An Unofficial Guide to the Best Crag Snacks

Dustin and I just spent two weeks climbing in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada and Joshua Tree, California.  It was glorious, despite some snowfall towards the beginning of the trip. We made due by sticking to sunny single-pitch routes, and in doing so, met a lot of new friends and pushed our redpoint grades into uncharted territory.  

We also spent a lot of time snacking at the crag in between burns.  In Red Rocks in particular, a full pack of snacks is crucial! Most of the climbing in Red Rocks, especially, involves a somewhat intensive approach.  The crag we frequented the most, Sunny and Steep, entails a nearly 3-mile round trip approach over Kraft Mountain. Between the hiking and hard sport climbing, we needed to ensure that we were fueling our bodies properly for sending power and recovery 🙂

Here is a list of some of my favorite crag snacks, as well as some brief nutritional info as well.  (As a disclaimer, I include a bunch of Trader Joes products, as that is primarily where we grocery shop before climbing trips).

  • Trader Joes Oven Baked Cheese Bites

Image: Trader Joes

I was recently introduced to this gem of a snack, but holy moly I’m in love.  They taste exactly like cheese puffs, but are literally bite-sized bits of Grana Padano cheese.  Each bag contains 2 servings that serve up 170 calories and 15 grams of protein. I loved eating a handful of these towards the end of the day, to satiate my hunger before the hike back to the car.  For those following a special diet, these babies have only 0.5 grams of carbohydrates and are gluten free.


  • Enjoy Life Grab and Go Protein Bites

Image: Thrive Market


I also found this protein-packed snack at Trader Joes.  The first time I ever tried them was actually during this trip to Las Vegas.   However, I was instantly smitten. Each package contains 230 calories and 12 grams of protein, similar to a Clif Bar.  The kicker is that they taste exactly like chocolate truffles! Delicious! 🙂 They are also vegan which I appreciated!  These bites are not too heavy on the stomach either, so are perfect for snacking on throughout the day while climbing.


  • Canned Fish

Canned fish is another super easy way to intake lean protein throughout the day.  It also provides minerals like zinc, vitamin D, B12, iron, iodine, magnesium, potassium, and omega 3 fats.    I particularly love canned mackerel (shown in photo), but most major grocery stores at least offer canned tuna and salmon.  Perfect for satiating yourself post climb!


  • Trader Joes Organic Fruit Wrap

Image: Amazon

Dustin and I love these for when we need a quick energy boost.  These fruit strips, made up completely of dried organic fruit, are tasty and easy to pack as well.


  • Popcorn/Chips

I’ve always been a salt addict and have to have chips/popcorn in my pantry at all times.  They are what I love to munch on the most. Trader Joes offers snack sized versions of their kettle corn, which is perfect for packing in your bag before heading out for the day.  Each bag only contains 150 calories (easy for portion control), and are another quick way to intake quick carbohydrates before crushing your next climb.


  • Fruit/Veggies

Lastly, I love snacking on fruit and veggies throughout the day for quick carbohydrates/sugar.  Favorites include carrots and apples as they’re easy to pack in a bag without bruising. And they’re usually pretty inexpensive!

What are some of your favorite crag snacks?


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