Driving Times Chart

As climbers we travel. If you want to expand your skills and experience, and do awesome routes, driving is an unfortunate given in North America. I made the following chart using Google Maps to calculate the fastest drive time, without traffic, from downtown Bend to the trailhead for all the local climbing areas and major climbing areas in Western North America that I am aware of/interested in. (You may notice that I chose to overlook areas in the desert and single pitch/sport areas. Nothing personal towards sport climbers, but I live by Smith Rock. If I'm going to drive more than an hour there better be something more compelling than 25m of bolt clipping. That means granite, ice, multi-pitch, and steep mountains; everything we have a short supply of in Oregon.) The climbing type listed is generally what the area is known for, obviously there is great limestone cragging at Lake Louise, but it is historically famous for big mountains. I chose not to rank by mileage so some areas that are substantially closer look farther away due to access via windy dirt roads. For instance, Acker Rock is much closer to Bend than Castle Crags is in California, but Castle Crags is accessed right off the freeway so it's a shorter drive time. I did include a rough estimate for the approach hike to the base of the nearest major route (subjective I know) but did not let this affect the rank either, so while the Elephant's Perch in the Sawtooths and Washington Pass have nearly identical drive times, you can be climbing less than 45 minutes from the car at Wa-Pass, but have to take a boat and hike in a ways to reach the Perch. I also didn't factor in traffic, so although Tuolumne is a longer drive than Squamish, you don't have to go through Seattle and Vancouver to get there. Anyway, if you live in Bend and are trying to maximize the time you spend outside in cool places, this can help you objectively determine where to go! And if you don't live in Bend but are also laid up with some sort of injury or illness maybe this will inspire you to do the same for your location. Enjoy...

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