Rock Climbing in Minnesota
Rock on this spring at climbing gyms and favorite outdoor spots around Minnesota
Prairie Walls Climbing Gym in Rochester
Photo by Olive Juice Studios
Last week, Vertical Endeavors celebrated the grand opening of its newest climbing hub in the Twin Cities. The 30,000-square-foot facility in St. Paul's Prospect Park neighborhood is dedicated solely to bouldering, a first for Vertical Endeavors, which has four other locations in Minnesota. Twin Cities Bouldering features Nicros bouldering walls, an extensive training area, fitness studios for yoga classes, a community lounge, and pro-shop. The facility is located off Highway 94 and only a few blocks away from the Metro Transit Green Line, making it accessible for local climbers across the metro area.
The gym's spring opening gives climbers a welcome opportunity to flex their muscles while waiting for the weather conditions to improve. Indoor bouldering is a great way to prepare for your next outdoor climbing adventure because it requires no rope or extra equipment. Compared to traditional indoor climbing, which uses a rope, belay system, and climbing walls up to 60 feet, bouldering uses shorter walls up to 18 feet and has a large padded area underneath.
For climbers eager to get on the wall, Vertical Endeavors offers lessons for all abilities from beginners to personal training sessions for seasoned pros. If you're a more experienced climber, test your bouldering skills at the six-week boot camp at Twin Cities Bouldering this April, taught by professional climber Alex Johnson.
Looking for more opportunities for indoor climbing? Visit one of Vertical Endeavors' other locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, and Duluth, where visitors can try varying difficulties of climbing and bouldering walls, as well as participate in fitness classes. Other options in Minneapolis include the Minneapolis Bouldering Project with family-friendly climbing areas and complimentary introductory bouldering classes, Minnesota Climbing Co-Op where you can rent complimentary climbing shoes and take on the 100-foot-long climbing wall, and the Midwest Climbing Academy with its adjustable walls. In Rochester, Roca Climbing & Fitness and Prairie Walls Climbing Gym offer extensive youth classes and teams in addition to climbing opportunities geared towards adults.
If you're feeling ready to take on an outdoor expedition, there are popular rock climbing spots in every region of Minnesota. In the Twin Cities, climb the basalt cliffs in Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls which overlooks the St. Croix River. To the southeast, take in views of the Mississippi River Valley from the 350-foot limestone Barn Bluff in Red Wing. On the southwest prairie, there's the 100-foot-tall quartzite cliffs at Blue Mounds State Park in Luverne. In the winter, central Minnesota is home to the Sandstone Ice Festival, a celebration of ice climbing, in Robinson Park, but the climbing is good year round. And up north, there's Ely's Peak in Duluth and the rocky cliffs of Shovel Point and Palisade Head in Tettegouche State Park over Lake Superior.