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

In search of 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 just lately that we began including climbing gyms as a part of our journey itinerary. Fortunately, a few of our native pals 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 fitness center to go as to whether you’re visiting or need to turn out 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 17, 2023

Issues to Maintain in Thoughts

  • The climbing scene will proceed to alter. After we revisit, we’ll regularly replace this submit. 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 fluctuate and is often extra drastic at smaller, impartial gyms vs. company ones.
  • Fitness center climbing has developed and has turn out to be its personal sport. Some gyms cater towards coaching for outside climbing, whereas others need to create a climbing expertise just for fitness center climbers. I’ve seen my outside pals like gyms with plenty of ‘tensiony’ strikes that prepare them for the outside, however a lot of our indoor-only climbing pals are on the lookout for one thing fully completely 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, in addition they spend money on 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 far and wide, which will be irritating, so we word it.
  • Neighborhood – That is at all times laborious to check on one-off visits. We received some perception from pals, however as a substitute of ranking the neighborhood, we included notes on whether or not a fitness center was beginner-friendly. Some gyms can really feel extra intimidating than others in the event you’re new.

The Finest Rock Climbing Gyms in San Francisco Bay Space

1. Benchmark Climbing – Finest Setting and Finest 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.
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 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 need to climb or if we need to come again.

Our different climber pals additionally talked about that this fitness center had one of the best 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 usually 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 fitness center in North Berkeley that we are going to be trying out on our subsequent go to.

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

Native Tip: Avenue parking is cheaper, however in the event you can’t discover any, there are just a few parking decks close by. The setting generally is 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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2. Pacific Pipe (Touchstone) – Finest Facilitiesㅤ→

2140 Mandela Parkway, Oakland, CA 94607, map

Setting: 4/5
Facility: 4.5/5
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 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, 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 huge facility with 55-foot-high lead partitions and an enormous bouldering space that spans two flooring. It has virtually all the pieces you could possibly 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 they’d 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.

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

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

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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 Occasions a Week
Varieties of Climbing: Bouldering
Busiest Occasions: 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 big (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 type 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 all around the board, they usually preserve elevating membership costs with out enhancing the amenities – 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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4. Movement Sunnyvaleㅤ→

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 Places: Belmont + San Francisco

We went to the Sunnyvale Location in 2016 and had plenty 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 unhealthy, which makes it laborious to work from – Paulina

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These had been the 4 gyms we visited prior to now, and we’ll let our pals, Paulina and Austin, provide you with 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 Cross | Memberships Beginning at $107.54/month
Varieties 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 fitness center, and though they’ve gone via renovations and updates, the age reveals. 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 good friend 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 workers 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 amenities are older, although.
  • Bladium’s Rock Wall and Bouldering Gym
  • ClubSport Pleasanton
  • Diablo Rock Gym (Touchstone)
  • Glen Park Recreation Center – has a climbing wall.
  • Great Western Power Co (Touchstone) – 48-foot-high lead partitions and 1,500 sq ft of bouldering. It’s positioned in Uptown Oakland and handy in the event you dwell within the space.
  • Movement 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.
  • Movement 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 in the event you’ve climbed in every single place 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 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 amenities are a 1/5. Even Belmont is small, however this one feels even smaller. The setting is simply okay, the bouldering space isn’t fulfilling, and a few partitions are arrange in somewhat hallway. You are feeling like you’ll be able to’t climb with out falling on another person.

In Conclusion

As guests, we’ll most definitely 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 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 go 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 it is advisable to deliver is the next:

Established Climbers Packing Record

For many who already climb, don’t overlook these things too! Examine this submit for our favourite of every.


Lastly, listed below are some miscellaneous objects you’ll be able to deliver 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 outside. Most climbers we’ve seen at gyms are both newbie or intermediate climbers. In the event 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 pals telling you the place to climb (however who is aware of… we could possibly be unsuitable).
  • I used to route-set at our previous fitness center in Vegas, so I’ve a primary understanding of what the setting ought to be and have met many climbers on the lookout for various kinds of setting kinds.
  • We’ve climbed at over 25 gyms all around the US and have a good suggestion of what cities have respectable 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 outside 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 therapy. As an Asian male, Jacob can get an excellent learn on whether or not the fitness center neighborhood is pleasant.

The place to remain in San Francisco

Some other mountain climbing gyms in San Francisco that we missed?? In the event you presently go to any of those gyms above, is there something you disagree with or wish to add?


SEE Extra Climbing Locations + Ideas


“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 high 5 journey blogs within the US. They imagine that journey will be discovered close to and much and hope to encourage others to discover domestically. They discover a brand new metropolis in depth yearly and presently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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