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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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 among our favourite cities, but it surely 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 associates pointed us towards one of the best climbing gyms in SF bay space. With so many choices, we put collectively this listing that can assist you resolve which gymnasium to go as to whether you’re visiting or wish to grow to be 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 discovered.

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Final Up to date: January 30, 2023

Issues to Hold in Thoughts

  • The climbing scene will proceed to alter. After we revisit, we’ll regularly replace this put up. Over the pandemic, we seen 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 range and is normally extra drastic at smaller, impartial gyms vs. company ones.
  • Health club climbing has advanced and has grow to be its personal sport. Some gyms cater towards coaching for outside climbing, whereas others wish to create a climbing expertise just for gymnasium climbers. I’ve seen my outside associates like gyms with plenty of ‘tensiony’ strikes that practice them for the outside, however lots of our indoor-only climbing associates are searching 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 once they make investments extra in maintain selection, additionally they spend money on setters.
  • Grading – We’re primarily attention-grabbing 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 everywhere, which might be irritating, so we be aware it.
  • Group – That is at all times onerous to match on one-off visits. We acquired some perception from associates, however as an alternative 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 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 Go | Memberships Beginning at $107.54/month
Setting Routine: 1-3 Days Per Set. Resets begin on Mondays.
Forms of Climbing: Bouldering
Busiest Occasions: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Moon Board, Campus Board
Different Places: North Berkeley

Strolling into Benchmark Climbing, we instantly seen all of the pure gentle and wooden tones. We appreciated their clear, trendy 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 associates 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 have been attention-grabbing and enjoyable, which is usually an afterthought for setters, particularly at impartial gyms that don’t have an enormous funds. After we requested them how lengthy they spend on a set, they advised 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 suits 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 is usually 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: 5/5
Charges: $30 Day Go | Memberships Beginning at $87.08/month
Setting Routine: 5 Week Flip Round
Forms of Climbing: High 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 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 every thing you would ask for in a climbing gymnasium. I haven’t seen another 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 if you happen to don’t like busy gyms, chances are you’ll wish to contemplate one other gymnasium.

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

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

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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
Forms 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’ll be able to entry it if you’re 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 fashion right here.

We went proper once they opened, so there have been few individuals there, however our associates advised 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, and so they preserve elevating membership costs with out bettering the services – Paulina.

Native Tip: It’s simple 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
Forms 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 quite a lot 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 employees is pleasant.

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

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These have been the 4 gyms we visited previously, and we’ll let our associates, Paulina and Austin, offer you perception into the opposite gyms beneath.

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
Forms of Climbing: High 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 Occasions: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Campus Board

Mission Cliffs is San Francisco’s oldest climbing gymnasium, and though they’ve gone by renovations and updates, the age exhibits. The roped space is far 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 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 workers take ceaselessly 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 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 situated in Uptown Oakland and handy if you happen to dwell 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 house, 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 if you happen to’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 have 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 services 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 pleasing, and a few partitions are arrange in somewhat hallway. You’re 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 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 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 Record

First Timer’s What to Carry

You’ll be able to lease sneakers, chalk, and a harness if it’s your first time. All you want to deliver is the next:

Established Climbers Packing Record

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


Lastly, listed here are some miscellaneous gadgets you’ll be able to deliver 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 will discover 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. In case you’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 may very well be unsuitable).
  • I used to route-set at our outdated gymnasium in Vegas, so I’ve a primary understanding of what the setting ought to be and have met many climbers searching for various kinds 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 associates who van life and journey to climb outside year-round have advised us that usually, 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 or double-digit climbers, individuals don’t give us particular therapy. As an Asian man, Jacob can get a great 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?? In case you at the moment 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 prime 5 journey blogs within the US. They consider 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 the moment base themselves in Las Vegas.

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

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