Where to Go Indoor Rock Climbing in and Around Philadelphia

The local spots where beginners and seasoned climbers alike can chalk up and start scaling.

There are many indoor rock climbing opportunities throughout the Philadelphia area. / Photograph courtesy of The Cliffs at Callowhill

We may not live in the middle of the Colorado Rockies, but you don’t need a “real” cliff to climb in order to get a great workout and have an awesome time. Rock climbing not only helps build your strength and mobility, but it also involves working muscles that you might not typically use, which means full-body exercise. Plus, sport climbing made its Olympic debut last summer, making the activity even more popular.

Luckily, the Philly area happens to be home to multiple indoor climbing spots where anyone — no matter their skill level — can go to brave the wall. Read on for indoor climbing gyms in and around Philadelphia. Day passes, membership options, and rental add-ons (climbing shoes, harness, chalk bag) are available at all facilities.

The Cliffs at Callowhill

1010 Callowhill Street, Callowhill

The NYC-based rock climbing chain opened a 39,000-square-foot facility in the Callowhill section of the city in November of 2019. The Cliffs features bouldering, lead and top-rope climbing walls, and a gym with strength and cardio equipment, plus workout classes. There’s also intro climbing and technique classes for adults, and multiple programs for youth climbers.

Downingtown Rock Gym

462 Acorn Lane, Downingtown

Inside this 10,000-square-foot, community-based indoor rock climbing gym, you’ll find overhangs, boulders, arêtes, chimneys, and caves. The gym — which has walls as tall as 45 feet — is filled with chances to try auto belaying, top-roping or bouldering. Plus, it offers multi-week adult classes (including intro ones), youth clubs, and private and partner instructional sessions.

Doylestown Rock Gym

3853 Old Easton Road, Doylestown

Downingtown Rock Gym (above) is the sister facility of Doylestown Rock Gym, which features pretty much all the same amenities, just in a different ‘burb and a slightly larger space. (The Doylestown location has an extra 2,000 square feet on the one in Downingtown.) At Doylestown, though, you can find a special Kinder Climb class for little ones ages two-and-a-half through five, family climbing sessions, and adaptive climbing activities and equipment.

Drexel Recreation Center

3301 Market Street, University City

Drexel Recreation Center’s climbing wall — with its overhangs, bouldering, and lead climbing — is a perfect place for beginners to get their start. With belay classes, a Movement 101 clinic, and private lessons, the center makes sure climbers become well-equipped in the sport before moving onto more-advanced routes. All sessions include equipment, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own or renting anything.

Indoor rock climbing at Drexel Recreation Center / Photograph by Caroline Cunningham.

Elite Climbing

67 Old Kings Highway, Maple Shade, New Jersey

On the walls of this Maple Shade climbing gym, you’ll find over 100 routes, an 18-foot-high cave, and bouldering walls with 10 different angles. It offers a bunch of adult, youth, and family classes — everything from beginner courses to one-on-one technique sessions and a merit badge program for anyone in the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.

The Gravity Vault Radnor

175 King of Prussia Road, Radnor

With 16,000 square feet of climbable surfaces, this massive gym has tons of wall space to explore. There are rope stations, a rappel tower, a lead cave, auto belays, and an attached exercise room with cardio and strength equipment. Plus, Gravity Vault runs a variety of climbing sessions, team practices, and certification classes daily, so there’s always something going on for every type of climber.

Philadelphia Rock Gyms

Multiple locations

With bouldering, top-roping, and lead climbing, Philadelphia Rock Gyms cater to climbers of all levels. Their gyms — which are located in Fishtown, East Falls, Oaks, Wyncote, and Malvern — range from 6,000 to 14,000 square feet in size, see over 65 boulder problems, and offer classes in basic and advanced skills, as well as and private lessons.

Philadelphia Rock Gyms in East Falls is one of several indoor rock climbing gyms in Philly. / Photograph by Matt Zugale.

Reach Climbing and Fitness

401 East 4th Street, Bridgeport

Bridgeport’s humongous climbing and fitness gym — a two-time Best of Philly winner — has stand-out amenities like 58-foot-tall walls and a two-lane Olympic-size speed-climbing option. Plus, there are classes for all skill levels, plus teams/leagues for adults and kids alike. Pro tip: Don’t sleep on the annex, The Factory, for some ninja-warrior-esque obstacles.

Tufas Boulder Lounge

1614 North 5th Street, Kensington

The nearly 13,000-square-foot Tufas Boulder Lounge was created by Philly climbers who wanted to foster an inclusive local climbing community. The Kensington facility offers bouldering and fitness classes for adults, as well as youth programs throughout the year. All passes and membership options are based on sliding-scale pricing.