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The Spot's infamous "Dojo" is one of the longest, steepest training caves around.EXPAND
The Spot's infamous "Dojo" is one of the longest, steepest training caves around.

Learn the Ropes at Nine of Denver's Best Climbing Gyms

Get a grip: When it comes to rock climbing gyms, metro Denver has options. But with so many spots to scramble up the wall, how do you find the best match for you? Whether you’re looking for a winter fitness routine, a local climbing community, or a creative way to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, these nine Denver climbing gyms are ready to show you the ropes.

Carla Madison Recreation CenterEXPAND
Carla Madison Recreation Center
Nicole Daniels | Body & Glass Photography

Carla Madison Recreation Center
2401 East Colfax Avenue

Denver may be at least 45 minutes away from any serious outdoor climbs, but the Carla Madison Recreation Center is hoping to make up for that. Along with the rest of its fitness and wellness facilities — a leisure and lap pool, group fitness classrooms, training areas and a childcare room — Carla Madison boasts a modest outdoor rock climbing area located on the second-floor balcony. The wall, open March through October, includes six climbing routes, three of which are pre-set with auto-belay devices. Outside the gym is a boulder, replete with hand grips, where children can scramble. The selection of climbs may be on the smaller side, but low monthly rates make this rec center the perfect spot for individuals or families looking to try out the sport without committing to a climbing gym membership.

With new climbs every week, the Denver Bouldering Club keeps members on their toes.EXPAND
With new climbs every week, the Denver Bouldering Club keeps members on their toes.

Denver Bouldering Club
2485 West Second Avenue
4131 South Natches Court

The Denver Bouldering Club began in 2009 as a co-op of dedicated climbers looking to build a strong local community (in a single warehouse unit, no less). The spirit remains, even though the group has grown into two locations. Offering 24/7 access to members at both their central and south locations, DBC offers small yet active bouldering gyms that have been described as some of the most inclusive and welcoming of their kind. DBC resets its routes once a week, boasting the highest turnover rate of climbs in the area. Though occasional yoga classes and other fitness goodies are included, DBC emphasizes its status as “primarily a climbing gym” with a community to match.

As the largest climbing facility in North America, Earth Treks Englewood has enough room for everyone.EXPAND
As the largest climbing facility in North America, Earth Treks Englewood has enough room for everyone.

Earth Treks 
1050 West Hampden Avenue, Englewood
Located in the newly repurposed Sports Authority headquarters in Englewood, Earth Treks is one of the newest and largest area climbing facilities. Boasting over 53,000 square feet of climbing space (along with additional space for yoga, group fitness, weightlifting and cardio), Earth Treks banishes the shoulder-to-shoulder claustrophobia many climbers put up with during peak gym hours. Even on the busiest nights, there’s always a rope available. Plus, newbies are welcome.

Traditional fitness and climbing make great partners at EVO Rock + Fitness.EXPAND
Traditional fitness and climbing make great partners at EVO Rock + Fitness.

EVO Rock + Fitness
1754 Dogwood Street, Louisville

Considering its proximity to the Boulder Flatirons, it’s no surprise that EVO Rock + Fitness is all about training and equipping climbers for the great outdoors as well as actually getting them out there. Though EVO’s indoor facility is impressive (over 25,000 square feet of climbs), its programs focus on transitioning climbers to the real thing. Case in point: The Gym-to-Crag program offers a series of hands-on training opportunities led by an American Mountain Guides Association professional climbing guide. In addition, EVO boasts a dedicated yoga studio, free weights, a training area, child care and a full retail shop.

From youth programming to yoga classes, Movement's offerings span the spectrum.EXPAND
From youth programming to yoga classes, Movement's offerings span the spectrum.

Movement
1155 West 5th Avenue
3201 Walnut Street
2845 Valmont Road, Boulder

Locally owned and operated, Movement is one of the largest and most popular climbing gyms in Denver. Boasting two Denver locations, one in Baker and another in RiNo, along with the Boulder flagship location, Movement is notably robust in its climbing and fitness offerings, which include more than fifty classes a week at each location, from yoga to cycling. Every six to eight weeks, the climbing routes are switched out by highly certified and experienced setters. With personal training and coaching programs, child care and beautifully maintained facilities, Movement feels like a full-on fitness center married to a climbing gym. Note: The RiNo location is solely a bouldering facility, whereas Baker and Boulder offer lead climbing, top rope and bouldering routes.

Can you hang? Mountain Strong's bouldering wall will put your upper-body strength to the test.EXPAND
Can you hang? Mountain Strong's bouldering wall will put your upper-body strength to the test.

Mountain Strong
5280 Broadway

For the conflicted cross-fit junkie and climber who doesn’t want to pay for the price of two gyms, Mountain Strong is a hybrid worth checking out. Made up of a small, tightly knit community of about 100 members, Mountain Strong is the gym of choice for many outdoor athletes (from rock climbers to skiers, ultra runners, mountain bikers and more). The company's RiNo space includes a bouldering wall, ski ergs, rowers, Olympic and powerlifting equipment. The only downside to this spot could also be considered an upside: This is not a work-out-by-yourself type of gym. The emphasis is on community and classes rather than open gym time, though membership does give you 24/7 access.

ROCK’n JAM’n
7390 South Fraser Street, Centennial
9499 Washington Street, Thornton

One of the OG Denver-area gyms, ROCK’n JAM’n, opened in 1997, offers climbing hubs in both Centennial and Thornton. These gyms, equipped with both bouldering and rope-climbing facilities, boast some of the steepest and tallest overhanging climbing terrain in the area, along with cardio machines, weight equipment and yoga classes.

Beer, conversation and climbing collide at the Spot.EXPAND
Beer, conversation and climbing collide at the Spot.

The Spot
3240 Prairie Avenue, Boulder
A pioneer in the climbing-gym scene, the Spot opened in 2002 as the first bouldering facility in Colorado (and the second in the nation). Keeping things real with great climbs — unique freestanding boulders sculpted like real rock — and a reputation as the "friendliest climbing gym" around, the Spot is 10,000 square feet of bouldering heaven. Add in a slackline, a small selection of training equipment, beer on tap and an annual black-light climbing competition, and the Spot keeps it real like nobody else. Watch out for the new Denver location in the Golden Triangle in 2019.

Übergrippen stands tall as northeast Denver’s only indoor climbing community,EXPAND
Übergrippen stands tall as northeast Denver’s only indoor climbing community,

Übergrippen
8610 East 21st Avenue

Serving the northeast Denver and northwest Aurora communities, Übergrippen is a climbing gym with an impressive focus on creating a strong and diverse community. With regular member nights and events that cater to everyone from kids to seniors, Übergrippen espouses a desire to see “generations climb side by side in a supportive and positive environment.” The full-service facility offers fitness and yoga, the largest youth climbing program in Denver, a ten-foot-tall custom outdoor boulder, a community patio, and a lawn area with slack lines and other games.

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