When San Francisco first comes to mind you most likely don’t immediately think of climbing gyms… but maybe you should! We say this because San Francisco truly has some of the best indoor climbing gyms in the United States. They offer a variety of services aimed towards an even larger variety of demographics. On that note, today we are going to help narrow down our favorite climbing gym in San Francisco. We’ll be dividing them up into our overall favorite, then our top picks, our runner up, and then finally our value pick which offers more content and value than most gyms will be able to. Wait no further, the best climbing gyms in San Francisco are up for your taking.
Looking for a different city? Check out our reviews of other cities’ climbing gyms here.
Our Favorite for the Best Overall Climbing Gym in San Francisco
Hopefully, you’ll be gratified to hear that Mission Cliffs features stunning 50 feet walls packed with over 23,000 square feet of climbing terrain for you to explore. Being our overall favorite, their mission is to blend an experience that fits those young and old, advanced climbers and newcomers. Their calendar is constantly expanding with community feedback bettering the gym in all of its aspects. With over 160 routes, you won’t be getting bored of this location anytime soon.
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What Makes Mission Cliffs Unique:
- They are extremely customer friendly and will do anything it takes to make you trust them and have a great relationship with each and every single one of their climbers. You’ll have no commitment with the option to freeze your membership for any reason for the simple price of $84 a month. If you’re interested in any additional plans, be sure to check them out yourself, they will have something just for you.
Why Choose Mission Cliffs:
- The satisfaction from the customers is not only heavily valued by the guys at Mission Cliffs but by us as well. Taking a look at the reviews really shows how everyone loves this location just as much as us, “Really nice gym! The walls’ varieties are great. A lot of choices in different levels. I was so shocked to see a room for cycling and a sauna in the locker room. The work out area is fully equipped. I kind of wish this was my gym. I can’t wait to come back again when I’m in town next time.”
As per the usual, this facility features yoga, fitness, training, and group classes amongst a larger variety of the sorts. While the general focus is of course on climbing, their in-gym shop is something to take a peek at as well. Their prices and services found here are pretty great and always getting discounted.
Here at Mission Cliffs, luckily for you and any of their other potential customers, they feature a large number of pricing plans that are sure to let you pay for exactly what you’re looking for. Starting off they offer two base plans for their day passes, a $20 one for early birds valid before 3 pm, then the normal day pass for $25 valid after 3 pm. If their day passes seem to be a little expensive, don’t worry – they more than make up for it with their gear and membership prices. Their full gear package includes shoes, harness, and a belay device for the small price of $5. And lastly, let’s take a look at the membership options that can be found at this gym.
Our Top Picks for the Best Bouldering Gyms in San Francisco
Being open from 6 am through 11 pm on weekdays, Planet Granite has over a massive 25,000 square foot for your exploration. They really do value testing the limits of their climbers and always believe that you can push yourself just a little bit more to make yourself a better climber at the end of the day. Because of this, they have more problem sections than most indoor climbing gyms would contain – an even amount of 200. The operators of this gym have had two other successful gyms before so you surely know that they know what they are doing.
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What Makes Planet Granite Unique:
- In reality, they almost have a full five-star review anywhere you look which is almost unheard of = it’s that impressive, “One of the best gyms I’ve been to in the state. The setters are extremely talented, and the variety on the walls will keep you coming back. They just replaced all the pads under the bouldering area, the place is always clean, and the staff is friendly and helpful.”
Why Choose Planet Granite:
- Planet Granite has relatively low prices and an ever-expanding catalog of services. Plus they only charge a small $45 initiation fee, and then a monthly $88 charge for the individual membership. In short, you’ll get unlimited climbing, discounted rates, and access to any of Planet Granite’s locations with their membership.
A big factor as to why we chose Planet Granite for our first top pick is simply because of the large variety of classes and services. Their classes range from beginner, lead, training, private, and bouldering. Yoga is also a really refined service at this facility and welcomes literally anybody on the planet – they’re an open book. Corporate events on the other side, are also a really intriguing service they offer for a sizable price. This entails the guys at Planet Granite hosting any event you can think of at their gym because they believe in the value of teams.
Quite interestingly the day passes here at Planet Granite work exactly the same was as the prior gym Mission Cliffs. That being a $25 full option and a $20 early bird option. Moving on, they offer 4 pieces of gear ($1 for chalk rentals and a yoga mat individually, and then $7 for shoes and a harness). If you are looking for a more serious and committed relationship between you and Planet Granite, their membership options are really great and affordable.
With a modest 11,000 square foot facility in the palm of your hand, the Great Western Power Company is an honest gym that is sure to be great for those needing a friendly community to join. Their schedule is constantly expanding and packed which in turn has lots of new faces always coming through the doors when the gym is open. Safety is one of the core values present in the gym so you can expect a lot of policies and steps that are taken to make sure everyone feels safe.
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What Makes Great Western Power Co. Unique:
- Each time you happen to stop by Great Western Power Co. something new is sure to be going on. If it’s a woman’s event to raise awareness, or a charity supporting some very important issue there’s something always going on. Their sales are also some of the greatest. In particular, if you really pay attention and want to get the best deal – some of the membership options can save you some money here and there. For example, their 2 person couple membership lowers the membership price of 2 people for $158 a month.
Why Choose Great Western Power Co.:
- This review takes a unique look on this location of the gym and the community that comes to visit here at Great Western Power Company, take a look, “The bike racks and young crowd means this place is full of people that take public transportation and cycle. That creates a cool vibe that contrasts with the atmospheres of other gyms I’ve been to with extensive parking lots. Being around healthy happy people makes you healthy and happy too! A big plus is that since it’s such a bikeable neighborhood people can walk to bars or restaurants or concerts afterward instead of jumping into huge SUVs to get back to their suburban homes.”
If you’re looking for a gym with more than enough additional content you’ve struck gold with Great Western Power Company. In particular, they feature several variations of fitness classes that are meant to improve your muscles. Crossfit is also another option if that’s what you have in mind. But for climbing, they have private lessons if you need someone on one time with one of their talented and expertly trained crew members. Group events also are an option that features every aspect of the climbing community’s input.
Being owned and operated by the same guys as Planet Granite, the majority of the prices found here at Great Western Power Co. are quite similar, but the overall gym and quality range drastically because they are two completely different gyms at the end of the day. This means their day passes range from $20 to $25 and their gear is only but a couple of dollars.
Our Runner Up for the Best Climbing Gym in San Francisco
Dogpatch Boulders features some of the most unique and varied experience you can embark on in an indoor climbing gym in our eyes. Their website not only features a very detailed list and description of each of their routes but also shows how much the community truly loves this location. Anything you decide to come by Dogpatch Boulders you’ll be sure to exit thinking highly of one of San Francisco’s best gyms.
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What Makes Dogpatch Boulders Unique:
- “This bouldering gym is fantastic. The route setting is great and the holds are in great condition. The setting is very diverse and has a lot of variety in terms of required beta for a given route. Their space is huge and I can climb here consistently without running out of problems. The staff are very friendly and helpful. This is hands down one of the best climbing gyms in the bay area.”
Why Choose Dogpatch Boulders:
- Each gender, age, and what have you are taken very seriously at Dogpatch Boulders which means their events reflect that as well They have one event called ‘Woman Up’ which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s meant to help women find their way in the world of climbing and show that they can accomplish their dreams too.
While taking a look at the additional services found at Dogpatch Boulders, we were pleasantly surprised at the originality and inclusivity that is found within these services. They have what they call ‘Team Touchstone’ which is a youth program that’s designed to help kids improve their climbing skills and learn the basics. On the other hand, they have ‘Battle of the Bay’ which is an extremely large bouldering competition that is open to anyone who wants to join.
At this facility, the prices are almost constantly changing to become lower and offer their customers with what they truly need. You’ll be able to get gear for only about $6 in total if you need 4 pieces of gear. As for the day passes they average around $20, while the base membership plan is just over $80.
Our Value Pick for the Best Climbing Gym in San Francisco
As for the fifth and final gym on this lovely day today, our value pick Berkeley Ironworks has variety and value coming out of the wazoo. Their location is a reasonable 14,000 square feet with over 45-foot high lead walls. Climbing isn’t their only specialty, as they have yoga, cycling, fitness, and much more to our surprise. In specifics, the gym is pretty much sectioned off into certain areas.
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What Makes Berkeley Ironworks Unique:
- They really have a lot going on within the gym, it’s not just for climbing. For example, on the opposite side of the climbing areas, they have a climbing clinic which is designed to give you a break and help you relax from your daily stresses. There is surely something here for you as their friendly and patient staff will be able to assist you with anything you may happen to need clarification of.
Why Choose Berkeley Ironworks:
- As you can probably tell, we always value the community’s feedback and opinions of these gyms we pick. For our value pick being Berkeley Ironworks, you bet your bottom dollar that the prices would be satisfactory to their customers. Just take a peek at one of the gym’s reviews, “Fantastic little place with lots of bouldering and climbing. Lovely atmosphere and staff. It is pricey for day passes and memberships, but it’s on par with other climbing gyms. Very friendly to kids and people of all gender identities.”
Those young and those old are all accommodated with the services the higher-ups chose to offer. Childcare is an option as well as classes designed to help kids get into the sport of climbing. Personal trainers are also always on the line if needed to train any skill level you may be at. As most gyms are filled with yoga and fitness classes, Berkeley Ironworks is no exception.
If you’re in need of gear, you get a belay device rental for free and then shoes for $4 while harness are only $2. However, day passes only come in at a rightful price of $20. Once you decide to purchase a membership here at Berkeley Ironworks, you’ll get so many perks they will almost seem entirely endless. A few benefits include a free guest pass per month, free events, children 12 and under are free, free classes, and much more. That can all be yours for the starting price of $84 a month, which will definitely make up for the price in value.
Summary of the Best Climbing Gyms in San Francisco
Mission Cliffs simply couldn’t be beaten by any of today’s gyms in our humble opinion, which made it our overall favorite indoor climbing gym in San Francisco. With it’s large 23,000 square foot facility, you’ll be able to enjoy it for months on end.
As for the secondary category, our favorite top pick had to be Planet Granite – the name even kind of rhymes so we had to. Being open for over 12 hours a day, the community is always thriving at this location.
If you’re in need of a gym with an overall great vibe and overly friendly staff, Dogpatch Boulders just might be right up your alley. Their ‘Team Touchstone’ service, is something that’s caught our eye and is sure to catch yours.
For the value pick, we took the route of content, community feedback, and the overall time that can be spent at a particular gym, & Berkeley Ironworks fit that criteria 100%. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, you’ll be able to buy a membership here and not break the budget.
At the end of the day, the best climbing gyms in San Francisco range from person to person. But, we promise that there’s something here for you if you look hard enough. Remember that having fun should be your top priority above all, everything else is just a bonus.
Did you enjoy this guide to the best climbing gyms in San Francisco? Check out our reviews of other cities’ climbing gyms here.