Rock climbing usually draws those who are serious fans of the outdoors, but for some, it’s just not feasible to climb 12 months out of the year. Furthermore, many people may live in large cities, nowhere near a natural rock formation. Rock climbing gyms have been around for a while now, and at first, they were simply used as a place for serious climbers to train when they couldn’t get outside on an actual wall. Now, gym climbing has grown into its own sport, and there are some truly epic facilities out there, offering some pretty challenging routes. Here’s a list of the top indoor climbing gyms in the U.S.
Salt Lake City, Utah
The Front was originally a bouldering gym. Now, some of the best climbers in that part of the country are members of The Front Climbing Club. Seasoned climbers can practice and hone their skills, while new climbers can take a multitude of classes, as well as weight train and work on their cardio fitness.
Multiple U.S. Locations
While the original is in Brooklyn, NYC, Brooklyn Boulders also has gyms in Illinois and Massachusetts. When the gym first opened, it brought a new attitude to the sport of climbing that was almost akin to punk rock. Each gym offers plenty of challenges. For the working climber, the Massachusetts location even has a 4,000-square foot workspace where you can get a little business done before hitting the wall.
Climb So iLL
St. Louis, Missouri
Located right in this author’s backyard, Climb So iLL set up shop in an abandoned power plant in 2012 and now offers some of the craziest looking designs you’re likely to ever see on an indoor climbing wall. The gym incorporates the original architecture of the building into its wall designs, and the result is some seriously cool climbing.
Multiple New England Locations
MetroRock has multiple locations throughout New England, but its main gym is located in Boston and offers 26,000-square feet of wall and hundreds of routes to climb. What sets this gym apart from others on the list is that the indoor walls are designed to mimic natural rock walls so it’s more of a training gym than a competition gym. The gyms even offer guided trips to many outdoor locations across the Northeast.