The Yosemite Valley, California1 of 11
This should be the most obvious of choices as the valley contains some of the best big wall climbing in the world. Beyond this, however, there are many shorter routes throughout the area that are perfect for novice climbers. Campsites fill up fast as this is a very popular tourist destination; it's best to make a reservation or arrive early and claim a site in the morning.
Even if you don't put your climbing shoes on, it's just as thrilling to sit and watch professional athletes scale the likes of Half Dome and El Capitan.
Joshua Tree National Park, California2 of 11
This place is a playground for adults, whether you go scrambling through the secret geological passageways (Hall of Horrors is my favorite), hiking through the Cholla Cactus Garden, or climbing the endless rock faces. Two of the best places to camp are Hidden Valley and Jumbo Rocks; at these sites you can literally roll out of your tent and be at the starting holds of a climbing route.
The rock here is a little rough, however, and if you are new to the sport you may want to develop your finger calluses before visiting. As with Yosemite, campsites fill up fast during tourist season.
Bishop, California3 of 11
Considered by many to be the Mecca of bouldering in the United States, Bishop should be visited by anyone who enjoys low-level climbing. There are three main sections to this area: Buttermilk, Happy Boulders and Sad Boulders.
Buttermilk is best for more technical climbers who enjoy crimps and minuscule footholds. This rock, like Joshua Tree, is rough to the touch. Camping is free and about five minutes from the climbing.
Happy and Sad Boulders are easier on the hands and have better routes for recreational climbers (good feet and big holds). The campsite near these two sections does charge a fee but has more amenities.
New Jack City, California4 of 11
This is another excellent California climbing option, but New Jack City has the benefit of being far less known. Just south of the town of Barstow, this area is reminiscent of Joshua Tree: massive rock walls jutting out of the unassuming desert to make an outdoor wonderland, the weather hot and arid. The climbs here range from 5.6 to 5.13. The campsite is located in the middle of the box canyon.
Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada5 of 11
Most people don't associate Las Vegas with outdoor recreation, but the Red Rocks area offers a surprising juxtaposition to the city; just 17 miles west of Vegas you'll find this crimson canyon resting in stark contrast to the spanning mountains beyond. And although the trails can often be overrun with tourists, there are generally few climbers on the walls.
The canyon is monitored by the Bureau of Land Management and therefore has a small fee to get in; there is one developed campground two miles east of the visitor center.
Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming6 of 11
Devils Tower is a bizarre landmark rising from the flatlands of northeastern Wyoming that attracts visitors from all over the world. But people also come here to climb. The formation is unique and offers new vertical cracks nearly every ten feet. The easiest route is a 5.6 (mostly offwidth); they get progressively harder with additional hand and finger crack challenges. All camping is first come, first serve.
Looking Glass Rock, North Carolina7 of 11
The east coast's answer to Yosemite, this area offers ample climbing opportunities. Located in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, Looking Glass is best noted for the 4,000 foot granite wall towering over the forest below. Climbing here may require a little hiking, but it's worth it when you discover all the multi-pitch routes available.
Red River Gorge, Kentucky8 of 11
Another great climbing choice east of the Mississippi is the Red River Gorge. This place has been gaining recognition since the early 70s, with professional climbers setting up routes since. There are ample climbing spots spread out across Daniel Boone National Forest, giving you both great places to camp and climbing opportunities for all skill levels.
Hueco Tanks, Texas9 of 11
This climbing selection is difficult for me to include, but also necessary. I say this because Hueco Tanks has some of the best bouldering in the world, many would say it's the best, but it's become so popular that it's now overrun with climbers. So many people visit, in fact, that you have to call the Texas State Parks to hire a guide to take you to the rocks. You also need to call to reserve a campsite. Once in, however, you won't regret the hassle and preplanning that it required.
Zion National Park, Utah10 of 11
Zion is a great place for big wall climbing, with massive 2,000 foot cliff faces overlooking the river-cut valley below. This location, like Yosemite and Joshua Tree, gets overrun with tourist during the summer, a time which isn't actually great for climbing because of the heat, so camping reservations are recommended. Also, in comparison to the other places listed, I would say Zion is best for more experienced climbers. Even if you don't climb though, camping in Zion and witnessing its beauty makes any trip there worthwhile.