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


On the lookout for one of the best San Francisco climbing gyms? Begin right here.

San Francisco is one in all our favourite cities, nevertheless it wasn’t till not too long ago that we began including climbing gyms as a part of our journey itinerary. Fortunately, a few of our native buddies pointed us towards one of the best climbing gyms in SF bay space. With so many choices, we put collectively this checklist that can assist you determine which gymnasium to go as to whether you’re visiting or need to change into a member.

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

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Final Up to date: January 17, 2023

Issues to Hold in Thoughts

  • The climbing scene will proceed to alter. Once we revisit, we’ll frequently replace this submit. Over the pandemic, we observed many gyms closing or getting purchased out by bigger gyms.
  • Company vs. Impartial Gyms – In the event that they rent a brand new setter, the setting can differ and is often extra drastic at smaller, unbiased gyms vs. company ones.
  • Fitness center climbing has advanced and has change into its personal sport. Some gyms cater towards coaching for outside climbing, whereas others need to create a climbing expertise just for gymnasium climbers. I’ve observed my outside buddies like gyms with a lot of ‘tensiony’ strikes that practice them for the outside, however lots of our indoor-only climbing buddies are on the lookout for one thing fully totally different (i.e., comp-style).
  • Setting – The setting contains 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 attention-grabbing 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 far and wide, which might be irritating, so we be aware it.
  • Group – That is all the time onerous to check on one-off visits. We bought some perception from buddies, however as a substitute of ranking the group, we included notes on whether or not a gymnasium was beginner-friendly. Some gyms can really feel extra intimidating than others in the event you’re new.

The Greatest Rock Climbing Gyms in San Francisco Bay Space

1. Benchmark Climbing – Greatest Setting and Greatest Overallㅤ→

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

Setting: 5/5
Facility: 4.5/5
Charges: $30 Day Go | 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 Places: North Berkeley

Strolling into Benchmark Climbing, we instantly observed 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 buddies additionally talked about that this gymnasium had one of the best setting. As soon as we began climbing, we noticed how thoughtfully they set every downside. Even the decrease grades had been attention-grabbing and enjoyable, which is usually an afterthought for setters, particularly at unbiased gyms that don’t have an enormous funds. Once 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’ll be testing on our subsequent go to.

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

Native Tip: Road parking is cheaper, however in the event you can’t discover any, there are a number 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 Record

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benchmark climbing gymPin

2. Pacific Pipe (Touchstone) – Greatest Facilitiesㅤ→

2140 Mandela Parkway, Oakland, CA 94607, map

Setting: 4/5
Facility: 4.5/5
Charges: $30 Day Go | 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 most important 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 nearly the whole lot you may ask for in a climbing gymnasium. I haven’t seen some other gymnasium with all three: Moon, Pressure, and Kilter boards.

We visited after that they had a residents comp, so there have been many extra comp issues. The gymnasium felt extra inviting to new climbers in comparison with different gyms.

Room for Enchancment: They lacked a hangboard space (it’s within the works). Additionally, in the event you don’t like busy gyms, it’s possible you’ll need to contemplate one other gymnasium.

Native Tip: There’s free parking across the constructing.

pacific pipe touchstone climbing oakland + best san francisco climbing gymsPin

3. Dogpatch Boulders (Touchstone) – The Largest Bouldering Gymㅤ→

2573 third St, San Francisco, CA 94107, map

Setting: 3.5/5
Facility: 3.5/5
Charges: $30 Day Go | 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 big (the most important in California). They’ve some tall partitions and top-outs. The Touchstone gyms additionally share setters, so that you’ll discover a related setting model right here.

We went proper after they opened, so there have been few individuals there, however our buddies 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 all around the board, they usually maintain elevating membership costs with out enhancing the services – Paulina.

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

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

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bouldering dogpatchPin

4. Motion Sunnyvaleㅤ→

815 Stewart Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, map

Setting: 4/5
Facility: 3/5
Charges: $30 Day Go | 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 Places: Belmont + San Francisco

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

Room to Enhance: The wifi is unhealthy, 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 buddies, Paulina and Austin, offer you perception into the opposite gyms under.

5. Mission Cliffs (Touchstone)ㅤ→

2295 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110, map

Setting: 3/5
Facility: 2/5
Charges: $30 Day Go | 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 reveals. 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 buddy Austin nonetheless goes right here to work out, primarily out of comfort.

Room to Enhance: Grades are far and wide, holds and partitions are gross, it’s crowded throughout peak hours, they usually have horrible customer support. Their staff take without end to acknowledge you exist. – Paulina

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OTHER Partitions and Rock Climbing Gyms in San Francisco Bay Space

  • Berkeley Ironworks (Touchstone) – 45-foot-high lead partitions and a giant bouldering space. The services 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 ft of bouldering. It’s situated in Uptown Oakland and handy in the event you stay 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 the event you’ve climbed all over the place 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 services had been good, with seating and consuming areas (5/5). The setting was far and wide (3.5/5), and the bouldering space was sparse.
  • The Studio Climbing, South Bay (Touchstone) – keep away from in any respect prices. The services are a 1/5. Even Belmont is small, however this one feels even smaller. The setting is simply okay, the bouldering space will not be gratifying, and a few partitions are arrange in a bit hallway. You are feeling like you possibly can’t climb with out falling on another person.

In Conclusion

As guests, we’ll more than likely try 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 take pleasure in 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 move at Benchmark.

Map of Climbing Gyms in San Francisco Bay Space

What to Pack – Climber’s Packing Record

First Timer’s What to Convey

You may hire sneakers, chalk, and a harness if it’s your first time. All it’s good to convey is the next:

Established Climbers Packing Record

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


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

Extra About Our CLimbing Journey

  • We’ve climbed since 2013 and climb within the intermediate V4-6 vary indoors and open air. Most climbers we’ve seen at gyms are both newbie or intermediate climbers. If you happen to’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 buddies telling you the place to climb (however who is aware of… we may very well be flawed).
  • I used to route-set at our previous gymnasium in Vegas, so I’ve a primary understanding of what the setting ought to be and have met many climbers on the lookout for several types of setting types.
  • We’ve climbed at over 25 gyms all around 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 buddies who van life and journey to climb open air year-round have informed us that typically, climbing gyms have been worse at higher outside climbing locations, however that may be as a result of many are present in smaller communities.
  • Additionally, since we’re not professional climbers, double-digit climbers, or TikTok well-known, individuals don’t give us particular remedy. As an Asian male, Jacob can get an excellent learn on whether or not the gymnasium group is pleasant.

The place to remain in San Francisco

Another mountain climbing gyms in San Francisco that we missed?? If you happen to 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 looking for new lands however in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Native Adventurer, one of many prime 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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