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

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

San Francisco is one in every of 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 pals pointed us towards the very best climbing gyms in SF bay space. With so many choices, we put collectively this checklist that will help you determine which fitness center to go as to if you’re visiting or wish to turn out to be 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: January 30, 2023

Issues to Maintain in Thoughts

  • The climbing scene will proceed to vary. Once we revisit, we’ll frequently replace this put up. 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 fluctuate and is often extra drastic at smaller, unbiased gyms vs. company ones.
  • Health club climbing has advanced and has turn out to be its personal sport. Some gyms cater towards coaching for out of doors climbing, whereas others wish to create a climbing expertise just for fitness center climbers. I’ve observed my out of doors pals like gyms with plenty of ‘tensiony’ strikes that practice them for the outside, however a lot of our indoor-only climbing pals 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, usually, we’ve discovered that after they make investments extra in maintain selection, in addition they put money into setters.
  • Grading – We’re primarily fascinating and enjoyable motion over how they grade their issues. Some climbers favor a grade vary, whereas others favor them damaged up. Some gyms are stiffer than others, and a few grades are all over, which will be irritating, so we notice it.
  • Neighborhood – That is at all times laborious to check on one-off visits. We obtained some perception from pals, however as a substitute of score the group, we included notes on whether or not a fitness center was beginner-friendly. Some gyms can really feel extra intimidating than others if you happen to’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 Cross | Memberships Beginning at $107.54/month
Setting Routine: 1-3 Days Per Set. Resets begin on Mondays.
Forms of Climbing: Bouldering
Busiest Instances: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Moon Board, Campus Board
Different Areas: North Berkeley

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

Our different climber pals additionally talked about that this fitness center had the very best setting. As soon as we began climbing, we noticed how thoughtfully they set every drawback. Even the decrease grades have been fascinating 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 fitness center in North Berkeley that we’ll be trying out on our subsequent go to.

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

Native Tip: Avenue parking is cheaper, however if you happen to 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 Checklist

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benchmark climbing gymPin

2. Pacific Pipe (Touchstone) – Greatest Facilitiesㅤ→

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
Forms of Climbing: Prime Rope, Lead, and Bouldering
Sq. Footage of the Amenities: 46,000 sq ft
Sq. Footage of Climbing Partitions: 33,000 sq ft (13,000 sq ft of bouldering)
Busiest Instances: Weekdays after Work, Weekends
Coaching Boards: Moon Board, Rigidity Board, Kilter Board, Campus Board

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

We visited after that they had a residents comp, so there have been many extra comp issues. The fitness center felt extra inviting to new climbers in comparison with different gyms. However if you happen to don’t like busy gyms, you could wish to contemplate one other fitness center.

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.

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 Cross | Memberships Beginning at $107.54/month
Setting Routine: 1-2 Instances a Week
Forms of Climbing: Bouldering
Busiest Instances: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Kilter Board, Spray Wall, Campus Board

That is one other fitness center owned by Touchstone, so you’ll be able to entry it if you’re a Touchstone member. It’s SF’s first bouldering-only fitness center 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 related setting fashion right here.

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

Room to Enhance: The fitness center is older, so it feels grungy, and the holds are gross. Grades are everywhere in the board, and so they preserve elevating membership costs with out enhancing the amenities – 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 Cross | Memberships Beginning at $91/month
Forms of Climbing: Bouldering, Prime 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 a number 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 employees is pleasant.

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

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These have been the 4 gyms we visited up to now, and we’ll let our pals, 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 Cross | Memberships Beginning at $107.54/month
Forms of Climbing: Prime Rope, Lead, and Bouldering
Sq. Footage of the Amenities: 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 Instances: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Campus Board

Mission Cliffs is San Francisco’s oldest climbing fitness center, and though they’ve gone by way of renovations and updates, the age reveals. The roped space is way larger, 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 all over, holds and partitions are gross, it’s crowded throughout peak hours, and so they have horrible customer support. Their staff take eternally 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 amenities are older, although.
  • Bladium’s Rock Wall and Bouldering Health club
  • ClubSport Pleasanton
  • Diablo Rock Health club (Touchstone)
  • Glen Park Recreation Middle – has a climbing wall.
  • Nice Western Energy Co (Touchstone) – 48-foot-high lead partitions and 1,500 sq ft of bouldering. It’s positioned in Uptown Oakland and handy if you happen to reside within the space.
  • Motion San Francisco – this location is true within the coronary heart of the Presidio by the Golden Gate Bridge. They’ve 40-foot climbing partitions, loads of area, and exquisite views.
  • Motion Belmont – This was the unique Planet Granite fitness center, now Motion Belmont. It’s small, and the wall angles aren’t nice. It’s not a vacation spot fitness center, and it’s solely good if you happen to’ve climbed in all places else or it’s essentially 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 fitness center in Santa Rosa. It was a lot smaller than I anticipated, however the amenities have been good, with seating and consuming areas (5/5). The setting was all over (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 will not be pleasurable, and a few partitions are arrange in just a little hallway. You are feeling like you’ll be able to’t climb with out falling on another person.

In Conclusion

As guests, we are going to almost certainly 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 have been as much as us and we lived within the Bay space, we’d get a membership at Touchstone to get pleasure from the advantages throughout all of the gyms in norcal (Mission Cliffs, Berkeley Ironworks, Diablo Rock Health club, 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 Checklist

First Timer’s What to Deliver

You possibly can lease footwear, chalk, and a harness if it’s your first time. All you’ll want to convey is the next:

Established Climbers Packing Checklist

For many who already climb, don’t neglect this stuff too! Test this put up for our favourite of every.


Lastly, listed here are some miscellaneous gadgets you’ll be able to convey 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’ll find her on the boulders falling off essentially the most heinous crimp traces 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 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 must google gyms and have already got a community of climbing pals telling you the place to climb (however who is aware of… we might be mistaken).
  • I used to route-set at our outdated fitness center in Vegas, so I’ve a primary 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 pals who van life and journey to climb open air year-round have informed us that typically, climbing gyms have been worse at higher out of doors climbing locations, however that may be as a result of many are present in smaller communities.
  • Additionally, since we’re not professional or double-digit climbers, individuals don’t give us particular therapy. As an Asian man, Jacob can get an excellent learn on whether or not the fitness center 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 consider that journey will be discovered close to and much and hope to encourage others to discover regionally. 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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