Situated just 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Paris, the Fontainebleau forest is one of the world’s top spots for bouldering. Once used as a training ground for aspiring alpinists, the region has undergone a bouldering revolution, attracting the world;s top climbers to test out their skills!
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Located just 1.5 hours south of the sprawling French capital, the Fontainebleau forest makes for a great rock climbing weekend getaway for dwellers of the capital and tourists alike.
While the forest stretches over 250 square kilometers (97 sq miles), there are a couple of places that rock climbing and bouldering enthusiasts gather for the highest quality climbing.
Among the top spots for bouldering are Trois-Pignons, Apremont and Larchant.
Larchant is home to the famous elephant-shaped rock as well as Mont Simonet, which has several quite difficult routes for experienced climbers. Meanwhile, Apremont boasts more than 500 boulders ranging in difficulty from easy to extremely difficult.
Best of all for first time climbers, bouldering skills can be taught onsite at most spots. This means that even if you have no previous experience, you can still head to the Fontainebleau forest to enjoy the sport.
During the spring and autumn, average daily temperatures in Fontainebleau range from 15 ºC to 20 ºC (60 ºF to 70 ºF). Spring and autumn are also the driest times of year, which lead to the best conditions for bouldering.
Any trip to Fontainebleau likely begins with a flight into Paris’ Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG). From the airport it is fairly simple to take the train into the center of Paris and then to the Fontainebleau–Avon stop. It is also easy enough to rent a car and make the 60 kilometer drive south to Fontainebleau.
April to June and September to November, but many guides offer trips year-round.
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