If you live somewhere with less vertical topography, rock climbing might seem like a pipe dream. But, the growing popularity of indoor rock gyms means there may be a climbing facility closer than you think. Here are some gyms in several lesser-known climbing states where you can go to learn the sport or stay in shape between trips to Red Rocks, New River Gorge, or the Gunks.
Vertical Ventures | Tampa, Florida
This gym has 6000 square feet, including bouldering and top rope, and the routes are said to change frequently. Vertical Ventures has a number of discount nights, like Ladies’ Night and Military Night and on Fridays the gym is open until 12am and has a DJ. If you’re looking to bone up on some outdoor skills, sign up for a lead climbing class.
Delaware Rock Gym | Bear, Delaware
This is the only rock gym in Delaware, but with 11,000 sq. feet, there’s enough wall space to keep any climber busy. In addition to lead climbing classes, the Delaware Rock Gym offers a trail climb option, which is three top-rope climbs with a staff belayer for people curious about climbing but unwilling to commit to the cost of gear.
Slidell Rocks | Slidell, Louisiana
If you’re headed to Louisiana for Mardi Gras and you want to get some climbing in, be sure to stop by Slidell Rocks. For $9 you can boulder, or take advantage of their 16 top ropes wall ($12). If you’re live in NoLa and you’re interested in learning to climb without breaking the bank, you’ll be psyched by their low gear rental costs.
Monster Mountain | Kansas City, Kansas
This gym has a bold name, considering the highest point in Kansas is called Mt. Sunflower and tops out at 4,039′. However, if you’re looking to climb in Kansas, Monster Mountain is the place to go. The gym has nearly 5000 square feet of vertical space, which includes a bouldering area, caves, and several top rope walls. In addition to classes, they offer a competition schedule and, at $10, the price is the best on the list.
Silo Climbing | Cedar Falls, Iowa
It’s called Silo Ice Climbing and it’s exactly what it sounds like–an ice-covered grain silo. The price is steeper than a traditional gym ($35), but they have all the gear on hand and a warming hut for drinking cocoa between pitches. Whether you’ve ice climbed before or not, you should definitely check this out.
Climb Iowa | Grimes, Iowa
I’m giving you two options for Iowa simply because the second is so innovative, but isn’t a traditional gym. The first is Climb Iowa, a facility with over 200 routes and problems in 10,000 square feet. In addition to climbing, the gym has a yoga studio and a fitness room, which is nice for people looking to diversify their workout.
Rocktown Climbing Gym | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I saved this for last because it may be the coolest gym on the list. What the state lacks in geologic height, it makes up for in industrial height. Rocktown Climbing Gym is no exception: it’s built inside a grain elevator and utilizes several silos. Some of the longest routes are 90′, but there’s also a two-pitch route (155′) and in the winter they put ice on the outside of the facility for ice climbing.