Because there aren’t enough hours of daylight in a workweek. Because you want to send hard on the weekend. Because you’re just looking for a new way to stay fit and have ALL the fun.
Whatever the reason, there are lots of facilities to train hard, hang out, and dabble in rock climbing. Plus, as a Boulderite, it’s almost a requirement that you try boulder at least once. So, check out our list, chalk up those hands, and hit the holds.
The Spot, just east of downtown and on the west side of Foothills, is most happening in the late hours. With a treadwall, slackline, and all-around bouldering (small ropes section for beginners), this place is the Boulder mecca for those folks who excel in strong moves on short routes. While there are a lot of seasoned climbers here, bouldering is perfect for newbs that can’t tie knots — simply some chalk and climbing shoes will do. You won’t need a partner, either. A session here is a great way to meet new people (and potentially your next climbing buddy). Once your arms are fully pumped, you can retire at the on-site bar with some of your favorite local brews on-tap. Cheers to all that hard work.
Okay, so it’s not exactly within the city limits. But more and more Boulderites are checking out EVO in Louisville. What makes this place worth the trip? Another green building, EVO is a leader in custom-built and sustainably-designed climbing gyms. Their mission is to support the climbing community and environmental stewardship. Plus, their daily schedule is loaded with yoga classes to help you work out all those kinks after coming off the wall.
Further still, Earth Treks is yet another popular climbing gym among the Boulder climbing community just southwest of Golden’s center. While a fairly new facility, Earth Treks has been in the business of climbing facilities since 1989. This gym is a HUGE multifunctional space for both amateurs and pros, and yogis too! They have a dedicated in-house yoga studio, as well as a large strength training and conditioning room with everything you need to stay in great climbing shape. And since it can be intimidating to learn the ropes (literal statement), Earth Treks accommodates those first-timer jitters with private teaching areas.
What’s better than two gyms in one? Members at Movement are psyched to have unlimited access to both the Boulder and Denver gym. If you’re a daily crusher, the Movement duo offers a bit of diversity for when you exhaust those ritualistic climbing routes. They also offer a full schedule of not only climbing but cycling- and ski-specific group fitness classes. Another thing to feel good about? This custom building on Valmont was designed with both beginners and professional athletes in mind and also sources over 80% of their energy sustainably. It’s kind of a big deal.
Another bouldering-specific kind of place, CATS (Colorado Athletic Training School) sets up east of the 29th Street Mall. This spot boasts a no-frills kind of vibe with its generally challenging routes and minimalist approach. The perk? It’s the cheapest place for a drop-in in Boulder, and it also doubles as a gymnastics training facility. Invite a group of friends and you may even have the place to yourselves. Just make sure to call in advance to make sure they’re taking open climbers. In our opinion, CATS is best suited for the boulderer in training.
Just north of the 28th Street mall, BRC cultivates a climbing crowd that lives and breathes for the stuff. You may have taken note of some of the camper vans, live-in Tacomas, and other custom mobile homes in the parking lot and sprawling down the sidewalks. By day, these people rise and rally to climb Boulder Canyon; by night —back at the gym. At the gym, knowledgeable trainers cater to the climbing newbies or even those who aren’t inclined to climb. Group fitness classes, second-floor training gym, bouldering, top-rope, lead… this community has you covered.
About 10 miles northeast of Boulder proper, Longmont Climbing Collective fills a giant old warehouse space at 33 S. Pratt Parkway. The 15,000-square-foot facility is home to apparatus for bouldering along with space for yoga and fitness. Take a class or go it alone — they’ve got space for all of your fitness pursuits. Longmont Climbing Collective has made some friends in the neighborhood, too — members get discounts to other local faves like Shri Yoga, Warrior Playground, and Shoes & Brews.
**Updated by Hillary Bennetts, December 2018