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

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

San Francisco is considered 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 mates pointed us towards the most effective climbing gyms in SF bay space. With so many choices, we put collectively this checklist that can assist you resolve which health club to go as to if you’re visiting or wish to grow 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 realized.

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This put up might include affiliate hyperlinks, the place we obtain a small fee on gross sales of the merchandise which can be linked at no extra value to you. All opinions are all the time our personal. Learn our full disclosure for more information. Thanks for supporting the manufacturers that make Native Adventurer attainable.

Final Up to date: January 17, 2023

Issues to Preserve in Thoughts

  • The climbing scene will proceed to vary. Once we revisit, we’ll regularly replace this put up. Over the pandemic, we observed 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 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 health club climbers. I’ve observed my outside mates like gyms with a lot of ‘tensiony’ strikes that practice them for the outside, however a lot of our indoor-only climbing mates are on the lookout for one thing completely totally 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 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 far and wide, which may be irritating, so we notice it.
  • Group – That is all the time onerous to check on one-off visits. We bought some perception from mates, however as a substitute of score the group, we included notes on whether or not a health club 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.
Varieties 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 gentle 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 mates additionally talked about that this health club had the most effective 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 commonly an afterthought for setters, particularly at impartial gyms that don’t have an enormous funds. Once we requested them how lengthy they spend on a set, they instructed 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 health club 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 matches perhaps 1-2 individuals comfortably.

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

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2. Pacific Pipe (Touchstone) – Greatest 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 Instances: 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 health club 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 nearly the whole lot you possibly can ask for in a climbing health club. I haven’t seen every other health club 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 health club 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, if you happen to don’t like busy gyms, you could wish to contemplate one other health club.

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 Instances a Week
Varieties of Climbing: Bouldering
Busiest Instances: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Kilter Board, Spray Wall, Campus Board

That is one other health club owned by Touchstone, so you possibly can entry it if you’re a Touchstone member. It’s SF’s first bouldering-only health club 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 mates instructed us throughout peak hours, it will get crowded.

Room to Enhance: The health club is older, so it feels grungy, and the holds are gross. Grades are everywhere in the board, they usually hold 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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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
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 loads 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 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 mates, Paulina and Austin, provide you with 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
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 Instances: Weekdays after Work
Coaching Boards: Campus Board

Mission Cliffs is San Francisco’s oldest climbing health club, and though they’ve gone by means of renovations and updates, the age reveals. The roped space is far 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 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 amenities are older, although.
  • Bladium’s Rock Wall and Bouldering Fitness center
  • ClubSport Pleasanton
  • Diablo Rock Fitness center (Touchstone)
  • Glen Park Recreation Middle – has a climbing wall.
  • Nice Western Energy Co (Touchstone) – 48-foot-high lead partitions and 1,500 sq toes of bouldering. It’s situated in Uptown Oakland and handy if you happen to stay 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 house, and exquisite views.
  • Motion Belmont – This was the unique Planet Granite health club, now Motion Belmont. It’s small, and the wall angles aren’t nice. It’s not a vacation spot health club, 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 health club 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 just isn’t fulfilling, and a few partitions are arrange in a bit of hallway. You are feeling like you possibly can’t climb with out falling on another person.

In Conclusion

As guests, we’ll most 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 had been as much as us and we lived within the Bay space, we’d 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 Checklist

First Timer’s What to Deliver

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

Established Climbers Packing Checklist

For individuals who already climb, don’t overlook these things too! Test 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.

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. When 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 mates telling you the place to climb (however who is aware of… we could possibly be incorrect).
  • I used to route-set at our previous health club in Vegas, so I’ve a fundamental understanding of what the setting needs to be and have met many climbers on the lookout 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 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 mates who van life and journey to climb outside year-round have instructed 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 a very good learn on whether or not the health club group is pleasant.

The place to remain in San Francisco

Some other mountaineering gyms in San Francisco that we missed?? When you at present 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 searching 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 may 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.

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



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