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Climbing in Fontainebleau

Bas Cuvier, Cul de Chien, Diplodocus, Gorges de Franchard... Discover these must-see areas of the Fontainebleau forest massif for rock climbing. The world's first protected natural site and a climbing spot par excellence, it attracts a plethora of climbing-loving visitors to France every year. If you're looking for a change of scenery but want to stay close to home, Fontainebleau is the place to go for a weekend of climbing, either as a group or with the kids. As for your accommodation, head to La Rivière Dorée, your campsite in Fontainebleau, which offers star-rated services and crashpads for hire during your climbing holiday.
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Boulder climbing, the particularity of Fontainebleau

If you want to practice sports activities, the Fontainebleau area is rich in climbing spots. Indeed, if you are looking for an exceptional climbing site without leaving the territory, or even in the whole of Europe, set course for Fontainebleau. Here you will find some of the most impressive bouldering sites in the world. It is no coincidence that part of the history of climbing was built in this region.

In the first decade of the 20th century, this region witnessed the beginning of the history of modern climbing. It was home to groups that pioneered the sport, such as the rochassiers and the bleausards, who took their name from the site. Fontainebleau thus plays an important role in the history of climbing in general.
Don't hesitate to discover the hiking routes of Fontainebleau. 

9 climbing sites in Fontainebleau

These 9 climbing circuits are located near the Fontainebleau campsite, La Rivière Dorée. Take advantage of your stay in unusual accommodation to discover these beautiful sites. The campsite has great facilities for solo climbers, couples, small and large groups.

Although Fontainebleau offers some of the best climbing sites in France, it is up to you to choose your destination carefully. To fully enjoy your climbing experience in the area, choose the must-see spots.

Among many others, here are 9 climbing sites in Fontainebleau that are among the most popular and can guarantee you a great adventure. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber, you will find the right spot for your level and experience in this selection.

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Tours for beginners

The Bas Cuivrer Circuit

If you are staying in Bleau, this route is a must. It is located not far from the main road and is suitable for all levels of climbers. There are more than 260 reference boulders on the site, with some quite original round holds as well as some not very engaging passages. To get there, simply take the route de la Solitude and park at the carrefour de l'Épine.

The Canche aux Merciers

If you are looking for fairly easy starts, this circuit is for you. It offers you the chance to start your session sitting in the sand, and the crossings are well worth the effort. If you have never climbed before, this route is ideal for getting to grips with the sport. It offers very little height, so you won't get scared or dizzy. La Canche aux Merciers is located on the Vallée d'Arbonne road in Noisy-sur-École.

Rocher Canon

This site is the easiest to access of the three beginner circuits. You can reach it by train from Bois-le-Roi station and after a half hour walk through the most beautiful landscapes of the Fontainebleau forest. Historically, Rocher Canon was one of the first climbing routes in the region. It offers many crossings that are sure to impress.

Sites for intermediaries


It offers no less than 300 signposted boulders and extensive trails, which means that you have plenty of choice. You can even do the Apremont circuit in several sessions. To get there, go to the Bas Bréau car park on the Barbizon road.

Cul du Chien

If you are looking for a family site, the Cul du Chien is the right address for you. In the middle of a small sandy desert, this circuit is located at the Parking 3 Pigeons in Noisy-sur-École. This site offers you two large roofs that are very famous in Fontainebleau. Note that it is aimed at experienced sportsmen.


This tour is not very recommended in winter, as it is very hard. Therefore, if you want to go there, prefer another season. It offers "hightballs", rocks that are higher than normal. You can find rocks that can reach up to 8 metres above the ground. To get there, drive to the dead end at Mont Sarrazin.

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Sectors for experts


This route gets its nickname from the fact that it cooks climbers who want to try it. It offers many boulders of different categories in 7, notably 7a, 7b and 7c. How to get there? Take the route du Loup and stop at the Plaine de Macherin junction.


This circuit is very sensitive to humidity. Therefore, it is only recommended for experienced climbers. Nevertheless, it also offers passages with very little commitment and good reception. To get there, take the same road mentioned above that leads to the Cuisinière. These two routes are adjacent.

The 95.2

This last circuit, for the experts, is perched on one of the 3 pigeon hills. However, to do the 95.2, you need to master some techniques. On the other hand, this circuit offers you many possibilities in terms of opening. So if you want to take up this challenge, drive to the Croix Saint Jérôme car park on the Vallée Close road.

The equipment you need for your Fontainebleau climb

For a safe ascent of the Fontainebleau crags, some basic equipment is essential: 
  • Loose-fitting trousers: these are essential if you want to stay free and fluid in your movements.
  • Slippers: all good climbers should wear shoes suitable for climbing, to secure their holds and ensure that their feet stay firmly on the ground.
  • A small mat: to clean the soles of your shoes before climbing. With all the dust, small stones and sand lying around in the woods and nestling under your feet, you run the risk of damaging the sandstone or slipping.
  • A crash pad: first introduced in the early 90s, crash pads are increasingly used in climbing to cushion falls and act as landing mats. (Our Fontainebleau climbing campsite can supply them by prior arrangement). 
  • A guide: the Fontainebleau forest stretches over several thousand kilometres. To find your way around the site, it's a good idea to have a climbing guide for Fonainebleau and/or an IGN map to hand. You'll be able to easily find the routes in each sector of the forest.
  • Magnesia: this will enable you to grip your hands firmly to the rock. However, it should be used sparingly to preserve the quality of the sandstone. If you use too much magnesia, you risk altering the grain of the rock and reducing its grip.
  • A soft brush: after your ascent, it's a good idea to clean up your passage and any residue of chalk on the boulders with a boar's hair brush. This will enable others to climb the rock well.
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Partners to hire your climbing equipment in Fontainebleau

Climbing in Fontainebleau takes preparation. If you don't have the equipment you need for the activity, you can contact partners who specialise in climbing equipment close to the site. For example, you can hire crashpads from the Karma climbing gym, Fontainebleau Bike Rental or S'Cape Fontainebleau. 

For an organised day out or an introduction to climbing and bouldering, other service providers are at your disposal: Caps Aventure, Globe Climber, Top Loisirs, etc. Your guide's role is to help you in case of difficulty and to ensure the safety of all the activities. Among other things, your guide will advise you on the best practices to adopt during your visit to this beautiful forest in Seine-et-Marne.

Our La Rivière Dorée campsite has several crashpads for hire for your excursions. Don't hesitate to come to reception to book them!

How do I get to the forest of Fontainebleau? 

There are several ways to get to Fontainebleau from Paris. In fact, this famous international bouldering site is just fifty kilometres from Paris.

If you take the car, you'll reach Fontainebleau in around 1 hour. To get there, take the A6 motorway to the south-east of the capital. After taking the Milly-la-Forêt exit and continuing towards Noisy-sur-Ecole, you will soon reach the Trois Pignons massif. If you're going to Fontainebleau for the weekend, it's advisable to leave early, at the start of the day, to avoid heavy traffic.

If you opt for public transport, go to Paris Gare de Lyon to catch the R line train. After 45 minutes, you'll arrive at the Fontainebleau-Avon stop. From here, you can walk or cycle to a number of different areas: Bas Cuvier, Mont Aigu, Cuisinière, etc.
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When is the best time to climb in Fontainebleau? 

Climbers in Fontainebleau can enjoy the climbing spots all year round! But to get the most out of your outdoor climbing in Fontainebleau, opt for mid-season (mid-March to the end of June or early September to mid-November). The reason is that during these periods, the grip ("la collante") is high. What's more, with a bit of luck, climbers will be able to enjoy a fine day with more pleasant temperatures. 

If you're on a climbing trip in summer, take the opportunity to have a picnic in the shade of the trees, or to explore the Fontainebleau hiking trails with the kids. You can also take a photo course in the woods at any time of year.

Our accommodation to welcome you during your climbing holiday  

Although tempting, it should be noted that camping in the Fontainebleau forest is forbidden. Or at least, the site only offers 3 bivouac areas over its 22,000 hectares.

So the best place to spend your climbing weekend is at our La Rivière Dorée campsite, in Bagneaux sur Loing. It's an estate located near the forest that invites you to get away from it all and relax in Seine-et-Marne. We offer 160 camping pitches near Fontainebleau with tailor-made packages and unusual accommodation (bubbles, tipis, caravans) for all climbers passing through the Bleau who want to try their hand at climbing in Fontainebleau.