10 Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms & Walls in the Twin Cities

indoor rock climbing minneapolis and st. paul

Surprising fact about Minnesota #99: an unexpectedly impressive rock climbing scene!

Over the years, we’ve watched our city’s interest in rock climbing sky rocket. And since we happen to live in one of the coldest places on earth, most of that interest manifests itself as indoor rock climbing gyms. (Hey, we don’t want this turning into ice climbing!)

Whether you’ve never been climbing in your life or you’re a legitimate pro ready to take on Palisade Head, we’ve done the research and put together all your best options.

From the mega-popular Vertical Endeavors to the private facility known as “The A”… Here are the 10 best rock climbing gyms and walls near Minneapolis and St Paul.

Indoor Rock Climbing Map for the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul

Twin Cities Rock Climbing Stores with Free Climbing Walls

There’s a couple of Twin Cities rock climbing stores that encourage the popularity of their sport by offering free indoor climbing walls:

Midwest Mountaineering

This massive rock climbing store did what rock climbers naturally do – they turned their basement walls into a “climbing cave.”

That means customers are encouraged to try out their purchases on the short climbing arrangements found along the store’s basement walls. Occasionally, the store even offers beginner climbing clinics.

REI – Bloomington

Anyone who’s ever driven through Highway 494 has no doubt seen REI Bloomington’s most defining feature – a massive 55 ft. indoor climbing wall attached to the store’s main entrance.

For REI Co-Op members, climbing this wall is completely free. Yep, members get one free climb a day on a first-come first-serve basis. REI supplies all equipment, although climbers are also allowed to bring their own. (With staff approval.)

For non-members, the wall costs $10 per climber.

Indoor Rock Climbing at The University of Minnesota

Don’t make the mistake of believing you have to be a student to enjoy the U of M’s legit rock climbing setups. The University Rec Centers actually open their doors to anyone interested in rock climbing.

In fact, at either of the following rec center gyms, your first climb is actually free! After that, anyone can purchase day use climbing passes to these two locations:

University of Minnesota – Minneapolis Climbing Wall

The University’s Minneapolis rec center includes a 33 foot high rock climbing wall with over 3,200 square feet of climbing surface and another 1,000 square feet of bouldering wall space.

University of Minnesota – St. Paul Climbing Wall

The University’s St. Paul rec center includes a slightly smaller rock climbing wall. It’s 25 feet tall with about 900 square feet of climbing surface.

Dedicated Rock Climbing Gyms in the Twin Cities

For climbers ready for the full experience, there’s several specialty rock climbing gyms in the area:

Vertical Endeavors

With four different rock climbing gyms throughout the Twin Cities, Vertical Endeavors is definitely the big dog when it comes to indoor rock climbing in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

With locations in Uptown, University, east Saint Paul, and the Suburbs of Bloomington, no matter where you are in the Twin Cities, there’s probably a Vertical Endeavors gym nearby.

Those gyms range in their design and focus. The Bloomington location features the largest wall, at an astounding 60 feet tall, while the University location focuses more on shorter, technical bouldering. No matter what you’ve looking for, “VE” probably has it, whether that’s climbing, bouldering, top-roping, or auto belays.

Visitors can access the gym either through a one-time reservation, a 10-visit pass, or an ongoing membership. Shoes, harnesses, belay devices, and chalk bags are also available for rent.

  • Address 1: 9601 James Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55431
  • Address 2: 2540 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
  • Address 3: 855 Phalen Blvd, St Paul, MN 55106
  • Address 4: 2550 Wabash Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114
  • Website: Vertical Endeavors Twin Cities

Minneapolis Bouldering Project

Minneapolis Bouldering project is an awesome gym in Downtown Minneapolis with an emphasis on rock climbing / bouldering. Here, you’ll find a giant 20,000 square foot room with squishy floors, covered floor to ceiling with bouldering walls ranging from 13-17 feet off the ground.

Climbers can either join via a monthly membership program or purchase a day pass. The gym offers both free climbing time and organized classes, from beginner to advanced.

In addition to the climbing, this gym also includes full weight room, cardio room, fitness classes, yoga studio, and even a sauna.

Minnesota Climbing Cooperative

Located in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota Climbing Cooperative is a member owned climbing co-op. That means it’s ran by a passionate group of rock climbing volunteers, and all money gets reinvested back into the gym.

The result is a basic yet efficient climbing space, with a homey community vibe. Best of all, the co-op is open 24/7, so you can climb whenever you get the itch.

The A

The A is a private climbing facility, which basically means that while the gym is open to members 24/7, they do not host open hours to nonmembers.

Don’t be intimidated though! Anyone can join The A at any time, and the result is a focused and dedicated climbing community, free of the distractions of other commercial climbing gyms. 

  • Address: 1620 Central Ave NE #178, Minneapolis, MN 55413
  • Website: The A

Other Rock Climbing Options

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, there’s a few last unique rock climbing experiences in the Twin Cities.

Zero Gravity Trampoline Park

On the other end of the spectrum is Zero Gravity Trampoline Park. This family focused trampoline park and arcade also features a rock climbing wall. And not just any rock climbing wall… a space themed rock climbing wall! Complete with a foam pit to jump into!

  • Address: 1620 Central Ave NE #178, Minneapolis, MN 55413
  • Website: Zero Gravity MN

Southdale YMCA – Edina

The only YMCA in the Twin Cities with a climbing wall is the Edina location.

Located in the basketball court, the Y’s climbing wall is about 20 feet tall. They offer individual lessons with an instructor, as well as a few pre-arranged rock climbing classes each year.

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