Red River Gorge. Yosemite Valley. Cathedral Ledge. New River Gorge. Rumbling Bald. There is nothing quite like climbing shrouded in a canopy of green or amidst the striking fall colors of the forest. Characterized by broadleaf deciduous trees and towering evergreens, forests are home to some of America’s most popular climbing destinations and a unique variety of plants and animals.

Many of our forested climbing areas are located near densely populated metropolitan areas, making overcrowding a serious issue in these environments. In addition to human visitors, rock outcroppings and cliffs are home to many species of bats, raptors, and other wildlife. Be sure to tread lightly in these environments: respect other users, respect wildlife and ecology, and always honor closures—they are in place to protect this unique environment and its inhabitants.

Popular climbing areas of the forest environment:

Red River Gorge, New River Gorge, Cathedral Ledge, Rumney, Yosemite Valley, Index.

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The Pact in Practice

Learn best practice tips for putting The Pact into practice each time you go climbing.

Removing Tick Marks

Use tick marks sparingly and remember to brush them off before you leave. Too many ticks can cause confusion on a route, botch on-sight attempts, and ruin the self-discovery and problem-solving aspect of climbing.

Encountering a Raptor Closure

Ever wonder what you should do if you encounter a raptor closure? Respect the closure and climb somewhere else.

How Long Does Our Trash Last?

Ever wonder how long it take for a banana peel or aluminum can to biodegrade? Check out this infographic to learn more.

5 Tips for Climbing in Groups

Planning on rolling to the crag or boulders with your crew? Take a look at these 5 tips for climbing in larger groups to reduce you impact.

Making the Transition from Gym to Crag

When transitioning from climbing indoors to outdoors, be prepared to venture outside by gaining awareness and skills to minimize your impact.

Anatomy of a Responsible Climber

Anatomy of a Responsible Climbing Infographic

Minimizing Noise

Loud music and excessive noise may cause social impacts and ruin other climbers experience. Keep a low profile.

Ticked Off

Learn tips and tricks to manage chalk use and minimize tick marks.

Poop: Waste Disposal Strategies for Climbers

Human waste disposal is a significant issue in all types of climbing terrain. Check out the Poop: Waste Disposal Strategies for Climbers infographic to learn more about responsible human waste disposal.

Paige Claassen Cuts Trails

Stay on established trails whenever possible and avoid trail cutting and social trails.

Alex Johnson Litterbug

Pack up all of your trash each time you go climbing and bring a trash bag along to pick up trash left by others.

Matt Wilder Tick Mark Master

Clean up exess chalk and tick marks after each session to prevent visual impacts.

Chris Shulte Stashes Pads

Stashing pads is often illegal and raises the alarm for land managers. Take the time and effort to pack out your pads after each session.

Dave Wetmore Takes a Crap

Dave Wetmore shows how not to take a crap outdoors. Poop responsibly, people.

Bolt Basics: What Every Climber Should Know

​Learning how to evaluate bolts instead of blindly trusting them is a critical skill for any climber, and it could save your life. This content includes: the state of bolts in America, how to determine if you can trust a bolt, and identifying bad hangers.

Park Like a Champ

Learn how to park like a champ to preserve climbing access.