The Phoenix Rock Gym is an exciting place for the whole family to experience what it’s like to climb a cliff without the danger and difficulty of trekking into the mountains. With 30-foot rock walls and 56 top-ropes, the variety and adventure never stops—but even if your feet have never left the ground before, the staff here can introduce you to the thrill of rock climbing and teach you everything you need to know.
Safety is essential whenever you’re rock climbing, so be prepared for the orientation you’ll go through when you visit. First, everyone will have to sign a waiver, and kids under eighteen will need a parent’s signature. Next, if it’s your first time, you’ll have to watch the orientation video and take a short hands-on training class taught by a member of the Phoenix Rock Gym staff.
All the equipment you need is provided, but if you climb all the time and have your own gear you can bring your own and get a discount on admission. Every climber under the age of twelve is required to have an adult belayer—someone who wears a harness holding the other end of the rope to make sure nothing goes wrong. If the kids want to climb but you don’t feel like it, though, you can stand at the bottom and belay them for free.
The two-level bouldering area is a great place to start. Warm up on the lower level, or, if you’re an experienced climber looking for a challenge, try climbing to the top. The main climbing surfaces vary in shape and difficulty, from the Beginner Death Slab to the Hueco Overhang. The walls simulate the formations of actual rock surfaces, with cracks and chimneys that you’ll climb by wedging yourself against the walls, and jutting corners you can grab onto, known in climbing lingo as arêtes.
Phoenix Rock Gym
1353 University Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281