Their philosophy is that everyone has untapped potential and that we can build stronger communities—and that rock climbing can help actualize both. With 11 locations, Touchstone reaches more climbers in America’s most populous state than anyone. With four SoCal locations, MR believes climbing and yoga are the same thing—forms of meditation—and they offer some of the area’s best resources for both. If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend checking it out. Climbing here is a novel experience and will definitely freshen up the gym climbing routine. And in the bouldering area, the routes are spread out — thanks in part to its massive space.
Initially, climbing in North America’s newly opened largest climbing gym went as expected. The popularity of indoor climbing has skyrocketed in recent years, and so have the number of gyms. We looked all over the world to find some of the coolest, many of which have saved historic buildings from being demolished. It seems that these larger facilities wish to pull out of the smaller indoor climbing niche. What is possibly concerning about this trend, for smaller gym owners, is the dominance of larger gyms in the North American fitness industry. It seems inevitable that climbing could soon reflect the corporate structure found in larger fitness facilities.
The World’s Coolest Climbing Gyms
Closures incorporated, the growth rate of climbing gyms in the US hit 8.24%, exceeding the 5.41% growth of 2020. This is substantially more than the 2.3% growth rate of all fitness locations in 2022. Planet Granite has three locations in California, and one in Portland, Oregon. It is among the largest gyms in the West, and the only full service gym in the outdoor orientated Portland area.
The gym is built in an old movie theater and has walls up to 43 feet high, has a few slack lines, hosts a wide range of yoga classes on weekdays and is also home to a cozy brewery. The gym has about 30,000 square feet of climbing space, offering an enormous number of routes for climbers of all ages and skill levels. Just like many of the other best climbing gyms in the country, the facility offers a variety of professional climbing classes and a huge fitness area. This was the first dedicated indoor bouldering facility in the country when it opened in 2002. It’s not the largest one of the list but what it lacks in size makes up for in diversity and staff.
Earth Treks Englewood: Our Take
Nearly everything is repurposed from the original building or custom-made—the place has a brick factory–meets–USS Enterprise look and vibe. Climb So iLL designs their own holds and works with other hold companies to create grips and colors exclusive to their gym, so the routes are truly one of a kind. An exciting climbing area created just for the youngest — and youngest at heart — with kid-sized auto belay and bouldering walls. We have a couple of climbing gyms here, but nothing of that size. This one just recently opened here in Prescott, its a decent size for the population.
You can see, filter, and sort on all the largest harnesses on WeighMyRack.com/harness or you can keep scrolling to see the options available as of this writing. To use individual functions (e.g., mark statistics as favourites, set statistic alerts) please log in with your personal account. This statistic shows the number of participants in climbing in the United States from 2006 to 2020. In 2020, there were approximately 10.28 million participants in climbing in the United States.
This permanent outdoor rock wall, which looks like a huge adult playground in the middle of a park, has built in features for lead, top rope, and bouldering in a comfortable outdoor setting. And with free admission and $1 parking, this wall sees quite a bit of traffic. Founded as a bouldering gym, The Front in Salt Lake City has a reputation for attracting some of the area’s best climbers as members. It’s a place that, they say, inspires people to keep pushing themselves. But after my tour of the roped climbing area, the allure of Earth Trek dawned on me.
Awesome Walls, Liverpool, England
The company runs several of the largest facilities in the U.S. and has many gyms in the Midwest. Anyone can go and climb throughout the year in a climate-controlled environment. Each month the gyms host On The House climbing nights where all Vertical Endeavors’ first time visitors receive a free Day Pass and Harness Rental. Despite its small footprint, this climbing gym in The Netherlands is huge in spirit. That spirit is the product of NL Architects, a group of mad scientist creatives in Amsterdam .
The ILLOIHA fitness club in Tokyo sports what might be the most unusual climbing gym in the world. Instead of your typical climbing holds, it uses symbols of interior design recast in plastic. Its walls are covered in climbing holds shaped like picture frames, mirrors, deer heads, bird cages and more. This makes it a fitting design for exercise in Tokyo’s fashion district. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never climbed a wall in your life — walking into a climbing gym is a fascinating experience. By their very nature, climbing gyms feature massive rooms, angular walls and high ceilings with a form of architecture you won’t find elsewhere.
The bouldering area extends so much farther than this; photo by Nate MitkaWe walked past places for belay lessons and exclusive climbing parties. Grigris hung from each of the top ropes, which is something new for Earth Treks. Climbers must use the gym’s belay devices if they want to top rope. Check your time on our 15-meter speed wall with two Olympic standard auto belay routes. Harness sizing is not standardized and can cause serious frustration and grief for any large climber. Most brands and manufactures don’t even recognize the XXXL harness range, which seems absurd because many of them make harnesses that have a much bigger range than “Large” adequately describes.
The construction at OKC is climate controlled utilizing a Geo-thermal system. The climbs were created to 90 ft in height at a collection of grain silos and extend, providing views of their OKC skyline to climbers. With over 40 rope lines, 45-foot high partitions, auto-belay systems for novices, and four bouldering areas, Hoosier Heights boasts some of the finest paths in Indiana. Everybody which ranges to novices working in their course from Ninja Warrior contestants appears here in order to use their walls and their physical fitness area that is unbelievable. The downtown location means Denver inhabitants have a small number of choices to achieve the 19,000 square-foot bouldering gym through public transit-something endorses.
Rumor has it that superstar climbers hang out here, and there’s no doubt you’ll catch the chill positivity this boulder climbing community is known for. Bare bones and old school the Stronghold may be, but by no stretch is it boring. First, it’s set in an old PBR factory that is now one of the hippest live/work art spaces in the world, the Brewery Artists Lofts.
The company invested nearly the same amount of space to both bouldering and roped climbing — a rarity in American climbing gyms. We visited and were impressed it invested equally in roped climbing and bouldering. You will find epic natural light at the Manchester Climbing Centre, where you can climb in full view of this former church’s massive, colorful stained-glass windows. Formerly St. Benedict’s Church, the building was vacant for several years after a shrinking congregation forced it to close. Now, it’s home to massive climbing walls up to 65 feet high.
It’s wrapped in this wild, wavy fascia that is partially transparent, allowing daylight in while showing the nature of the space to the neighborhood. The ripples on this fascia almost resemble the topography of Northern Italy, and the dramatic mountain regions that extend to the north. That makes the design and the function of this building entirely focused on the sport of climbing. Long before they were abandoned, these silos in Montreal held mountains of sugar.