10 Awesome Climbing Gyms in the U.S.

Whether it’s your win­ter option for bag­ging some crag, or the arti­fi­cial scene is your sport of choice, an arti­fi­cial climb­ing wall pro­vides a lot of ample resources for every adven­ture ath­lete. From yoga ses­sions to climb­ing class­es, from lead routes to out­door are­nas, arti­fi­cial rock walls give you the prac­tice and net­work­ing need­ed to tack­le oth­er pitch­es in life. Thank­ful­ly, there are a num­ber of awe­some amaz­ing walls across the country—here’s just a sam­pling of 10 awe­some arti­fi­cial walls in the U.S.

Ver­ti­cal Endeav­ors – Glen­dale Heights, Illi­nois
While Ver­ti­cal Endeav­ors orig­i­nal­ly began in Min­neapo­lis, and have since expand­ed to oth­er loca­tions in Min­neso­ta and Illi­nois, the Glen­dale Heights gym is fea­tured because it was report­ed to be the largest in the U.S. in 2014. And with crazy num­bers like 40,000+ sq. feet of total climb­ing space, includ­ing 3 sep­a­rate sta­tions for boul­der­ing total­ing 3,500 sq. feet, there are a lot of routes to choose from at Ver­ti­cal Endeav­ors. And for those crack climb­ing enthu­si­asts, VEGH also has ded­i­cat­ed crack climb­ing walls and features.

Base­camp Out­door Wall, Whit­ney Peak Hotel – Reno, Neva­da
Not far from the California/ Neva­da bor­der is the Whit­ney Peak Hotel and it’s impres­sive col­lec­tion of arti­fi­cial climb­ing walls. This fam­i­ly friend­ly climb­ing spot has a few notable fea­tures includ­ing a cer­ti­fied 15-meter speed climb­ing wall, mul­ti-pitch avail­able sec­tions with belay ledge, and 3 com­pe­ti­tion-ready boul­ders full of fun routes. Add onto that a mov­able slack­line, a kid friend­ly zone, and a range of oth­er activ­i­ties to do in the sur­round­ing area; this is a gym to pack a lunch for.

His­toric Ban­ning Mills – Ban­ning, Geor­gia
Locat­ed rough­ly an hour west of Atlanta is the ghost town of Ban­ning, Geor­gia. And amongst the leafy tree­tops in this scenic land of beau­ty lies His­toric Ban­ning Mills, a full-scale out­door retreat cen­ter. And their out­door rock wall, which claims fame as the Guin­ness Book of World Record’s tallest free stand­ing rock wall, is a whop­ping 14 sto­ries high (140 feet). With mul­ti­ple fea­tures and some­what rea­son­able pric­ing for what has to be a great view, this rock wall is open to all ages and skill levels.

High Point Climb­ing and Fit­ness – Chat­tanooga, Ten­nessee
This awe­some and unique climb­ing wall has fea­tures that have you tak­ing a rest right over the down­town streets of Chat­tanooga. That’s because unlike most of your climb­ing gyms, High Point fea­tures routes both on the inside and out­side of the build­ing. Lin­ing the exte­ri­or of this sharp look­ing down­town estab­lish­ment is trans­par­ent cells cov­ered in climb­ing holds, that way when the weath­er is nice in Chat­tanooga (which is often), no need to feel sti­fled by the air con­di­tion­ing inside.

Plan­et Gran­ite – Port­land, Ore­gon
Plan­et Gran­ite also has 3 oth­er loca­tions in Cal­i­for­nia, includ­ing anoth­er awe­some one in San Fran­cis­co, but the Port­land loca­tion is worth men­tion­ing because it is not only one of the largest gyms in the West, but it is the only full ser­vice gym in the out­door ori­en­tat­ed Port­land area. And Plan­et Gran­ite seems to pro­vide for all climb­ing lev­els with 55 foot tall heights, 150+ chang­ing routes, and 4 hydrauli­cal­ly adjustable cracks.

Mesa Rim – San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia
Mesa Rim claims to be the best climb­ing gym in San Diego, and they might be sell­ing them­selves short on their awe­some­ness. Mesa Rim is the tallest indoor climb­ing gym west of the Mis­sis­sip­pi and offers over 30,000 sq. feet of climb­ing space. With over 200 routes, includ­ing a lead route that stretch­es out 95’ of your rope, and an empha­sis on Yoga and well­ness pro­grams along­side the rock, Mesa Rim tops out as one of the best climb­ing gyms in the nation.

Carabiner’s – New Bed­ford, Mass­a­chu­setts
Carabiner’s has the feel of your small-town local gym while still main­tain­ing an impres­sive amount of ver­ti­cal ter­rain and belay space. That’s because of the top 20 largest climb­ing gyms in the Nation, Carabiner’s is the only self-built facil­i­ty. And with an array of routes fea­tur­ing slopes and crimpers, along­side a cool atmos­phere that climbers can dig, Carabiner’s is the hot spot in New Bed­ford to get some alti­tude under your belt.

Mary­moor Park Climb­ing Wall – Red­mond, Wash­ing­ton
This out­door climb­ing struc­ture locat­ed in scenic Red­mond, Wash­ing­ton (15 miles east of Seat­tle), isn’t the tallest climb­ing wall around, nor is it the largest, but it is per­haps one of the most unique. 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.

Stone Sum­mit – Atlanta, Geor­gia
Stone Sum­mit is about the size of a foot­ball field and packs in over 30,000 feet of climb­ing space through­out the facil­i­ty. Although packs in might not be the right way to describe it, because with plen­ty of room to breathe and even spec­tate oth­er climbers, this facil­i­ty also has been host­ing the USAC Youth Nation­al Cham­pi­onship for the last 5 years. And although nation­al cham­pi­onship youths climb here, with all the avail­able space, Stone Sum­mit has some­thing for everyone.

Frozen Grain Silo – Cedar Falls, Iowa
This resource­ful climb­ing des­ti­na­tion in the mid­dle of corn­fields is tru­ly a unique adven­ture. Back in 2001, Don Brig­gs, Pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of North­ern Iowa began to fig­ure out how to safe­ly attach sys­tems to effec­tive­ly ice over the side of a silo. And every year since, once the tem­per­a­tures remain con­sis­tent­ly below 26ºF he opens the wall and warm­ing hut up to the pub­lic, begin­ners and experts alike.