crashpad rental (inquire ahead of time).
- Can put you in touch with local guides.
- Limited gear available to purchase, but will direct you to a nearby specialist shop!
Best season: Autumn if you want to see those beautiful new England fall colours! Spring is good too, and in winter you can climb on sunny days.
Best for: Keen sport climbers looking for a friendly introduction to hostel life.
Extra tip - not just for rock climbers!
Monkeywasi - Huaraz, Peru
Monkeywasi boasts a friendly, welcoming vibe, perfect for solo travellers! © Monkeywasi
So far we’ve focused exclusively on hostels aimed at rock climbers, but Monkeywasi is a Climbing Hostel in the broadest sense of the word.
Located in Huaraz, the launching point for all alpine sports in the Cordillera Blanca area, Monkeywasi really embraces the true essence of a climber’s refuge. The walls are covered in murals, the vibe laidback and cool, you’ll find climbers sorting through kit in the common areas, and there’s even a bouldering wall if you fancy a quick session! There’s also comfy beds in the dorms, hot showers, a communal kitchen, and wifi - true luxuries after any amount of time spent in the mountains.
The owner and most of the staff at Monkeywasi are climbers, and they’re always happy to give you advice, sort out the right kit for you and help organise expeditions. So whether you want to visit the local crag or go on a 3-day trek, they’ll be able to put you in touch with the right people!
Rock climbing: Los Olivos, Huaraz’s home sport and bouldering crag, is located just 15 minutes away by car (you can easily get a taxi up there).
Inka Wakanka, considered one of Peru’s hidden gems for sport climbing and bouldering, is about an hour’s drive away. Here, amidst incredible scenery, you’ll find over 100 single-pitch routes and almost endless potential for bouldering.
The staff at Monkeywasi can also help set you up for a trip to Hatun Machay, an incredible sport climbing area 1.5 hours away with 250 routes from the 4th to 8th grade.
Alpine climbing/ Mountaineering: Huaraz is the gateway to the Cordillera Blanca, one of the most imposing mountain ranges in the world and Andean adventure kingdom for big wall climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing. Legendary routes include Torre de Paron and there are plenty of technical peaks to conquer such as Alpamayo (5,947m) and Huascarán (6,768m).
- Indoor bouldering wall.
- Information on bouldering, rock climbing and mountaineering in the area.
- Gear rental (including camping gear).
- Assistance organising guided hiking/ climbing packages and arranging transport to climbing areas such as Hatun Machay.
Best time to visit: May to September (for the Cordilleras).
We hope this post has been helpful and inspired you to stay at some of these incredible Climbing Hostels. If you still prefer to go on an organised group trip, you can check out the Mapo Tapo trips on offer by clicking this link.
Cover photo: The bouldering wall at Polvere di Stelle © Polvere di Stelle