Escape the Heat at These 7 Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms in Maricopa County

By Robert Gundran

August 25, 2023

Arizona is a beautiful place to explore, where you can engage with nature on myriad trails throughout the state. The difficulty with exploring Arizona is that from May to September it can be extremely hazardous to your health to go outdoors.

Enter the rock climbing gym, a place to safely simulate the feeling of scaling rock formations you might see while out on a hike. Rock climbing engages your upper body, lower body, and your core. It also introduces new climbers to sore muscles in their hands from working on grip strength.

Keep in mind you will have to sign a safety waiver at all of these gyms.

Here are seven rock climbing gyms across the Valley to check out if you’re a veteran cragsman or just someone who has an interest in the hobby:

Black Rock Bouldering Gym

10436 N. 32nd St., Phoenix
Instagram

Hours (Public):
Closed Mondays
9 a.m.–9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturdays

Hours (Members):
10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sundays

Black Rock Bouldering Gym is just off the 51 and Shea Boulevard in north Phoenix. It has a full gym with free weights, and several walls of varying difficulty to scale.

They offer classes for children, and events specifically for women and people of color.

Monthly memberships start at $84 for adults, $74 for government workers and students, and $64 for children 13 and under. You can also buy a day pass for $23.

Gecko Climbing Gym

24400 N. 19th Ave. Suite 115, Phoenix
Instagram

Hours:
8 a.m.–9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
9 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Gecko Climbing Gym boasts an area with 30-foot roped climbing walls, 15-foot bouldering walls, a ninja grip course, and a wall for kids with a 6-foot spiral slide.

The gym opened in April 2021.

“Our climbing community is the result of dozens of individuals who are passionate about climbing and pour their heart and soul into making Gecko amazing!” their website states.

Gecko offers fall and winter camps for kids between 4 and 15, starting at $55 for one half-day at the camp, and $375 for five full days. It runs from 8 a.m–3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Their membership pricing starts at $25 a week and $85-$95 per month. A day pass is $25 for adults and $22 for kids.

Ape Index Rock Climbing Gym

9700 N. 91st Ave., Peoria
Instagram

Hours:
3 p.m.–10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
10 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

If you’re a first-timer, Ape Index Rock Climbing Gym might be the best spot to check out first. Their website has an entire page dedicated to the steps newcomers will go through before embarking on their first climb.

“Ape Index focuses on safety through proper instruction, while offering everyone, from first time climbers to competitive athletes, an area to have fun and grow,” their website states.

A day pass is $25 for adults, $20 for kids under 12, and $17 for military and first responders. A 30-day pass is $80, and a membership is $65 a month.

Ape Index offers youth programs, birthday parties, and a summer camp.

Be sure to check them out on the third Friday of every month when they run “Gorilla Ball” from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’s a “floor is lava”-style game where you work in teams.

They also run a Women’s Night on the fourth Friday each month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Phoenix Rock Gym

1353 E. University Dr., Tempe
Instagram

Hours:
3 p.m.–10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
10 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Oddly enough, Phoenix Rock Gym is actually in Tempe, just east of Arizona State University.

Phoenix Rock Gym has 30-foot walls in a two-story building, taking up 17,000 square feet.

A day pass with gear is $20 for adults, and $17 for kids. Grab a month pass for $60 or an annual pass for $450.

Alta Boulders

2945 S. Alma School Road, Chandler
Instagram

Hours:
5 a.m.–9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays
5 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays
7 a.m.–10 p.m. Saturdays
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sundays

This 20,000-square-foot facility has a 17-foot bouldering wall. Alta Boulders hosts birthday parties, team-building seminars, family reunions, church groups, scout groups, school groups, and charitable organizations.

Day passes are $23 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and younger. Memberships are $69 for students, $79 for military and first responders, and $89 for everyone else.

Alta Boulders hosts Ladies’ Night every second Thursday of the month and Date Night every third Thursday of the month.

Climbmax Rock Gym

1330 W. Auto Drive, Unit #108, Tempe
Instagram

Hours:
3 p.m.–9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
12 p.m.–7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Climbmax was started in 2005 by a small group of friends who bonded through rock climbing and has gone through periods of change since.

“Climbmax went through a dark age of neglect, and the gym that was so dear to so many hearts had basically deteriorated to a no-man’s land of sadness for the past decade,” their website stated. “Until Dec. 1, 2021, one of the OG Climbmaxers and original builders, Sea Shelton acquired the business!”

Climbmax has climbing and bouldering routes for every level of climber. You’ll be taught safe ways to free climb and how to navigate the wall with a harness.

“You don’t have to know anything going into this!” the Climbmax website notes. “By the end of your first day, you’ll have learned a brand new skill.”

Day passes are $14 for adults and $12 for kids. They also offer a family membership plan at $125 for up to four people a month, and $45 per month if you’re going solo.

AZ On the Rocks

16447 N. 91st St. Unit #105, Scottsdale
Instagram

Hours (Public):
Closed Monday through Thursday
10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
1 p.m.–9 p.m. Fridays

Hours (Members):
7 a.m.–9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays
1 p.m.–9 p.m. Fridays

This rock climbing gym opened in north Scottsdale in 2004. AZ On The Rocks has 14,000 square feet of climbing with 31-foot tall walls.

Monthly memberships are $89 for adults, and $79 for children, students, and government workers.

READ MORE: The 7 Best Places to Stargaze in the Grand Canyon State

Author

  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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