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Climbing Legend Alex Honnold Reveals His Favorite National Parks

If you’ve visited a National Park in the last few years, you know that they’re busy. Some parks draw long lines of traffic and crowded parking lots, but in many cases, the wait is worth it. 

Climbing legend Alex Honnold agrees that nothing beats a great National Park and recently shared his favorite parks and climbing destinations in a new interview.

Besides being called one of the best rock climbers in the world, Honnold is best known for Free Solo, a documentary focused on his ropeless climb up Yosemite’s El Captain. It should be no surprise that Yosemite National Park is his favorite National Park and climbing destination. The climber spoke to Inside Hook about his love for Yosemite and other U.S. National Parks.

“The ease of access, the ease of use, the convenience and the quality,” says Honnold in the interview. “The U.S. National Park system is truly one of the best features of America, I think. I’ve been to maybe six different places around the world that call themselves ‘the Yosemite of’ wherever — like ‘the Yosemite of Russia’ or ‘the Yosemite of Chile.’ You always show up and you’re like, ‘This is not Yosemite. It’s not even close.’ When you compare the quality of the climbing in national parks in the U.S., you’re typically disappointed if you go abroad. I totally agree with the sentiment that the National Park system is America’s best idea.”

Honnold doesn’t stop with Yosemite. His next favorite park is Zion in Southern Utah. He says while the walls aren’t as big in the desert landscape, there are still great climbs. In the interview, he also mentioned one of the most popular hikes in the nation, Angel’s Landing, as a must-visit. His other favorite parks to climb in include Grand Teton and Joshua Tree.

Just like everyone else, Honnold has a dream park destination he hasn’t visited yet. For him, it’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Which park do you want to visit next?

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