5 Finest San Francisco Climbing Gyms + Bay Space » Native Adventurer

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On the lookout for the most effective San Francisco climbing gyms? Begin right here.

San Francisco is certainly one of our favourite cities, however it wasn’t till lately that we began including climbing gyms as a part of our journey itinerary. Fortunately, a few of our native associates pointed us towards the most effective climbing gyms in SF bay space. With so many choices, we put collectively this listing that will help you resolve which gymnasium to go as to whether you’re visiting or need to change into a member.

We’ve been to over 25 gyms everywhere in the US, and San Francisco has a few of our favourite gyms within the nation. Right here’s what we discovered.

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Final Up to date: Could 30, 2023

Issues to Hold in Thoughts

  • The climbing scene will proceed to vary. After we revisit, we’ll frequently replace this put up. Over the pandemic, we seen many gyms closing or getting purchased out by bigger gyms.
  • Company vs. Unbiased Gyms – In the event that they rent a brand new setter, the setting can differ and is often extra drastic at smaller, impartial gyms vs. company ones.
  • Fitness center climbing has developed and has change into its personal sport. Some gyms cater towards coaching for out of doors climbing, whereas others need to create a climbing expertise just for gymnasium climbers. I’ve seen my out of doors associates like gyms with numerous ‘tensiony’ strikes that practice them for the outside, however lots of our indoor-only climbing associates are searching for one thing completely completely different (i.e., comp-style).
  • Setting – The setting consists of how enjoyable the climbs are and the number of holds. Though there are exceptions, sometimes, we’ve discovered that after they make investments extra in maintain selection, additionally they put money into setters.
  • Grading – We’re primarily fascinating and enjoyable motion over how they grade their issues. Some climbers want a grade vary, whereas others want them damaged up. Some gyms are stiffer than others, and a few grades are everywhere, which might be irritating, so we notice it.
  • Neighborhood – That is all the time onerous to check on one-off visits. We received some perception from associates, however as an alternative of score the group, we included notes on whether or not a gymnasium was beginner-friendly. Some gyms can really feel extra intimidating than others in case you’re new.

The Finest Rock Climbing Gyms in San Francisco Bay Space

1. Benchmark Climbing – Finest Setting and Finest General

1414 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109, map

Setting: 5/5
Facility: 4.5/5
Charges: $30 Day Cross | Memberships Beginning at $107.54/month
Setting Routine: 1-3 Days Per Set. Resets begin on Mondays.
Varieties of Climbing: Bouldering
Busiest Occasions: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Moon Board, Campus Board
Different Areas: North Berkeley

Strolling into Benchmark Climbing, we instantly seen all of the pure mild and wooden tones. We appreciated their clear, trendy aesthetics. However on the finish of the day, the setting determines how lengthy we need to climb or if we need to come again.

Our different climber associates additionally talked about that this gymnasium had the most effective setting. As soon as we began climbing, we noticed how thoughtfully they set every drawback. Even the decrease grades had been fascinating and enjoyable, which is commonly an afterthought for setters, particularly at impartial gyms that don’t have an enormous price range. After we requested them how lengthy they spend on a set, they informed us 1-3 days per set. What a dream!

We had solely deliberate to remain a few hours however stayed for much longer. Since visiting, they opened a a lot bigger gymnasium in North Berkeley that we are going to be testing on our subsequent go to.

Room to Enhance: They don’t have an enormous exercise part, and the realm suits possibly 1-2 folks comfortably.

Native Tip: Road parking is cheaper, however in case you can’t discover any, there are a couple of parking decks close by. The setting could be a little stiff in comparison with the opposite gyms within the space however will get you stronger. And there’s ample seating and wifi if you wish to work remotely – Paulina

See Associated – The Final SF Bucket Checklist


2. Pacific Pipe (Touchstone) – Finest Services

2140 Mandela Parkway, Oakland, CA 94607, map

Setting: 4/5
Facility: 5/5
Charges: $30 Day Cross | Memberships Beginning at $87.08/month
Setting Routine: 5 Week Flip Round
Varieties of Climbing: High Rope, Lead, and Bouldering
Sq. Footage of the Services: 46,000 sq ft
Sq. Footage of Climbing Partitions: 33,000 sq ft (13,000 sq ft of bouldering)
Busiest Occasions: Weekdays after Work, Weekends
Coaching Boards: Moon Board, Pressure Board, Kilter Board, Campus Board

Pacific Pipe, one of many latest Touchstone gyms, is the biggest climbing gymnasium within the US as of 2023. It’s a huge facility with 55-foot-high lead partitions and an enormous bouldering space that spans two flooring. It has all the pieces you could possibly ask for in a climbing gymnasium. I haven’t seen some other gymnasium with all three: Moon, Pressure, and Kilter boards.

We visited after they’d a residents comp, so there have been many extra comp issues. The gymnasium felt extra inviting to new climbers in comparison with different gyms. However in case you don’t like busy gyms, chances are you’ll need to take into account one other gymnasium.

They’re placing in hangboards now, so we’ve up to date the ability rating from 4.5 to five.

Native Tip: There may be free parking across the constructing.


3. Dogpatch Boulders (Touchstone) – The Largest Bouldering Fitness center

2573 third St, San Francisco, CA 94107, map

Setting: 3.5/5
Facility: 3.5/5
Charges: $30 Day Cross | Memberships Beginning at $107.54/month
Setting Routine: 1-2 Occasions a Week
Varieties of Climbing: Bouldering
Busiest Occasions: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Kilter Board, Spray Wall, Campus Board

That is one other gymnasium owned by Touchstone, so you possibly can entry it in case you are a Touchstone member. It’s SF’s first bouldering-only gymnasium and is large (the biggest in California). They’ve some tall partitions and top-outs. The Touchstone gyms additionally share setters, so that you’ll discover a comparable setting fashion right here.

We went proper after they opened, so there have been few folks there, however our associates informed us throughout peak hours, it will get crowded.

Room to Enhance: The gymnasium is older, so it feels grungy, and the holds are gross. Grades are everywhere in the board, and so they hold elevating membership costs with out bettering the amenities – Paulina.

Native Tip: It’s simple to entry from CalTrain – Paulina

See Associated – 25 Free Issues to Do in San Francisco California


4. Motion Sunnyvale

815 Stewart Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, map

Setting: 4/5
Facility: 3/5
Charges: $30 Day Cross | Memberships Beginning at $91/month
Varieties of Climbing: Bouldering, High Rope, Lead
Sq. Footage of Climbing Partitions: 28,000 sq ft
Variety of Issues Up: 120+ Issues / 150+ Routes
Different Areas: Belmont + San Francisco

We went to the Sunnyvale Location in 2016 and had lots of enjoyable climbing again then, however had Paulina assist us with the way it has been since then. Though the amenities are older, they’ve been doing work to improve them. The workers is pleasant.

Room to Enhance: The wifi is dangerous, which makes it onerous to work from – Paulina

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These had been the 4 gyms we visited prior to now, and we’ll let our associates, Paulina and Austin, provide you with perception into the opposite gyms beneath.

5. Mission Cliffs (Touchstone)

2295 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110, map

Setting: 3/5
Facility: 2/5
Charges: $30 Day Cross | Memberships Beginning at $107.54/month
Varieties of Climbing: High Rope, Lead, and Bouldering
Sq. Footage of the Services: 23,000 sq ft
Sq. Footage of Climbing Partitions: 23,000 sq ft (2,000 sq ft of bouldering)
Variety of Issues Up: 160+ Routes
Busiest Occasions: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Campus Board

Mission Cliffs is San Francisco’s oldest climbing gymnasium, and though they’ve gone by way of renovations and updates, the age exhibits. The roped space is way greater, with 50-foot lead partitions, so it’s nice for rope climbers. The bouldering space is small, however they’ve bouldering top-outs. Our pal Austin nonetheless goes right here to work out, primarily out of comfort.

Room to Enhance: Grades are everywhere, holds and partitions are gross, it’s crowded throughout peak hours, and so they have horrible customer support. Their staff take perpetually to acknowledge you exist. – Paulina

OTHER Partitions and Rock Climbing Gyms in San Francisco Bay Space

  • Berkeley Ironworks (Touchstone) – 45-foot-high lead partitions and an enormous bouldering space. The amenities are older, although.
  • Bladium’s Rock Wall and Bouldering Fitness center
  • ClubSport Pleasanton
  • Diablo Rock Fitness center (Touchstone)
  • Glen Park Recreation Heart – has a climbing wall.
  • Nice Western Energy Co (Touchstone) – 48-foot-high lead partitions and 1,500 sq toes of bouldering. It’s positioned in Uptown Oakland and handy in case you reside within the space.
  • Motion San Francisco – this location is correct within the coronary heart of the Presidio by the Golden Gate Bridge. They’ve 40-foot climbing partitions, loads of area, and delightful views.
  • Motion Belmont – This was the unique Planet Granite gymnasium, now Motion Belmont. It’s small, and the wall angles aren’t nice. It’s not a vacation spot gymnasium, and it’s solely good in case you’ve climbed in all places else or it’s probably the most handy location. It additionally will get crowded, particularly on bouldering league nights.
  • Session Climbing – There’s a lot hype round Kevin Jorgensen’s new gymnasium in Santa Rosa. It was a lot smaller than I anticipated, however the amenities had been good, with seating and consuming areas (5/5). The setting was everywhere (3.5/5), and the bouldering space was sparse.
  • The Studio Climbing, South Bay (Touchstone) – keep away from in any respect prices. The amenities are a 1/5. Even Belmont is small, however this one feels even smaller. The setting is simply okay, the bouldering space shouldn’t be pleasant, and a few partitions are arrange in somewhat hallway. You’re feeling like you possibly can’t climb with out falling on another person.

In Conclusion

As guests, we’ll more than likely take a look at all of the gyms we haven’t been to earlier than returning to those above, however I do know we’ll be again at Benchmark. If it had been as much as us and we lived within the Bay space, we might get a membership at Touchstone to get pleasure from the advantages throughout all of the gyms in norcal (Mission Cliffs, Berkeley Ironworks, Diablo Rock Fitness center, Pacific Pipe, Dogpatch Boulders, Nice Western Energy Co) and SoCal after which get a punch cross at Benchmark.

Map of Climbing Gyms in San Francisco Bay Space

What to Pack – Climber’s Packing Checklist

First Timer’s What to Convey

You’ll be able to lease footwear, chalk, and a harness if it’s your first time. All it is advisable to carry is the next:

Established Climbers Packing Checklist

For individuals who already climb, don’t neglect these things too! Verify this put up for our favourite of every.


Lastly, listed below are some miscellaneous gadgets you possibly can carry for warming up, coaching, and extra.

Be taught Extra About Paulina

Paulina Dao is an journey photographer and blogger who loves cats, climbing, snacks, and Taylor Swift, in that order. You could find her on the boulders falling off probably the most heinous crimp strains or laying and complaining on her Taylor Swift crash pad. She prefers bouldering (on granite) above all issues, however any climbing is climbing, and rocks are higher than no rocks.

Extra About Our CLimbing Journey

  • We’ve climbed since 2013 and climb within the intermediate V4-6 vary indoors and outside. Most climbers we’ve seen at gyms are both newbie or intermediate climbers. For those who’re climbing within the superior to the professional vary, we assume you don’t have to google gyms and have already got a community of climbing associates telling you the place to climb (however who is aware of… we could possibly be unsuitable).
  • I used to route-set at our previous gymnasium in Vegas, so I’ve a fundamental understanding of what the setting needs to be and have met many climbers searching for various kinds of setting types.
  • We’ve climbed at over 25 gyms everywhere in the US and have a good suggestion of what cities have first rate climbing gyms. Most of those have been in main cities (ABQ, Atlanta, Austin, Bishop, Chattanooga, NY, Portland, San Diego, SF, Seattle, and Vegas). Our associates who van life and journey to climb outside year-round have informed us that typically, climbing gyms have been worse at higher out of doors climbing locations, however that is also as a result of many are present in smaller communities.
  • Additionally, since we’re not professional or double-digit climbers, folks don’t give us particular therapy. As an Asian man, Jacob can get learn on whether or not the gymnasium group is pleasant.

The place to remain in San Francisco

Every other mountaineering gyms in San Francisco that we missed?? For those who at present go to any of those gyms above, is there something you disagree with or wish to add?


SEE Extra Climbing Locations + Suggestions


“Discovery consists not of searching for new lands however in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

Esther and JacobPin

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Native Adventurer, one of many high 5 journey blogs within the US. They imagine that journey might be discovered close to and much and hope to encourage others to discover domestically. They discover a brand new metropolis in depth yearly and at present base themselves in Las Vegas.

Comply with alongside on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.


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