Top 5 Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms in Chicago

To make up for the lack of mountain ranges, Chicago provides plenty of rock climbing adventure with its many indoor climbing and bouldering gyms. the list below is just a handful of what Chi-town has to offer!

1. Vertical Endeavors

Located just 40 minutes outside of Chicago, Vertical Endeavors has garnered a reputation for being one of the best indoor rock climbing facilities around. It features 40 top ropes across two 30 and 42 ft walls and 21 auto-belays. The 18,000 square foot gym can accommodate 120 people and provides clinics and private lessons for beginner climbers!

2. FFC Old Time

This 20 foot wall is located right in Chicago. Although it isn’t huge it offers 40 bouldering problems and 60 routes and is wide enough to support 12 ropes.

3. Lakeview Athletic Club

Lakeview Athletic Club is an awesome 50-foot climbing wall complete with 6 top ropes each consisting of 4-6 different routes. This wall is great for practicing your technique as it features a crack that spans from one end to the other. The gym also features a bouldering area with about 40 routes and a 65 foot overhang.

4. Hidden Peak Climbing Gym

This 1,500 square ft bouldering gym shares a space with a gymnastics gym. Although it is not as big as other gyms on the list, Hidden Peak fosters a skatepark-like feel where climbers can jump right in and take turns.

5. First Ascent

Designed by Chicago climbers for Chicago climbers, First Ascent features over 26,000 square ft. of climbing terrain for all levels of climbing experience. The facility offers top rope and lead walls complete with overhangs, roofs, slabs, and cracks. There is also 5,000 square ft. of bouldering with caves, prow, top outs and overhangs. At the end of a great day full of climbing stop by the cafe for a snack!

Let’s Climb, Chicago. from First Ascent Climbing & Fitness on Vimeo.

Alan Perlman
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